‘Concerning’: Vitamin Use in Men With Prostate Cancer Increasing.
That’s a real headline that I recently came across. And I find it, well… concerning, to put it mildly.
Because here’s the thing: Sadly, most people (including even those who give us the news) only skim headlines, and won’t bother to read the actual facts behind the story to decide for themselves whether or not it makes sense.
Still, I imagine you’re wondering, like me, how men taking vitamins could ever be a problem at all. So let’s take a look as the basis behind these supposed “concerns”…
Meaningless arguments, empty concerns
A large study consisting of nearly 8,000 male participants found that well over half of men with prostate cancer use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). And this approach has increased significantly over the last decade.
Multivitamins and omega-3 fatty acids are the most popular supplements among this group. But vitamin D supplements enjoyed a dramatic increase in use, too. And I’m sorry, but wouldn’t you think that’s a good thing?
Well, according to the authors of this study, NO. Just take a look at some of their ridiculous comments:
- “Most studies that have looked at multivitamins have shown no effect on lowering cancer risk.”
- “One trial suggested that selenium and vitamin E may increase the risk of prostate cancer.”
- “One study showed that vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids had no benefit for reducing cancer death.”
I could go on, but I’ll stop there. Because guess what? They’re all meaningless arguments—here’s why…
As I’ve explained here before, prostate cancer isn’t a death sentence for most men. Plus, most of the men who get this type of cancer are older. Which means you can all but expect such patients to be on supplements.
If they’re not, I dare say they should be… and not simply to address their prostate cancer, either.
Research clearly shows that vitamin D can combat anything from depression to colon cancer—and it boosts bone health, too (just to name a few benefits). Plus, fish oil wards off heart failure. And the study on the supposed detrimental effects of artificial vitamin E has been thoroughly debunked.
Not to mention, multivitamins are good for lots of things—cancer prevention being just one of them.
Closed minds can’t collaborate
Are you concerned yet? No? Well, neither am I. Because I completely fail to see what’s alarming about any of this.
But do you know what is quite evident? The alive-and-well bias against my profession. And I have a very big problem with that—because unlike cooked up concerns over supplements, it does actual unnecessary harm to our population.
For years, my patients have been ridiculed, despised, looked down upon, and dismissed as crazy simply for telling their conventional doc that they (gasp!) take vitamins, and prefer to do things a little bit out of the box.
So when this study’s authors claim they want to “create an environment that encourages an open and collaborative dialogue that can be reconciled with conventional medicine,” I’m sorry, but I call B.S.
How can you have an open dialogue with a group of people that have never studied the medicinal use of nutritional supplements? And who continue to operate under the gravely mistaken assumption that you can get all of your nutrition solely through the foods you eat… despite plenty of evidence to the contrary?
It’s worth noting that this latest study found that supplement users are also significantly more likely to be wealthier college graduates.
That reflects an access issue more than anything else. But I think it’s about time the naysayers considered the possibility that maybe they’re the ones who need more education.
Until then, let me set the record straight by saying this: Nutritional supplements are some of your most important allies against prostate cancer, especially if you’re a “watchful waiter.”
I covered this topic in detail back in the September 2014 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“What ‘watchful waiting’ really means…and how you can make the most of it”). Subscribers have access to that article and much more in my archives. So if you haven’t yet, do your health a favor and consider signing up today.
“’Concerning’: Vitamin Use in Men With Prostate Cancer Increasing.” Medscape Medical News, 09/19/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/918688)