When considering the choice of weapons in fighting cancer, prostate cancer vitamin treatments are often overlooked. We get bombarded with news and claims from the medical community about the latest “wonder drugs.” In many cases, it’s our own doctor recommending a new pharmaceutical, rushing us off to fill that prescription before considering other options. But when we’re talking about a disease like prostate cancer, shouldn’t we be examining all options? That’s why we should look at which vitamins may help treat prostate cancer.
Doctors as a whole seem to shun alternative therapies like vitamin and mineral supplementation. It isn’t entirely their fault; our current system favors drugs and chemicals over natural substances. We have an FDA that is quick to condemn vitamins while suppressing information about drugs they’ve approved that have caused an array of side effects and approximately 100,000 deaths yearly. That’s 270 people a day. Only half that many die in car accidents.
Why consider vitamins for prostate cancer
Prostate cancer vitamin treatments should always be considered as a possible alternative in fighting the disease, for multiple reasons:
- Cost: Most all of the leading drugs for prostate cancer can cost $200 or more (before insurance). The same amount of vitamins costs around $25 or less.
- Side effects: Many prescription drugs have unusual or unexpected side effects ranging from impotence to osteoporosis and heart attack. Most vitamins have no side effects unless taken in huge doses, and even then they usually take the form of gastrointestinal problems like nausea and diarrhea.
- Toxicity: All pharmaceutical drugs have some level of toxicity. Since vitamins are naturally occurring substances, they have no toxicity unless they are taken in outrageously large doses.
This isn’t to say that you need to discount prescription drugs completely if you and your doctor consider them a wise addition to your cancer fighting playbook. But there are some very basic reasons to utilize prostate cancer vitamin treatments:
- Prevention: In many cases, vitamins reduce the risk of cancer. Some, like vitamin C, have antioxidant qualities that keep cells from mutating into cancerous ones.
- Boosting the immune system: At the very least, vitamins supply your body with what it needs to maintain a healthy immune system. This is especially vital as we age. A healthy immune system can more effectively fight cancer.
- Supporting our diets: Most foods today are devoid of vitamins and nutrients, especially processed food. Vitamin supplementation can make up for the lack of vitamins that would usually come from a healthy diet filled with fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, and certain meats.
- Supporting treatment overall: Vitamins can actually enhance the effectiveness of some drugs, and can work hand-in-hand with other treatments to make sure you are attacking prostate cancer on all fronts.
What vitamins may help treat prostate cancer?
There are many vitamins used as part of a prostate cancer treatment program. Here are some of them:
Vitamin C: As mentioned earlier, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that also boosts your resistance to infection. Vitamin C protects your cells from free radicals, which are fragments of molecules that are active, but have too many or too few electrons. These fragments damage other cells by stealing their electrons or passing off extra electrons to them. The result is oxidation of healthy cells, which can cause those cells to become cancerous. It’s the process you see when a sliced apple turns brown.
Vitamin C has also shown great effectiveness in reducing inflammation, another component in prostate cancer. When combined with vitamin E, C can actually stunt the growth of non-responsive human prostate cancer cells. In a 2004 study, cancer cells were reduced from 4% on the small end, to a whopping 83% on the high end.
Vitamin D: Calcitriol is a form of vitamin D that regulates cell health by forcing them to adapt to an organ or die off. Calcitriol also cuts off the blood supply of tumors and keeps cancer from spreading.
Vitamin E: This has been shown to have great benefits in reducing prostate cancer risk and acting as a powerful anti-inflammatory as mentioned with vitamin C. But it’s important to take the proper form. Most vitamin E supplements use a form of E called alpha-tocopherol. But the form you want to take is gamma-tocopherol. This form has the cancer-fighting qualities you want. Check labels carefully.
Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.
Cancer Research UK. About hormone therapy.
Evers E. IV Vitamin C achieves clinical success with prostate and breast cancer. Natural News 2012 Sep 19
Gunawardena K et al. Combination therapy with vitamins C plus E inhibits survivin and human prostate cancer cell growth. Prostate 2004 May 15; 59(3): 319-27
Perdomo D. 100,000 Americans die each year from prescription drugs, while pharma companies get rich. Alternet