Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in U.S. males. Eighteen studies found that saw palmetto supplements
cut nighttime urination problems in middle- and old-age males and reduced prostate size by 25 percent. Prostate cells grow in response to
high levels of testosterone and IGF-1 (a powerful tissue growth factor). Growth hormone and testosterone supplements increase IGF-1 levels,
so many bodybuilders are at increased risk of prostate enlargement and cancer. Saw palmetto modifies the effects of IGF-1 on growth of the
Other nutritional strategies reduce the risk of prostate problems, as well. Studies have shown that foods and supplements containing vitamin E and selenium offer some protection against the disease. Likewise, people who habitually ate three servings of fruits and vegetables a day had a 48 percent lower chance of developing the disease than people who ate one serving or less per day. Broccoli and cauliflower are the best vegetables for preventing prostate cancer. High-fat diets promote the disease. Experts disagree about the value of yearly testing for middle-age men.
However, most still recommend that men over 50 should have a yearly PSA (prostate specific antigen) test combined with a digital rectal exam. High-risk men (African-Americans or family history) should be screened as early as 40.