How To Lower Your PSA
Finding that your PSA has risen can be a sobering reminder of your mortality.
Most of us know that the PSA - used by urologists to detect and monitor prostate
cancer - is a very imperfect test and can be thrown off by everyday occurrences
such as sex, prostatitis and vigorous exercise. Furthermore, many men with
low PSA have been found to have existing prostate cancer.  And some men just
seem to have high PSA's for no apparent reason.
All of that said, the PSA inching up over a year or two can also indicate
prostate cancer and so it needs to be taken dead seriously instead of just being
brushed off. Below I am going to suggest some radical steps
- at least to some - to lower your PSA and,
hopefully, offer protection from prostate cancer. Before I do that, let me give you
Five Reasons You Should Try to
Lower Your PSA Asap:
1. Death. If your PSA rises, you can ignore it and say to yourself,
"Well, prostate cancer is usually slow to develop" and "I'll bet it went up
because I really worked out hard the day before." That is incredibly
dangerous thinking and the reason is simple: if you do have prostate
cancer, it can eventually metastasize. Once it spreads to the bones or
another organ, life as you have known it is forever changed. You will
almost for sure be placed on androgen deprivation therapy - the polar opposite
of HRT - and radiation and chemo may not be far beyond. Yes, it will shrink
the tumor and perhaps save your life, but it is fraught with nasty side effects.
NEWS FLASH: I used a supplement and dietary strategy to lower my PSA from a high of 6.3 to 2.0.
I tell the story in my page on How I Improved my PSA Score.
2. HRT Continuance. There is another reason that many of you
will want to protect yourself from a rising PSA: you are on HRT and
want to stay that way. Many men getting testosterone do not stop to think
about what happens if their PSA goes too high (> ~2.5) or rises too quickly in a
year (> ~1 point in a rolling 12 months). Most HRT clinics, PCP's and
endo's will require you to get "urological clearance" if that
happens and no urologist will likely clear you until you have either a) lowered your PSA or b)
stabilized your PSA with a negative biopsy. Either way you are going to
likely be months or even a couple of years off of testosterone therapy while you
try to correct the problem. Bye bye muscle. Hello classic low T
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Yes, you can pull out Morgentaler's studies and try to preach to your urologist
about how testosterone
therapy will not increase prostate cancer risk. But I can tell you that
almost for sure they will not listen.
CAUTION: Do NOT try anything on this page if you have a high PSA and/or
past/existing prostate cancer without clearing it with your urologist.
These are strictly ideas that should be discussed with him or her. Cancer
is tricky and your doctor gets paid to be up-to-date on the latest research.
Nowhere to Hide. Prostate cancer is incredibly common.
A common stat is that 1 in 6 men will develop prostate cancer. Dr. Morgentaler
has gathered evidence that low testosterone men are likely at increased risk for reasons that are poorly understood.  Furthermore, almost all of us have eaten
a Western Diet most of our lives. Fried meat - probably due to the HCA
content - is a risk factor for developing prostate cancer along with
overindulgence in dairy products, something I cover in my page on Prostate Cancer and Testosterone.
4. Reverse Prostate Cancer. Prostate cancer has been found to be in
very high percentage of men, even men with low PSA values. Dr.
Morgentaler's work shows that up to 15% of men may have latent prostate cancer.
Generally, this is not an immediate death sentence - there are nasty,
fast moving prostate cancers - because prostate cancer generally develops slowly
over years and even decades. So, if you are one of those guys, why not
arrest or even reverse that existing prostate cancer before it becomes a
life-changing and/or life-ending issue? The current solutions (in
the U.S.) are ugly: prostate removal, which is a major surgery that leaves
you with E.D. and incontinence for several months (at a minimum), radiation,
Natural Ways to Decrease PSA
A high PSA or a rising PSA is nothing but trouble. Again,
this is why I think it's important to consider some radical steps to stop or
ideally reverse existing prostate
cancer. And for those of you without latent prostate cancer, why not take
steps to prevent it from occurring in the first place considering that it is one
of the most cancers in men?
Here are some
ideas that can actually decrease your PSA:
1. Flaxseed. Many men are afraid of flaxseed, because it is high in
phytoestrogens. However, it has been widely used as a food and recent
research has provided substantial evidence that it not only can lower PSA but
also greatly protect against the spread of prostate cancer. One 2008 study
showed a 50% reduction in cancer cell proliferation from flaxseed consumption,
something I document in my page on Flaxseed and Prostate Cancer.
This same study showed that it was flaxseed that had the greatest superpowers
against prostate cancer, even more so than a Low Fat Diet. This is
important, because a 2004 study showed that a Low Fat Diet coupled with flaxseed
reduced PSA from 8.32 to 5.72. Again, most of the effect was likely from
the flaxseed as you can read on my page above.
2. IP6 (Phytic acid). Phytic acid gets a lot of bad press from the Paleo
and Low Carb communities and the reason is that it is a compound present in most
plant foods that binds tightly to (primarly) iron and zinc but also
(secondarily) to calcium and magnesium.  It is hard for your body to break
out the minerals from phytic acid and so cultures that depend heavily on high
phytic acid foods can end up with mineral deficiencies in the iron and zinc. Of
course, meat eaters love to point out that this is a big disadvantage of
vegetarian and vegan diets and you can read many pages on the web about the
importance of sprouting and fermenting your grains to avoid these deficienciues.
In my opinion, most of the concern about phytic acid is overblown. Vegetarian
and vegans, who generally consume a lot of phytic acid, have excellent health outcomes and some of the best documented
mortality rates. Furthermore, many of the underlying assumptions against
phytic acid have been called into question lately. First of all, some of the
minerals - notably zinc and iron - have been found to be neurotoxic if
consumed in overly high levels. Thus, phytic acid consumed in reasonable
quantities may actually be brain protective as Dr. Neal Bernard points out. (Elevated iron causes a host
of other problems as well, including cardiovascular.)
Most importantly to us here, phytic acid
(IP6) has also been found, at least in a couple of animal studies, to reduce prostate
cancers. Researchers believe that this may be the reason that fiber is
considered protective against prostate cancer, since IP6 is present in plant
Researchers first accomplished many studies with IP6 and various prostate cancer
tumor cell lines and later with grafted human prostate cells into mice. 
Three studies have now been done on TRAMP mice, a breed of mice that are
predisposed to prostate cancer and considered a good model for humans. A
2012 study produced the most profound results and the study authors noted a
"profound reduction in tumor size."  In other words, IP6 actually shrunk
prostate tumors in this mouse model!
What is the secret of IP6?
Researchers have found that it has many metabolic superpowers, but one of them probably lies in its
ability to lower
VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor).  Many cancers occur in the
endothelial cells of various organs. Endothelial cells refer to the lining
of the organ in question where there are fast growing cells that replace
themselves fairly rapidly, i.e. have a high turnover. This higher cell creation
can leave us vulnerable as we age to the creation of cancer cells. VEGF is
one of the body's natural chemicals that governs this and, as we age, it is
probably wise to put the brakes on VEGF for cancer protection, especially for those of those
who have lived the typical Western lifestyle with all of its toxins and heavy
oxidative load. More on this below.
Of course, what is missing is a human trial such as has been done with the
flaxseed. However, researchers are already recommending that a large human
study take place, since IP6 is without any known side effects.  I also have
not been able to find any recommended dosing levels. I can tell you that
one of the most popular IP6 supplement manufacturers recommends 1.6 grams twice
CAUTION: The only downside that I know with IP6 is that one study shows
that it slows down telomerase activity. This is similar to green tea. Slowing down telomerase
may not be good for anti-aging but does, in some cases, appear to be good for cancer protection.
3. Soy and
Tomatoes. I have been cautious about soy, because, as I document in my link
on Soy and Men, soy may have some brain-shrinking
effects (in males) due to its high phytoestrogen effects. The rebuttal to this
is that the Okinawans ate fairly high levels of soy and enjoyed incredible
longevity and health. And for prostate cancer protection, soy appears to
be a powerful food-based protective agent, especially when combined with
tomatoes. (The lycopene in tomatoes is well-known for its prostate
assisting abilities.) Better yet, these cancer-fighting abilities have
been verified in a couple of human studies. The first was a study that
looked at men with high PSA values and/or steadily increasing PSA values and
thus likely had prostate cancer. The combination of a soy isoflavone and
lycopene supplement essentially stopped any growth in the PSA, indicating that
cancer had been at least halted or stopped in its tracks. 
NOTE: Soy, at reasonable dosages, does not appreciably lower testosterone
as is often asserted per a number of studies. Soy also boost nitric oxide.
A study published the following year (2008) found even more promising results in
men that had active prostate cancer. About a third of the men had actual
reductions in PSA, indicating that the prostate cancer was actually being
reversed.  Thus, for men with active prostate cancer - and you could
very easily be one of them without even knowing it as I discussed above - this
could potentially be a life saver (and/or a sex life saver).
4. A Vegan, Low Fat Diet (Ornish Style). The flaxseed study
above as well as a genetic study by Dr. Dean Ornish showed that a Low Fat Diet
can have powerful anti-prostate cancer effects. The best evidence, though,
was a follow-up study headed by Dr. Ornish that looked at men with early stage,
diagnosed prostate cancer. He then put them on his standard Low Fat
protocol with a few additional supplements:
"a vegan diet
supplemented with soy (1 daily serving of tofu plus 58 gm of a fortified soy
protein powdered beverage),
fish oil (3 gm daily),
vitamin E (400 IU daily),
selenium (200 mcg daily),
vitamin C (2 gm daily),
moderate aerobic exercise (walking 30 minutes 6 days weekly), v
stress management techniques (gentle yoga based stretching, breathing,
meditation, imagery and progressive relaxation for a total of 60 minutes daily)
and participation in a 1-hour support group once weekly to enhance adherence to
Results were excellent. The control group's PSA rose by 6%, whereas those
following the vegan, low fat diet had a decrease in PSA of 6%.  However, the
primary change was that cultured prostate cancer cells taken from the men showed
8X less profileration than control. In other words, the ability of the
prostate cancer cells to proliferate and grow was greatly limited. NOTE: To read the whole study, check out this link.
3) Anticancer Res, 2005 Jul-Aug, 25(4):2891-903, "Prostate cancer and inositol
hexaphosphate: efficacy and mechanisms"
4) Clin Cancer Res, Jan 1 2004, 10:244, "In Vivo Suppression of
Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer Growth by Inositol Hexaphosphate: Induction
of Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein-3 and Inhibition of Vascular
Endothelial Growth Factor"
5) Cancer Prev Res, Jan 2013, 6:40, "Inositol Hexaphosphate Inhibits Tumor
Growth, Vascularity, and Metabolism in TRAMP Mice: A Multiparametric Magnetic
6) Nutrition and Cancer, 2006, 55(20), "Protection Against Cancer by Dietary IP6
7) Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 3 Nov 2006,
349(4):1361–1367, "Inositol hexaphosphate represses telomerase activity and
translocates TERT from the nucleus in mouse and human prostate cancer cells via
the deactivation of Akt and PKCα"
8) Nutrition and Cancer, 2007, 59(1), "Lycopene and Soy Isoflavones in the
Treatment of Prostate Cancer"
9) Nutrition and Cancer, 2008, 60(2), "A Combination of Tomato and Soy Products
for Men With Recurring Prostate Cancer and Rising Prostate Specific Antigen"
10) The Journal of Urology, Sep 2005, 174(3):1065-1070, "INTENSIVE LIFESTYLE
CHANGES MAY AFFECT THE PROGRESSION OF PROSTATE CANCER"
11) J of Urology, Sep 2005, 174:1065-1070, "INTENSIVE LIFESTYLE CHANGES MAY
AFFECT THE PROGRESSION OF PROSTATE CANCER"