Sooner or later most men will experience prostate problems. Learning about the natural solutions available, you may be able to alleviate uncomfortable prostate symptoms and reduce prostate problems quickly and safely.
Normally, the prostate is the size and shape of a walnut. It is located under the bladder and directly in front of the rectum. Its secretions support semen production and a healthy urethra. At about the age of 40, the prostate begins to grow in most men. The enlargement can be a sign of cancer, but usually it is the result of a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The increase in prostate size can restrict the urethra making it difficult to urinate and can result in a variety of symptom.
Common Prostate Problems:
- Urgency to urinate
- Low or inconsistent flow
- Hesitancy or difficulty starting urine flow
- Dribbling after urinating
- Increased frequency of urination
- Sleep disturbances
The balance of hormone metabolites involving testosterone, progesterone and estrogen appear to play a critical role in prostate health and prostate growth. Supporting healthy hormone balance can include an excellent diet, an active lifestyle, dietary supplements, and hormone replacement therapy.
Pee Free and Sleep Well
There are many dietary supplements that are commonly used for enlarged prostate. Some good, some bad . . . Following is an overview of the more popular solutions:
Beta-Sitosterol – It is interesting that many of the traditional herbal remedies for prostate issues contain the active ingredient beta-sitosterol. It is found in saw palmetto, pygeum and pumpkin seed oil.
Double-blind placebo-controlled studies on beta-sitosterol have shown improvements urine flow. One study followed 200 men for 6 months and found urine flow increased 50% and residual urine decreased by more than 50% .
Beta-sitosterol binds to prostate tissue affecting the metabolism of prostaglandins which are messenger molecules. The prostaglandins have strong physiological effects such as regulating the contraction and relaxation of smooth muscle tissue.
Boron – According to a study done at UCLA involving over 7,600 men, those with the highest boron intake were 65 percent less likely to develop serious prostate issues than men with the lower boron intake.
Grape seed extract contains potent antioxidants called proanthocyanidins that may lower abnormal cell growth involved in enlarged prostate.
Green tea – Is it a coincidence that the Chinese have the healthiest prostates in the world? Maybe green tea is the reason. Green tea’s polyphenol, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (ECGC), has been shown to block abnormal growth of the prostate.
Lycopene is a member of the family of phytochemicals known as carotenoids. Researchers have linked the consumption of lycopene from tomatoes to increased prostate health. 6 Serum and tissue lycopene levels were found to be higher in men with healthy prostates.
Vitamin E helps maintain healthy membranes and retards cellular aging due to oxidation. It is especially important to sexual and reproductive health. One study followed more than 29,000 males aged 50 to 69, for five years showed that vitamin E promotes prostate health. However, most studies using the typical vitamin E found in dietary supplement show negative results for supporting prostate health. This is because the eight different forms of vitamin E found in food are distributed with tissue specific preferences throughout the body. The prostate prefers a unique type of vitamin E rarely added to supplements. Traditional vitamin E supplements actually reduce the bioavailability of this prostate critical type of vitamin E called gamma tocopherol.
Avoid supplements with high international unit amounts of vitamin E. They contain little or no gamma tocopherol that should be supplemented for prostate health.
Vitamin C supports the full function of vitamin E by supporting redox reactions. When vitamin E is oxidized after functioning as an antioxidant, vitamin C is used to recycle vitamin E into its antioxidant state. This process deactivates the vitamin C and lipoic acid is used to recycle the vitamin C to continue to support vitamin E.
Lipoic Acid is an antioxidant functional in both water and lipid systems. It acts to recycle vitamin C into an active antioxidant after it’s deactivated by recycling vitamin E.
Selenium – Many studies show a direct connection between selenium and prostate problems. One study revealed a 63% reduction in major prostate issues for those who received 200 micrograms of a type of selenium called selenomethionine.
A Stanford University study found that low plasma selenium is associated with a 4 to 5-fold increased risk of prostate problems. These results support the hypothesis that supplemental selenium may support a healthy prostate.
Pygeum africanum is an evergreen tree that grows in the mountains of Africa. It has become an endangered species due to its popularity as a European pharmaceutical for prostate problems. As such, high quality extracts are rarely used in effective amounts in dietary supplements. Pygeum contains a variety of synergistic compounds that aid prostate health. Many studies have shown the effectiveness of Pygeum extract in supporting prostate health and reducing the frequency of nighttime urination.
Nettle root – Also known as urtica dioica, has been shown to increase bladder capacity and urinary flow.
In a 6 month study of 287 patients, 81% reported improved symptoms using urtica dioica. Urine flow increased and prostate size decreased.
Saw palmetto – Long known to shrink enlarged prostate, saw palmetto actions are not specific to unhealthy prostate tissue. The prostate reducing action of saw palmetto may be the result of reducing the number of all prostate cells, healthy or not. As such, saw palmetto might not be the best solution to avoid prostate problems.
Saw palmetto damages the nuclear and mitochondrial membranes, and causes cellular death in the epithelium and stroma.
One study investigated the effects of saw palmetto on primary cultures of fibroblasts (cells that produce connective tissue), and epithelial cells from the prostate, epididymis (the tube that provides for the storage, transmission and maturation of sperm), testes, kidney, skin and breast to determine if the action of saw palmetto is selective and specific to prostate tissue. This study concluded that saw palmetto caused damage and death in prostate tissue, but there were no similar changes observed in other types of cells.
Another study examined the effect of saw palmetto on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Again, the results showed there was widespread damage of intracellular membranes, including mitochondrial and nuclear membranes in both healthy and overgrown prostate tissue.
The effective component(s) of saw palmetto are contained within the fatty acid portion of this extract. These oils are subject to peroxidation and can easily become rancid. If you ever want to know what a rancid oil tastes like, a saw palmetto oil capsule is a good example. Rancid oils increase oxidative free radicals and can suppress the immune system.
Pumpkin Seed Oil is high in beta sitosterol and gamma tocopherol, the predominate type of vitamin E found in prostate tissue. Freshly squeezed pumpkin seed oil is very nutritious and contains many beneficial fatty acids. These fatty acids are sensitive to oxidation and can turn rancid rapidly.
Sooner or later most men will experience prostate problems. By applying these natural solutions, you may be able to avoid uncomfortable prostate symptoms or reduce prostate problems quickly and safely.
Additional information to understand your prostate and avoid prostate problems can be found on the following websites: