Men, if you’ve ever taken prostate supplements, you’ve likely come across saw palmetto, vitamin D, and vitamin E. Which are all great ways to support your overall prostate health.
But what you may not have come across are three natural minerals that can actually help prevent prostate cancer. These minerals are so powerful, Dr. Marc Micozzi calls them “nature’s hidden gifts for supporting prostate health.”
Today, I’ll explain how these three minerals put up a strong defense against prostate cancer—and how you can easily add them to your diet.
Good news: You can use your saltshaker again
First up is iodine.
You can easily get a daily dose of 150 micrograms of iodine (Dr. Micozzi’s recommendation) by eating fresh, wild-caught saltwater fish (halibut, mahi-mahi, Pacific wild-caught salmon, sea bass, and yellowfin tuna) and seafood (like crabs, oysters, scallops, and shrimp).
But one more source comes with controversy: salt.
Dr. Micozzi explains, “Adding iodine to salt was a big solution to the problem of iodine deficiency once upon a time. And that solved the problem. Iodine deficiency used to be pretty rare, but thanks to the government’s war on salt, it’s now back with a vengeance.” And that spells BIG trouble for your prostate. Research confirms there’s a clear link between iodine deficiency and prostate cancer.
Dr. Micozzi’s recommendation? Don’t fear the saltshaker. Simply salting your food at dinner can help protect your prostate health.
Sardines are your prostate’s best friend
Next up is selenium.
Dr. Micozzi cites a review where researchers analyzed 17 selenium studies. They concluded that sufficiently high selenium levels were linked with an impressive 22 percent reduced risk of prostate cancer.
Dr. Micozzi was part of the National Institutes of Health team that determined 100 micrograms of selenium per day offers significant prostate cancer protection. And that dose still stands as his recommendation for daily intake.
If you take a multivitamin with minerals, you might already get enough selenium. But in addition, Dr. Micozzi recommends eating sardines, which are dense with key nutrients, including selenium and a generous helping of omega-3 fatty acids.
You also get selenium from meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. But the most potent source by far is Brazil nuts. Just two or three nuts per day and you’ll easily reach 100 micrograms.
Surprising dangers in calcium supplements
Our final mineral today—calcium—is essential but poses some problems when it comes to supplementation.
Dr. Micozzi cites evidence that shows dietary calcium plays a role as a cancer preventive, and that includes prostate cancer. But he adds that supplemental calcium is a different story. He cites four reasons he doesn’t recommend calcium supplements:
- Your risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease actually increases when intake from calcium supplements is too high.
- Calcium supplements can prompt an adverse effect on the hormone production of your thyroid gland.
- Excess calcium interferes with your absorption of other minerals.
- Calcium supplementation can interfere with the effectiveness of certain antibiotics.
Instead of calcium supplements, Dr. Micozzi recommends adding calcium-rich foods to your diet. These foods include beans, dairy, dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards, and bok choy), oranges, meat, seafood, and sesame and chia seeds.
And he adds, “You don’t need much. Just one cup of milk or yogurt provides 300 to 400 mg of calcium, or about a third of your daily requirement.”
Dr. Micozzi has one more critical note about minerals and prostate cancer which you can find in his Insider’s Ultimate Guide to Perfect Prostate Health.
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“Serum selenium levels and prostate cancer risk” Medicine 2017; 96(5): e5944. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000005944