Dr. Ron’s Research Review – March 1, 2010


This week’s research review has a review article on BHRT and several articles on cancer.


Bioidentical Hormone Replacement: Guiding Principles for Practice

By Tracy Marsden, BScPharm, DHPh http://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/


Prostate cancer prevention by nutritional means to alleviate metabolic syndrome

            (Barnard 2007) Download

In 1987 when Reaven introduced syndrome X (metabolic syndrome, or MS), we were studying skeletal muscle insulin resistance and found that when rodents were fed a high-fat, refined-sugar (HFS) diet, insulin resistance developed along with aspects of MS, including hyperinsulinemia, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, and obesity. MS was controlled in rodents by switching them to a low-fat, starch diet and was controlled in humans with a low-fat starch diet and daily exercise (Pritikin Program). Others reported inverse relations between serum insulin and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). When subjects were placed on the Pritikin Program, insulin fell and SHBG rose and it was suggested that prostate cancer might also be an aspect of MS. A bioassay was developed with tumor cell lines grown in culture and stimulated with serum before and after a diet and exercise intervention. Diet and exercise altered serum factors that slowed the growth rate and induced apoptosis in androgen-dependent prostate cancer cells. Changes in serum with diet and exercise that might be important include reductions in insulin, estradiol, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), and free testosterone with increases in SHBG and IGF binding protein-1. Hyperinsulinemia stimulates liver production of IGF-I, plays a role in the promotion of prostate cancer, and thus is the cornerstone for both MS and prostate cancer. Adopting a low-fat starch diet with daily exercise controls MS and should reduce the risk of prostate cancer.



Nutraceuticals and prostate cancer prevention: a current review

            (Trottier, Bostrom et al. 2010) Download

Nutraceuticals are 'natural' substances isolated or purified from food substances and used in a medicinal fashion. Several naturally derived food substances have been studied in prostate cancer in an attempt to identify natural preventative therapies for this disease. Vitamin E, selenium, vitamin D, green tea, soy, and lycopene have all been examined in human studies. Other potential nutraceuticals that lack human data, most notably pomegranate, might also have a preventative role in this disease. Unfortunately, most of the literature involving nutraceuticals in prostate cancer is epidemiological and retrospective. The paucity of randomized control trial evidence for the majority of these substances creates difficulty in making clinical recommendations particularly when most of the compounds have no evidence of toxicity and occur naturally. Despite these shortcomings, this area of prostate cancer prevention is still under intense investigation. We believe many of these 'natural' compounds have therapeutic potential and anticipate future studies will consist of well-designed clinical trials assessing combinations of compounds concurrently.


Natural compounds with proteasome inhibitory activity for cancer prevention and treatment

            (Yang, Landis-Piwowar et al. 2008) Download

The proteasome is a multicatalytic protease complex that degrades most endogenous proteins including misfolded or damaged proteins to ensure normal cellular function. The ubiquitin-proteasome degradation pathway plays an essential role in multiple cellular processes, including cell cycle progression, proliferation, apoptosis and angiogenesis. It has been shown that human cancer cells are more sensitive to proteasome inhibition than normal cells, indicating that a proteasome inhibitor could be used as a novel anticancer drug. Indeed, this idea has been supported by the encouraging results of the clinical trials using the proteasome inhibitor Bortezomib (Velcade, PS-341), a drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Several natural compounds, including the microbial metabolite lactacystin, green tea polyphenols, and traditional medicinal triterpenes, have been shown to be potent proteasome inhibitors. These findings suggest the potential use of natural proteasome inhibitors as not only chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agents, but also tumor sensitizers to conventional radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In this review, we will summarize the structures and biological activities of the proteasome and several natural compounds with proteasome inhibitory activity, and will discuss the potential use of these compounds for the prevention and treatment of human cancers.





Barnard, R. J. (2007). "Prostate cancer prevention by nutritional means to alleviate metabolic syndrome." Am J Clin Nutr 86(3): s889-93.

Trottier, G., P. J. Bostrom, et al. (2010). "Nutraceuticals and prostate cancer prevention: a current review." Nat Rev Urol 7(1): 21-30.

Yang, H., K. R. Landis-Piwowar, et al. (2008). "Natural compounds with proteasome inhibitory activity for cancer prevention and treatment." Curr Protein Pept Sci 9(3): 227-39.