Learn More About Prostate Health

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Prostate health

What is Prostate Health?

I'm sure you have all seen the commercials on TV showing older men having to go to the bathroom every five minutes. The reason these men have to go so much is because of an enlarged prostate. Enlarged prostate is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia. It is a noncancerous inflammation of the prostate gland, which leads to an inability to fully drain the bladder. This inability leads to pain and frequent trips to the bathroom. A large number of men are affected by this condition beginning as early as age 40.

The prostate is thought to enlarge due to the decrease in testosterone and the increase of a volatile testosterone metabolite called DHT. The usual medical treatment for prostate enlargement can involve invasive surgeries or hormone manipulation. Both of these means of intervention can lead to impotence or decreased libido. There are some naturally occurring substances that have shown promise in alleviating this disorder. Let's explore them.

Saw Palmetto

If you would like to take an alternative route in approaching this common disorder, you will be delighted to know that there are herbal substances that have shown clinical effectiveness against this problem. Let's investigate the first herbal supplement Saw Palmetto. Clinical trials conducted at Minneapolis VA/VISN 13 Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research showed that Saw Palmetto berries were close to if not as effective as a prescription drug known as finasteride.

Finasteride is a drug prescribed commonly to treat both BPH and prostate cancer. Saw Palmetto is thought to provide all the benefits of decreasing the prostate inflammation, with little to no side effects. Infrequent side effects such as stomach upset were reported. It is important to note that the trial took place over several weeks, and it may take a few weeks to see results when using Saw Palmetto.

Zinc

Let's talk about zinc and its protective benefits to the prostate. Unfortunately, stress and illness can lower the blood serum levels of zinc. People with prostate disorders often have up to 1/10 the zinc found in normal prostates. Zinc is a very critical mineral and is involved in hundreds of cellular processes. It is thought that having the proper level of zinc in your blood helps stop the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Please recall that DHT is thought to be the reason that the prostate enlarges.

It is thought that Americans do not get enough zinc in the diet due to fatty and carbohydrate rich foods which block zincs absorption. Some foods that includes zinc are oysters, red meat, beans, nuts, and sunflower seeds. The daily recommended amount of zinc for men is 18 mgs and women only require 11 mgs.

Lycopene

Prostate health has also been linked to the intake of lycopene. Lycopene can be found in tomatoes. When lycopene is ingested it goes into the body and concentrates in the adrenal glands, liver and testes. Lycopene is closely related to beta-carotene or as we all know it, the precursor to vitamin A. It is thought to help the prostate gland due to its very powerful antioxidant properties and the fact that it concentrates in the testes. These antioxidant properties are thought to lower the inflammation in the prostate and increase overall prostate health.

Selenium

Selenium is another great ingredient to look for in any good prostate support supplement. Selenium bonds with protein in the body to make a very powerful antioxidant, called selenoproteins. According to the National Institutes of Health "death from cancer, including lung, colorectal, and prostate cancers, is lower among people with higher blood levels or intake of selenium."

In a study conducted in the late 80s and early 90s participants given daily supplements of 200 micrograms of selenium showed lesser incidence of prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer. It is important to note that the upper daily limit for selenium is 400 mcgs.

What You Can do About Prostate Health?

An enlarged prostate might be unavoidable for some of us but luckily there are a variety of treatments that can help quell this ailment. Remember an enlarged prostate is a serious condition, and you should seek the advice of a medical doctor before starting any supplement regimen. If you have visited your doctor and ruled out the possibility of prostate cancer, you can take some synthetic medicine that was made in a laboratory. If you feel like the best route for yourself is to take naturally occurring substances to support a healthy prostate then be sure to look for these ingredients: saw palmetto, zinc, lycopene and selenium.


References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12137626
http://www.articlealley.com/article_657732_23.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycopene
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/selenium.asp

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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