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Old 12-20-2010, 12:04 AM   #1
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calcium food products increase risk of prostate cancer?

an asian study revealed that dietary calcium products, like milk, soy products, calcium rich vegetables like spinach etc are associated with increased risk of prostate cancer in males in asia countries. Should we limit our intake of calcium products?

 
Old 12-20-2010, 12:50 AM   #2
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Re: calcium food products increase risk of prostate cancer?

Hi Leed,
Could you pass on more details on that study. Some links so that some guys here could give you a based opinion.
Baptista

Last edited by Baptista; 12-20-2010 at 12:51 AM.

 
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:09 AM   #3
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Re: calcium food products increase risk of prostate cancer?

ok, as requested.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:12 AM   #4
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Re: calcium food products increase risk of prostate cancer?

I guess the study you're referring to is this one among Singapore Chinese:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20516117
The increase in PC with high calcium intake (mainly from vegetable sources) was not significant overall. However, there was an association for smaller men only.

In the US cancer Prevention Trial that included almost ten thousand men over ten years, the results were equivocal. Comparing the heaviest calcium consumers to the lightest calcium consumers there was an 27% increased risk of low grade PC, but a 57% DECREASED risk of high grade PC. No associations were found with lycopene, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin E, or selenium.

The European (EPIC) study found that high intake of dairy protein and calcium from dairy products were associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. No associations were found with vitamin C, vitamin D, carotenoids, retinol, vitamin E, fibre, Mediterranean diet, red and processed meat or alcohol intake and prostate cancer.

So it seems that the best strategy is to eat only a normal amount of Calcium in your diet, especially if you are a smaller than average sized Singaporean. Calcium is vital for good health. There is NO proof that restricting calcium below normally recommended levels will prevent PC. High intake might be bad, low intake is bad for many reasons, normal intake is good for many reasons.

Last edited by Tall Allen; 12-20-2010 at 01:13 AM.

 
Old 12-20-2010, 02:34 AM   #5
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Re: calcium food products increase risk of prostate cancer?

Thanks Allen for pinpointing a reasonable opinion.
In regards to the study commented by Leed, We should also take into consideration the other portion of men in the spectrum. The finding in the relationship between calcium consumption and PCa is done to a 1% of the population in the study (298 vz 27,293 men), the other 99% surely do well to the consumption of calcium, if any. One could take these numbers to claim that calcium consumption actually is a “no-no” for a very small percentage (0.0025%) of the Chinese men population in Singapore. As you say Calcium is vital for good health.

Regards
Baptista

 
Old 12-21-2010, 03:29 PM   #6
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Re: calcium food products increase risk of prostate cancer?

Whether to consume substantial calcium and take supplements is one of the issues that confronted me. After about nine months of Lupron, a medication that virtually eliminates the testosterone that supports a healthy level of bone mineral density, my bone density scan showed I was already in the osteopenia range (moderate loss of bone density) and that one bone was in the osteoporosis range. My doctor and I agreed that it was essential for me to take a bisphosphonate drug (Fosamax for me) along with the required calcium and vitamin D3 supplements. He and I were aware, back in 2000, of some concern about an association of calcium with prostate cancer, but we considered bone loss a far more serious threat.

That's made me sensitive to developments on the calcium front. Here's my take: high calcium without vitamin D in the diet/supplements could well be a dangerous combination for us. The problem may be that excessive calcium ties up the vitamin D needed to help combat the prostate cancer (still some controversy there too). Therefore, it seems to me that a substantial level of calcium coupled with substantial vitamin D3 is safe. I take enough vitamin D3, and consume vitamin D foods, to keep my 25-hydroxy vitamin D level at 40 or above. I strive for a level closer to the high side of the range of 50 to 100. Right now I'm in the mid-60s. I took 1,000 of calcium supplements when I was taking a bisphosphonate drug, but I've now dropped that a couple of hundred units.

Thanks, Allen, for mentioning that study. However, while I'm very glad the study was done, it is, by its nature, rather weak evidence (observation of a population based on diet recollection documented with a survey), and following Baptista's line of thought, the findings are weak statistically, probably because so few men are involved. I can detail that comment if anyone is interested.

Take care,

Jim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tall Allen View Post
I guess the study you're referring to is this one among Singapore Chinese:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20516117
The increase in PC with high calcium intake (mainly from vegetable sources) was not significant overall. However, there was an association for smaller men only.

In the US cancer Prevention Trial that included almost ten thousand men over ten years, the results were equivocal. Comparing the heaviest calcium consumers to the lightest calcium consumers there was an 27% increased risk of low grade PC, but a 57% DECREASED risk of high grade PC. No associations were found with lycopene, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin E, or selenium.

The European (EPIC) study found that high intake of dairy protein and calcium from dairy products were associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. No associations were found with vitamin C, vitamin D, carotenoids, retinol, vitamin E, fibre, Mediterranean diet, red and processed meat or alcohol intake and prostate cancer.

So it seems that the best strategy is to eat only a normal amount of Calcium in your diet, especially if you are a smaller than average sized Singaporean. Calcium is vital for good health. There is NO proof that restricting calcium below normally recommended levels will prevent PC. High intake might be bad, low intake is bad for many reasons, normal intake is good for many reasons.

 
Old 12-22-2010, 01:53 AM   #7
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Re: calcium food products increase risk of prostate cancer?

Hi Jim,

We are grateful for your insights regarding calcium & balanced D. Your suggestions contain always a serious and balanced opinion in many aspects. Your detailed monitoring is behind your success in your eleven-years of treatment.
I become watchful about the levels of calcium in my body since RT. There are studies pointing to the loss caused by Gys, so I tried to balance the negative effects with specific foods, which, for the Portuguese, is already part of our diets. Now in ADT I am still more careful but the metabolism of any intake depends very much on physical exercise which in many guys may bring a series of other problems. I recommend moderation and balance as a Key factor for the wellbeing.

Before starting ADT I went through several tests and image studies to serve me as a base-line for future actions, and a bone density test reported osteopenia in the lumbar and femur neck, placing me 5% in the red in comparison with the normal levels (100%) of guys of my age. The proximal femur was above normal. My doctor recommended me to take the bisphosphonate Alendronic Acid 70mg tablets (weekly) if I get to the 50% red mark.
Is his opinion correct? I really do not know.
Do you think that I should avoid certain foods once on bisphosphonates?

I wish a Merry Christmas to all and respectful families.
Baptista

Last edited by Baptista; 12-22-2010 at 01:55 AM.

 
Old 12-23-2010, 06:55 AM   #8
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Re: calcium food products increase risk of prostate cancer?

Hi, thank everyone for the wonderful advice.
As Paracelsus says, "All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dose permits something not to be poisonous." Eating the right amount of Calcium is essential and not totally abstaining from it to prevent cancer.
However, I am still skeptical about Calcium supplements.
Correct me if i am wrong, in my opinion, i think that concentration of calcium supplement is much higher than the amount we obtain from food diet sources, so i think we need to exercise discretion about eating those supplements. There are more and more reports on people having side effects from supplements? Is it advisable to eat natural food sources instead of those supplements?
There has also been some hype on the consumption of dairy products especially milk, which are "rumoured" to cause cancer too. Although I have read some reports on milk products with bovine growth hormone accused of causing cancer, people are trying to avoid milk altogether. While milk is a good source of protein and calcium, should i listen to their advice and stop drinking milk and instead, eat other food alternatives?
Thank you

 
Old 12-23-2010, 08:44 AM   #9
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Re: calcium food products increase risk of prostate cancer?

Hi Leed,

As you say, balance is the best. Too much of the same thing is too bad. Diary including milk is a controversial "affair" when discussed above prostate cancer.
I think that we should not avoid milk but take it in moderation. My wife has a problem of osteoporosis and has been trying to get much income of calcium; however she did not find milk as the best source.
My daily consumption of milk is less than 100ml in the morning and I usually have every other day a slice of cheese at lunch. My best source for calcium is fish which I have almost every day.
Protein and vitamin D are essential for its absorption by our body. One problem of too much calcium is the clotting of blood.

You could balance your diet thinking in sources of calcium as these; Yogurt, Cheese, Milk, Sardines, Anchovies, Fish Paste, Whitebait, Spinach, Broccoli, Tofu, Breads, Nuts. The Singaporean Boat is a good source of calcium for the fish sauce, tofu, etc., it incorporates.

For what a scientist dictates, there is always some other in disaccord with sustainable data. We choose the one we believe more.

Baptista

 
Old 12-23-2010, 08:54 AM   #10
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Re: calcium food products increase risk of prostate cancer?

Hi Baptista,

I'll respond to an excerpt from your immediately previous post about the bisphosphonate to aid bone density and diet. You might also want to check www.pubmed.gov (for those who are new here: a site we can use on this board because it is Government sponsored). I just searched for " bisphosphonate AND calcium AND vitamin D3 " and got 310 hits which fell to 205 hits after limiting the search to studies involving humans and that had abstracts. The list fell to 59 after I changed the search to " alendronate AND calcium AND vitamin D3 ", keeping the limits.

I glanced at some of the recent studies as a check whether there was anything new. If you look at some of the abstracts of the studies (for newcomers, click on the blue hypertext titles), you can see that they sometimes relate specific doses of vitamin D3 to results. Since the amount of extra vitamin D3 we need varies substantially among us, it makes a lot better sense to me to give each person in the study enough vitamin D3 to get them in the desired range. For prostate cancer patients, the recommendations I've seen from a number of sources are looking for a minimum level of 40 on the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test, with the desirable range from 50 to 80 or from 50 to 100. However, it would clearly be much harder to run studies using the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test instead of just a simple dose per day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baptista View Post
...

Before starting ADT I went through several tests and image studies to serve me as a base-line for future actions, and a bone density test reported osteopenia in the lumbar and femur neck, placing me 5% in the red in comparison with the normal levels (100%) of guys of my age. The proximal femur was above normal. My doctor recommended me to take the bisphosphonate Alendronic Acid 70mg tablets (weekly) if I get to the 50% red mark.
Is his opinion correct? I really do not know.
Do you think that I should avoid certain foods once on bisphosphonates?
I was on alendronate under the brand name Fosamax for most of my years on intermittent triple hormonal therapy, at the same dose of 70 mg weekly. It served me well, enabling me to recover bone density during the vacation periods from the therapy (continuing the bisphosphonate and finasteride), while reducing bone loss while on therapy. I switched to Boniva (ibandronate) mainly for the convenience of a monthly formulation, but for me it seemed to work a little better: despite being on full triple blockade during the third cycle, my bone density level actually improved. Overall I now have a normal score, and only one vertebra is still in the osteopenia range.

The one food aspect that comes to mind is fiber. While high fiber is generally beneficial for us, it can tie up the vitamin D we get at the same time, basically wiping it out. I get most fiber at breakfast, so I do not supplement with vitamin D3 at that meal. Of course we get at least a little fiber whenever we eat, but a little does not seem to matter much. My vitamin D levels are in the mid-sixties, so what I'm doing is working for me.

While dairy food seems less of a risk than it did a few years ago for prostate cancer, I still avoid cheese and other dairy food. Have you tried soy milk as a substitute for the milk? There are also some soy cheeses. My hunch is that some of us can get away with a little dairy food and do fine, but I've chosen to be aggressive with dairy choices. I do eat fish daily, and I also get some vitamin D as well as calcium from non-dairy food items.




Quote:
I wish a Merry Christmas to all and respectful families.
Baptista
Merry Christmas to you also to and to all of us!

Jim

 
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:46 AM   #11
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Re: calcium food products increase risk of prostate cancer?

You make a good point about food sources of nutrients rather than supplements. In general, our bodies have evolved to absorb nutrients from food sources. Food sources often contain co-factors and enzymes that aid absorption that are lacking in supplements. There are also micronutrients. Many minerals need to be in the right oxidation state to be useful, and may be toxic if in the wrong oxidation state (e.g., chromium).

I think the biggest problem with dairy is lactose intolerance in middle-aged people. If I drink too much milk, it can lead to diarrhea and the loss of all the nutrition of that meal. Yoghurt and cheese have less lactose, so should not be as much of a problem, especially in moderation.

There is much controversy about vitamin D. I'm personally not yet convinced that supplements are of value for PC -- the research I've seen so far is not convincing. I can explain why if anyone cares enough. I live in a sunny climate and get enough through my skin.

Moderation, balance and variety are the best we can do for healthful nutrition.

- Allen


Quote:
Originally Posted by leedaegil View Post
Hi, thank everyone for the wonderful advice.
As Paracelsus says, "All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dose permits something not to be poisonous." Eating the right amount of Calcium is essential and not totally abstaining from it to prevent cancer.
However, I am still skeptical about Calcium supplements.
Correct me if i am wrong, in my opinion, i think that concentration of calcium supplement is much higher than the amount we obtain from food diet sources, so i think we need to exercise discretion about eating those supplements. There are more and more reports on people having side effects from supplements? Is it advisable to eat natural food sources instead of those supplements?
There has also been some hype on the consumption of dairy products especially milk, which are "rumoured" to cause cancer too. Although I have read some reports on milk products with bovine growth hormone accused of causing cancer, people are trying to avoid milk altogether. While milk is a good source of protein and calcium, should i listen to their advice and stop drinking milk and instead, eat other food alternatives?
Thank you

 
Old 12-25-2010, 05:02 AM   #12
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Re: calcium food products increase risk of prostate cancer?

Hi all,
Your insights have certainly benefitted me.
I think it will be alright for me to continue my consumption of milk products since i do not suffer from lactose intolerance.
I am not debating about whether supplements or food nutrition is better, but rather am curious to know whether the consumption of calcium supplements have certainly benefitted you in a way or another.
IADT3, do you feel better after eating the calcium pills, and do you experience any side effects from taking those supplements? I know one has to drink lotsa water when he takes calcium supplements.
Thanks.

Merry christmas (:

 
Old 12-27-2010, 11:03 AM   #13
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Re: calcium food products increase risk of prostate cancer?

Hi Allen and leedaegil (and fellow board participants of course),

I'm getting back to the Board after really savoring Christmas. The Christmas period became even more meaningful for me as it was the first event to cheer me up after my diagnosis with a challenging case back in December 1999. I began to realize that I would experience some joyful times after all. I'm addressing your recent post and Allen's previous response, in green.


[QUOTE=leedaegil;4647391]Hi all,
Your insights have certainly benefitted me.
I think it will be alright for me to continue my consumption of milk products since i do not suffer from lactose intolerance.[QUOTE]

My understanding of the calcium/dairy products issue for prostate cancer patients is that lactose intolerance is a completely separate issue. Unfortunately, it appears that dairy products may pose some danger to many of us at least due to the proteins in milk. It is likely, I think, that some of us prostate cancer patients will be able to successfully skate on rather thin ice by consuming dairy products in moderation. I'm basing that view primarily on the fact that the evidence against dairy products is not conclusive, yet, leading me to think there are probably some genetic factors that increase risk for some of us while not increasing risk for others. The problem is that we don't yet have good tests that indicate those patients who are at increased risk. I also believe that consuming dairy for those of us with high risk cases, like me, is highly risky.

Here is a little food for thought from medical research. If you can, take a look at the chart that shows risk levels from foods from the American Institute for Cancer Research/World Cancer Research Fund. It's entitled "Summary -- Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective," and it was published in 2007. (The AICR/WCRF updates it every ten years.) The full 517 page book itself is expensive at $69.95, but the information is available, with hard copies at some cancer resource centers, and the publication is also available elsewhere. (I have both the book and a copy of the 12 page summary.) I'm going to describe the research results table first to give a little perspective, but if you wish, skip right down to the next paragraph that deals with calcium, dairy, vitamin D and prostate cancer.

What these expert researchers did was to look at quality, published medical research studies for 18 of the major cancers, including prostate cancer, for 50 nutritional groups or aspects (such as high temperature drinks) and 11 physical activity related and other factors, such as adult height. They weighed the research to give more credit to more convincing studies. They then assigned risk groups to each combination of cancer/nutrition, etc. element. The risk groups are displayed in the summary chart using colors and three levels of elevation. They ranged from Convincing decreased risk (teal, three stories), Probable decreased risk (light blue, two stories), Limited-suggestive decreased risk (very light blue, one story), Substantial effect on risk unlikely (white, two stories), Limited-suggestive increased risk (light pink, one story), Proable increased risk (pink, two stories), and Convincing increased risk (pink/red, three stories). The WCRF/AICR effort is conservative; there is nor risk assigned to many blocks, though all risk element rows have at least one block coded, even if it shows "Substantial effect on risk unlikely". There is also at least one block for a risk item for each cancer. Some cancers have many risk elements coded, such as lung cancer (15 blocks) and colorectal cancer (22). Prostate cancer has an upper moderate level, with 11 blocks coded.

Let's look just at the column for prostate cancer. Six of the blocks are coded for decreased risk: light blue/one story ((Limited-suggestive decreased risk) - legumes, foods containing vitamin E, alpha tocopherol (the most common supplement for vitamin E); or light blue/two stories (Probable decreased risk) - foods containing lycopene, foods containing selenium, and selenium as a supplement. Two of the blocks are coded for "Substantial effect on risk unlikely." Fifty blocks are uncoded.

Drum roll here.........................! There are only three potential risk items in this conservative summary that have light pink/one story ("Limited-suggestive increased risk") or pink/two story ("Probable increased risk") codes: "Diets high in calcium" (probable risk) and "Milk and dairy products" ("Limited-suggestive increased risk") respectively. Now there are a lot of potential risk items that I avoid based on less convincing evidence, but knowing that this conservative summary has flagged these two risk elements increases my wariness. For those who want detail, the detailed report provides a lot of the data behind the summary codes for these and all the other blocks.

Here's another cause for concern: "The China Study," published in 2006, a book authored by noted researcher Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and his son Thomas M. Campbell II, fingers dairy protein as a likely cause of many cancers. I have read most of this book and find it thought provoking. I'm not the only one. Most of us have heard of Dean Ornish, MD; here are his words on the cover of my edition: "Everyone in the field of nutrition science stands on the shoulders of Dr. Campbell, who is one of the giants in the field. This is one of the most important books about nutrition ever written -- reading it may save your life." The book includes a section on prostate cancer, pages 177-179 in my edition, with several other mentions. While most of the China Study is based on original research involving Dr. Campbell in collaboration with a leading Chinese researcher (and an army of assistants), here are the Campbells words referring to some Harvard studies: "... In these studies, men with the highest dairy intakes had approximately double the risk of total prostate cancer, and up to a fourfold increase in risk of metastatic or fatal prostate cancer relative to low consumers." (page 178, referring to Chan JM and Giovannucci EL, "Dairy products, calcium, and vitamin D and risk of prostate cancer, Epidemiol. Revs. 23 (2001): 87-92).

My third, and personally most important guidance in this area comes from Dr. Charles "Snuffy" Myers, MD, an eminent medical oncologist specializing in prostate cancer who also has the unusual qualification of having been a lead pharmacologist for cancer at the National Institutes for Health for many years (and he is a patient with his own challenging case, now under excellent control or cured). From early on, he has cautioned us to avoid dairy products. He has detailed his reasons in two books for patients as well as in his newsletter.

For anyone wanting to research this on their own, we are able to use the site www.pubmed.gov on this board because it is Government sponsored, and you can make up your own search string along the lines of (without the quotes) " prostate cancer AND dairy " or "prostate cancer AND milk ", etc.



Quote:
I am not debating about whether supplements or food nutrition is better, but rather am curious to know whether the consumption of calcium supplements have certainly benefitted you in a way or another.
I have no doubt that calcium supplements have played an essential role in rebuilding my bone mineral density to a normal level.

Quote:
IADT3, do you feel better after eating the calcium pills, and do you experience any side effects from taking those supplements? I know one has to drink lotsa water when he takes calcium supplements.
Thanks. Merry christmas (:
I have been on the supplements so long, continuously for at least 10 years, that I cannot say whether I feel better. I am unaware of side effects. I have not heard about the need to drink lots of water, but I do drink lots of liquid daily.

I've got to break off here, but I hope to continue this discussion.

Take care,

Jim

 
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