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Vitamin and mineral supplements for prostate cancer

Updated on June 19, 2013

Dietary supplements, as the name suggest, are meant to supplement one’s normal daily diet. They usually come in the form of liquid, tables, pills or capsules that one is meant to take daily. The quantity to be taken is specified on the packaging. These supplements may be in the form of vitamins, herbs, minerals or essential amino acids that are extremely crucial for optimal body health. Although makers of supplements do not allude to the fact that these products can prevent or treat any disease, supplementation has gained notoriety when it comes to maintaining good health and fighting certain illnesses.

It is common knowledge that there are certain ailments caused by the deficiency of different vitamins and minerals in the body. However, this is not meant to take away from the benefits of ensuring that one is taking a balanced diet to the best of their ability. The body needs certain micro nutrients to be healthy and function at its best. Logically if, one cannot access this through diet then one should endeavor to get it through a good quality supplement.

By not getting all the essential nutrients that your body needs one is opening themselves to suffering from vitamin deficiency diseases. However, there are certain disadvantages such as high costs and the risk of over dosing, which may present side effects of its own. Ultimately the benefits of taking supplements cannot be denied.

It gets even better when these health aides are used when it comes to treatment or prevention of certain serious diseases. A good example of this is the use of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to deal with arthritis. Another one is the use of fiber supplements to deal with digestion problems and constipation. Another good use for this is when used by people with dietary disorders who due to some complications cannot take in all the nutrients that they should have in a day. By taking comprehensive multi vitamins the body can access the nutrition, it needs that it could be having a hard time accessing.

Health supplements and prostate cancer

These are simple ailments, but most people are unaware that supplementation can help one deal ailments such as cancer. There are good vitamins, mineral and herbal supplements that when taken can be immensely beneficial when it comes to dealing with cancer. Take, for example, prostate cancer, which is the type of cancer most diagnosed in men.

Prostate cancer is common in older men and with early detection, and immediate treatment is entirely treatable. Men suffering from it are expected to have a lifestyle change to be able to combat it better. This must involve eating the right foods and exercising. It also means doing away with negative habits such as taking alcohol and smoking.

Regular exercise will help maintain normal body weight a factor that will significantly decrease the risk of the prostate cancer developing at a faster rate. This is because this cancer has been linked to estrogen. Estrogen is especially active in the male body when one has excess body weight especially around the midsection.

Diet and Prostate Cancer

However in the day to day diet it is best if fruit and vegetable intake is increased. It is also beneficial for one to find more ways of having fruits and vegetables in their daily diet. This includes having vegetable portions being the largest part of a meal. Ensuring breakfast is largely made up of fruit is another option. Lastly choosing to snack on healthy vegetable salads during the day is better for weight control as well as for getting more vitamins into ones diet than eating unhealthy foods.

The fact that a diet high in fats especially animal fats has been connected to causing prostate cancer means that a low fat diet is advisable. By taking supplements with omega – 3 and omega – 6 fatty acids, one can also slow down the progression of the disease. This will involve taking fish – especially the cold water variety- and healthy seeds such as flax seeds. However, this should not be over done as too much animal fat is not advisable for an individual suffering or hoping to prevent prostate cancer. Other benefits from this will include controlling of one’s weight and also keeping ones heart healthy.

Hence eating more fats from plants and less from animals is advised. It is, therefore, necessary to control ones consumption of meats, nuts, oils and dairy products. One should endeavor to take low fat foods, and this means if it is necessary to eat meats, one should choose leaner cuts of meat, using little if no fat to cook and purchase low fat dairy products over the normal kind.

Some interesting ways of incorporating this into the diet include using healthy oils such as olive oil in place of butter for cooking. When making sandwiches one may opt to use nuts and seeds on bread, as opposed to having cheese on the bread. Dipping bread in olive oil mixed with herbs can also be extremely satisfying and a much healthier way of eating.

Taking herbals teas can also help when it comes to dealing with prostate cancer. It has been discovered that green tea is highly beneficial when it comes to dealing with and preventing cancers. In retrospect taking, unhealthy drinks should be minimized. This involves the intake of alcohol and soft drinks. It is necessary to note that some carbonated drinks have been known to have carcinogenic substances. Although they may not be harmful in small quantities, with time this may build up to dangerous levels, something that should be avoided. It is also a fact that too much alcohol and soft drinks contribute to high weight gain.

Supplementation for prostate cancer

Supplementation for prostate cancer can be categorized into two. There are the supplements one takes to deal with preventing the occurrence of the disease. In the second category, there are supplements that one can use to help in dealing with the disease once it has occurred.

It is necessary that people understand that there are no supplements to help in prevention of prostate cancer. However if, one assesses their risk of getting prostate cancer and find it to be average then they need to make better choices in life to decrease the chances of getting the disease.

Antioxidants and Prostate Cancer

Top on the lists of supplements to take when it comes to dealing with prostate cancer is antioxidants. This is not only beneficial when it comes to prostate cancer, but it also helps in reducing the risk of one ailing from any type of cancer in general. This is because they help to deal with free radical damage in the human body. This is crucial because free radical damage is associated with the contracting of numerous types of cancer not only prostate cancer.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause havoc in the body. The body is made up of cells which are composed of molecules. When these are formed in the right way, the molecules are stable and can contribute to optimum body functions. However if, they are not formed in the right way they may end up forming unstable molecules.

These molecules are what are referred to as free radicals. They are molecular truants that cause problems in the body as they try to attack or attach themselves to the closest stable molecule in a bid to gain stability. If they are successful, the attacked molecule in turn becomes an unstable one, and it too goes in search of stability from other stable molecules. This becomes a deadly chain reaction that may end up totally disrupting the normal functions of a living cell.

It is necessary to note that the body itself can create unstable molecules to deal with viruses and bacteria. In this case, these particular unstable molecules end up being helpful and not harmful to the body. However exposure to environmental pollutants, chemicals and other harmful substances can lead to the creation of harmful free radicals in the body.

In normal cases, a healthy body can easily handle free radicals. However the unhealthier practices such as over eating, smoking and drinking that one makes a habit of, the more the body becomes compromised when it comes to dealing with free radicals. This exposes it to dangerous health risks that they should otherwise not be party to.

The intake of antioxidants is crucial because they protect the body from the destructive effects of these free radicals such as contracting prostate cancer. The main ones are vitamins E and C, and they are abundant in fruits and vegetables. Certain minerals are also crucial when it comes to fighting cancers. They achieve this by lending their electrons to the unstable molecules which causes them to be stable and which eventually puts to a halt the harmful chain reaction of destabilizing of molecules in the body.

Generally vitamins and minerals are essential to optimum health as well as well being of an individual. However when one is suffering from a certain illness it becomes even more vital to use them as the body may be in need of an extra boost. There are about thirteen essential vitamins and most of them can be accessed by eating a healthy diet. While some of these are essential in creating strong building blocks that make up a strong body, others are useful when it comes to fighting harmful substances from taking root in the body and causing diseases such as prostate cancer.

Vitamins and Prostate Cancer

Vitamin C is impressive when it comes to fighting or preventing cancers such as prostate cancer. Antioxidants are famous for interfering with the beginning of cancer mutation or inhibiting its further development. This is one advantage of taking vitamin C. It is advisable to take a vitamin C together with complimentary vitamins such as Vitamin E and A which are said to work better together with it. This is because they work synergistically. Certain unhealthy habits such as drinking and smoking seriously deplete the body off its vitamin C levels which is another reason for avoiding these unhealthy habits.

Vitamin E is another good vitamin to take when it comes to dealing with prostate cancer. Use of this vitamin has been found to lead to a significant decrease in prostate cancer. However certain studies are now showing that Vitamin E use can contribute to the increase in the risk of developing this disease. However by taking the Vitamin E in conjunction with the mineral Selenium this risk is dampened.

Selenium and Prostate cancer

So how does selenium work in fighting prostate cancer? it does this by increasing the body’s capacity to control the damage caused by cancerous cells in the prostate. In cases where there is early cancer detection this mineral can be used to enhance the body’s immunity in a way that will help it to fight the cancer effectively. To get selenium from the diet one should eat seafood, lean meats garlic and eggs.

Vitamin D is another terrific mineral when it comes to fighting prostate cancer. This is because when taken with calcium it improves cell communications within your body. When the body is dealing with cancer it can keep your cells from communicating properly which is an environment that encourages cancerous tumor growth, as chances of healthy cells mutating into cancerous cells as heightened.

High dairy products have been connected to certain cancers such as prostate, breast and testicular cancer. This is because of the estrogen from cows that may cause cancer since the tumors are dependent on hormones such as estrogen to survive. Hence a dietary option such as milk cannot be used too much by people in the risk bracket of getting prostate cancer to access Vitamin D. However; a good vitamin D supplement would do well enough especially when used together with calcium as stated above.

Fiber supplements have also been identified as being beneficial when it comes to fighting prostate cancer. This is especially so in the case of prostate cancer identified in its early stages. The high fiber has been seen to stop the cancer cells from creating new blood cells which they need to keep growing. The benefits of high fiber can also be hugely beneficial for individuals who have contracted this cancer as a result of being obese. This is because high fiber gives the body an impression of fullness which reduced the amount of food they eat.

Lycopene and Prostate cancer

There are other supplements with minerals that are good for fighting prostate cancer, and one is lycopene. This is a substance found in abundance in tomatoes. In fact by cooking tomatoes, this substance can be more beneficial when it comes to fighting the occurrence or development of prostate cancer in men.

Another one is coenzyme Q10 which has long been prized when it comes to good skin and reversing the effects of aging. It is found in the category of nonessential nutrient because the body can be able to make its own supply of Co enzyme Q10. It has the benefits of acting as an antioxidant by protecting the cells in the body from the damage occasioned by free radicals. There are studies also showing that this vitamin helps to strengthen the immune system of the body which means that it can fight diseases such as cancer better.

Other Minerals for dealing with Prostate Cancer

There are other minerals that are beneficial in preventing the contraction of prostate cancer, as well. This includes magnesium and iodine. Studies have shown that magnesium deficiency has been seen to cause prostate cancer. Magnesium is a valuable mineral because it prevents the accumulation of toxins in the body. In addition to this, it prevents premature aging and can help in dealing with prostate cancer because of its positive attributes when it comes to the treatment of acute or chronic illnesses. Magnesium deficiency, on the other hand, can be a substantial contributing factor in developing prostate cancer.

Iodine, which is normally found in common salt, is also beneficial in fighting prostate cancer. However, a better option would be using super saturated potassium iodide as a source of this mineral when dealing with prostate cancer. It is used in the reduction of iodine levels in certain organs including the prostate gland that put it at a higher risk of contracting cancer.

When it comes to minerals for fighting prostate cancer, zinc is worth mentioning. This is because this mineral has been shown to be lacking in situations where there is the development of prostate cancer. First off, it is an antioxidant mineral, which means it can fight off the negative effects of free radicals that are prime causes of cancer. It can also promote cellular functions while strengthening the immune system which is are positive attributes when it comes to fighting cancer.

Zinc can be received from the diet by consuming zinc rich foods such as legumes, whole grains and sea foods. In the absence of this, getting a good quality supplement is the best option. However taking a zinc supplement should be separate from taking minerals such as copper, calcium, manganese or iron, to keep them from interfering with the body’s absorption of zinc.

Caution when taking vitamin and mineral supplements for prostate cancer

However the use of vitamins and minerals should be governed by caution especially when dealing with prostate cancer. It is necessary to note that vitamins and minerals should not replace conventional treatment options such as chemotherapy, surgery and medication. They should only be used as a good addition to an effective treatment or once the cancer has been eradicated to keep it from recurring. They may also be used by people who have chosen to use the watchful waiting approach when it comes to dealing with cancer. This should be done under the advice and careful supervision of one’s doctor.

So why have advice and supervision when taking harmless minerals and vitamins? This is because some vitamins and minerals can hamper the efficacy of medical drugs. It is also essential to keep in mind that vitamin and minerals may prevent the aggressive development of cancer and help the body to deal with certain side effects arising from it, but they are not a cure and should not be treated as one.

In addition to this, there are certain ways that one vitamin should be used by the body. If not followed taking them may end up being useless or harmful to the body. For example, taking Vitamin E with iron is a mistake as iron that is inorganic can destroy Vitamin E. In addition to these, certain minerals, with the exception of selenium and a few other minerals may end up hampering the absorption of Vitamin E in the body.

Then there is also the fact that no matter how much of certain vitamins you take some can only be absorbed by the body in small doses. Hence using the approach of the more the better is ill advised. Other such as vitamin C is water soluble, so they get depleted fast from the body through excretion. Taking them with water just drains them out of the body so, in addition to taking a supplement, it is advisable to eat vitamin C rich foods. This should be made a habit as any excess vitamin C as concerns the body’s needs at a particular time is immediately expelled from the body. Such information can be freely given to a patient by their doctor to ensure, that should they choose to use them, they should do so in the right way.

Overall, without a good lifestyle based on eating healthy foods and adequate exercise, it’s useless to take all the vitamins and minerals that one may take. To create an optimum basis for effective performance of these vitamins in minerals, it is essential that one maintains a healthy lifestyle. In addition to this adequate rest is vital so that the patient's body can get time to regenerate itself especially when one is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

Some vitamins may do more harm than good, an aspect that should be taken into consideration when identifying the exact kind of vitamin to take. When one is undergoing certain types of treatment, such as chemotherapy, it is necessary to note that some vitamins and minerals may hamper the effectiveness of the treatment. Before using any vitamins or minerals when undergoing prostate cancer treatment one should contact a doctor. It is also clear that conventional medicine should not be set aside in favor of vitamin and mineral.

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