Health Reports for Current Health Concerns

5 Tips for Better Prostate Health

Problem: When a man turns 50, he may experience problems with his prostate, including painful urination, sexual difficulties, and the growth of cancer cells.

Solution: Poor prostate performance is not unbeatable. If you eat right, exercise, and take specific supplements, you can solve this problem.

When a man hits mid-life, he goes through manopause.

Although a tongue in cheek term, it captures the right idea. Similar to how women stop having menstrual periods, many men experience a drop in the performance of their penis. As the saying goes, the prostate is a young man’s best friend and a mature man’s worst enemy.

There are three main conditions that can develop within this walnut-sized gland in the lower abdomen are: prostatitis, which is inflammation, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is enlargement, and prostate cancer, which is the formation of cancer cells in the prostate.

Inflammation may occur due to a bacterial infection. The way to detect it is by the following symptoms:

  • Painful urination
  • Frequent need for urination
  • Pain in the low belly, low back, or groin
  • Sexual problems
  • Painful ejaculation

Enlargement, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is also common for many men as they age. In this case, the flow of urine from the bladder is constricted. A man with BPH ends up running to the bathroom all day and night. He also may experience:

  • Pain or burning sensation during urination
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Feeling an urge to urinate with little flow or “dribbling” problems
  • Blood in the urine

And then, there’s prostate cancer.

According to a study, “Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting men in the Western world.With nearly 30,000 deaths annually, it is a real threat facing men. The good news is that most men who are diagnosed with it do not die from it. Generally, this type of cancer is so slow-growing that it’s possible to live with it for many years without complications.

In addition to age, other risk factors for prostate problems include family history and race, with African-American men more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasians. Obviously, there’s very little you can do about the passage of time, your relatives’ health, or your race. But there are plenty of ways to protect yourself from these difficulties—and heal your prostate at the same time.

1.) Take PSA tests and monitor your scores.

I always encourage my patients to take this blood test called PSA (prostate-specific antigen) so that we can monitor any changes.

As far as I’m concerned, any score above 1 is a sign that lifestyle changes need to be made. Some doctors don’t worry unless the score is over 4, but I think letting it go that far is an unnecessary risk.

I recommend action if the score is over 1, or if there has been any increases since your last PSA test. For men over 40, monitoring PSA scores if one of the most important health steps possible. Keep in mind that there are things that can spike PSA scores, such as having sex within 24 hours of the test. You should go over your scores with your doctor in order to discern if there is an issue or not.

However, be aware that if you go to a conventional doctor, they may prescribe drugs. But I’ve found that the side effects of these drugs can be just as bad as the condition itself. Which is why I’m about to give recommendations for how to take care of your prostate health naturally.

Before you proceed with my recommendations however, please make certain you only have BPH or another benign condition, rather than prostate cancer.

2.) Eat right.

The first thing you should do is get fats. No, I’m not recommending that you get fat. There’s a difference. Consuming good fats, such as omega-3 fats, does not (in the right amounts) make you fat, and they support healthy cell membranes throughout your body.

A lack of omega-3 fats can lead to prostatitis, and other prostate problems, because a starved cell membrane can easily fail.

On the other hand, being fortified with good fats can help prevent the spread of prostate cancer. A recent study from the prestigious Duke University Medical Center found that men with prostate cancer whose diets contained healthy fats from olive oil and nuts were less likely to have their cancer spread to other parts of the body than men who consumed unhealthy fats in meat and processed foods.

However, you don’t have to entirely subsist on fats. Some vegetables that are particularly good for your prostate are:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Bok choy
  • Tomatoes, especially if cooked in a small amount of fat (because of the antioxidant they contain called lycopene, which has been shown to provide protection against prostate cancer and inhibit its spread to other organs among those who already have the disease.)

Be careful with meat, because it elevates levels of arachidonic acid in your body, which increases inflammation, which of course, causes prostatitis. Choosing lean poultry, wild-caught fish, beans, or a protein-rich grain like quinoa is a smart move for anyone who wants to reduce inflammation.

As a bonus, if you follow these guidelines, and get good fats, you’re improving your health for your whole body. According to research led by the Harvard School of Public Health, nearly 100,000 Americans die each year from too few omega-3 fats in their diets. So, getting adequate omega-3s is not just about your prostate—this is really the foundation of overall good health. I recommend one to three grams daily from a stable, purified product that is free of toxins and chemicals.

A final thought on fats: remember to watch which fats you are consuming. Get lots of good fats into your body, but get rid of any trans fats.

The same Harvard study I mentioned above also found that up to 97,000 people die annually from eating too many trans fats. Trans fats are vegetable oils transformed from their natural liquid state into solid form to increase shelf life and improve the texture of processed foods. They are found in just about all frozen, packaged, and fast foods, but they can also turn up in salad dressings, cereals, nutrition bars, etc. On labels, look for “partially hydrogenated” oils. It’s the partial hydrogenation that leads to serious health problems.

3.) Get moving.

Exercise is so important that I recommend it to all of my patients, including those with prostate issues. The benefits of regular, moderate exercise include:

  •        Burning calories and helping maintain a healthy weight
  •        Thinning the blood and encouraging healthy circulation
  •        Disposing of waste material and toxic substances in the body
  •        Improving sleep and mood
  •        Strengthening the heart and immune system
  •        Reducing the risk of cancer and other serious illnesses
  •        Relieving stress
  •        Fortifying muscles, joints, and bones, and reducing the risk of falling

If someone invented a pill that provided these benefits, people would be lined up around the block to buy it—and you can get it for free just by exercising! So please take this advice to heart. Invest in a pair of comfortable shoes and schedule 30-minute walks each day. The results are worth it.

4.) Pass on plastics.

BPA is an estrogen-producing chemical that is linked to serious health problems, including cancer, heart disease, inflammation, obesity, diabetes, and hormonal dysfunction. Most plastic products contain BPA, and those that claim to be BPA-free are often made with substitutes which have not been well investigated for hazards to human health. So if you drink water from an ordinary plastic bottle, you’re ingesting BPA, which is not good for your health, or your prostate in particular.

Ways to cut down on BPA exposure:

  • Choose glass over plastic when it comes to water bottles or containers
  • Do not microwave any food in plastic
  • Look for alternatives to canned foods, which many contain BPA as well

5.) Take supplements.

While eating right and exercising regularly will support prostate health, it is essential to take targeted, concentrated nutrients as well.

Taking doses of omega-3 is very important. Make sure to consider the product you’re buying, because there are many on the market, some of excellent quality, and some that leave a lot to be desired. Look for a high quality product that has been purified to remove toxins. The best results are usually obtained from products that have two to three times the amount of DHA as EPA, two of the beneficial substances found in omega-3s. My recommended dosage for omega-3s is 3 grams daily.

When looking for a good omega-3 product, look for a higher percentage of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) to EPA, which helps maintain blood pressure and brain health. Most inexpensive, fish-oil based omega products have it the other way around.

In addition, I recommend the following:

  •        Vitamin D3, an essential nutrient for overall good health and a strong immune system, as well as a healthy prostate. Take 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily.
  •        Curcumin, which I consider to be a “must have” for just about everyone who cares about his or her health. Hundreds of studies with curcumin show that it is a powerful anti-inflammatory, reducing the condition that underlies such ailments as heart disease, aging, diabetes, and prostate inflammation. Take 500 mg of curcumin one to three times daily.

There are also prostate-specific supplements available, which are an excellent idea as well. In my own experience, I have found success with my patients with  products made from plant sources such as Pygeum, and Beta Sitosterol.These nutrients not only ease symptoms of prostate ailments, but they reduce the prostate’s size, as well. This could be very helpful in the case of an BPH.

Action Plan: Take a PSA test to determine the state of your prostate, then follow-up with taking omega-3 and prostate-focused supplements, as well as eating with your prostate health in mind.

 

 

References

Masko EM, Allott EH, Freedland SJ. “The relationship between nutrition and prostate cancer: is more always better?” European Urology. 2013 May;63(5):810-20.

Fabian CJ, Kimler BF. “Marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids.” American Society for Clinical Oncology and Education Book. 2013;2013:97-101.

Sporn MB, Liby KT. “Is lycopene an effective agent for preventing prostate cancer?” Cancer Prevention Research (Phila). 2013 May;6(5):384-6.

Rebillard A, Lefeuvre-Orfila L, Gueritat J, et al. “Prostate cancer and physical activity: Adaptive response to oxidative stress.” Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2013 Jul;60:115-24.

Rochefort H. “Bisphenol A and hormone-dependent cancers: potential risk and mechanism.” International Society of Medical Sciences (Paris). 2013 May;29(5):539-44.

Derouiche S, Warnier M, Mariot P, et al. “Bisphenol A stimulates human prostate cancer cell migration via remodeling of calcium signaling.” Springerplus. 2013 Dec;2(1):54. Epub 2013 Feb 15.

Perry A, Lambert P. “Propionibacterium acnes: infection beyond the skin.” Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy. 2011 Dec;9(12):1149-56.

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