Oxidative stress refers to the genesis of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which interfere with cellular mechanisms involved in cell growth and regulation. ROS can cause DNA mutations was well as increase oncogene (cancer gene) expression and prostate markers of oxidative stress.
An undisciplined dietary habits that involve foods full of sugar and transfats, along with smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, aging and a lack of dietary antioxidants will all increase prostate oxidative stress setting the stage for PCA. The antioxidants selenium, lycopene and Vitamin E (specifically gamma tocopherol) have all been shown to reduce prostate oxidative stress and prevent PCA.
In a randomized study of 19,000 Finnish men with Vitamin E, at the end of 4 years there was a 30% reduction in PCA amongst the Vitamin E group, and a 41% reduction in PCA deaths at 6 years. A host of subsequent studies have shown Vitamin E causes aptosis (cancer cell death), cell cycle arrest and proliferation arrest in prostate cancer cell models.
Likewise a randomized trial with daily doses of 200 mcg of selenium in 1312 men found a 49% reduction in PCA after 10 years, probably due to selenium’s role in generating one of the body’s most potent antioxidants, glutathione.
Men who consume tomato-rich diets are at lower risk of PCA and cancer in general. Consuming 10 servings/week lowers PCA risk by 33% as well as preventing metastasis of PCA.
Recently, research into the “red wine molecule” aka resveratrol found it had remarkable prostate cancer cell aptosis effects. This study found PCA cells had low levels of two proteins (perforin & granzyme B) which allowed them to grow and metastasize. Adding resveratrol allowed genes in prostate cancer cells to “turn on” and kill off 97% of all PCA cells by raising the levels of these two proteins!
This is similar to how Vitamin D and curcumin operate, namely altering gene expression that leads to programmed PCA cell death.
To summarize, the antioxidants selenium, mixed tocopherols (Vitamin E), lycopene, curcumin and resveratrol reduce prostate oxidative stress and the development of PCA.