Q. Dear Terry, “What do you recommend for elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels?”– Ken L., Bozeman, MT
A. Dear Ken, PSA levels can increase with age, inflammation, infection, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and cancer. Regardless of the cause, I think the right combination of botanicals can have a positive impact on PSA levels.
The ingredient that comes to mind first is curcumin. What I find most fascinating about curcumin is that it can stop the multitude of conditions that lead to prostate diseases: inflammation, oxidation, DNA damage, and the cell-signaling that promotes nodules and tumor formation. Of course, not all curcumin is created equal, and the type of curcumin you use makes a difference. I recommend a clinically studied curcumin that is enhanced with turmeric essential oil.
Another powerful ingredient to consider is pomegranate. Clinical research has shown that pomegranate juice can significantly decrease PSA levels. Many pomegranate extracts lack one of the most beneficial compounds, omega-5 fatty acid, also called punicic acid, which is found in the seed oil. Current research finds that omega-5 from pomegranate inhibits PSA and stops the growth of blood vessels that feed tumors. I would look for a pomegranate extract that contains seed oil standardized for punicic acid (omega-5) for enhanced benefits.
Scientific studies on grape seed extract show that it can also be very useful for prostate conditions by reducing the inflammatory pathways that can cause cancerous changes to prostate cells. Like any nutrient, the key compounds need to be absorbed before you will see any difference. I recommend a French grape seed extract that is tannin-free and provides only low-molecular weight oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs).
Many people are familiar with milk thistle for liver health; one of the key compounds – silybin – also has amazing abilities as a powerful medicine for the prostate.
Lastly, vitamin D3 is crucial for optimal health, especially for the prostate. In a Harvard Medical School clinical study, 14 percent of the participants (all of European descent) had genes associated with less efficient use of vitamin D, and as a result were more susceptible to prostate cancer. In fact, the combination of low vitamin D levels and a slight genetic difference associated with poorer use of vitamin D meant they were more than twice as likely (2.5 times) to develop aggressive prostate cancer.
I would take 1,500 IU of vitamin D3 and 710 mg of a combination of curcumin, pomegranate seed oil, French grape seed extract, and silybin per day.
Terry . . . Naturally
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