Vitamins, Minerals and the Prostate Gland

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each day, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Vitamins, Minerals and the Prostate Gland

Selenium is a potent supporter of prostate health. According to scientists who published the results of a detailed analysis of the scientific evidence dietary supplementation with 100 mcg of selenium every day can contribute substantially to the long-term health and healthy function of a man’s prostate.28 It seems that the way in which selenium works is that it “seeks out” the cells of the prostate and, by helping to maintain a healthy oxidant/antioxidant balance, promotes sustained health of these all-important cells.29

In fact, in promoting prostate health, the US Food and Drug Administration announced on February 21, 2003, that “Selenium may reduce the risk of certain  cancers. Some scientific evidence suggests that consumption of selenium may reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer” and “Selenium may produce anticarcinogenic effects in the body. Some scientific evidence suggests that consumption of selenium may produce anticarcinogenic effects in the body.” These statements highlight the importance of receiving an adequate supply of this nutrient.

Vitamin E
While selenium powerfully protects the inner workings of prostate cells, their cell membranes also need defense against oxidative invasion. This is where vitamin E fits in. Recent scientific evidence illustrates the important role of vitamin E in maintaining prostate health by promoting its antioxidant effects on prostate cells.30,31

Prostate health isn’t just a matter of antioxidants. It also depends on proper metabolic control of energy processing within the gland. Even early loss of a small part of regulatory control can decrease prostate health. Although the regulation of energy processing is a complex process in any cell, a few quirks in the way prostate cells handle this challenge have placed the mineral, zinc, in a pivotal position. Recently published research illustrates the role of zinc in prostate function and highlights the special needs of the prostate for zinc.32 The prostate needs zinc for health – so all men need zinc for prostate health.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Vitamins, Minerals and Normal Blood Glucose Regulation

28. Etminan M, FitzGerald JM, Gleave M, Chambers K. Intake of selenium in the prevention of prostate cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cancer Causes Control 2005;16:1125-1131.
29. Sabichi AL, Lee JJ, Taylor RJ, Thompson IM, Miles BJ, Tangen CM, Minasian LM, Pisters LL, Caton JR, Basler JW, Lerner SP, Menter DG, Marshall JR, Crawford ED, Lippman SM. Selenium accumulation in prostate tissue during a randomized, controlled short-term trial of L-selenomethionine: A Southwest Oncology Group Study. Clin Cancer Res 2006;12:2178-2184.
30. Weinstein SJ, Wright ME, Pietinen P, King I, Tan C, Taylor PR, Virtamo J, Albanes D. Serum a-tocopherol and .-tocopherol in relation to prostate cancer risk in a prospective study. J Natl Cancer Inst 2005;97:396-399.
31. Kirsh VA, Hayes RB, Mayne ST, Chatterjee N, Subar AF, Dixon LB, Albanes D, Andriole GL, Urban DA, Peters U; PLCO Trial. Supplemental and dietary vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C intakes and prostate cancer risk. J Natl Cancer Inst 2006;98:245-254.
32. Costello LC, Franklin RB. The clinical relevance of the metabolism of prostate cancer; zinc and tumor suppression: Connecting the dots. Mol Cancer 2006;5:17 (13 pages). doi:10.1186/1476-4598-5-17 (

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