These simple steps will help you avoid cancer-causing toxins…
Drinking a tall glass of water several times each day sounds like one of the best things you can do for your health. But that may not be true for everyone.
Surprising new finding: In an important study published in April 2016, researchers found that men who drank well water that contained relatively high levels of naturally occurring arsenic had a 10% higher risk of developing prostate cancer. It’s a troubling statistic. And arsenic is just one of many other prostate-harming toxins lurking in our environment.
Good news: Scientific evidence now shows that men can build their body’s defenses against the effects of these disease-causing toxins.
WORST HABITS FOR MEN
We’ve all heard it over and over again—eat right and stop smoking. But men should be especially attentive to the following advice…
Diet. Two new studies published in 2016 showed how crucial food choices are for prostate health.
Study I: Drinking sugary beverages (including not only sodas and sweetened iced tea but also fruit juices) was linked to a three times greater risk for prostate cancer…and eating processed lunch foods (such as pizza and hamburgers) doubled prostate cancer risk.
Study II: Among men who had already been diagnosed with prostate cancer, those who ate lots of saturated fats (found in fatty red meats, cheese and butter) were more likely to have the most aggressive form of the disease…but men who ate diets that emphasized fish and nuts—high in polyunsaturated fats—had less aggressive prostate cancer.
Bottom line on diet: Eat a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, legumes and whole grains…and limit saturated fats, processed foods and sugary beverages.
Smoking. Cigarette smoke is filled with toxins including cadmium, an inhalable metal that has been linked to prostate cancer. A study published in April 2016 showed that the more you smoke—and the longer you smoke—the greater your risk of developing prostate cancer.
Good news: Stopping smoking reduces prostate cancer risk almost immediately.
HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS
Prostate health is all about detoxifying the body, protecting cells from damage—and reducing the inflammation that can promote the growth of cancers.
Several supplements have one or more of these anticancer effects—get a doctor’s advice on which of the following would be most appropriate for you…*
- Boswellia reduces levels of lipoxygenase (LOX), an inflammatory marker associated with prostate cancer. Typical dosage: 200 mg to 400 mg a day.
- Curcumin helps control nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kB), which is a chemical pathway to inflammation in the body. Typical dosage: 2,000 mg to 4,000 mg per day, in divided doses (morning, noon and night).
- Modified citrus pectin (MCP) may inhibit cancer growth and help remove heavy-metal toxins from the body. Pectins are typically found in the peel and pulp of citrus fruits (such as oranges, lemons and grapefruits). MCP is a form of pectin that is easily absorbed into the body. Typical dosage: 1,000 mg to 5,000 mg, two or three times a day.
- Selenium is a precursor to glutathione, a master antioxidant. Typical dosage: 200 micrograms (mcg) a day of selenized yeast (other forms of selenium have been linked to increased prostate cancer risk).
MORE WAYS TO DETOXIFY
The strategies below also can enhance your body’s natural mechanisms to release toxins…**
- Sweat it out. Perspiration is one of the most effective ways for your body to shed toxins. What to do: Exercise a minimum of three hours per week at an intensity that makes you break a sweat. The type of exercise doesn’t matter—sweat is the key ingredient. Also: If possible, spend 15 minutes a few times a week in a dry-heat sauna.
- Dry brush. Another way to detoxify is to dry brush your skin. What to do: Before you shower, use a dry towel, natural-bristle brush or loofah to gently brush from your hands and feet inward, toward your heart. This promotes the flow of lymphatic fluid, which drains toxins from the body. Brush for a total of three minutes.
- Try hydrotherapy. After brushing, shower as usual, but end with a hot water/cold water session of hydrotherapy. This process dilates and constricts blood vessels, promoting better circulation. What to do: Turn on the hottest water you can tolerate without causing pain or scalding your skin, and let it pour over you for three minutes. Then turn on the cold water—as cold as you can tolerate—for 30 seconds. Repeat this for a total of three hot/cold cycles, ending with cold water.
BEWARE OF CHEMICALS
Toxins are almost ubiquitous in our modern lives. For example, most plastics contain two problematic chemicals—bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. These chemicals act like estrogen in the body and may cause or promote the growth of prostate cancer. While it is impossible to eliminate all contact with plastics, here’s how to reduce your exposure…
Check your plastic bottles. All recyclable plastic bottles have a code at the bottom—a number inside a triangle. To reduce your exposure to BPA and phthalates, look for plastics with the number 1, 2, 4 or 5. The worst numbers are 3, 6 and 7—bottles with any of these numbers may contain these and other harmful chemicals.
Also: Most food cans contain BPA. If you opt for canned food, look for “BPA-free” products.
*Consult a physician who is knowledgeable about supplements before using any of those listed here—especially if you take any medication or have a chronic medical condition. To find such a doctor near you, consult The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Naturopathic.org.
**Check first with your doctor if you have conditions that impair circulation, such as diabetes or heart disease, before using a sauna or hydrotherapy.