September 11, 2009
This "toxic" nutrient can stop prostate cancer in its tracks
A few weeks ago, I showed you how vitamin K2 can help prevent prostate cancer. But there's another way to stop the disease. In fact, it's a treatment I've used for years to reverse precancerous lesions.
A new study says that vitamin A may protect your prostate as much as it protects your intestines and a woman's cervix.
In this study, researchers compared 692 prostate cancer cases and 844 age-matched controls. The researchers found that those men with the highest levels of retinol (vitamin A) in their blood had a stunning 42% reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer, as compared to men in the lowest group.
The study authors concluded, "Our results suggest that higher circulating concentrations of retinol are associated with a decreased risk of aggressive prostate cancer."
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Many people think that vitamin A is beta carotene. That is incorrect. Beta carotene is actually "pro vitamin A" and can be converted by the body on demand to vitamin A. Certain plants are a rich source. It's the pigment found in carrots and other colorful vegetables. Animal sources (eggs and liver) carry actual vitamin A molecules. These are retinol compounds.
I have found supplemental doses of vitamin A are an outstanding way to reverse cellular changes on surfaces. That includes skin (outer) and intestines (inner). Now we see it helps interior cells as well (prostate). The late Dr. William Donald Kelley used potent doses of vitamin A in many of his cancer patients. Vitamin A is essential to maintain your surface cells (epithelial tissues) as physical barriers to infection. It also is closely involved in maintaining many types of immune system cells.
Vitamin A has gotten an unfair rap in recent years. Some say it's toxic. There are people who have died from acute toxicity. They ate polar bear liver or other vitamin A overloaded liver. Chronic toxicity can occur if you consume 25,000 IU per killogram of weight or more of vitamin A for a prolonged period of time. That would be over 1.25 million IU per day for an adult. That's several fold more than the upper recommended daily dose of 10,000 IU per day.
Symptoms associated with chronic toxicity are dry itchy skin, desquamation, loss of appetite, headache, cerebral edema, and bone and joint pain. You could also get nausea, blurred vision, fatigue, weight-loss, and menstrual abnormalities. Doses over 25,000 IU of vitamin A (not beta carotene) has been implicated in bone loss. It might interfere with vitamin D.ÿ I have had patients on 100,000 IU daily for months with no negative feedback, but these are supportive measures for active diseases.
At 25,000 IU per day, which is more of a preventive dose for someone at risk, I have felt comfortable with revisits only every six months or less. Understand that there is controversy over vitamin A toxicity. I suggest that if you choose to take more than 25,000 IU per day that you do so under observation of an integrative physician. If you are at risk of osteoporosis, that also needs to be followed. You can find high-quality vitamin A at most health food stores and on the Internet.
In my experience, adding folic acid drops, 5 mg three times daily to vitamin A, 100,000 IU daily for three to six months has reversed many premalignant conditions. If you are at risk of prostate cancer, take this information to your integrative physician and have him supervise your vitamin A intake. It could save your life.
Yours for better health and medical freedom,
Ref: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Apr;18(4):1227-31.