Saturday, April 30, 2011

Prostate cancer paradox

Many observational studies associate prostate cancer with markers of metabolic syndrome. Which gives us the omega3/trans fat paradox, well discussed in several places around the net.

Here's a similar prostate paradox.

How come these two exceptions buck the trend? Here's a random thought:

Let's assume prostate cancer is related to chronic hyperinsulinaemia, a reasonable idea, ie it is "metabolic syndrome of the prostate".

Conversely, castration is a component of conventional prostate cancer treatment.

Getting to the chemical-castration stage of metabolic syndrome might well be prostate cancer protective.

Omega 3 fats probably slow progression of metabolic syndrome, trans fats probably accelerate it.

If you want to get to the castration level of metabolic syndrome as fast as possible, to maximise this prostate benefit, never forget to ask for your favourite lipotoxin by name.

For metabolic castration you should always ask for Crisco.


Alternatively I have a couple of bricks available. It's an old anaesthetist's joke:

Surgeon: "I don't need to use anaesthesia for castration."

Anaesthetist: "Really, what's your technique?"

Surgeon: "I have these two bricks and I smash them together on the testicles."

Anaesthetist (aghast): "Doesn't that hurt?"

Surgeon: "Only if you get your thumbs in the way."


Anonymous said...


There are already comments in the usual places about how stupid we all are for believing 10% of calories as soy and corn oil might not be healthy - mocking the idea that linoleic acid is a NAD.

And my first thought was exactly the same - a male sex organ can be easily treated for cancer by cutting off the yarbles or taking Lupron and instantly looking like an old woman. It happened to my grandfather at age 90. Not a pretty sight, but it "worked".

Try those maneuvers on colon or lung cancer and see what happens.

Don't phytoestrogens come along with the soybean oil that is the commonest source of n-6 in our diets?


And remember how Campbell's rats got cancer? Improving their protein nutrition allowed angiogenesis again, so the tumors could grow. That's how he proved casein "caused" cancer.

Context is everything. If you just read alarming abstracts and papers and have no useful paradigm to run them through, you risk becoming a well-read fool.

Peter said...

Yes, there shouldn't be the need for paradoxes or alarm if you have some sort of logical framework. Understanding is the key. Then the paradoxes are limited to how a given result was achieved which is contrary to the comprehensive picture. If Axen and Axen's lead up papers had been pay per view their 2010 paper would have been a paradox to me. As it is I gasp in awe at their cleverness, ignore their conclusions, and relax with a resolved potential paradox.

There are, unfortunately, places where the trail cannot be followed or where it has been simply eradicated by overly clever folks with an eye on the next grant cheque...

Context is, undoubtedly, everything


Unknown said...

At a medical conference today, the presenter on women's health proposed increasing carbs (*complex carbs* she admonished, pasta and rice, but don't go wild with the butter) for premenstrual dysphoria. Judith Wurtman at ?MIT has rats with PMS who respond readily to carbs for crankiness due to the temporary bolus of tryptophan they shoot into the brain.

There are many anecdotes of women cleared of many a feminine complaint once the PUFAs were brought down to human-friendly percentages. No need for ibuprofen. Funny, that ibuprofen. Cancer protective, and likely protective against dementia too...

Sigh. I have no prostate to discuss, I suppose.

Peter said...

These rodent models never cease to amaze me!


blogblog said...

Off topic but interesting anyway.

Apparently horses are now going paleo (or Eocene). Researchers at the University of Queensland have discovered that horses are much healthier if fed on "poor quality" low carbohydrate natural pastures, don't wear shoes and are kept outside instead of being stabled.

According to GPS data Australian feral horses (all 1.2 million of them) travel around 20-70km/day against a mere 500-700m for stabled horses.

Interestingly enough some of the most successful race horses ever in Australia (by far the worlds largest racing industry) have been very cheap leisure hacks raised outdoors on sheep or cattle farms.

Peter said...

And of course there is an epidemic of obesity and type two diabetes in horses too. Their livers are very very broken. Ah, lovely grains.


blogblog said...

I saw a documentary programme on cosmetic surgery in Australia.One surgeon obviously thought that paying an anaethetist would cut into his margins so he relied on light sedation to perform his operations. One poor woman was shown groaning quite loudly as he was performing abdominal liposuction. The documentary maker seemed quite concerned about her but the surgeon seemed totally nonchalant.

Peter said...

Hee hee, surgeons are an interesting species. They're not all bad, not even all orthopods...


blogblog said...


Brian Hampson the feral horse researcher at UQ was originally an exercise physiologist and physiotherapist specialising in humans.

Who'd have possibly thought that keeping horses in small boxes 23 hours/day and feeding them grains would be bad for their health? (sarcasm).

Peter said...

That's very interesting about the successful hack derived horses. Ultimately racing is about making money from equine performance. Breaking the horse in the process is unimportant. There has been an extraordinary unpleasant discussion elsewhere on the net about the essentiality of carbs for maximum athletic performance. I have no problem with this. I can see how carbloading might allow you to win, especially in modest duration events. As you have commented before, any edge is worth having to an elite athlete, never mind if it kills you. The concept that pushing your metabolism to the point of winning at any cost is somehow healthy is what is utterly beyond me.

I find the meat head culture disturbing, to say the least.

Been there, done that, only drug I used was sucrose (endurance racing, not muscle mass related). Survived (I think).


Unknown said...

I am no expert on the definitive works of Judith Wurtman - however, she is sort of a go-to person to ask for quotes on why a low carb diet would cause depression, so she will be seen in news coverage and the like in an anti-low carb fashion. But I do think she has the same issue of taking some very interesting findings out of context to reach an incorrect conclusion (pasta for PMS - when I suspect the right answer is that we need recalibrate the systems to moderate/low carb and make sure the PUFAs aren't completely out of whack)

In another respect she is, oddly enough, right in her wrongness. A high carb feast to answer some PMS cravings will end up eventually as palmitate, most likely, so she is in essence promoting more sat fat to balance the PUFA intake of the Western diet.

Dr. B G said...

Yes -- context... This prostate study is quite curious b/c the authors fail to note one of the biggest factors for cancer in the new century... industrial heavy metals leaching into air, water and soil.

Of course fish has n-3 but it also has bioaccumulated heavy metals which are carcinogenic, as well as brain toxic (no matter how much taurine and n-3 it contains).

I was shocked that sardines accumulated enough industrial metals that was measurable since they are so small. Nothing escapes our damage now. Krill oil? I wouldn't do it unless it was molecularly distilled which I don't believe it is like boutique $$$$ fish oil.

blogblog said...

@Dr BG

Yes -- context... This prostate study is quite curious b/c the authors fail to note one of the biggest factors for cancer in the new century... industrial heavy metals leaching into air, water and soil.

Any evidence for these bold claims? One 29 year old paper from an obscure journal is hardly convincing.

Environmental heavy metal levels have fallen dramatically over the last century due to the phase-out of lead paint and plumbing and the much stricter emission standards particularly in regard to burning coal which is the primary source of arsenic and mercury.

Heavy metals bind to protein and are insoluble in oils so there is nothing to worry about with regard to fish oils.

Dr. B G said...


Where have you been? Put in arsenic and cancer in pubmed. Mercury (from amalgams and food exposures) tends to harbor deeply in soft tissues -- it needs to be provoked to be measured unless someone has great detox, glutathione and selenium enzymes. Arsenic is easier to measure.


Dr. B G said...

The oceans have been contaminated for a long while (hence molecularly distilled omega-3 fish oils and CLO are available). I live in Northern Cal so I am probably more 'green' and aware of these environmental hazards than you are (where are you from??). I don't know about heavy metals affecting ocd blog commenting or lack of self restraint, but heavy metal toxicity contributes to endocrine disruption on a major scale. In Northern Cal the risk of breast cancer is extremely high, esp in Marin county which is particularly affluent. Their consumption of salmon and fish is not light either...

Ck this out -- a study in journalists for environmental health, no less found mercury > 1ppm in hair samples in no less than 27% of the journalists.

One of the biggest risk factors identified on survey was FISH consumption:

In the US, Big Pharma are finally taking thimerosal out of their vaccines. Unfortunately they've already produced a boatload of product; guess where it'll be shipped?

It is not hyperhypothetical to attribute our current epidemic of infertility, PCOS, moobies, hypothyroidism, austism/ASD spectrum, OCD/schizo and premature adolescence to the crazy vaccine schedules and industrial metal and POPs (persistent organo pollution) from the last 20yrs.


Dr. B G said...

Interesting data from CDC databanks:

Ken said...

The old Inuit eat lots o' fish and don't get [...] routine.

Here's why 'Inuit Are Protected Against Prostate Cancer' :-
"Inuit Greenlanders ... have fewer alleles of the sort that increase androgen receptor activity or facilitate testosterone to DHT conversion." That's not a direct quote but it gets the idea across. The actual paper Here.

Danes don't get prostrate cancer much. What is it I know about Danes again ?

I suppose if insulin resistance lowers testosterone and fish oil raises it...

(Inuit also have special adaptations to the low calcium content of their traditional diet by the way. That hasn't stopped Vieth and his pal Heaney trying to stuff Vitamin D down their throat.)

blogblog said...

@BG for someone who claims to be a pharmacologist you display an amazing ignorance of basic science. You sound far more like some wacko environmental activist. Your use of the term "Big Pharma" is a dead giveaway. Methinks you've been testing too many of your own psychedelic products.

High levels of heavy metals including copper, mercury. lead and cadmium naturally occur in many soils. Naturally arsenic is very common in groundwater. In fact "deadly wells" were well documented in Roman times

Your arguments about increasing pollution over the last 20 years are utter nonsense. In fact cities in developed countries are less polluted than 2000 years ago. We no longer add lead acetate to wine to prevent spoilage or use cadmium salts to colour children's sweets.

Until the 20th century breast cancer was extremely rare and was mostly confined to nuns and other childless women. In fact it was known as the "Nun's Disease". The increase in breast cancers in affluent communities can be readily explained by women delaying childbirth and low rates of breastfeeding.

The thimerosal/autism study was a blatant fraud resulting in the deregistration of the "researcher" involved.

The mercury is dental amalgams is tightly bound to the other metals. Metallic mercury is not particularly toxic via oral intake.

Hair analysis for heavy metal contamination is absolute voodoo.

Mario Iwakura said...

Yah, mercury present in dental fillings is completly safe and bond!

Dr. B G said...


I dig you and your links...


A cardiothoracic surgeon and professor beat me to the punch... consider reading 'Mercury on the mind' from Dr. Donald Miller MD

Do you seriously consider that the AMA, American Dental Assoc or government advocation and admittance of guilt for pushing amalgams, mercury-ridden vaccines or toxic industrial pollutants that increase our U.S. and global GMP. It's a house of cards if the public knew...

Cad Saude Publica. 2006 Mar;22(3):485-93. Epub 2006 Mar 27.
Occupational exposure and effects on the male reproductive system.

A significant increase in the incidence of male infertility has been described in the international literature, raising questions about its causes. Part of this effect may result from synthetic toxic substances acting on the endocrine system (endocrine disruptors), many of which are routinely used in work processes. We provide a critical review of the specialized literature on work-related chemical substances capable of causing male infertility. Pesticides such as DDT, linuron, and others, heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, and copper, and substances from various industrial uses and residues such as dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), ethylene dibromide (EDB), phthalates, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and ethanol are among the main endocrine disruptors that can cause male infertility. Based on the literature, gonadal dysfunction and congenital malformation are the main alterations caused by these substances in the male reproductive system. We conclude that despite the relative lack of studies on this issue, the relevance of such risk calls for further studies as well as measures to prevent workers' exposure to the various substances.
PMID: 16583092 (free PDF)

Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Sep;114(9):1438-44.
Autism spectrum disorders in relation to distribution of hazardous air pollutants in the san francisco bay area.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest a potential association between autism and estimated metal concentrations, and possibly solvents, in ambient air around the birth residence, requiring confirmation and more refined exposure assessment in future studies.
PMID: 16966102 [free PDF]

Environ Health Perspect. 2001 Dec;109(12):1197-206.
Cognitive effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in animals.

A large number of chemical pollutants including phthalates, alkylphenolic compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, organochlorine pesticides, bisphenol A, and metals including lead, mercury, and cadmium have the ability to disrupt endocrine function in animals. Some of these same chemicals have been shown to alter cognitive function in animals and humans. Because hormonally mediated events play a central role in central nervous system development and function, a number of researchers have speculated that the changes in cognitive function are mediated by the endocrine-like actions of these chemicals. In this paper we review the evidence that cognitive effects of chemicals classified as environmental endocrine disruptors are mediated by changes in hormonal function. We begin by briefly reviewing the role of gonadal steroids, thyroid hormones, and glucocorticoids in brain development and brain function. We then review the endocrine changes and cognitive effects that have been reported for selected endocrine-disrupting chemicals, discuss the evidence for causal relationships between endocrine disruption and cognitive effects, and suggest directions for future research.
PMID: 11748026 (free PDF)


Dr. B G said...

One more thing... Not everyone is susceptible to metals (as much comparatively, relatively speaking). TC and LDLs also tie in with aluminum and other metal exposures.

Apo E4 are the least tolerant for metal accumulation in other words they harbor and HOARD more metals than any other Apo E allele types and combinations according to several reports. Apo E4 have the highest LDL patterns (e.g. FH) and rates of CAD, MetSyn/T2DM, and Alzheimers (protective for cancer survival) in the epi literature (if you are into epi's).

Detriment occurs if their tissues easily toxify with the presence of heavy metals and can't chelate out (various herbs, chorella in green leaves, lipoic acid in organ meats, melatonin, pycnogenol (pine bark), NAC (glutathione precursor), etc are natural food chelators).

Apo E4 are the most 'efficient' of all Apo E subtypes that I've read about, and I suspect they are the true 'survivors' of the milleniums because they survive all manners of the nutritionally and mineral-scarce environments. They can live without iodine or UV-driven vitamin D which is strange and unusual for mammals. Survival adaptation?

Not in the Western world.

Nothern Chinese, Northern Europeans and Native American Indians have an incidence of Apo E4 of ~40-60% on a south-to-north gradian.

Dr. Miller states this for the mercury paper 'The amount of damage a given dose of mercury can do to the brain (and also the heart) depends on one's age, sex, and genetically determined ability to excrete mercury. Young children with still developing brains are more susceptible, and males are more vulnerable to a given dose of mercury because testosterone enhances its neurotoxicity. Most important, however, is one's genetically programmed ability to rid the body of mercury. The brain has a house-cleaning protein that removes dangerous waste products, which comes in three varieties: APO-E2, APO-E3, and APO-E4. The APO-E2 protein can carry 2 atoms of mercury out of the brain; APO-3, one; and AOP-E4, none. The genes we acquire from each parent determine which two we have. People with two APO-E4 proteins (and thus no APO-E2 or -E3) have an 80 percent chance of acquiring Alzheimer's disease. And according to one study, autistic children have a huge preponderance of APO-E4 protein in their brains.'

blogblog said...

@Mario Renato and DR BG

You have to do a lot better than these papers - many with a single citation - published in junk journals to convince me.

When you can name a paper with over 100 citations published in a first tier journal [eg Nature, The Lancet, JAMA or NEJM] discussing the dangers of mercury amalgam I may take some notice. I'm not interested in some filler piece published in the Pakistan Journal of Food Science (yes it really exists).

The fact is that analytical chemistry is now so advanced that it can effortlessly detect levels of "toxins" that are so low as to be completely meaningless in health terms. Organochlorine pesticide residues can be readily detected at 10^-14 concentrations. Yet you probably wouldn't consume a microgram of these residues in a lifetime unless you lived on a diet consisting entirely of dolphin meat and shark liver.

Dr. B G said...


Keep taking that mainstream SOMA/blue pill/Kool-aid... dude.

Aint it bliss.

You are absolutely correct regarding the value of advanced lab diagnostics -- these below are used by integrative and functional medicine providers to detect POPs and pollutants. There is an increasing utilization of these progressive labs b/c a growing # of people have toxicity and want some answers. Solutions are good too!


Sci Total Environ. 2010 Sep 15;408(20):4848-54.

Hair mercury levels in pregnant women in Mahshahr, Iran: fish consumption as a determinant of exposure.

MeHg is a well-documented neurotoxicant even at low levels of exposure. Developing brain, in particular, is vulnerable to that. Through bioaccumulating to differing degrees in various fish species, it can have serious adverse effects on the development and functioning of the human central nervous system, especially during prenatal exposure. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate mercury concentration in hair samples of pregnant women living in Mahshahr located in Khuzestan province, Iran. It assessed the association between fish consumption and specific characteristics that can influence exposure. From April to June 2008, 149 pregnant women were invited to participate in this study. An interview administered questionnaire was used to collect information about age, body weight, height, fish (fresh, canned and shrimp) consumption, pregnancy stage, residence duration, education level, family income and number of dental amalgam fillings. The obtained results showed that the geometric mean and range for hair total Hg concentration was 3.52 microg/g (0.44-53.56 microg/g). About 5.4% of mothers had hair total Hg levels in excess of 10 microg/g. Maternal hair mercury level was less than threshold level of WHO (5 microg/g). As expected, there was a clear increase in hair Hg with reported fresh marine fish consumption (p=0.04). The highest mean for hair mercury level in a group who consumed fish several times per week, was 4.93 microg/g. Moreover, a significant effect of age and residential time on Hg concentration in the hair of the women was found. Pregnant women in Mahshahr consumed large amounts of fish; consequently, most of their offspring were prenatally exposed to moderately high levels of mercury. The results found suggest that pregnant women should decrease their fish consumption.
PMID: 20655095

J Appl Toxicol. 2006 May-Jun;26(3):191-7.
Metalloestrogens: an emerging class of inorganic xenoestrogens with potential to add to the oestrogenic burden of the human breast.
Darbre PD.

Many compounds in the environment have been shown capable of binding to cellular oestrogen receptors and then mimicking the actions of physiological oestrogens. The widespread origin and diversity in chemical structure of these environmental oestrogens is extensive but to date such compounds have been organic and in particular phenolic or carbon ring structures of varying structural complexity. Recent reports of the ability of certain metal ions to also bind to oestrogen receptors and to give rise to oestrogen agonist responses in vitro and in vivo has resulted in the realisation that environmental oestrogens can also be inorganic and such xenoestrogens have been termed metalloestrogens. This report highlights studies which show metalloestrogens to include aluminium, antimony, arsenite, barium, cadmium, chromium (Cr(II)), cobalt, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenite, tin and vanadate. The potential for these metal ions to add to the burden of aberrant oestrogen signalling within the human breast is discussed.
Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Dr. B G said...

Eur J Cancer Prev. 2010 Jul;19(4):256-71.
The role of oestrogen in the pathogenesis of obesity, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and prostate disease.
Williams GP.

A detailed review of the literature was performed in a bid to identify the presence of a common link between specific hormone interactions and the increasing prevalence of global disease. The synergistic action of unopposed oestrogen and leptin, compounded by increasing insulin, cortisol and xeno-oestrogen exposure directly initiate, promote and exacerbate obesity, type 2 diabetes, uterine overgrowth, prostatic enlargement, prostate cancer and breast cancer. Furthermore these hormones significantly contribute to the incidence and intensity of anxiety and depression, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease and stroke. This review, in collaboration with hundreds of evidence-based clinical researchers, correlates the significant interactions these hormones exert upon the upregulation of p450 aromatase, oestrogen, leptin and insulin receptor function; the normal status quo of their binding globulins; and how adduct formation alters DNA sequencing to ultimately produce an array of metabolic conditions ranging from menopausal symptoms and obesity to Alzheimer's disease and breast and prostate cancer. It reveals the way that poor diet, increased stress, unopposed endogenous oestrogens, exogenous oestrogens, pesticides, XENO-OESTROGENS and leptin are associated with increased aromatase activity, and how its products, increased endogenous oestrogen and lowered testosterone, are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and oestrogenic disease. This controversial break-through represents a paradigm shift in medical thinking, which can prevent the raging pandemic of diabetes, obesity and cancer currently sweeping the world, and as such, it will reshape health initiatives, reduce suffering, prevent waste of government expenditure and effectively transform preventative medicine and global health care for decades.
PMID: 20535861

Reprod Fertil Dev. 2011 Apr;23(3):403-16.
Negative impact of endocrine-disrupting compounds on human reproductive health.
Balabanič D, Rupnik M, Klemenčič AK.
SourcePulp and Paper Institute, Bogišićeva ulica 8, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.

There is increasing concern about chemical pollutants that are able to mimic hormones, the so-called endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), because of their structural similarity to endogenous hormones, their ability to interact with hormone transport proteins or because of their potential to disrupt hormone metabolic pathways. Thus, the effects of endogenous hormones can be mimicked or, in some cases, completely blocked. A substantial number of environmental pollutants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, bisphenol A, pesticides, alkylphenols and heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury), have been shown to disrupt endocrine function. These compounds can cause reproductive problems by decreasing sperm count and quality, increasing the number of testicular germ cells and causing male breast cancer, cryptorchidism, hypospadias, miscarriages, endometriosis, impaired fertility, irregularities of the menstrual cycle, and infertility. Although EDCs may be released into the environment in different ways, the main sources is industrial waste water. The present paper critically reviews the current knowledge of the impact of EDCs on reproductive disorders in humans.
PMID: 21426858

*** Below courtesy Dr. LePine MD ***