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J Med Food. 2010 Feb;13(1):70-6. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.0042.

Dietary zinc and prostate cancer in the TRAMP mouse model.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA. prasada@karmanos.org


Circumstantial evidence indicates that zinc may have an important role in the prostate. Total zinc levels in the prostate are 10 times higher than in other soft tissues. Zinc concentrations in prostate epithethial cancer cells are decreased significantly. Zinc supplementation for prevention and treatment of prostate cancer in humans has yielded controversial results. No studies have been reported in animal models to show the effect of zinc supplementation on prevention of prostate cancer, thus far. In this study, we have examined the effect of zinc supplementation on development of prostate cancer in a TRAMP mouse model. Results from our study indicate that dietary zinc plays an important role in prostate carcinogenesis. Tumor weights were significantly higher when the dietary zinc intake was either deficient or high in comparison to normal zinc intake level, suggesting that an optimal dietary zinc intake may play a protective role against prostate cancer. Further, our studies also showed decreased insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and IGF-1/IGF binding protein-3 ratio in normal zinc-supplemented animals, suggesting that zinc may modulate IGF-1 metabolism in relation to carcinogenesis. We conclude that optimal prostate zinc concentration has a protective role against cancer.

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