The prostate is a small gland that surrounds the neck of the bladder and urethra in men. Its major function is to contribute to seminal fluid which helps sperm to swim. The prostate contains fibrous tissue, glands and smooth muscle, all of which can enlarge. If the prostate enlarges, pressure may be put on the urethra, acting like a partial clamp making it harder to urinate.
Half of all 50-year-old men have BPH, and the prevalence of the condition increases with advancing age. The name “benign prostatic hyperplasia” has replaced the older term “benign prostatic hypertrophy”; both terms refer to the same condition.
A man with BPH has to urinate more often, especially at night, and experiences less force and flow while urinating, often dribbling. The smooth muscle can fail to relax when the bladder contracts, causing similar urinary difficulties, including failure of the bladder to empty completely, leaving residual urine which may become infected. If the prostate enlarges too much, urination is difficult or impossible, and the risk of urinary tract infection and kidney damage increases. A doctor can usually detect an enlarged prostate during a rectal examination.
Nutritional Supplements that could help. (Refer to the individual supplement for cautions in use.)
|Supplement/Herb||What it does||Dosage|
|Saw Palmetto||Block the action of an enzyme that causes the prostate to grow.||150-450mg daily|
|Zinc||Inhibits the enzyme that causes the prostate to grow and helps normal hormone activity.||15-50mg daily|
|Lycopene||Anti-oxidant properties and protective to the prostate.||2-15mg daily|
|Astaxanthin||Supports the action of Saw Palmetto in blocking the enzyme which causes the prostate to grow.||4-8mg daily|
|Isoflavones||Inhibits the enzyme that causes the prostate to grow and helps normal hormone activity.||30-80mg daily|
|Flaxseed Oil||Corrects deficiencies of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids which typically occur in prostate dysfunction.||2000-10,000mg daily|
Diet and Lifestyle Factors
Cut milk out of your diet. The strongest dietary risk factor for prostate cancer is dairy consumption. Switzerland, for example, has the highest dairy intake and the highest number of deaths from prostate cancer. This is almost certainly due to a hormone in milk called Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF). Prostate tissue has receptors for IGF-I and IGF-II. Research shows clearly that men with high levels of circulating IGF-I are at greater risk of suffering from prostate cancer than those with lower levels. Research also shows that circulating levels of IGF-I in the blood correlate with high dairy consumption. A pint of milk a day, or the equivalent in other dairy products, quadruples risk. Switch to soya milk or rice milk.
Switch to organically reared meat, poultry and fish which do not contain hormone-disrupting chemicals. Increase vegetarian sources of protein in your diet using beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. Fish, especially if organic or wild, and omega-3 rich eggs, are probably the best of these foods.
Increase omega-3 fats – fish oils may be protective against prostate cancer and reduce the risk by a third.
Eat more fruit and vegetables, the higher your consumption, the lower your risk. Particularly beneficial are tomatoes, rich in lycopene, and kale, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.
Eat shellfish and pumpkin seeds for their zinc content and brazil nuts for the antioxidant selenium.
Drink plenty of water, at least 1 and a half litres a day. Reduce or preferably eliminate caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee.
Homoeopathic Remedies which may help. (Refer to the individual remedy for guidance on the one that is most appropriate for you.)
Suggested further reading:
This video talks about avoiding prostate cancer.