Maintain A Healthy Prostate Naturally
The prostate gland is a part of the male reproductive system. This small gland is approximately the size of a walnut and is located deep inside the pelvis below the urinary bladder and above the muscles of the pelvic floor. The prostate gland plays an important role in reproduction by contributing prostatic fluid into the semen, giving the semen its fluidity. The seminal fluid in turn helps in the survival and mobility of the sperm. The prostate gland is also important for the conversion of the male sex hormone testosterone to its biologically active form.
The most common disorders that affect the prostate gland are prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) both of which tend to affect men over 50. Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland and is more common in men under 50. While not essential for survival, the prostate gland plays an important part in overall health. Approximately 70-80% of men over 60 tend to develop some kind of prostate problems. Some of the symptoms indicating prostate problems are poor bladder control with increased urinary frequency and urgency, difficulty in starting or stopping the urine flow, urinary obstruction, sexual dysfunction, blood in the urine, and frequent urinary tract infections which can lead to serious conditions such as kidney failure.
Diet and lifestyle play a huge part in maintaining prostate health. Avoiding a high-fat diet, processed food, and alcohol are as important as the inclusion of fruits and vegetables especially leafy greens and tomatoes. Aerobic exercises also help in maintaining a healthy prostate. Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is one of the major enzymes secreted by the prostate gland. Regular monitoring of PSA helps in the early diagnosis of any problems. Increased PSA levels could indicate BPH, prostate cancer or prostatitis and require further evaluation by a physician.
Natural approaches open up new and exciting possibilities to maintain prostate health. The scientists at the Dr. Rath Research Institute tested the effects of a specific combination of micronutrients containing vitamin C, green tea extract, selenium, and others on prostate cancer growth and its ability to spread. We demonstrated that dietary supplementation with this nutrient combination can decrease the growth of prostate tumors in mice by almost half (47%). This significant reduction of tumor mass was accompanied by decreased formation of blood vessels in tumors, consequently restricting the nutrient supply to support cancer cell growth. As a result, we observed a much slower multiplication of prostate cancer cells in tumors when animals were supplemented with this nutrient mixture compared to the controls.*
In addition to the micronutrients, there are a few other plant compounds that help in maintaining a normal prostate. Saw palmetto and lycopene are the most commonly used and researched supplements for a healthy prostate. Saw palmetto has anti-inflammatory and hormone blocking properties. According to some clinical studies, saw palmetto helped in reducing some of the symptoms of BPH. In addition to its heart health benefits, lycopene is also a potent antioxidant and inhibits prostate cancer cell growth.
Another plant compound is a fat called beta-sitosterol, which acts in a similar way to saw palmetto and helps in the reduction of the urinary symptoms of BPH and improves urine flow. Stinging nettle roots have been used for a long time for urinary complaints associated with BPH. These and many other plant extracts are useful for men as they age to maintain a healthy prostate.
*Ref: MW Roomi, et al., In vivo 19: 179-184
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