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May 29, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- HIGHER PSA MAY NOT WARRANT BIOPSY

A single, elevated PSA level does not automatically warrant a prostate biopsy. Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering hospital examined the prostate specific antigen blood test, better known as a PSA, a routine prostate cancer screening for most men over 50. If it is elevated, a biopsy usually is recommended. PSA levels commonly fluctuate above and below the normal range, according to the researchers. They studied nearly 1,000 men who had five consecutive PSA tests over a four-year period. Although up to one-third indicated elevated PSA levels, subsequent testing of the same men a year or more later indicated PSA levels for half of the men had returned to normal.


According to the University of Virginia Health System, "moonshine" can cause serious health problems in those who abuse it. Because the homemade brew is considered a tradition of the past, toxicity from moonshine consumption is likely to be overlooked, according to the researchers. According to recent news reports, illegal distilleries around the nation produce hundreds of thousands of gallons of moonshine annually. The researchers found more than half of illicit alcohol samples studied contained lead levels above the Environmental Protection Agency's water guidelines of 15 parts per billion, which can lead to toxic levels in those who drink the product.


Following the fasting regimes laid down by the Greek Orthodox Church could reduce a person's chances of suffering from heart disease. The study, published in BioMed Central's Journal Public Health, found Greek Orthodox Christians who avoided specified foods three times a year had lower levels of cholesterol and lower levels of the cholesterol-binding proteins called low density lipoproteins. The levels of other cholesterol-binding proteins called high-density lipoproteins did not change. The Orthodox Christians' diet, which is based on vegetables, legumes, fruit, cereals, bread and olive oil, is a Mediterranean-type of diet with periodic abstinence from meat and other products during the fasting periods, according to researchers. There are three major recognized fasting periods in the Greek Orthodox Church: 40 days before Christmas, 48 days at Easter and 15 days in August for the feast of the Assumption.


Researchers at Ohio State University suggest whey, a liquid byproduct from cheese production, might play a role in helping prevent prostate cancer. When OSU food scientists treated human prostate cells in the lab with whey protein, cellular levels of the antioxidant glutathione increased. Antioxidants such as glutathione have been shown to control cancer-causing free radicals. Cancer researchers suspect the accumulation of free radicals plays a role in the development of prostate cancer. In the study, published in the journal Toxicology in Vitro, the scientists found treating prostate cells with whey protein elevated glutathione levels in the cells by up to 64 percent.

(Editors: For more information on PSA, contact Joanne Nicholas at 212-639-3573 or For MOOHSHINE, Abena Foreman-Trice, at 434-243-2734 or For FASTING, Gemma Bradley at +020-7323-0323 x2331 or For WHEY, Joshua Bomser at 614-247-6622 or

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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