When a specific female hormone known as estrogen is abnormally metabolized, the gene expression of the male can be altered and change key intracellular signaling sequences that may result in abnormal cell growth as well as endothelial damage that, in turn can lead to high cholesterol levels due to vasoconstriction. This means that an abundance of estrogen can damage a man’s DNA making cells cancerous and activate tumor-cell stimulators. Abnormally metabolized estrogen in women can lead to cancer of the ovaries, breast and uterus, while for men it can lead to cancer of the prostate. In 2012, the Molecular Cell Endocrinology published a news article regarding testosterone being able to be transmuted to estradiol via aromatase in the prostate, endothelial , breast and fat cells. In Chicago, the University of Illinois performed an experiment involving estradiol given to lab rats. The development of prostate cancer markedly rose among male rats. Even with a short course of estrogen therapy, the rise of prostate cancer in these animals was noted.
The development of prostate cancer almost exclusively involved only older people four decades ago. About half of men who are 80 years of age and above showed an enlarged prostate although it should be noted that most of these men do not die because of prostate cancer since they don’t usually suffer from an imbalance of their testosterone and estrogen levels. Certain men do go on to develop prostate cancer while others do not. This way testosterone is metabolized will determine if you go on to develop prostate cancer or not. 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone can metabolize testosterone. This is a chemical that cannot be aromatized to estrogen which means it does not contribute to prostate cancer. If an enzyme known as aromatase converts a huge amount of testosterone to estrogen, it can result in the occurrence of prostate cancer. We now see that testosterone is not the culprit itself but instead the way it is metabolized causes the development of prostate cancer. The receptors of estrogen are expressed in the prostate and can determine the way testosterone is metabolized. The aforementioned rat experiment showed that in prostate of the rats, estrogen therapy can cause damage to the DNA; this unexplained outcome can arise before the development of cancer. In a book entitled “Prostate,” the overexpression of aromatase can cause the production abnormal estrogen in situ and induce or contribute to the rise of prostatic disorders in men.
These days, a growing number of young men are starting to be diagnosed with benign enlargement of the prostate and even prostate cancer. Some of them are hardly in their 40s or 50s. It is suspected that excessive and/or daily consumption of simple sugars or processed foods, foods that are often turned into fat because of a sedentary life style can contribute to this disease. A surge in insulin can occur from eating simple sugars and this can lead to inflammation. Intake of more fat implies more testosterone that is tuned into estrogen via aromatase. Inflammation, lack of exercise, stress and abnormal level of estrogen can contribute to bad gene expression. Regular alcohol consumption does not only lead to impotence as it can lower the levels of testosterone, it also boosts the aromatase activity that can result in increased intracellular estrogen conversion from testosterone.
How can acupuncture prevent or resolve prostate cancer?
Acupuncture is a procedure that balances and boosts your immune system. A strong immune system can alleviate inflammation, which greatly reduces the risk of cancer development. Acupuncture also can alter your metabolism by upgrading the function of your thyroid and digestive system. So, when consuming foods, your body produces more heat and energy (instead of storing the calories) making it more efficient which equates to less estrogen, less fat and less gene mutation. Acupuncture is a stress-reducing therapy that can help relieve anxiety, improve sleep and enhance the body’s natural killer-cell activity, which is very important during radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Acupuncture is also a way to release natural feel-good chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, GABA, etc.) in your bloodstream helping you feel relaxed and good.
Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.