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Men: Limit dairy products to reduce your risk of prostate cancer

21 May 2015, 10:25 Winnie Mwirikia

Nairobi - Prostate cancer is the world third leading cause of cancer deaths and more common as men age. It is more likely to spread and cause erectile dysfunction or even permanent impotence and eventually death.

The recent surge in Viagra and other medications to deal with erectile dysfunction is indicative of the rapid deterioration and increased cases of impotence.

If you're concerned about your risk of prostate cancer, you may be interested in the prevention too. Prostrate health should be a concern for every man. And  the need to balance risk when it comes to lifestyle choices in preventing cancer is important. Currently, there's no proven prostate cancer prevention but considering making healthy choices, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet stands out as the most controversial but obvious recommendation.

Men with an average risk of prostate cancer should make choices that benefit their overall health if they're interested in prostate cancer prevention. Research has it that men who eat the highest amount of fat each day have an increased risk of prostate cancer compared to those who take less. Reducing the amount of fat you eat each day will not only reduce your chances of  prostrate cancer but also help you control your weight and help your heart.

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Avoid foods that contain fats including meats, nuts, oils and dairy products, such as milk and cheese. Animal products that contain fats are most likely to be associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. They contain high levels of calcium that can lead to a decrease in vitamin D production. Vitamin D is an important regulator of cell growth and proliferation so less of it may lead to prostate cancer cells growing unchecked.

In the colon though, it’s a different matter. Calcium can bind to potentially carcinogenic compounds in the intestine, making them insoluble and easily excreted. Calcium can also directly affect cell development, slowing down proliferation and eventually reducing chances of liver cancer. If you enjoy dairy foods, there is no need to avoid them. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, you may want to have a bit less but if colon cancer runs in your family, a bit more could help.

Choosing a healthy diet that's low in fat and full of fruits and vegetables may contribute to a lower risk of prostate cancer. You should also consider using plant-based fats instead of animal fats. For instance, cook with olive oil rather than butter. Sprinkle nuts or seeds on your salad rather than cheese. Also reduce the amount of fat you add to foods when cooking, select leaner cuts of meat, and choose low-fat or reduced-fat dairy products. Eat mostly plant foods close to their natural state, keep active, drink responsibly, stay safe in the sun, and don’t smoke.

Regular physical activity plays a big role in reducing chances and risks of prostate cancer. While not part of the nutrition recommendations, physical activity is now recognized as a potent for cancer prevention. Consider up to one hour of moderate activity or 30 minutes of vigorous activity daily.

If you are overweight or obese, work on losing weight. You can do this by reducing the number of calories you eat each day and increasing the amount of exercise you do. If you have a healthy weight, work to maintain it by exercising most days of the week and choosing a healthy diet that's rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

A complete overhaul of lifestyle can be challenging and takes time to maintain the discipline but it’s worth your reproductive health. When you chose to live and eat for optimal health you chose to protect your reproductive health and prevent prostrate cancer.

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- MyNews24

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