If you’re about to have hormone therapy for prostate cancer be sure to take a calcium supplement. In fact, make sure you’re getting at least 1000 mg of calcium each day.
At least that’s the latest finding of a new report in the British Journal of Urology International.
Dr. Jacques Planas and staff studied the bone density measurements of 372 men who had hormone therapy. At least half developed osteoporosis. And those with low calcium levels were particularly at risk.
Of those patients treated with surgery, 35 % also ended up with osteoporosis.
The researchers are not clear why the men who had surgery had such a high rate of disease. “We are studying if prostate cancer itself may be responsible, [releasing] different molecules which may have an influence on bone mineral density,” Dr. Planas said.
Reducing testosterone levels is a common prostate treatment. It helps control the growth and spread of tumors.
Besides taking calcium, the researchers recommend getting enough vitamin D and not smoking if you’re getting hormone treatment.
The researchers were quick to warn that boosting your calcium intake by eating lots of dairy probably isn’t a good idea.
Dairy products can be high in saturated fat. Studies have shown that prostate cancer patients with a high fat intake are at greater risk for speeding up the progression of the disease.
What other steps can you take to protect your prostate? Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre and the University of Washington studied the dietary habits of 1200 men.
Men who ate a lot of vegetables were less likely to get prostate cancer than those who ate them less often. Men who consumed four or more servings a day reduced there risk by 35%.
The following vegetables gave the greatest protection, with a 41% reduction in prostate cancer:
— kale — cauliflower — cabbage — brussel sprouts — broccoli — bok choy — turnip — watercress — arugula
Try eating some of these vegetables with your meals at least three times a week.