There may be a link between lower cholesterol levels and prostate cancer prevention, researchers from Boston have announced.
A team of scientists from Children’s Hospital fed mice a high fat/high cholesterol "Western" diet and found that high cholesterol level promoted prostate tumor growth.
They then tested an anti-cholesterol medication on the mice and found that it blocked the cholesterol-induced growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis).
According to the researchers, this suggests that reducing cholesterol levels may inhibit prostate cancer growth specifically by inhibiting tumor angiogenesis.
"We are in the process of working with clinicians to translate these findings into potential human studies," says Dr. Michael Freeman, senior author of the study.
He adds, "If we can demonstrate the effects noted in our pre-clinical studies in human patients we may be able to save lives and improve the quality of life."
Besides anti-cholesterol drugs, there are also numerous natural methods that can help patients at risk, including regular exercise and nutritional supplements.
Such supplements include niacin, omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil and red yeast rice extract, many of which have the dual benefit of reducing LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, and increasing the levels of the healthy HDL.