Thursday, 16 August 2007

No evidence that statins protect against prostate cancer by lowering male hormone production

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A large study from the New England Research Institutes found that men using statins had lower blood levels of androgens such as testoterone, however, it was more likely due to poor health than the use of the statins. This finding refutes previous findings that statins might cut prostate cancer risk by reducing the production of such male hormones that fuel cancer growth.

According to Susan A. Hall, Ph.D., this finding doesn't mean that statins aren't lowering prostate cancer risk through other pathways, but they are not lowering the risk through the reduction of male hormones.

A large, recent study found that men using statins were at lower risk of developing metastatic prostate cancer, especially if the statins were used long-term. Other studies have had mixed results according to Hall. Statins lower cholesterol and since cholesterol is required to produce male hormones, some researchers have theorized that statins may reduce production of these hormones, and hence prostate cancer.

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