Estrogen, Testosterone Acupuncture, and Prostate Cancer

Dr. John Lee said estrogen can be the angel of the life and the angel of the death. When estrogen is metabolized abnormally, it can modify the gene expression and alter important intracellular signaling sequences, that promote abnormal cell growth and endothelial damage by creating the vasoconstriction and high cholesterol. Thus too much estrogen can be a weak DNA damaging (genotoxic) carcinogen and stimulate tumor-cell activators. For women, abnormally metabolized estrogen can lead to uterus, breast and ovarian cancer, for men, prostate cancer. A new article published in Molecular Cell Endocrinology in 2012 explained that testosterone can be metabolized to estradiol by aromatase in the fat cells, breast cells, endothelial cells and prostate cells. Dr. Bosland MC of U. of Illinois at Chicago did experiment in which estradiol is applied to the rats, prostate cancer incidence is markedly increased and even a short course of estrogen treatment results in a high incidence of prostate cancer.

In the old time, prostate cancer usually was more common in older people. By age of eighty years old, more than 50% percent of men may have enlarged prostate. But most older men do not die of prostate cancer, because they do not have imbalanced estrogen and testosterone. Why some men develop prostate cancer, while others do not. This depends how the testosterone is metabolized. The testosterone can be metabolized to 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone which cannot be aromatized to estrogen and hardly induces prostate cancer. On the other hand, if too much testosterone is converted by an enzyme called aromatase, into estrogen, it may lead to prostate cancer. Therefore it is not testosterone itself but how it is metabolized that leads to prostate cancer. Estrogen receptors are expressed in the prostate and may mediate which direction the testosterone can be metabolized. In the rat prostate, DNA damage can result from estrogen treatment; This phenomenon can occur prior to cancer development and at exactly the same location. Masayoshi Hiramatsu et al. suggested in a book called Prostate, that overexpression of aromatase, possibly attributable to abnormal gene regulation, may result in abnormal estrogen production in situ and play a role in the induction or development of human prostatic disorders.

Why are more and more younger men diagnosed with benign prostate enlargement and prostate cancer even in their forties or fifties? Because as a society, we eat more and more processed food or simple sugar every day, which can be converted into fat due to our sedentary lifestyle. Simple sugars can lead to an insulin surge, which causes inflammation. More fat means more testosterone can be converted into estrogen by aromatase. An abnormal level of estrogen, stress, lack of exercises and inflammation together can turn on bad gene expression. Drinking alcohol regularly may not only cause impotence due to lowered level of testosterone but also increase the activity of aromatase abnormally, which lead to more intracellular estrogen production from testosterone.

How does acupuncture help prevent or treat prostate cancer? First acupuncture can balance your immune function to reduce general inflammation, which is closely related with cancer development. Secondly, acupuncture can change the way you metabolize by improving your digestive and thyroid function. So when you eat certain foods, instead of storing all the calories as fat, you produce more energy and heat to let your body work more efficiently. Less fat, less estrogen, and less gene mutation. Thirdly, acupuncture can reduce stress improving your sleep, reducing, anxiety and enhancing natural killer cell activity, which is critical during chemo- and radiation therapy treatment. Fourthly, acupuncture helps your body produce more feel-good hormones, such as GABA, Serotonin, and Dopamine, so you do not have to drink alcohol to feel good and relax.