Prostate cancer is an odd disease. One on hand, it’s the most common male cancer in all the world. But on the other hand, different countries have dramatically different rates of prostate cancer.1
At first glance, it seems like diet must play a roll. Let’s take a closer look at the reason for the differences and how a common breakfast staple can help…
The prostate is a gland found only in males. Its chief roll is to contribute fluid to the mixture of semen a man produces in the testicles.2
The prostate sits below the bladder and just in front of the rectum. The urethra, which is the tube where urine and semen exit the body, cuts right through the middle of the prostate—just picture a tree root winding down through a ball of dirt and you’ll get the idea.3
When a man is a young adult, his prostate is about the size of a walnut. But as he ages, his prostate tends to grow larger—and this growth could put pressure on the urethra, which is what leads to incontinence issues commonly experienced by men of a certain age.4
Slow growth over time
Most prostate cancers are classified as adenocarcinomas and grow from the cells of the gland that make the prostate fluid. Other rarer prostate cancers include small cell carcinomas, neuroendocrine tumors, transitional cell carcinomas, and sarcomas. While these rarer types of prostate cancers can grow quickly, most adenocarcinomas grow quite slowly—to the point where men who die of other causes are also found to have had prostate cancer that neither they nor their doctors ever knew about.5
Symptoms of prostate cancer can include trouble urinating, unplanned weight loss, blood in the semen or urine, lack of force in the urine stream, and bone pain. When prostate cancer is detected early, particularly while it’s still confined to the prostate gland, then you have the best chance for successful treatment.6
This goes back to the prostate growing larger as a man ages. About a third of men show signs of prostate growth between the ages of 40 and 60, and about half show signs by age 80.7 But here’s where things get really interesting…
Geography plays a role
While there’s certainly a hereditary link to prostate cancer development, that link falls by the wayside when a man emigrates to a place where prostate cancer incidence is high, such as most Western countries.
Once there, the man becomes just as likely to develop prostate cancer as the men who’ve been living there since birth. On top of that, the man’s offspring, if still living in that high-rate location, also become just as likely as the local population to develop the disease.8
Because of these significant differences, researchers have started looking at differences in lifestyle between those with prostate enlargement versus those without, and the results have to do with, surprisingly, the gut.
The prostate is heavily influenced by gut bacteria
According to exciting new research, the bacteria in a man’s gut can either fuel or thwart the growth of prostate cancer. According to scientists from the University of Turku in Finland, there’s a measurable difference in gut microbiota content between men with prostate cancer versus men without prostate cancer.
To be sure, gut health is certainly affected by varying lifestyle and dietary practices as well as by healthcare policies.9
These findings complement the large number of other studies that have come out in recent years about the wide range of effects our gut bacteria have on our bodies. Your gut appears to affect everything at least a little bit, from your mood to your immune system to the efficacy of organs in your body that live far from the intestines (such as your brain).
There’s room for significant variation, too. Around 100 trillion microorganisms live in the human belly. Some are considered good, some are bad. But it’s the balance of the two that most significantly affects the immune system.10
Different gut bacteria
Going back to the Finnish team, they took intestinal samples from 181 men suspected of having prostate cancer. They found that the gut bacteria in 60 percent of those who ended up diagnosed with the disease was strikingly different from the gut bacteria of those who turned out to be cancer free.11
Those with prostate cancer had increased levels of Prevotella 9, which stems from a pathogen that causes diarrhea.12 They also had lower levels of damaging belly bugs known as Jonquetella, Moryella, Anaeroglobus, Corynebacterium, and CAG-352 than men without prostate cancer.13
It’s important to mention that other studies have suggested a link between the health of your gut and the prevention and even treatment of a variety of other cancers, too.
So, if you want to avoid prostate cancer or cancer of any kind, it’s a good idea to get a handle on your gut health.
How to improve your gut bacteria
Yogurt is a great way to improve your gut health. But just grabbing a yogurt at the grocery store is not so simple, given that there are hundreds of brands and variations to choose from. Your best bet is to look for the following:
- Clinically proven gut-health benefits: Look for the words “live active cultures” and “lactobacillus acidophilus” (a type of probiotic) on the label.14
- Plain yogurt, which has zero added sugar: Yogurts with crushed cookies and sprinkles or other treats are heavy in sugar and are a dessert, not a gut-supportive choice.
- Protein, aiming for five or more grams per serving: This helps promote satiety and leaves you feeling fuller after you’ve eaten.
In general, plain Greek yogurt is going to be your best bet for meeting all these qualifications.15
One you’ve chosen a yogurt heavy with good bacteria, it’s up to you how you eat it: plain with some honey and nuts, blended into a green smoothie, dolloped on a waffle or a stack of pancakes… or even on top of a bran muffin.
Finally, keep in mind that frozen yogurt is, unfortunately, not the same as healthy, nutrient-rich regular yogurt. To be officially branded yogurt by the FDA, it must include S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus.16
Probiotic supplements are critical
And don’t forget, whether you’re eating yogurt or not chances are very good that you’ll also need to supplement with a good probiotic to attain and maintain a healthy gut. The best probiotic supplements, in my view, result in visible improvements to digestive health and regularity and are backed by clinical study.
That’s why our sister company, Green Valley Natural Solutions, developed ComfortPro: Premium Probiotic Formula.
Once only available in Japan, this revolutionary probiotic formula contains a unique strain of probiotic, BB-536. This is the ONLY probiotic clinically proven in six human studies to alleviate the three biggest digestive problems at once: hard stools, constipation, and bad bacteria overgrowth. As a result, ComfortPro: Premium Probiotic Formula can significantly improve your digestion, elimination, and overall gut health.