Just the mention of the word “cancer” brings terrible thoughts to everyone. The outlook on prostate cancer is a terrifying thought to the male sex, because it strikes at the very core of masculinity.
Medical treatment for prostate cancer means surgery, often leading to incontinence and ED (erectile dysfunction).
Usage of androgen deprivation therapy, which is a hormone-based therapy, has a goal to reduce androgens, i.e., male hormones – testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – which have been shown to stimulate prostate cancer cells to grow. However, androgen deprivation therapy chemically neuters a man and this therapy alone does not cure cancer.
Prostate cancer shows up in the majority of men at some point in their lives. Some men will be lucky in a sense that they end up getting the slow-growing cancer that normally has no symptoms which will only be discovered if an autopsy is carried out upon death from old age.
One food that may possibly reduce chances of getting prostate cancer by half is the humble superfood – the carrot.
Studies conducted by renown Chinese epidemiologists, Xu X1, Cheng Y, Li S, Zhu Y, Xu X, Zheng X, Mao Q, Xie L. Dietary carrot consumption and the risk of prostate cancer. Nur J Nutr. 2014 Dec;53(8):1615-23, found a strong link between eating carrots and the rate of prostate cancer.
The Chinese studies revealed that men who often consumed carrots on a regular basis had reduced chances of getting prostate cancer. They even deduced that a daily intake of 10 gms of carrots reduced their chance of developing prostate cancer by 5 per cent. So, if men consumed at least 50 gms of carrots daily, their risk of not getting prostate cancer could be as high as 50 per cent! They have based their studies to the large amounts of carotenoids found in carrots which are believed to have cancer-fighting properties.
Another group of Danish scientists are focusing on two fatty alcohols – falcarinol and falcarindiol – which are found in high concentrations in carrots. Research shows that these fatty alcohols inhibit fat cells in the body from absorbing more fat, and at the same time allow muscle cells to absorb more glucose, making them comparable to an anti-diabetic drug called Rosiglitazone. The two fatty alcohols were exhibiting insulin sensitizing properties, which when combined with a proper diet and exercise, leads to reduced body fat and increased muscle tone. Ladies may want to take note on this finding!
An added benefit of falcarinol and falcarindiol is they have been found to be able to combat colon cancer. A lab study conducted in 2017 on rats fed large amounts of a carcinogen (cancer causing foods) and carrots found that falcarinol and falcarindiol significantly reduced the polyps and tumors in the rats.
One important point to mention here is the carrots must be eaten in their raw state. Carrots can be consumed as a juice as long as you do the juicing yourself, as many store-bought juices have preservatives and artificial ingredients which have probably altered the properties of falcarinol and falcarindiol, rendering them practically ineffective.
An average carrot is about 70 – 80 gms, and a cupful of sliced up carrots can come up to ± 100 gms, so eating just 50 gms every day is not a mammoth task. As mentioned in the above paragraph, if you do not prefer to munch up raw carrots, the alternative would be to juice it up yourself.
This is indeed an exciting and worthwhile option to explore, but do note that eating tons of carrots is not a guaranteed way to prevent prostate cancer.
As usual, before simply jumping on the bandwagon and trying out the carrot craze, readers are advised to consult your medical practitioner for any advice on eating or avoiding raw carrots, especially if you are on any medications for underlying medical issues.
10th June 19:00