Cancer Treatment: Why a Vegetarian Diet Helps

Hi, I’m Dr. Scholz. Let’s talk about prostate
cancer. In this video, we’re going to cover dietary
practices for prostate cancer patients. I’m not going to try and cover the specifics of
what type of diet. I’m going to talk about a general overriding principle, a fairly simple
concept, and then there’s tons of information you can pursue to learn more about the details. The overriding principle for prostate cancer
patients is vegetarianism, vegan diets, avoidance of animal products in the diet. And I contend
that it’s very hard to change your diet and you’re going to need to have a good strong
basis for why you’re doing this to be able to carry through and be consistent. There’s three broad lines of evidence that
all point towards vegan diets for prostate cancer patients. The first is my own personal
experience with patients in my early practice who would come to me with a passion for going
on a diet to treat their prostate cancer. It’s not at all unusual; what’s unusual is
that prostate cancer can be monitored with PSA testing and you can actually see whether
or not there’s an impact. Men who have rising PSAs after surgery, for example, can have
their PSA levels plotted out in a sequential fashion and you can see the growth rate of
the tumor when it’s untreated. I was rather surprised when men would go on strong vegan
diets or macrobiotic diets and their PSAs, which had previously been rising in a steady
consistent fashion would stop rising—quickly, within a month—and level off and remain
stable as long as they were faithful with their diets. At the same time, these diets
were so stringent that the men would lose weight, and I discovered that people who were
claiming to be on vegetarian diets and weren’t losing weight didn’t see much impact on their
PSA levels. Prior to patients approaching their prostate cancer this way, I was not
a believer, but consistent outcomes like I just described to you changed my thinking
about how diet impacts prostate cancer. The second thing that has reaffirmed this
belief that vegetarianism has an inhibitory effect on prostate cancer growth has to do
with the metabolic nature of prostate cancer, which is rather different from other types
of cancers. Almost everybody’s heard that you’re supposed to avoid sugar when you have
cancer. This is based on some results from what we call PET scans (positron emission
tomography scans) where people with say lung cancer or pancreas cancer or lymphoma get
a radioactive sugar injected into their bloodstream and they’re scanned to where the radioactive
sugar concentrates. Well, it concentrates avidly in the tumors—within minutes—so that
admonition to avoid sugar if you have one of those other cancer types is very reasonable.
Interestingly, with prostate cancer, if you inject radioactive sugar into the system,
the prostate cancer couldn’t care less. It does not concentrate sugar the way other tumors
do. But relatively new technology using radioactive fats (C11 acetate and choline PET scans) or
protein (Axumin PET scans) show that prostate cancer feeds on both fats and amino acids—direct
derivatives of animal products. So, when people go with a vegetarian type diet, they are avoiding
the types of amino acids and proteins that are typical in animal tissue and that’s what
prostate cancer cells are made out of. This is a very good explanation for why these vegan
diets are causing an inhibitory effect on the growth of prostate cancer cells as reflected
in how fast the PSA is rising. There’s a third line of evidence that says
the exact same thing, and this has to do with a book written by Dr. Colin Campbell called
“The China Study.” [It is based on] extensive multi-million dollar research in China looking
at dietary patterns in all cancers including prostate cancer. Dr. Campbell’s studies show
that the regions of China where people were eating very small amounts of animal protein
has much lower cancer rates including prostate cancer. These studies, again, were not designed
to answer this question, they were just looking, generally speaking, at dietary patterns and
this is what they discovered. The lower the amount of animal protein intake, the lower
the incidence of cancers including prostate cancer. So three separate lines of evidence all point
towards avoiding animal protein for patients who have prostate cancer. So is this something
that everyone with prostate cancer has to do? We have to remember that there are many
types of indolent low-grade prostate cancers that don’t even behave like cancers. I think
it’s a little bit overboard to say that someone has to radically alter their lifestyle for
the management of these Gleason 6 tumors for men on active surveillance. But the other,
more advanced—the Royal stage of prostate cancer—when people have metastatic disease,
I think it makes a lot of sense to take diet seriously and do your best to avoid animal
protein intake altogether.

7 thoughts on “Cancer Treatment: Why a Vegetarian Diet Helps

  1. As someone with advanced prostate cancer ie Royal should I be eating sockeye salmon fillets for the Omega-3? In other words, are ALL animal products to be shunned??
    Thanks for all your great videos. I'm wading through them and find them VERY informative.

  2. Well, if drinking just only watet can enable us to live a little bit longer, should we all do it? Is it life to go without having fun just to live a little bit longer?

  3. Prostate Cancer Medicinal Mushrooms

    Chemopreventive Effect of PSP Through Targeting of Prostate Cancer Stem Cell-Like Population

    Sze-Ue Luk, Terence Kin-Wah Lee, […], and Ming-Tat Ling

    Additional article information


    Recent evidence suggested that prostate cancer stem/progenitor cells (CSC) are responsible for cancer initiation as well as disease progression. Unfortunately, conventional therapies are only effective in targeting the more differentiated cancer cells and spare the CSCs. Here, we report that PSP, an active component extracted from the mushroom Turkey tail (also known as Coriolus versicolor), is effective in targeting prostate CSCs. We found that treatment of the prostate cancer cell line PC-3 with PSP led to the down-regulation of CSC markers (CD133 and CD44) in a time and dose-dependent manner. Meanwhile, PSP treatment not only suppressed the ability of PC-3 cells to form prostaspheres under non-adherent culture conditions, but also inhibited their tumorigenicity in vivo, further proving that PSP can suppress prostate CSC properties. To investigate if the anti-CSC effect of PSP may lead to prostate cancer chemoprevention, transgenic mice (TgMAP) that spontaneously develop prostate tumors were orally fed with PSP for 20 weeks. Whereas 100% of the mice that fed with water only developed prostate tumors at the end of experiment, no tumors could be found in any of the mice fed with PSP, suggesting that PSP treatment can completely inhibit prostate tumor formation. Our results not only demonstrated the intriguing anti-CSC effect of PSP, but also revealed, for the first time, the surprising chemopreventive property of oral PSP consumption against prostate cancer.


    Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common male malignancy in western countries and represents a major disease burden in the world. When diagnosed at an advanced stage where surgery is no longer feasible, the only frontline treatment available is hormone ablation therapy. Unfortunately, the majority of PCa patients eventually relapse and develop hormone refractory PCa (HRPC), a fatal and terminal stage regarded as incurable [1].

    Chemoprevention is an ideal strategy for battling prostate cancer, and a number of chemotherapeutic agents or natural food supplements are currently being tested for their potential of inhibiting prostate cancer development. For example, finasteride, a 5-alpha reductase specific inhibitor, has been shown to reduce prostate cancer incidence by 25% in a clinical trial [2]. Similarly, dutasteride, an analog of finasteride, was also reported to significantly inhibit prostate cancer development [3]. Despite of the promising result, the side-effects associated with the finasteride treatment remains the major concern for it to be used widely for prostate chemoprevention. Therefore, bioactive food compounds such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate or resveratrol [4], [5], [6] represents an attractive alternative for prostate cancer chemoprevention, mainly due to their relatively low toxicity. Unfortunately, most of the previous studies have produced inconclusive results regarding their chemopreventive potential.

  4. Just be careful which vegetables and plants you eat, or so says the Urology Clinic of Virginia… You should know. 

    The Damaging Effects of Oxalates on the Human Body

    Visit the Mercola Video Library

    Story at-a-glance –

    Oxalic acid or oxalates are very tiny molecules that bind minerals like calcium and form crystals. It is found in a variety of seeds, nuts and many vegetables. It’s only two carbons and four oxygen molecules. It’s a highly reactive compound that is attracted to positively charged minerals

    Oxalates not only can cause kidney stones (calcium oxalate kidney stones) but also may be responsible for a wide variety of other health problems related to inflammation, auto-immunity, mitochondrial dysfunction, mineral balance, connective tissue integrity, urinary tract issues and poor gut function

    Oxalic acid can harm glandular function, connective tissue function, neurological function and the function of the tissues of excretion, particularly the kidneys and bladder

    Having a damaged gut lining will increase your absorption of oxalates. An inflamed or damaged gut lining is a very common problem, thanks to frequent antibiotic use and the presence of a number of chemicals in our food supply, including glyphosate. Other plant compounds such as phytates and lectins (such as gluten) can worsen gut health and exacerbate the impact of oxalates

    Tissue destruction, fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are all issues that can be related to oxalates

    Sally Norton,1 who has studied nutrition and has a graduate degree in public health, is one of the leading experts on oxalate poisoning — a topic you don’t hear much about. Chances are you may never have heard about oxalates, or have any idea why they might matter.

    As is often the case with experts in any health field, her expertise is an outgrowth of her personal struggles with health problems that didn’t respond to more conventional treatments, including healthy living (Norton was a vegetarian for 16 years).

    “Like so many other people who are now discovering this, I was the kind of person who, no matter what I did, I could not create the vibrant robust health that I felt that I wanted, that I felt was intended for me to have.

    It was just perpetual frustration, which is kind of amazing because the more you try to be healthy, the less it works — even when you’ve got a degree in nutrition from Cornell University and a degree in public health.

    I worked in integrative medicine and knew all the holistic and complementary healing modalities … Here I was, the health expert who was not healthy …

    The Vulvar Pain (VP) Foundation started educating people 25 years ago and making a big effort to get foods properly tested to know about oxalates in food because the story here is that we’re eating foods that are full of a toxin called oxalate …

    We’re not paying attention to how this chemical’s affecting our physiology … [Oxalate] is a natural chemical that plants make, and we even make oxalate in our own metabolism.”

    Chances are, if you have heard of oxalates, you’ve heard of them in relation to calcium oxalate kidney stones. A vast majority of the scientific information available on oxalate refers to this. However, while it certainly contributes to kidney stones, it can also have other detrimental health effects.

    Interestingly, from the 1850s through the early 1900s, oxalate poisoning was well-recognized. Back then, it was referred to as oxalic acid diathesis. It was known to be a seasonal problem that got worse in the spring and summer, when fresh greens were available, when people’s oxalate consumption would go up.

    Unfortunately, it has since gotten lost and left out of clinical science. As noted by Norton, there’s scientific evidence showing oxalic acid can harm glandular function, connective tissue function, neurological function and the function of excretion routes, particularly the kidneys.

    Oxalate 101

    Oxalic acid or oxalates are tiny molecules found in a variety of seeds, nuts and vegetables. It’s only two carbons and four oxygen molecules. It’s a highly reactive compound that is attracted to positively charged minerals. Norton explains:

    “Calcium has a particular love of oxalate, and vice versa. The two of them seek each other out quite easily. We often see very abundantly the calcium oxalate form of oxalate. We see it in the plants. The plants form crystals and have the smaller individual ions and nanocrystals.

    But they do form these bigger constructions, these kinds of plant pyramids, rocks and sticks and diamonds and things that the plants make, probably deliberately for many … plants are making use of oxalate for self-defense.

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