The prostate gland is below the base of the bladder of a man’s urogenital tract. This gland is about the size of a walnut and has the consistency of a water chestnut. While the prostate is considered a major accessory sex gland, the way it functions is not well-understood. With younger men, the prostate rarely receives medical attention except for treatment of infections or cancer screening as part of a physical exam.
As a man ages, the cells that make up the prostate tend to multiply. The chance of having prostate problems tends to increase equally as a man ages. For instance, a man who is 50 years old has a 50% chance of having prostate issues. 60 years old, 60% chance and so on. Besides age, family history is the only other risk indicator.
Throughout a man’s life he produces testosterone and smaller amounts of estrogen. As a man ages, testosterone levels decrease as estrogen levels increase. He tends to become more vulnerable to the effects of certain hormones, including (DHT) dihydrotestosterone , which also rise.
As DHT stimulates cell growth, the cells multiply and cause the gland to increase in size. This noncancerous growth is called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). It becomes a medical issue when the prostate grows large enough to obstruct the urethra, the canal that carries urine from the bladder to the tip of the penis.
Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) include a frequent urge to urinate, increased urination during the night, urinary urgency, difficulty starting urination, trouble with ejaculation and dribbling at the end of urination. Although annoying, an enlarged prostate usually is not serious unless it impairs complete emptying of the bladder. During your routine physical, your doctor will do a simple digital rectal exam (DRE) and a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test, which is done to keep a close watch on your prostate.
There has been a direct correlation between obesity, diabetes and
high glucose levels, which contribute to BHP.
One of the single most preventatives is a proper diet. Because diet strongly influences sex hormone production, including testosterone, it is important to cut back on excess meat consumption (which triples the risk), full fat, dairy products (which doubles the risk) and a lack of vegetables and fruits in the diet (which quadruple the risk).
Include legumes in your diet such as beans and peas. Eat healthy helpings of antioxidant fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, cherries, black plums, avocados and pears. Cooked tomatoes and tomato sauce are known to have the phytonutrient, lycopene, which has shown to fight off prostate cancer by 35 to 45 percent in those who eat it ten times or more a week. Proper absorption is key and that includes lycopene with some good fat, which tomato sauce has. Ten tablespoons of spaghetti sauce will do the trick as opposed to 164 raw tomatoes per week.
With your lycopene, take 200 micrograms of Selenium a day to decrease your risk of prostate (and other cancers) by 50%. Selenium is a mineral found in vegetables such as garlic, which absorb selenium from the soil.
Consider Vitamin E, especially mixed tocopherols, which appears to work in synergy with lycopene to help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Take 400 IU daily.
Vitamin C works in synergy with Vitamin E and helps increase its function. Take 600 mg, twice a day.
Folate (800 mg daily), a B complex and Zinc (15 mg daily) have shown to increase fertility and improve sperm motility.
Saw Palmetto has been clinically proven to inhibit the enzyme involved in converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone . These powerful berries from the saw palmetto palm tree, improve urine flow and decrease inflammation of the prostate gland. Take 160 mg, twice daily.
L-arginine (2 grams daily), an amino acid found in pumpkin seeds and L-citrulline (500 mg twice daily) may possibly increase nitric oxide production, which in turn increases blood flow and therefore can prevent erectile dysfunction and increase sperm count. Foods high in both these amino acids include pumpkin seeds, almonds, cocoa and real (dark) chocolate, garbanzo beans, peanuts, salmon, soy and walnuts.
Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac – http://www.Peacefulmind.com/ – Therapies for healing mind, body, spirit
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