Is Almond Milk Good for Prostate Health?

Almond milk has gained popularity in recent years as a plant based milk alternative. 

Some say cow’s milk may be harmful for prostate health and many have switched to almond milk. 

But, is almond milk good for prostate health? Let’s find out!

Understanding Prostate Health

Prostate health plays a big role in men’s health and quality of life. 

Explanation of the Prostate Gland and its Functions

The prostate gland, a walnut-sized organ located just below the bladder and surrounding the urethra, plays a vital role in men’s reproductive and urinary health.

As men age, changes in the prostate gland, such as enlargement or inflammation, can lead to various urinary symptoms and other prostate health issues.

Common Prostate Health Issues and Their Significance

The prostate gland, though small in size, plays a crucial role in men’s health. However, various factors such as age, genetics, and lifestyle choices can lead to the development of prostate health issues.

Understanding these common problems is essential for maintaining overall well-being and addressing any concerns promptly.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer is one of the most common cancers among men. 

Early-stage prostate cancer may not cause noticeable symptoms, making regular screening crucial for early detection.

Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer may include urinary problems, blood in the urine or semen, erectile dysfunction, and bone pain.

Treatment options for prostate cancer vary depending on factors such as the stage of cancer, overall health, and personal preferences. They may include active surveillance, surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy.

Prostatitis

Prostatitis is also known as prostate inflammation.

It can cause symptoms such as pelvic pain, discomfort during urination, urinary frequency, and sexual dysfunction.

Prostatitis can be acute or chronic and may result from bacterial infection, autoimmune disorders, or other factors.

Prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are essential to manage symptoms and prevent complications.

BPH

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlarged prostate. 

Symptoms may include frequent urination, urgency, weak urine flow, and incomplete bladder emptying.

While BPH is not cancerous, it can significantly impact quality of life and may require medical intervention, such as medication or surgery, in severe cases.

Other Concerns

In addition to BPH, prostatitis, and prostate cancer, men may experience other prostate-related concerns such as urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, and erectile dysfunction.

These issues can impact quality of life and require proper diagnosis and management by healthcare professionals.

Nutrition and Prostate Health

Diet and nutrition are often overlooked when it comes to prostate health. Few people understand the significance of their food intake and the effect on prostate (and overall) health.

As a Registered Dietitian, it’s become my mission to spread the word on diet and prostate health. 

A great place to start is downloading my free Grocery Guide for Prostate Health which outlines the best foods to include in your diet for best prostate health. 

Nutrition can help with symptoms of prostate conditions including BPH, prostate cancer, and prostatitis. As well as, aid in prevention of prostate issues. 

Food can help with inflammation, protect the prostate, and aid in cancer prevention. Additionally, nutrition plays a significant role in prostate cancer management. 

Overall, adopting a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods and making healthy lifestyle choices can play a significant role in supporting prostate health.

Almonds and Prostate Health

Almonds are a heart healthy snack that can support prostate health.

This nut contains fiber, protein, and healthy fat. They are also a great source of vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese. 

Additionally, they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

There is also some evidence that suggests frequent nut consumption is associated with improved survival outcomes among patients with colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer.

A small portion of almonds provides a lot of nutrients. 

Almonds are recommended as part of an overall healthy diet and help in cancer prevention.

So, almonds are good for prostate health, but is almond milk?

Almond Milk Nutrition Profile

Now that we’ve cover the health benefits of almonds, let’s dive into almond milk.

How is Almond Milk Made?

Almond milk is made by soaking almonds and then mixing them with water. The mixture then gets filtered. Companies sometimes add flavoring and sweeteners to improve flavor. They may also include stabilizers and preservatives to extend the shelf life of the milk.  

It is also possible to make almond milk at home. You will need a high quality blender such as a Ninja or Vitamix.

Nutrition Facts

So, does almond milk contain as many vitamins as whole almonds? They both have different nutritional benefits. 

As stated above, almonds contain fiber, vitamin E, healthy fat, protein, magnesium, and manganese.

Almond milk offers numerous vitamins and minerals. It includes calcium, vitamin D, and potassium. 

Specifically, almond milk is high in Vitamin E (similar to almonds). 

almond milk nutrition facts per 1 cup:
60 calories, total fat 2.5g, saturated fat: 0g, trans fat 0g, polyunsaturated fat 0.5g, monounsaturated fat 1.5g, cholesterol 0mg, sodium 150mg, total carbohydrate 8g, dietary fiber 0g, total sugars 7g, protein 1g, vitamin D 2mcg, calcium 470mcg, iron 0.5mg, potassium 0mg, vitamin a 140mcg, vitamin E 4mg, magnesium 15mg. per silk original.

Per Silk Original*

Almond Milk vs. Dairy Milk

Almond milk and dairy milk offer nutritional benefits. 

Both milks provide potassium, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D. Of course, there are some differences. 

Almond Milk

Benefits: Unsweetened almond milk is lower calorie. It has a similar nutrient profile to cow’s milk but offers more vitamin E and less sugar.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may help prevent cancer. It can also support heart, brain, eye, and skin health.

Limitations: Almond milk in its most natural form is missing a lot of the vitamins dairy milk provides. However, most manufacturers add these vitamins to mimic cows milk .

Cow’s Milk 

Benefits: Cow’s milk is typically lower in sodium and higher in protein, compared to almond milk. Additionally, cow’s milk typically offers more riboflavin and phosphorus. 

Limitations: Cow’s milk is higher in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar.

Dairy and Other Plant Based Alternatives

There are numerous forms of dairy milk and plant based milk alternatives aside from almond milk. 

Dairy milk can include: 

  • Whole Milk 
  • 2% Milk
  • 1% Milk
  • Skim Milk

Plant Based Milk Alternatives:

  • Soy Milk
  • Cashew Milk
  • Oat Milk
  • Flax Seed Milk
  • Coconut Milk

Dairy and Prostate Health

Next, we’ll focus on dairy and prostate health. 

Some studies suggest that dairy may increase risk of prostate cancer.

First, some research indicates high intakes of dairy products, milk, low-fat milk, cheese, and total, dietary, and dairy calcium may increase prostate cancer risk. In other words, they believe diets high in dairy increase chance of prostate cancer.

Per The World Journal of Men’s Health, there is a link between milk consumption and increased risk of prostate cancer. They attempted to determine if whole milk or skim milk were linked to prostate cancer. They state: 

“While some studies found correlation between increased risk for prostate cancer and high fat content in the milk, others suggested that the non-fat components of the milk may be associated with the higher risk for the prostate cancer. Milk and dairy product are components of Western diet and it is possible that the increased risk for development of prostate cancer is related not to milk and dairy products in particular, but to overall carcinogenic effects of western diet.” 

They conclude with the need for more research to determine the reliability.

Likewise, a meta analysis found a positive association between milk consumption and prostate cancer. However, they are unsure if this is due to the hormones, fat, and/or calcium. A different study showed an association between higher calcium intake and prostate cancer.

Next, Nutrition and Cancer conducted a study on cow’s milk and prostate cancer cells. This study was conducted in vitro aka in a petri dish. 

They state: “cows’ milk stimulated the growth of LNCaP prostate cancer cells in each of 14 separate experiments, producing an average increase in growth rate of over 30%. In contrast, almond milk suppressed the growth of these cells by over 30%.” 

In other words, cow’s milk increased prostate cancer cells while almond milk decreased prostate cancer cells. However, it is unclear if this has the same effect in humans.

On the other hand, a study from Food and Nutrition Research suggests that intake of milk and dairy products may result in weight loss and possible decreased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, evidence of reduced or increased risk of developing prostate cancer was inconsistent.

Lastly, a study was conducted on men and dairy intake after prostate cancer diagnosis. Higher intake of dairy foods may be linked to increased mortality. High fat dairy showed a slightly stronger correlation compared to low fat dairy.

Overall, it seems the research shows high dairy intake may lead to increased risk of prostate cancer and worse outcomes after diagnosis. However, numerous studies show different conclusions. Therefore, there is no definitive recommendation at this time.

In general, scientific studies are not always perfect and more research is needed to determine if milk can contribute to prostate cancer or worsen prostate cancer.

Soy Milk

Some research suggests that soy and soy products may have protective effects against prostate cancer. 

This hypothesis comes from men in Japan having a low prostate cancer incidence, especially compared to the United States. The traditional Japanese diet is high in soy from foods like tofu and natto. 

One study found an association between consumption of fish and soy based products and decreased risk of prostate cancer. 

Consumption of fish and natto showed significantly decreasing trends for risk.

So, when looking for a dairy alternative, don’t skip on soy milk!

Role of Almond Milk in Prostate Health

Almond milk can be a part of a healthy prostate diet.

Benefits: 

  • Lower in sugar and calories
  • Provides vitamin E
  • Dairy free

As stated above, vitamin E may have a protective effect while dairy may lead to increased risk of prostate cancer.

Limitations: 

  • Less protein compared to cow’s milk
  • Association between calcium and prostate cancer is still unclear

Scientific Research Recap

To recap the above, dairy may increase prostate cancer risk but the research is not certain at this time.

The World Cancer and Research Fund states the following.

  • Being overweight or obese increases risk of advanced prostate cancer
  • Higher consumption of dairy may increase risk of prostate cancer
  • Diets high in calcium might increase risk of prostate cancer
  • Lower vitamin E in the blood might increase risk of prostate cancer 

So, higher dairy consumption may increase risk of prostate cancer and low vitamin E (found in almond milk) may also increase risk.

As stated above, more research is needed to determine a definitive link between dairy and prostate cancer.

Dietary Recommendations for Prostate Health

An overall healthy diet is recommended for prostate health. This includes regular consumption of fruits, vegetables, healthy fat, whole grains, and lean protein. Plus, monitoring intake of foods high in saturated fat and sugar such as processed meat and baked goods.

It is worth noting that an overweight or obese BMI can be a risk factor for prostate issues.

Additionally, there is an association between a plant based diet and lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer. A plant based diet can include cow’s milk but many may choose a plant based alternative. Plant based foods can include fruits, vegetables, plant based protein, nuts, seeds, and grains.

Similarly, there is a correlation between the Mediterranean Diet and lower risk mortality in prostate cancer patients. The Mediterranean Diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, healthy fat, whole grains, and lean protein.

In patients with prostate cancer, regular exercise, stress reduction, and a low fat, plant based diet have shown the best outcomes.

On the flip side, red meat and dietary fat may increase risk of prostate cancer. While fruits and vegetables have protective benefits against cancer.

Lastly, low intake of animal protein, high intake of fruits and vegetables, lycopene and zinc are protective factors for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Equally as important as food is water. Adequate hydration helps flush out toxins and waste products from the body, reducing the risk of urinary problems.

Conclusion

To conclude, regular consumption of plant foods can promote better prostate health and decrease risk of prostate cancer.

The vitamin E in almond milk may have beneficial properties for prostate health.

Following a healthy diet with regular exercise and stress management can have beneficial effects on your overall health.

Don’t forget to download your FREE COPY of my Essential Guide to Grocery Shopping for Prostate Health.

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Portions of this article were auto generated using GPT-3 by Open AI. Upon generating draft language, the article was reviewed and edited accordingly. ProstateCancerNutrition.com takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.

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