(Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)
The prostate is a male reproductive gland that sits at the outlet of the
urinary bladder and surrounds the urethra (the channel that carries urine
away from the bladder). Normally, the prostate is about the size of a
walnut. In many men, however, especially those who are middle-aged or
older, the gland becomes inflamed or enlarged. When this happens, the
prostate compresses the urethra, obstructing the flow of urine and causing
other problems (i.e., infection, bladder stones, etc.).
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the medical term, but the disorder is
more commonly known as enlarged prostate. When a man reaches middle age,
the prostate often starts growing. There can be several reasons why this
growth occurs, but it appears to be mainly caused by hormonal changes
associated with aging.
Almost half of all men over forty-five suffer from at least some degree of
prostate enlargement. At first, an enlarged prostate produces no symptoms,
but as it grows and puts increased pressure on the urethra, urinary
problems develop. It may be difficult to start urinating, and once the flow
has begun, it may be hard to stop. There may be dribbling in-between
urination, along with a sense that the bladder isn't completely empty. Many
men find that they awaken several times a night to urinate. Although the
symptoms are uncomfortable and disruptive, benign enlargement is usually
not a sign of a more serious disease. In some cases, however, the prostate
can become so enlarged that the bladder can rarely empty itself completely.
This urine retention can lead to an infection of the bladder or the
kidneys; in severe cases, a constantly full bladder can place a dangerous
level of pressure on the kidneys and even cause them to fail. A poor diet,
especially one that's low in fiber and high in saturated fat, likely contributes to prostate enlargement as well.
As men age, their hormone balance changes. Testosterone levels decline,
while the estrogen class of hormones increases. One prevailing theory as to
why the prostate enlarges centers around the increased conversion of
testosterone to one of its metabolites, known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
The enzyme responsible for this conversion of testosterone to DHT is
5-alpha reductase. It is believed that the activity of this enzyme
increases as men age, so that DHT levels increase. DHT is implicated in
prostate growth. Recent studies show that there is more to the story than
just DHT. In recent years, there has been growing evidence that estrogen
plays a role in prostate enlargement. A man's body contains the hormone
estrogen, albeit in lesser amounts than in women. Some research shows that
the balance between estrogen, testosterone, and DHT is the main issue with
prostate cell growth. It is interesting to note that the enzyme aromatase
converts testosterone to a potent form of estrogen known as estradiol.
Estradiol causes prostate cells to grow and multiply. Keep in mind that
pesticides, herbicides, and other environmental pollutants mimic estrogen
in the body. It is also postulated that a rise in the
estrogen-to-testosterone ratio amplifies the effects of DHT on the cell
receptors of the prostate, which leads to cell growth. This relative
increase in estrogen also reduces the ability of the prostate cells to
clear out DHT. It makes some sense that DHT may not be the major villain in
prostate enlargement. Rather, it is the balance between estrogen,
testosterone, and DHT and, likely, even progesterone-that really matters.
The point is that proper hormone balance through diet, exercise,
nutritional supplements, and detoxification is the key to helping this
Prostatic enlargement responds well to natural treatment. Dietary and
herbal therapies are especially effective at reducing the swelling and
balancing the hormones. It's wise, however, to have any urinary or prostate
problems checked out by a doctor, preferably a urologist, just to rule out
any underlying cause. And if you experience weight loss, bone pain, or
bloody urine, call your doctor right away.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; level of
effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when
taking any and all supplements.
The top 7 vitamins and supplements shown to help Prostate Enlargement:
The Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark
Super Prescription #1
- LifeSource Product -
Take the ProstaPlex as directed, which
works up to 10 times better than Saw
Palmetto by itself, or take 320 mg
daily of a product standardized to 80
to 95 percent fatty acids. Saw palmetto
has been shown in numerous studies to
improve the symptoms of this condition.
It appears to reduce hormone
stimulation of the prostate tissue.
Super Prescription # 2
- LifeSource Product -
Take 160 to 200 mg daily of a product
standardized to 13 percent total
sterols. Pygeum is an extract from the
bark of an African tree that has a long
history of use, as well as scientific
validation, for reducing prostate
Super Prescription #3
- LifeSource Product -
Take as directed on the container.
Several studies have shown that this
extract lessens the symptoms of BPH.
Super Prescription #4 Nettle
(Urtica diocia) root -
Take 120 mg twice daily. Nettles are
commonly used in prostate formulas,
along with other nutrients. Studies
have shown that they lessen BPH
Super Prescription #5
Beta Sitosterol – Plant Sterols
- LifeSource Product -
Take 60 to 130 mg daily. Studies show
that this phytonutrient improves the
symptoms of benign prostatic
Super Prescription #6
- LifeSource Product -
Take 100 mg daily for two months and
then 50 mg as a maintenance dosage, and
take 3 mg of copper, along with the
Super Prescription #7
Omega 3, 6 & 9
- LifeSource Products -
See All of our Omega 3 – Fish Oil
Take 3 caps of our Super Omega 3, 6,
& 9 daily. Essential fatty acids
Urination that is hard to start or stop
The sensation of an incompletely emptied bladder
Increased nightmare urination
Burning pain with urination
Reoccurring bladder infections
A diet of basic, whole foods will provide plenty of fiber and will regulate
hormone levels. Eat lots of whole grains and fresh vegetables, and get your
protein from beans, fish, and soy products. To keep chemicals and
pesticides out of your system, buy organic whenever possible.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, a phyto-chemical that has an
important protective effect on the prostate. This book usually recommends
fresh food, but when it comes to lycopene, there's an important exception:
cooked tomato products are actually a more potent source of this
phyto-chemical than fresh ones are. Incorporate both into your meals daily.
Pumpkin seeds are a traditional remedy for prostate problems, and for good
reason. They're full of zinc, a nutrient that's necessary for good prostate
health. You can snack on raw pumpkin seeds throughout the day, but resist
the urge to toast and salt them. You'll just add unwanted fat and sodium.
To reduce swelling, eat cold-water fish, flaxseeds (1 to 2 tablespoons
daily, along with 10 ounces of water), and flaxseed oil. These foods are
high in essential fatty acids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory
Drink green tea (decaffeinated) instead of coffee, as it promotes healthy
Take the aforementioned flaxseeds daily, along with 10 ounces of water.
Flaxseeds contain a phytonutrient known as lignans, which balance estrogen
Drink a glass of clean water every two waking hours to keep fluid moving
through the urinary tract.
Foods to Avoid
Eliminate all fats that are saturated, hydrogenated, or partially
hydrogenated. These fats lead to inflammation and have been closely linked
with several prostate disorders.
Sugar wreaks havoc on hormone levels and worsens inflammation. Radically
restrict your consumption of refined sugar, or, better yet, banish it from
your diet altogether.
Processed food is full of chemicals that may cause or contribute to
prostate problems. Stay away from it.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine. They are irritants to the prostate gland.
The prostate gland is highly sensitive to environmental and dietary toxins.
To flush waste out of the prostate, do a one- to three-day juice fast.
Focus on vegetable juices and broths-too much fruit juice will throw your
hormone levels out of balance.
Amino acids relieve urinary symptoms of BPH. Take glycine, alanine, and
glutamic acid, as this was the combination used in one successful
study. Take 750 mg three times daily for two weeks and then 375 mg
three times daily as a maintenance dose.
Pumpkin seed oil is often used in combination with saw palmetto
(Serenoa repens) for the relief of BPH symptoms. Take 160 mg three
times daily with meals.
A high-potency multivitamin provides a base of nutrients for prostate
health. Take as directed on the container.
D-glucarate is a phytonutrient that assists the liver in metabolizing
estrogen. Take 500 mg twice daily.
Indole-3 carbinole assists the liver in metabolizing estrogen. Take 300
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) improves liver detoxification and,
indirectly, hormone balance. Take 250 mg of an 80 to 85 percent
silymarin extract three times daily.
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