Lycopene Supplements vs. Prostate Cancer

Lycopene Supplements vs. Prostate Cancer
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High doses of lycopene—the red pigment in tomatoes—were put to the test to see if it could prevent precancerous prostate lesions from turning into full-blown cancer.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Back in the 80s, the Adventist Health Study found “[s]trong protective relationships [against prostate cancer] with increasing consumption of [legumes],…citrus…,…dried fruit, nuts, and tomatoes.” In the 90s, a Harvard study focused attention on tomatoes, which appeared to be “especially beneficial.” They suspected it might be the red pigment in tomatoes called lycopene, which has greater antioxidant power than some of the other pigments, like the orange beta-carotene pigment in carrots and cantaloupes. And, lycopene dramatically kills off prostate cancer cells in a petri dish—even way down at the levels one would expect in one’s bloodstream after just eating some tomatoes. So, of course, the Heinz ketchup company, along with manufacturers of lycopene supplements, petitioned the FDA to allow them to print health claims on their products.

They were essentially denied, with the FDA saying that the evidence was “very limited and preliminary,” with no endorsement allowed for ketchup or supplements. By that time, further population studies had cast doubt on the lycopene theory. Consumers of high dietary intakes of lycopene didn’t seem to have lower cancer rates, after all. But, who has high dietary intakes of lycopene? Those that eat the most pizza; so, maybe it’s no surprise there are mixed results. What we need is to put lycopene to the test.

It started with a case study. A 62-year old man with terminal prostate cancer; failed surgery, failed chemotherapy, metastases all over, spread to the bone. And so, he was sent to hospice to die. So, he took it upon himself to initiate “phytotherapy”—plant-based therapy, taking the amount of lycopene found in a quarter-cup of tomato sauce, or a tablespoon of tomato paste every day. His PSA, a measure of tumor bulk, started out at 365, dropped to 140 the next month, and then down to 8. His metastases started disappearing, and, as of his last follow-up, appeared to be living happily ever after.

But, when given in higher-dose pill form, it didn’t seem to work. A 2013 review of all such lycopene supplement trials “failed to support [the initial] optimism.” In fact, they were just happy that the lycopene pills didn’t end up causing more cancer, like beta-carotene pills did. But, then came 2014. Researchers in Italy had been giving the largest doses they could of lycopene, selenium, and isolated green tea compounds to men with precancerous prostate lesions, hoping they could prevent full-blown cancer. But, in 2014, the expanded results of a similar trial were published, in which selenium and vitamin E supplements resulted in more cancer. Yikes! So, these researchers stopped their trial, and broke the code to unblind the results, And indeed, those taking high doses of lycopene, green tea catechins, and selenium appeared to get more cancer than those who just got sugar pills.

“The potential implications are dramatic,” said the lead researcher, “given the current massive worldwide use of such compounds as alleged preventive supplementations in prostate and other cancers.” What went wrong?

Well, after the beta-carotene pill debacle, researchers measured cellular damage at different natural and unnatural doses of beta-carotene. At dietary doses, beta-carotene suppressed cellular damage, but at higher, supplemental doses, it not only appeared to stop working, but caused more damage. And, the same with lycopene. “Both lycopene and [beta]-carotene afforded protection against DNA damage” at the kinds of levels one might see in people eating lots of tomatoes or sweet potatoes—”levels…comparable with those seen in the [blood] of individuals who consume a carotenoid-rich healthy diet.” However, at the kind of blood concentrations that one might get taking pills, “the ability to protect the cells against such [free radical] damage was rapidly lost, and, indeed, the presence of [high levels of beta-carotene and lycopene] may actually serve to increase the extent of DNA damage.” So, no wonder high-dose lycopene pills didn’t work.

“Phytochemicals [may be] guardians of our health,” but “[t]he safety of consuming concentrated extracts…is unknown.” The protective benefits of a phytochemical-rich diet is best obtained [through whole plant foods].” The food industry has different ideas, though. Soon, there may be phytochemical-fortified bacon, martinis, and ice cream, says this article in the journal Food Technology. If they can find just the right mix of plant compounds, they hope to reconstruct “foods that once contributed to illness and disease…to offer significant health benefits.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Aleksandr Vector, Juraj Sedlák, and Setyo Ari Wibowo from The Noun Project.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Back in the 80s, the Adventist Health Study found “[s]trong protective relationships [against prostate cancer] with increasing consumption of [legumes],…citrus…,…dried fruit, nuts, and tomatoes.” In the 90s, a Harvard study focused attention on tomatoes, which appeared to be “especially beneficial.” They suspected it might be the red pigment in tomatoes called lycopene, which has greater antioxidant power than some of the other pigments, like the orange beta-carotene pigment in carrots and cantaloupes. And, lycopene dramatically kills off prostate cancer cells in a petri dish—even way down at the levels one would expect in one’s bloodstream after just eating some tomatoes. So, of course, the Heinz ketchup company, along with manufacturers of lycopene supplements, petitioned the FDA to allow them to print health claims on their products.

They were essentially denied, with the FDA saying that the evidence was “very limited and preliminary,” with no endorsement allowed for ketchup or supplements. By that time, further population studies had cast doubt on the lycopene theory. Consumers of high dietary intakes of lycopene didn’t seem to have lower cancer rates, after all. But, who has high dietary intakes of lycopene? Those that eat the most pizza; so, maybe it’s no surprise there are mixed results. What we need is to put lycopene to the test.

It started with a case study. A 62-year old man with terminal prostate cancer; failed surgery, failed chemotherapy, metastases all over, spread to the bone. And so, he was sent to hospice to die. So, he took it upon himself to initiate “phytotherapy”—plant-based therapy, taking the amount of lycopene found in a quarter-cup of tomato sauce, or a tablespoon of tomato paste every day. His PSA, a measure of tumor bulk, started out at 365, dropped to 140 the next month, and then down to 8. His metastases started disappearing, and, as of his last follow-up, appeared to be living happily ever after.

But, when given in higher-dose pill form, it didn’t seem to work. A 2013 review of all such lycopene supplement trials “failed to support [the initial] optimism.” In fact, they were just happy that the lycopene pills didn’t end up causing more cancer, like beta-carotene pills did. But, then came 2014. Researchers in Italy had been giving the largest doses they could of lycopene, selenium, and isolated green tea compounds to men with precancerous prostate lesions, hoping they could prevent full-blown cancer. But, in 2014, the expanded results of a similar trial were published, in which selenium and vitamin E supplements resulted in more cancer. Yikes! So, these researchers stopped their trial, and broke the code to unblind the results, And indeed, those taking high doses of lycopene, green tea catechins, and selenium appeared to get more cancer than those who just got sugar pills.

“The potential implications are dramatic,” said the lead researcher, “given the current massive worldwide use of such compounds as alleged preventive supplementations in prostate and other cancers.” What went wrong?

Well, after the beta-carotene pill debacle, researchers measured cellular damage at different natural and unnatural doses of beta-carotene. At dietary doses, beta-carotene suppressed cellular damage, but at higher, supplemental doses, it not only appeared to stop working, but caused more damage. And, the same with lycopene. “Both lycopene and [beta]-carotene afforded protection against DNA damage” at the kinds of levels one might see in people eating lots of tomatoes or sweet potatoes—”levels…comparable with those seen in the [blood] of individuals who consume a carotenoid-rich healthy diet.” However, at the kind of blood concentrations that one might get taking pills, “the ability to protect the cells against such [free radical] damage was rapidly lost, and, indeed, the presence of [high levels of beta-carotene and lycopene] may actually serve to increase the extent of DNA damage.” So, no wonder high-dose lycopene pills didn’t work.

“Phytochemicals [may be] guardians of our health,” but “[t]he safety of consuming concentrated extracts…is unknown.” The protective benefits of a phytochemical-rich diet is best obtained [through whole plant foods].” The food industry has different ideas, though. Soon, there may be phytochemical-fortified bacon, martinis, and ice cream, says this article in the journal Food Technology. If they can find just the right mix of plant compounds, they hope to reconstruct “foods that once contributed to illness and disease…to offer significant health benefits.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Aleksandr Vector, Juraj Sedlák, and Setyo Ari Wibowo from The Noun Project.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

So what are the Best Supplements for Prostate Cancer? Check out the video!

More on natural treatments for prostate cancer in:

What if instead of tomato-compound supplements, we just fed some cancer patients some tomato sauce? That’s the subject of my next video, Tomato Sauce vs. Prostate Cancer.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

127 responses to “Lycopene Supplements vs. Prostate Cancer

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  1. Whole plant foods simply aren’t as profitable as manipulated junk. Industrialization is folding back on itself in this realm. Thanks to the good doc here and a all the other great folks (of this tiny minority) who help us understand and spread the word. You simply cannot eat what they are selling. You must eat real food. The tide shall shift, if survival is to continue.




    32
      1. Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you.” Genesis 1:29

        Notice he doesn’t say you should process your plants and fruits in a franken-factory before eating them. =]




        19
      2. Hi, Nancy…

        You wrote, “We do not need more frankenfoods.
        We simply need whole food plants.”

        May I ask…

        Where do you go to buy yours?

        Since stumbling across this site, I’ve discovered
        that all my usual routines for deciding what food
        to buy and where to buy it and how to store it and
        ways to fix it are all at sixes and sevens.

        I live in a small town with a Walmart Superstore
        and a Fred Meyer Supermarket and nothing else.

        Freddie’s just revamped their produce department
        to include much larger areas for those fruits and
        vegetables labeled “organic” aka more expensive…
        like half again more, or double, or even triple.

        In their bulk-foods department, where they keep
        things like legumes and grains and nuts and seeds,
        they also have *several entire isles* devoted to
        what I’ll call edible, food-like substances and
        you called frankenfoods albeit vegetarian/vegan.

        (sigh)

        Why is this so hard?!!

        ~~~

        STEP 1 – Legumes

        I just received a 24-lb Priority-Mail package
        from an actual farmer who offers new-harvest
        heirloom beans for sale direct from his farm.

        His name is Chip.

        He normally sells his beans in small 1-lb bags,
        but he’ll do up a “family-size” box of bulk beans
        for you like he did for me, if you ask him nicely.

        read more:
        https://elegantbeans.com/

        We had our first serving of these beauties last night.

        I’m delighted to report that there is no comparison
        between them and “commodity” beans from Walmart.

        Who knew that “old” beans take longer to cook?!!

        Who knew that “new” beans are amazingly flavorful?!!

        Who knew *any* bean was flavorful?!!

        I thought the flavor was supposed to be supplied
        by the sauce, but we had ours absolutely plain
        without sauce just to see what they were like…
        and now we’re hooked!

        So that’s one down.

        ~~~

        STEP 2 – Grains

        Although I would prefer to deal direct with the growers
        of the whole organic oats, barley, rice and popcorn
        I’ve decided to use, going through a distributor like
        Amazon seems to be as close as I can get at the moment,
        so I’ll compromise in favor of expediency…

        …the first step down that slippery slope to frankenfoods!

        As soon as I can, I’ll figure out a way to fix this;
        but, for now, this is as good as I can get it.

        I do have this handy-dandy little gizmo from Italy
        that makes the most wonderful rolled oats you ever ate,
        so I count myself lucky to have a 50-lb sack of organic
        whole oats on its way to me.

        I also have 50-lb sacks barley, rice and popcorn en route.

        So that’s two down.

        ~~~

        STEP 3 – Nuts, Seeds, Dried Figs, etc.

        The best I’m able to do by way of “framing in”
        this dimension is to buy raw organic nuts, etc.,
        from an intermediary like Nuts.com, but in time
        I’m sure I’ll figure out how to go direct on these, too.

        So that’s three down.

        ~~~

        STEP 4 – Vegetables and Fruits

        This quadrant is driving me crazy. I keep saying
        to myself, “There must be a better way!”

        Yesterday I found it… I think.

        The jury’s still out on how “complicated”
        it’s going to be to achieve the end game
        aka a refrigerator stocked with fresh,
        organically grown produce, but at least now
        I know how find the small farmers near me
        who grow good food locally, and that’s a start.

        Our government maintains a “Local Food Directory”
        of sources that sell direct to consumer.
        https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/local-regional/food-directories/

        LocalHarvest.org offers something similar…
        “Read Food, Real Farmers, Real Community.”
        https://www.localharvest.org/

        I expect it will take me some time to iron out
        any sourcing “wrinkles” that pop up, but it does
        just occur to me that this horrible, hateful thing
        I’ve been doing called “grocery shopping”
        may soon be a thing of the past!

        Opening the front door and finding food on the porch
        is my idea of a good time!

        :-)

        Where do you go to get your whole food, Nancy?

        Where does anybody here go?

        Thanks in advance…

        Elizabeth

        P.S.

        In Dr. Greger’s book, How Not To Die, I found a reference to
        Becoming Vegan by Davis & Melina, and in that book,
        I found a picture called “My Vegan Plate” which
        illustrates all the types and amounts of foods
        and “other essentials” we need in our diet daily
        to feel and look our best.

        It’s a terrific picture!

        I plan to make an enlarged copy of it
        to put up on my refrigerator
        where the whole family
        can see it.

        Simple!

        :-)




        19
        1. I get a lot of my whole grains/beans dry foods from Vitacost. Also, you can look and see if Azure Standard will start a ‘drop’ near you. They offer organic vegetables and many healthy dry foods. Lastly, see if there is a ‘Bountiful Baskets’ delivery near you. For a fixed price, you get a basket of fruits/vegetables.

          It’s hard when you live rural like I do (too). I drive 1 hour to Walmart, 1 & 1/2 hours to Safeway/Kroger and 3 hours (all each way) to Sprouts and Trader Joe’s. I go when I can and when it makes sense to drive more than 1 hour

          Don’t forget to consider planting a garden. I did okay with some tomatoes and peppers in pots




          8
        2. Elizabeth, thanks for your question. I get just about everything from 2 local sources. One is a family run operation that’s been in business for over 40 years now. They started out with 1 store & now have 5or 6 in the local area. They connect local farmers with consumers. They also sell packaged & bulk items like rice, beans, lentils, nuts, etc. They also source products from other places when they’re out of season. They also sell soaps, cleaning & paper products, cook books, even clothing. It’s all organic / recycled / sustainable. They also have a cafe with food, juices & smoothies. It’s not fancy or trendy looking but it’s one of those places where people meet, & most everyone knows your name, especially the employees.

          The other place is a roadside stand in its 2nd year that’s literally 3 miles from my house. The owner makes my veggie juices & smoothies on a daily basis. I send them a text & they have whatever I ordered waiting for me although sometimes I have to wait because they have to go out & cut the kale & pick the spinach in their garden to make my smoothies. They sell local, mostly organic produce, but it’s also a bakery, & they make breads (even Paleo breads, whatever they are) & stuff with meat & dairy. However,the owner, who has become a friend now, is intrigued with my eating habits & started making vegan soups, stews, etc. with beans & lentils & whole grains with no added oils & little or no salt. They’ve been selling like hot cakes, so to speak, only better for you. This is also a place where people meet & everyone knows your name. They close for the winter end of December & reopen early spring. So I will have to do more cooking, which is fine. I do it anyway. They also sell flowers, pumpkins, & Christmas trees.

          A Whole Foods Market is opening next year within walking distance (for me) from my office. I’m not a big fan of the behemoth chain, but I may go in once just to check it out when they open. There are a couple of Wegman stores around here, too, that have plenty of organic produce & a bulk section. I recently went in one in search of amla, but not only didn’t they have it, no one seemed to know what it was. One their so-called nutrition specialists, who was fat, started talking to me about the protein content of their pizzas, & even though she was trying to be helpful, she nearly made my head explode, so I just walked away. I prefer small, local, family run operations. There are fat people there, too, but they’re nice & don’t lecture you on getting enough protein.

          If there isn’t a local joint in your area, maybe you could start one, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit!

          Elizabeth, thanks again for your question. It’s reminding me how fortunate I am.




          3
        3. Hi Elizabeth,

          Finding and eating a healthy Whole Food Plant Based Diet may be easier than you think! First of all, everything doesn’t have to be organic to be healthy. There’s a list of The Dirty Dozen & The Clean Fifteen that can help in choosing non-organic veggies that may not be as good as organics, but still healthy & will help you avoid the worst offenders of pesticide laden veggies. And if it’s not on The Dirty Dozen. just eat it anyway until you can find or afford the organics. Also, there’s a great Doc Greger video on this site that reports how soaking & rinsing you veggies with a simple saline solution can remove a significant amount of pesticide residue (and how the commercially sold veggie rinses don’t really do much at all).

          That said, the nutritionist Jeff Novick has presented several DVDs called “Fast Foods” where he discusses and shows how to make quick, easy & healthy meals using things like canned beans, tomatoes & frozen veggies that are wonderful. He states that tho going organic is best, if you avoid the animal products, added salt, sugar & oil, even eating non-organic veggies with some pesticides on them is so healthy that it doesn’t make that big a difference. The DVDs are great!

          I have been able to find low and no sodium canned beans at most of the chain supermarkets & Walmart where I live. More & more are now in BPA free cans. And the benefits of all those veggies, even non-organic ones outweigh not eating plant-based. Just try to avoid The Dirty Dozen as best you can. There are also good tips & recipes if you Google “going plant based on a budget” :)

          Here are a couple of links or just Google the names to find more details:

          https://www.produceretailer.com/article/news-article/2017-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-lists-released

          https://www.google.com/search?q=jeff+novick+fast+food&source=lnms&tbm=vid&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiYuurDlZ_XAhVK9WMKHZagD3sQ_AUICygC&biw=1366&bih=659

          Enjoy healthy eating!




          4
      1. “It started with a case study. A 62-year old man with terminal prostate cancer; failed surgery, failed chemotherapy, metastases all over, spread to the bone. And so, he was sent to hospice to die. So, he took it upon himself to initiate “phytotherapy”—plant-based therapy, taking the amount of lycopene found in a quarter-cup of tomato sauce, or a tablespoon of tomato paste every day. ”

        This presentation seems misleading, as it makes it sound as if the man increased his lycopene intake through increasing his intake of tomato paste and sauce. He did not.

        If you check out the paper (freeze the screen at 1:32), you’ll read that the man who apparently had the rather amazing results in reversing prostate cancer by increasing his intake of lycopene, did so not by eating lycopene rich foods like tomato paste or sauce, but by taking low dose SUPPLEMENTS.

        Furthermore, he did not take a lycopene supplement alone, but lycopene in combination with saw palmetto, which may well have had a synergistic effect, that neither supplement might have had if taken alone.




        9
        1. Yes, low-dose supplementation is best, but high dose actually caused *more* cancer. You don’t read this as eating food instead of supplementing? At this point, I do.




          7
          1. I believe that that diet and lifestyle play the most important role with regard to health by far. “Supplement” means what its says, a supplement to a healthy lifestyle, not a substitute for one, or an antidote to an unhealthy one. I don’t see this as either/or situation but as both/and, where you pay attention to what the science says, regardless of whether it matches your preconceived point-of-view,

            But as far as science goes, I want the facts of the research, without a spin on it to support the presenters bias. I get enough of this from the supplement companies, who quote studies demonstrating the beneficial effects of specific foods to sell their supplements, even though often no research exists to show that the supplements have the same effects! A quarter cup on blueberries does not equal a blueberry extract capsule – but this goes both ways. If research shows that high dose curcumin supplementation has a specific beneficial effect, this does not mean that turmeric powder will. It might, but until someone does the research to “put it to the test” to confirm it, this remains speculation. And if turmeric has a beneficial effect, this does not mean that curcumin will as well. If you check out the research, you’ll find that curcumin taken as a supplement has effects that turmeric does not, and that turmeric powder can have effects that curcumin – just one important constituent of turmeric – does not.




            4
            1. Have you checked out T. Colin Campbell’s book, “Whole”? Until I see more evidence, I’ll go along with his assertion that it appears from the science that, in general, eating food is better than trying to supplement. Yes, one needs B12 and maybe a couple others, but some supplements are just dangerous.




              6
            2. alef1, the point about supplements is that you never really know what you’re getting. Studies have shown that what’s on the label isn’t always what’s in the supplement. You can try Labdoor, but also sell them, there may be some bias in their findings. Or you could have them tested but that’s expensive & you’d have to do it frequently since there could be differences from batch to batch. You may as well just eat the food. I like simplicity. Works for me.




              1
            3. ““Supplement” means what its says, a supplement to a healthy lifestyle, not a substitute for one, or an antidote to an unhealthy one.”

              Exactly. First you choose good supplements by reading reviews and testimonials from people. If you see a supplement with a lot of positive reviews but one liner then you suspect that they are made up by the manufacturer or people who receive free samples. I got that a lot. As soon as I buy a supplement, I often got offers for free samples in return that they urge me to write reviews. I would immediately change brand.

              Then supplement is used to supplement the nutrients that you cannot eat enough, or it is not bioavailable.

              I keep my 96 year old father alive and well through supplements. Myself and my family, we are also super healthy thanks to supplements.

              You just don’t let a few bad apples to spoil the whole batch. Don’t listen to the WFPB crowd who think that WFPB is everything and you must be healthy eating it. This is just a Kool Aid perception (and dangerous one).




              1
              1. Do you have any evidence to offer Jerry or is this just your opinion again?

                In any case, the WFPB crowd as you dismissively call them do you recommend the use of carefully selected supplements. For example, Dr Greger
                https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

                Colin Campbell
                http://nutritionstudies.org/12-questions-answered-regarding-vitamin-b12/

                Dr McDougall
                https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/hot-topics/nutrition-topics/supplements/

                Dr Barnard
                http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/what-supplements-should-i-take

                You continue to demonstrate that you have problems with the facts.




                8
                1. Dr. Furhman also recommends a few supplements including DHA/EPA.
                  https://www.drfuhrman.com

                  Interestingly, while watching the following very informative video of a talk by Dr. Klapper, he mentioned around min 56 that he takes a multi, which excludes disrecommended vitamins like beta carotene, E, folic acid (around 56 mins). Although he did not name brands, from the label he displayed, I could tell he takes Dr. Fuhrman’s Daily Multi for Men. Around 54-55 minutes he recommends supplementing with DHA/EPA.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvlaQJImt9w




                  3
              2. I don’t like swallowing pills; it’s a psychological thing. Have come close to choking, and need to chop them (a multi) in half. So in my case, the FEWER supplements, the better.




                1
          2. “Yes, low-dose supplementation is best, but high dose actually caused *more* cancer. ”

            For the record, this video only presented evidence that “low dose supplementation is best” for of lycopene and beta-carotene, two very similar phytochemicals, not for supplements in general.




            4
            1. I am quoting from the transcript: “But, then came 2014. Researchers in Italy had been giving the largest doses they could of lycopene, selenium, and isolated green tea compounds to men with precancerous prostate lesions, hoping they could prevent full-blown cancer. But, in 2014, the expanded results of a similar trial were published, in which selenium and vitamin E supplements resulted in more cancer. Yikes! So, these researchers stopped their trial, and broke the code to unblind the results, And indeed, those taking high doses of lycopene, green tea catechins, and selenium appeared to get *more* cancer than those who just got sugar pills.”
              Granted, no saw palmetto, but high doses of lycopene here caused *more * cancer.
              Maybe you are not referring to this though?




              5
            2. Yes. The prejudice against supplements is irresponsible and overdone. I am taking note of the research warning against high doses of supplements and try to avoid this in what I take. I also try to take whole plant supplements instead of more refined extracts.

              But this kind of blanket condemnation of supplements is not accurate.

              Yes it would be nice if our corporate owned govt would step right up and fund real research into supplements…but don’t hold your breath. We need more wars you know.

              I do think people should be taking advantage of what decent research there is though.




              3
              1. After looking at the supplements I take…I find that I’m getting ~ 9 mg lycopene in 3 different supplements. I also use a good bit of spagetti sauce (organic) and a similar amount of salsa (non-organic). 2 yrs ago my PSA was tested at 0.9. (n=1)

                I get around 200 mcg of selenium….5000 IU beta carotene. Neither of which is problematic? I consider these as baseline amounts.

                Some Vit E…but some is measured in IU… other in mgs…also some tocotrienols…

                The vitamin E might be an issue….at least 145 IU…plus other amounts. But I am a previous smoker.

                Who cares? Well I do. Just had a brother-in-law diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer…not much into health foods for sure. Plus a sister-in-law with stage 4 breast cancer. Most relatives are SAD…wait for something to go wrong…go to the doctor…get drugs…yadda…yadda.

                El Morte draws nearer? He’s a comin’ fer me…I just know it. ;-)

                I think this site would do well to get into the research in Europe on various supplements that I believe are prescribed there and have more research behind them? My favorite…pine bark comes to mind. It will be awhile till you see shredded pine bark at the salad bar?




                0
            3. Alef1, I posted an article yesterday which said that lycopene supplement is bad because lycopene oxidizes when extracted. But this has nothing to do with all supplementation being bad in general. Just like if I say some kale at some store is contaminated does not mean that all kale is bad, or tomato at that store is bad.




              0
        2. His recovery may have had nothing to do with the molecules found in lycopene or saw palmento. It could be that he had a very STRONG belief that what he was doing was going to heal him because he read someplace that lycopene and saw palmento would cure prostate cancer. In other words, maybe he was healed by the power of THE PLACEBO EFFECT.




          3
      2. I read into it that more knowledge is best.

        I’ve been recently adding some liquid lycopene to my tea (nasty stuff that stains my glass mug, but it will wash off.) I also eat some salsa almost daily, and lots of it.

        After watching the above video, I will limit my licopene supplementation to days when I eat no salsa.




        1
          1. Heh, that’s one approach. But I’ve come up with another.

            That is, I put a few drops of the lycopene drops on my herring filets, after putting some drops of turmeric and then some piperine (from a bioperine capsule.)

            Unlike the mess the liquid lycopene makes in my tea (doesn’t mix well) it blends well with the liquid turmeric and the oil in the fish. Actually makes it even more tasty.

            But I’ll still skip the supplement on days I eat the Salsa.




            1
  2. Hi team . I would like to hear your thoughts on this statement i will give now regarding burning fat for fuel rather then Glucose from Carbohydrates :

    Medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, have become especially popular as the word spreads about the many benefits of nutritional ketosis, or when you successfully use fat as your primary fuel instead of glucose from carbohydrates. This burning of high-quality fats produces ketones.

    Ketones are the ideal fuel for your mitochondria because they burn cleanly and produce far fewer damaging free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS), compared to glucose from carbohydrates.

    What do you make of this statement above . I am a vegan myself but i hear this from other sources i see on other sites online




    6
    1. Joe, I see this a lot and use MCT SOME too. I like the thought, and it’s probobly ok for a short period of time. I guess what I can’t get on board with is – oil has very limited in nutrients. So where will get our nutrition from. Would be nice if Dr Greger will dive into this subject. Sooner-rather Tehran later. But on preliminary searches, a lot of papers are showing key benefits in blood pressure, heart Disease, and possibly Alzheimer’s.




      2
      1. Where would you even obtain these MCTs? And I would not recommend coconut oil, becuase only a small fraccion of its fats are MCTs, the rest are just plain old simple LONG chain saturated fats.




        7
      2. I’m now using about a TBS MCT in coffee in the morning..plus the same in soups etc.

        For driving or video games I use 1 TBS MCT oil plus a level tsp of cocoa powder in coffee. The oil makes the cocoa a little more mild instead of so bitter.




        1
    2. I am a French Medical Doctor, immunologist, I am insulted from time to time to explain that French people, from the 16th century, are vegan with the hope to eat poultry after church but not every week. ” eat your veggies and after what you want was the family’s moto for children. Eating walnuts, avocados, to burn fat is not really shared by the medical community. I published on prostate cancer in peers reviews, I know the disease a little better than the average practitioner, clearly, the prevention is linked with eating a balanced diet, plant-based without chemicals. The people who eat Organic food everytime it is possible, lycopene and MUFA in their everyday diet, have a significantly reduced risk to have cancers, prostate cancer included.




      13
    3. Joe, I consume 2 tablespoons of MCT oil per day with great results. FWIW, this is like a n=6 samples with close people in my family that I know consume MCT oil daily.




      2
    4. If you search for Dr McDougall on ketosis diet you’ll get his very thorough review and why it’s bad for the body and much more hard on the kidneys, brain, bones (acid levels) and oxidation than a starch based diet.




      5
    5. Nobody really has any idea what the long term effects of eating this way are for adults. The longest study I have seen lasted just two years. And that was of obese people not normal weight people. Obese and lean people react differently to fat and carbohydrates. Most of the studies I have seen are of the effects of such diets on obese and overweight people. It is also difficult to distinguish between the effects of the diet and the effects of weight loss which in and of themselves deliver considerable benefits:
      “many studies show that excess adiposity attenuates the expected lipid and lipoprotein response to a plasma cholesterol–lowering diet. Diets low in SFA and cholesterol are less effective in improving the lipid profile in obese individuals and in patients with metabolic syndrome. In contrast, lean persons are more responsive to reductions in dietary SFA and cholesterol. Multiple mechanisms likely contribute to the altered plasma lipid responses to dietary changes in individuals with excess adiposity. The greater rate of hepatic cholesterol synthesis in obese individuals suppresses the expression of hepatic LDL receptors (LDLR), thereby reducing hepatic LDL uptake. Insulin resistance develops as a result of adipose-tissue induced inflammation, causing significant changes in enzymes necessary for normal lipid metabolism. In addition, the LDLR-mediated uptake in obesity is attenuated by alterations in neuroendocrine regulation of hormonal secretions (e.g. growth hormone, thyroid hormone, and cortisol) as well as the unique gut microbiota, the latter of which appears to affect lipid absorption. Reducing adipose tissue mass, especially from the abdominal region, is an effective strategy to improve the lipid response to dietary interventions by reducing inflammation, enhancing insulin sensitivity, and improving LDLR binding. Thus, normalizing adipose tissue mass is an important goal for maximizing the diet response to a plasma cholesterol–lowering diet.”
      http://advances.nutrition.org/content/2/3/261.full

      Keto diets are a type of low carb diet like the Atkins Diet. In fact, the Atkins Diet people fund many carefully designed short-term studies that deliver results that show apparently favourable results for such diets. perhaps I am being cynical but they all “game” what’s already known to generate a stream of studies appearing to show that low carb diets are healthful.

      In my experience, they use one or more of five main techniques to do this. The first one is use only very overweight and obese people as subjects. The second is to ensure the high fat diet is high in unsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. The third is to have the high carb/low fat diet group eat a relatively high fat (eg 30% or more of total calories) diet instead of a genuine low fat diet like the traditional Okinawan diet, Ornish or Esselstyn diets which are all less than 10% fat. The fourth technique is to include unhealthy refined carbs in the low fat diet. This is usually obvious when the “high carb” diet is relatively low in fibre or there are no fibre consumption figures reported in the study. The fifth technique is to have the low carb group experience greater weight loss. Weight loss itself improves biomarkers.

      The main concern though is that in humans long term low carb diets are associated with higher mortality eg
      http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e4026
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989112/
      http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/3/5/e001169.full
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3555979/
      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275061106_High_dietary_protein_intake_is_associated_with_an_increased_body_weight_and_total_death_risk
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S155041311400062X
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413114000655
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4254277/
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1474-9726.2012.00798.x/full

      In animals, experiments have seen similar results
      “C57BL/6J mice were fed with a HF diet (60% kcal/fat) or control diets (15% kcal/fat) for 27 months. One-half of the mice on the HF diet developed obesity (diet-induced obese (DIO) mice), whereas the remaining mice were diet resistant (DR). At 8 months of age, both DIO and DR groups had increased hyperglycemic response during a glucose tolerance test, which was normalized in 16-month-old mice. At this latter time point, all groups presented similar performance in cognitive tests (Morris water maze and inhibitory avoidance). The survival curves of the HF and control diet groups started to diverge at 15 months of age and, after 27 months, the survival rate of mice in the DIO and DR groups was 40%, whereas in the control diet group it was 75%.”

      “High saturated fat and low carbohydrate diet decreases lifespan independent of body weight in mice”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3922950/

      Other animal experiments suggest that high carb diets deliver longer lifespans

      “‘The team put mice on 25 different diets, altering the proportions of protein, carbohydrates and fat. The mice were allowed to eat as much food as they wanted to more closely replicate the food choices humans make.
      “The healthiest diets were the ones that had the lowest protein, 5 to 10 to 15 per cent protein, the highest amount of carbohydrate, so 60, 70, 75 per cent carbohydrate, and a reasonably low fat content, so less than 20 per cent,” Professor Le Couteur said.
      “They were also the diets that had the highest energy content.
      “We found that diluting the diets to reduce the energy intake actually made the animals die more quickly.”
      The mice that ate a high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet lived about 50 per cent longer than those on the low-carb diet.”
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-05/low-carb-diet-may-shorten-your-life-study-finds/5299284
      http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/fulltext/S2211-1247(15)00505-7
      http://www.cell.com/cms/attachment/2032903762/2049230860/mmc2.pdf

      Another poster has already made the point that keto diets are bgenerally deficient in nutrients (and require heavy supplementation).

      In children, ketogenic diets have been used for many years to treat intractable epilepsy. They have enjoyed some success however

      “The most common early-onset complication was dehydration, especially in patients who started the KD with initial fasting. Gastrointestinal disturbances, such as nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation, also were frequently noted, sometimes associated with gastritis and fat intolerance. Other early-onset complications, in order of frequency, were hypertriglyceridemia, transient hyperuricemia, hypercholesterolemia, various infectious diseases, symptomatic hypoglycemia, hypoproteinemia, hypomagnesemia, repetitive hyponatremia, low concentrations of high-density lipoprotein, lipoid pneumonia due to aspiration, hepatitis, acute pancreatitis, and persistent metabolic acidosis. Late-onset complications also included osteopenia, renal stones, cardiomyopathy, secondary hypocarnitinemia, and iron-deficiency anemia. Most early- and late-onset complications were transient and successfully managed by careful follow-up and conservative strategies. However, 22 (17.1%) patients ceased the KD because of various kinds of serious complications, and 4 (3.1%) patients died during the KD, two of sepsis, one of cardiomyopathy, and one of lipoid pneumonia.”
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1198735/

      These diets sound pretty risky to me, whatever the hype found on the internet and the short term weight loss experienced by obese people on such diets.




      8
    6. Hi Joe

      I have penned a relatively lengthy response to your post a while ago. Unfortunately, it is still “awaiting moderation”.

      Sometimes posts get stuck there. If you don’t see it in a day or so, and you are still interested, perhaps you might ask Support for it to be released.




      6
      1. I just released it! Our spam filter picks up posts that have a lot of links in them. Luckily if it’s a post by a trusted member, it gets sent to a separate bucket rather than being spam-trashed!




        3
    7. Hi, Joe. You might be interested in these videos.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-about-coconuts-coconut-milk-and-coconut-oil-mcts/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/paleo-diets-may-negate-benefits-of-exercise/
      There is a lot of nonsense out there about nutrition. People often do lose weight on ketogenic diets, but at what cost to vascular endothelial function? People also often lose weight on whole food, plant-based diets, and improve vascular endothelial function at the same time.
      I hope that helps!




      0
  3. So, should one be worried about consuming too many sweet potatoes and bell peppers? if the most beneficial level of beta-carotene blood concentration is 3um but at 4um you’re already rising oxidative damage, wouldn’t be possible to reach 4um or higher just by say eating a sweet potato and bell peppers with every meal?




    2
    1. The Okinawan Japanese are referenced a lot in these videos. Their diets were a majority sweet potatoes by calorie content and yet they lived extremely long, so I don’t think it’s a concern




      16
    2. Rotem-
      I certainly get a lot more than what’s in a sweet potato and bell peppers. Everything from carrots, other sweet peppers, kale, spinach, you name it – they all have carotenoids including beta-. My RAE equivalent of vitamin A is very high and I don’t see how to substantially lower it without reducing the non-starchy vegetables a lot (I eat a sort of Fuhrman-eque diet). My assumption has been that I am doing the right thing when it comes to prostate cancer (I am on “cancer watch” due to high PSA (still below 10, thankfully) but no evidence from biopsies, etc,).

      So I think your question is an important one.




      4
      1. Right, I try my best to follow Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendation and eat lots of carotenoids from green leafy veg and starches too. I also eat 20g of walnuts with my carotenoids rich lunch and dinner to better absorb fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin A, which the Okinawan people might not have been doing, as it might not be as easy to get all year long back then, as it is going to the store today.




        0
    3. The Okinawan sweet potatoes are tan on the outside, purple and tan raw. When steamed they are all purple, but the water turns green. I am able to buy them in my local store. I doubt you can overdo nutrients in food.




      4
    4. Hey Rotem, thanks for writing. You bring up a good point. In the natural foods/natural healing world, the phrase “let thy food be thy medicine” is used frequently. But we never hear anyone talk about the dangers of THIS form of medicine! Your point is a reminder that too much of even a GOOD thing may not be so good. Thee are natural toxins in plants that are made to drive animals, insects, and microorganisms away. Without variety in our diets, and by single-mindedly focusing on a limited number of foods, we do run the risk of getting too much of certain plant compounds and not enough of others. It’s hard to answer your question in a more specific way, because the systems of antioxidant enzymes in the human body are overlapping and not enough is known about how oxidative stress is handled under conditions like the ones you’re postulating above.




      0
    1. Not an easy question to answer. For one thing, cooking increases bioavailability of lycopene and the variety of tomato and state of ripeness may all affect the results. This is a reason why researchers tend to use standardised extracts – they know the exact amounts of lycopene being consumed.




      5
    2. Hey Justin, thanks for writing! I’m Rick, a NF Moderator and I’ll try to answer your question. It would be hard to know what’s optimal; it depends on what intakes were found to be protective in epidemiological studies against various illnesses. One study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28799780) found the lowest risk for dying per se in the highest lycopene intake group. If you drink a serving of low-sodium tomato or V-8 juice every day, you’d probably achieve that level of intake.




      0
  4. I have one question from this video that I would appreciate Dr Greger or a knowledgeable moderator/commenter answering. I was impressed by the study cited where the case study of one person reversed his Prostate Cancer with phytonutrients. The study is this one:

    Matlaga BR, Hall MC, Stindt D, Torti FM. Response of hormone refractory prostate cancer to lycopene. J Urol. 2001 Aug;166(2):613.

    and is located here behind a paywall:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11458084

    My question is: The person in the study took not only tomatoes/lycopene, but also Saw Palmetto. Did the study conclude that it was only the tomatoes/lycopene that helped him? Or could it have been the Saw Palmetto that had the greatest effect? I would like to hear some professional unbiased opinions on the efficacy of Saw Palmetto. Thanks in advance.




    7
    1. WFPB-HAL – The article can be accessed by going to the link you provided and clicking on the “Full-Text Article” link in the upper right hand corner. The article quotes another study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10751856) that suggests that the saw palmetto does not significantly impact the course of BPH progression by itself. I couldn’t find any studies that studied the effects of lycopene and saw palmetto TOGETHER… which obviously worked wonders in the single case history mentioned in the original article.




      8
      1. Humzee, Thank you for the additional information and the link to the additional study on Saw Palmetto. I didn’t see that before. That study basically answers my question. All the unbiased science-based research studies seem to indicate that supplements of isolated ingredients either are harmful or at best are neutral and the body gets rid of them quickly. I definitely prefer the Whole Plant Food!




        6
      2. I gave the same recommendation to use saw palmetto to someone who said that he has prostate cancer, and I got trashed as “don’t listen to this guy”. Go figure.

        I give saw palmetto to my 96 year old Dad who has symptoms of prostate cancer and the symptoms went away. Whether he is “cured” or not, it does not matter as he will die with the possible cancer and not of. At his age, we do no treatment for anything except using nutrition and supplements.




        1
        1. Yes but Hal refers to a study. You just offer your opinions. People are more interested in what the evidence shows than in your (or my) opinions.




          8
    2. Hi, WFPB-Hal. Saw palmetto is commonly used to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate. There was some worry that using it could increase prostate cancer risk, but studies have so far not shown that it does increase risk. When looking at case studies, it is important to note that they are anecdotal, and generally focused on a single individual. They are not trials, and variables have not been isolated. As you point out, the man’s recovery is attributed to lycopene, but it is possible that other factors played a role. It is possible that, as with soy and breast cancer, despite fears that saw palmetto could increase prostate cancer risk, the opposite could be true. It is also possible that there was some synergy between the lycopene and the saw palmetto that magnified the benefits either might have individually. We don’t know what other lifestyle changes this individual may have made that could have contributed to his success. There is research suggesting that saw palmetto may help with prostate cancer. In my opinion, the results are not definitive, but it does not look like it would be harmful to try, based on current evidence. I hope that helps!




      0
  5. I take 4-6 mg. of astaxanthin a day. I do it for the anti-oxidant benefits, and also to protect my skin from sun damage as anecdotally reported.

    Does anybody have any comment on whether this amount may have a counter productive result (as observed with lycopene) ? Thanks.




    1
    1. I’ve read nothing about an adverse reaction from astaxanthin. I’ve read one study based on 12 mgs per day. That is the amount I take… 4 in the morning, 4 at noon and 6 more at night. The one I take is astaxanthin and zeaxanthin in a 4:4 ratio. I have no idea what the zeaxanthin is for but from what I’ve read the astaxanthin is a super supplement.




      1
    2. MrSilverglide – I saw some very interesting research, decades ago now, where they were able to demonstrate that lycopene also has skin protecting benefits. In the study, individuals were allowed to sit in the sun until a certain level of burn occurred. Then fed tomato products and again sat in the sun. The tomato products definitely seemed to protect the skin as burn did not occur with the same time frame. I can’t find the research paper now as it was decades ago that I read this, sorry. However, if you go to the PubMed site and put “lycopene skin”in the search bar you will find lots of interesting reading material.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=lycopene+skin

      Also, polypodium leucotomos, a type of fern, is well known to protect the skin from sun damage when taken orally.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4345929/
      I work in the sun daily so I use both tomato products and poypodium leucotomos to protect my skin. I’ve looked into sunscreen creams but there is some research now hinting that they don’t protect like they say and, also, may actually contribute to skin cancer. That issue needs more research. But meanwhile, I eat my sunscreen and put my faith in plants.
      Hope this was interesting and helpful to you. :-)




      0
    3. Hey Mr. Silverglide, thanks for writing! Astaxanthin is NOT a carotenoid typically consumed by humans. The risk you’re running is that your absorption of other food-derived carotenoids may drop significantly at the meal you’re taking this with, and because carotenoids activate the Antioxidant Response Element, you could potentially interfere with detoxification and antioxidant protection mechanisms. We need more studies to determine whether astaxanthin is safe or not.




      0
      1. Salmon has astaxanthin in it.

        Do you think people who eat a lot

        of Salmon are getting astaxanthin

        toxicity? Another good reason to

        be a vegan.




        0
  6. The statement in the closing of the video about how food science may allow healthy foods to be developed is amusing in the sense that you can just buy a tomato already. Its like waiting for a promise of a healthy food when there is already an abundance of whole plant foods out there, nobel prize not required.

    Thinking more though, in the long term, this kind of techno-cornicopia may yet come about. Many decades or hundreds of years from now, we may eventually understand all about natural foods. Right now the industrial food business is stumbling in the dark ages, pushing obvious dangers to safety onto the public.




    3
    1. Thinking more though, in the long term, this kind of techno-cornicopia may yet come about. Many decades or hundreds of years from now, we may eventually understand all about natural foods. Right now the industrial food business is stumbling in the dark ages, pushing obvious dangers to safety onto the public.

      I’m inclined to think this is probable and immediate. Actually, it is right now in my world. That is, I never eat anything (that I can think of offhand) in its original form.

      Take ice cream for instance. I often eat a bowl of that but before doing so I add inulin powder, niacin powder, magnesium powder, Raw organic cocoa powder, ginger powder, cinnamon powder, clove powder, amla powder, glycine powder, one of those single serving sized yogurts, bananas or cherries if I have them, and top it off with MCT oil + Walnut oil.

      I stir it all up until it is thoroughly mixed and eat it. Granted, it is no longer the sweet treat it was as just ice cream, but it serves as a good way to get some good nutrition in me.




      1
      1. I keep a bag of frozen bananas in my freezer. When I want ice cream, I just drop 1-1/2 to 2 bananas in my Vitamix with a half cup of soy milk and a tbsp of cocoa powder. When it’s Dairy Queen consistency, I add half a bag of mixed frozen blackberries, blueberries, and black raspberries and pulse it just enough to semi-melt them. WOW! That beats dairy ice cream to bits.

        Alternatively, I drop some frozen dark sweet cherries and a few walnut halves and just pulse. Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia–MOVE OVER!!!

        WFPB-Liisa




        12
      2. Lonie, I know you don’t like to cook, but it’s occurred to me that with all the money you spend on expensive supplements, you could probably hire someone to cook delicious WFPB meals for you.




        4
        1. No, it’s not that I mind cooking… I do that every couple of days when I cook up a big bag of chicken thighs and drumsticks (just 27 cents per pound at my local bargain mart.) Trust me, you don’t want to even SAY the word vegan to the momma cat and her three teenager equivalent offspring.

          I fear the potential for cat scratch fever should I say the word, much less try to enforce the vegan diet. These cats are great hunters as they sometimes drag up the remains of a full grown jack rabbit… they are committed carnivores.

          I do add a little sprinkling of crushed garlic from a jar on the meat before cooking it in my air oven in order to hopefully put something in them that keeps fleas off. It seems to be working so far.

          I also coat my hands with coconut oil before handling the raw or even the cooked meat. That way the chicken fat wipes off with a paper towel or rinses off under the faucet and the anti-microbial action of the coconut oil should protect me from any chicken microbes.

          So no, it’s not that I mind cooking. It is simply that by taking supplements I am more aware of what and how much nutrition I am getting. And it’s not that it is that much more convenient as one has to remember what to take and when. I actually just line them up and go down the line at different parts of the day.

          The liquid ones I will add to my teas whenever I drink one of those, so no structured time element for those. Heck, sometimes I may combine a couple of my teas in a large glass mug and add nothing if I’m in the mood to live dangerously. ‘-)




          1
  7. It is noted that by cooking tomatoes, the bioavailability of lycopene will be increased by 10X or more.

    A long time ago, Dr G had a video that said that tomato along with bean can be consumed via can and the nutrition is not lost but enhanced.




    4
    1. Sorta, but not long term. Lately, this has been my morning drink–to increase lycopene and curcumin:

      -Turmeric (about 1 tsp organic powder)
      -Black pepper
      -Organic tomato paste (1 heaping tbs)
      -Fill cup with hot water and stir.

      Maybe I’ll add a bit of matcha, moringa powder, maybe some chaga mushroom powder, maybe some maca root powder…whatever sounds intriguing. Maybe take it with my morning vegan DHA pill to further increase absorption.




      4
  8. Will we receive a replay link to “cannabis lecture” to watch at a later time.

    I got the notice of event dates which did not mention a replay link .

    Look forward to hearing the lecture.

    Thanks,

    Fran.




    1
    1. Hi Fran, yes – if you registered you will receive a video of the webinar! I believe it will be sent a week after the live session.




      0
    1. Don’t have a link but I do recall reading that magnesium is a good stabilizer of a fib. Cocoa or dark chocolate are rich in magnesium, IIRC.

      Sorry, nothing on bladder cancer that I recall.




      0
    2. hi Linda, just to add a note here, Dr Esselstyn was asked the same question about A Fib and diet. You can see his response here. http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/a-fib-will-plant-nutrition-work-for-a-fib/

      Dr greger made a video about bladder cancer specifically. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/raw-broccoli-and-bladder-cancer-survival/ as well as this video (a classic) that shows the efficacy of vegies against cancer. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/1-anticancer-vegetable/

      Dr Greger has a vast collection of videos about the topic of cancer and food which you can sift through here. https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/cancer/




      3
    3. Thanks for your great question. We know of foods which increase your risk of atrial fibrillation, but at this time there is not any studies on treating it with diet.
      These 2 videos both mention atrial fibrillation:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/coffee-and-mortality/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/red-fish-white-fish-dark-fish-atrial-fibrillation/

      Some of the main risk factors for atrial fibrillation- high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks- can definitely be prevented and helped with a whole foods plant based diet. I encourage to look at some of the information on these topics at nutritionfacts.org

      As far as bladder cancer, I did not find anything specifically on that. But there is a lot of information about cancer in general.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-not-to-die-from-cancer/

      Kelly
      NF Moderator




      0
  9. OK, so we have a single case study of a man who seemingly cured his terminal prostate cancer with low dose lycopene supplements with possible synergistic effects added in with saw palmetto. This was published in a well respected medical journal by a well respected doctor (Brian Matlaga, MD) at a highly respected hospital, Johns Hopkins. This was back in 2001. Its been 16 years–why is there no followup? Studies attempting to replicate this result? Given the profound implications that prostate cancer can be cured by a couple of otc pills a day or by perhaps eating a tablespoon of tomato paste daily, why is there nothing about this since then? Did the patient stay in remission? Did he die? Was his diagnosis all a grand medical error? I’m stumped, truly stumped, by the lack of followup study about this.

    Yes, I realize that doctors and pharmaceutical companies can’t make money treating prostate cancer with tomato paste, but am I expected to believe that something with such remarkable potential would be ignored?

    Is there any chance Dr. Greger might consider contacting his colleague, Dr. Matlaga, at Johns Hopkins to ask him if it is known whatever became of this n=1 miracle?




    5
    1. That’s why I am a little bit doubtful about this kind of claim. There is no doubt that lycopene is beneficial but claiming that it can cure prostate cancer is a little bit of a stretch. And it came from one successful case.




      4
    2. Jay Sal, I share your skepticism about this one study with no followup of this person. I still couldn’t read the full research paper because it’s behind a paywall, so we don’t know what this person’e full diet consisted of. Was it a SAD, vegetarian, vegan diet? It’s hard to believe that if he ate a SAD diet with the stated amount of tomato paste, that would be enough to see those remarkable results.

      Dean Ornish has done some good research on a WFPB diet and PC, which has been reported on in a previous NutritionFacts video. I would think a WFPB diet with maybe some extra tomato paste here and there would be the way to go!




      6
    3. hi Jay Sal, while I can not answer your questions about the n=1 study, I did find these resources that might interest you. Last May Dr Greger did this video, https://nutritionfacts.org/video/best-supplements-for-prostate-cancer/ which has more studies to look at. And, I found this page
      https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/prostate-supplements-pdq#section/_61 which does have a discussion about many therapies including lycopene for prostate cancer.




      9
  10. Let;s be a little bit more scientific and just don’t take an anti supplement stance blindly.

    Lycopene extract in supplement is not toxic and does not cause cancer by itself. Nevertheless, lycopene is unstable and can oxidize and become free radicals easily. But lycopene inside a tomato or watermelon does not oxidize.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2615641/

    While in the plant matrix or in solid form, lycopene is relatively stable, but after extraction from the matrix and dissolution in a non-polar organic solvent, lycopene is quite unstable. For example, Fang et al. [10] evaluated the stability of lycopene in a mixture of methyl-tert-butyl ether and acetonitrile (50:50, v/v) protected from light and air and found that its half-life was ~16 h at 4 °C. Using a model aqueous system, Henry et al. [11] measured the degradation rates of several carotenes including lycopene and found that lycopene was the least stable of the carotenoids evaluated. In this system, the half-lives of lycopene exposed to water at 30 °C containing oxygen or nitrogen were ~1.7 h or 5.5 h, respectively; furthermore, lycopene was more than 8-fold less stable than all trans-β-carotene. In contrast to its instability in solution in its pure form, lycopene can be stabilized by encapsulation in water dispersible beadlets or in liposomes (see section on in vitro studies below for details). Therefore, the stability of lycopene must be a consideration during the preparation of samples containing lycopene or during in vitro or in vivo experiments with various lycopene preparations.

    (Fat again)

    6. Bioavailability, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and metabolism
    Lycopene is tightly bound to macromolecules within the food matrix, so that its bioavailability from food is relatively poor [77]. However, cooking or processing lycopene rich foods like tomatoes can liberate lycopene from protein complexes and enhance its oral bioavailability. Since lycopene is highly lipophilic, co-consumption with lipids can also increase its bioavailability [78].




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    1. thanks for the link Jerry. Very interesting

      I note that the reference (78) states that the tomato juice was boiled with 1% corn oil and this was the basis for the statement that “consumption with lipids can also increase its bioavailability [78)”

      I usually consume my tomato paste with whole olives in the form of a home-made pasta sauce. Olives are high in fat . Or I consume tomato sauce in the form of baked beans. Baked beans are 5% fat by weight according to the USDA – this probably translates to about 7 or 8% fat by total calories content. Either way, I don’t don’t see the need to add either liquid fats or hard fats to food to increase lycopene bioavailability.
      https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4746?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=50&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=16005&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=




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  11. In reply to a few comments above:
    I don’t see it that Dr. Greger is making any kind of dubious claim here. He didn’t “claim” that lycopene can cure prostate cancer based on one case study. Nor did he “claim” that “all supplements are bad.” What he did is state the current evidence, leaving it up to the viewer to interpret. Excellent video, Dr. G!




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    1. Try not to get over-focused on this one case study, despite its promising results. There are too many variables to account for.

      What we should be discussing, as consumers, is the implications of large epidemiological studies consisting of hundreds of thousands of participants, like the EPIC studies, Nurses Health studies, Global Disease Burden studies, Adventist Health studies and more. These are the levels of evidence Dr. Greger uses to attribute strong support to plant-based diets.

      Please, don’t lose the forest for the trees people!




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  12. I seem to remember that the study linking beta carotene to lung cancer used a synthetic version. Does anyone else share this view? I will have to investigate




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  13. I have been listening to Dr. Greger now for over 2 years. And, I am coming to the conclusion that supplements are a waste of money, waste of time, and might even be a detriment to one’s health. Dr. Greger has cited several studies showing that supplements might increase the risk for cancer. I cringe to think of all the money I spent on supplements over the last 20 years. Luckily, my health has been OK. But, billions of people have lived on this planet for millions of years without supplementation. If they can do it, so can we. Just eat whole plant foods. Recently, I started drinking distilled water. Likewise, billions of people for millions of years have used rain water as a major source for their water consumption. Rain water is distilled water. Eskimos melt snow and drink the water which is essentially distilled water. A lot of people think that drinking distilled water will kill you. I bought a bottle of distilled water from WalMart the other day. It was right next to the Purified drinking water. There was no label on the distilled water that read that it might be hazardous to one’s health. There was no warning label. And, it was sitting right next to other bottles of drinking water and purified water. Tons and tons of industrial chemicals and radioactive materials are dumped into the water ways, the air, and into the soil….and they find their way into our tap water. Good luck with that.




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    1. I cringe to think of all the money I spent on supplements over the last 20 years. Luckily, my health has been OK.

      Ahem… maybe the two things are related? ‘-)




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  14. In the study, 1 to 3 micromols of lycopene were within the acceptable range, whereas 4 to 10 micromols of lycopene were too high. Question: How many milligrams of lycopene are equivalent to one micromol? The reason I ask is that the amount of lycopene is usually quoted in milligrams, not micromols.

    After looking online, I found that the molar weight of lycopene is approximately 537 g/mol. A micromol is 1/1,000,000 of a mol. So the molar weight of lycopene is 0.000537 g/micromol. Since a milligram is 1,000 of a gram, that means that there are 0.537 mg/micromol. But 0.537 mg are only half a milligram. Foods high in lycopene are generally much higher than half a milligram. For example, one cup of tomato juice contains 23 milligrams of lycopene, far higher than the 1 to 3 micromols of lycopene said to be the amount safe to consume.

    So are my calculations mistaken or are the amounts quoted in the study mistaken?




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    1. >>>In the study, 1 to 3 micromols of lycopene were within the acceptable range, whereas 4 to 10 micromols of lycopene were too high

      These numbers refer to the plasma level. Supplements can clearly jack up the level too high. So it seems to me the real issue is whether eating lots of carotenoid-rich foods could also raise one’s plasma level too high. I think that’s a good question.




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      1. Thanks, David, for the correction. Yes, that occurred to me after I posted my question. Perhaps with the food itself, the cofactors would mitigate against toxicity, although it might still be possible to reach an unacceptably high level of a tomato product if you really overdid it — like a gallon of tomato sauce every day! :-/ But this is not something the average person would ever do, unlike the mega doses of nutritional supplements that people sometimes take.




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      2. And here’s my question: Is the problem too much carotenoid via supplements? or is the problem an imbalance caused by eating them in isolation and not with their usual antioxidants as you would get in food? Campbell says it is “the symphony”
        contained in food that provides health–not isolated nutrients.




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    2. Hi William Dwyer. It is my understanding that the micromols are blood concentrations, and not dosages. The point of the video is that isolating a compound from a whole plant food and taking it in supplement form may not have the same effect as eating the whole plant food. This is partly because every plant has thousands of naturally occurring chemicals that often work synergistically with each other for our benefit. This study is not telling you that a cup of tomato juice is unsafe to consume. The amount consumed does not directly translate to blood concentration. Think of it this way. If you pour a gallon of bleach into a swimming pool, and then allow it to circulate, you will not find a gallon of bleach in every sample you test. That is an overly simplistic analogy, but I think it illustrates the point I am trying to get across. Please enjoy lycopene-rich foods, and do not worry about your dose of lycopene. As long as you don’t take lycopene supplements, you should be fine. I hope that helps!




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      1. Here’s a 2010 paper that supports the general points made regarding lycopene supplements vs whole food, and ingestion vs blood levels.

        *An Update on the Health Effects of Tomato Lycopene* https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22129335

        A few excerpts:

        “*The absolute amount of lycopene absorbed does not appear to vary greatly with dose. *A study performed in men observed lycopene absorption after consumption of one serving of tomato juice (Diwadkar-Navsariwala et al. 2003). Different volumes of tomato juice, with a constant percent fat, were administered to deliver 10 mg to 120 mg of lycopene. The range of lycopene absorbed, independent of dose, was between 1.8 mg and 14.3 mg, with an average of 4.7 mg. The amount of lycopene absorbed by the men consuming juice containing 120 mg lycopene was not significantly different from that absorbed by the men consuming juice containing 10 mg lycopene. These authors suggested that inter-individual differences, not dose, has the greatest impact on the amount of lycopene absorbed (Diwadkar-Navsariwala et al. 2003).”

        “*Competition by other carotenoids or cholesterol may also influence lycopene absorption.* One post-prandial human study demonstrated that co-consumption of tomato puree (30 mg lycopene) + spinach lutein (30 mg) or encapsulated lutein (30 mg) reduced chylomicron lycopene levels by 70% and 61% respectively, as compared with lycopene levels observed after consumption of tomato puree alone (Tyssandier et al. 2002). However, when subjects consumed these foods daily for three weeks at half of the previous dose (15 mg of lycopene + 15 mg lutein), no difference was observed in steady-state plasma levels of lycopene (Tyssandier et al. 2002).”

        “Further, *it is unclear whether apparent reductions in disease risk observed in epidemiological* *and short-term prospective studies result from the whole tomato or from lycopene alone* *(Giovannucci 2005, Clinton 2005).* Lycopene studies have been performed with tomato products, tomato-based supplements, and synthetic lycopene. These treatments are not interchangeable and should not be considered equivalent. In fact, the distinction between lycopene and tomatoes was made by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in their 2005 review of the literature to evaluate a proposed health claim on tomatoes, lycopene, and cancer (Kavanaugh et al. 2007). The FDA concluded that there is “no credible evidence to support an association between lycopene intake and a reduced risk of prostate, lung, colorectal, gastric, breast, ovarian, endometrial or pancreatic cancer,” but the FDA found “very limited evidence to support an association between tomato consumption and reduced risks of prostate, ovarian, gastric, and pancreatic cancers” (Kavanaugh et al. 2007).”


        *When considering the effects of a dietary component on health, it is difficult to separate the* *effect of a single compound from that of multiple compounds found in whole foods and* *whole diets. *If lycopene in tomatoes does affect health, is it the major active component, or does it act synergistically with other bioactive compounds in tomatoes (provitamin A, flavonoids, vitamin C, fiber, etc.)? In fact, tomato flavonoids, including rutin, quercetin, naringenin, have been reported to have potential health effects. Quercetin and rutin have been shown to reduce IGF-1-induced prostate cell proliferation in vitro (Wang et al. 2003).
        Quercetin has been shown to reduce neutrophil-induced LDL oxidation (Loke




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  15. Unfortunately, adding antioxidants to unhealthy comfort foods and meat appeals to a lot of companies. The truth is when I tell most people what I eat (vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains) and what I avoid (meat, dairy, and refined foods like donuts, pizza, ice cream, candy, potato and corn chips, etc), I get told by some that they would rather die than eat the way I do. But imagine a world where the tastiest food is also what is good for you and adds years to your life and life to your years. Imagine a cheeseburger that has the same cardiovascular and cancer-protective effects as broccoli and tastes like a real cheeseburger. Call it crazy, but I anticipate this is where the big raft is headed.




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    1. Just making a playful debate, no directed at you specifically Matt . :D
      And I thought of a rebuttal to try for the handful of people that tell you they’d rather die than give up their favorite foods:
      Some drug addicts would also rather die than give up their drugs. So what does that say?

      I learned from Neal Barnard that cheese actually has morphine-like addictive effects. Something to think about for all those cheese addicts out there. I used to be one, but I recovered. :)




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  16. I am one to believe that Mother Nature will always have the edge. After a millennia of treating her like an object to manipulate rather than a gift to revere, by the time we even come close to matching the power of plants that predate our existence, it will already be too late. We may be on a raft indeed, and a rather shaky one at that. Best we invest our time ensuring a sustainable future than creating a magical cheeseburger.




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