Natural Support For This Common Condition Of Older Men
An estimated 60% of men over age 40 have an enlarged prostate gland. Enlargement of the prostate gland causes obstruction of urine outflow. Symptoms include increased urinary frequency, nighttime urination, a sense of urgency, and reduced force of urine stream. At its most severe stage, an enlarged prostate gland can completely block the outflow of urine, resulting in urine retention in the blood.
The primary cause of an enlarged prostate is due to conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Dihydrotestosterone is a hormone that stimulates the growth of prostate gland cells. High levels of DHT are associated with prostate gland enlargement, prostate gland cancer, and male pattern baldness. Excess estrogens in males can also aggravate the condition, as can elevated cholesterol levels.
Males 50 and over should have a PSA blood test performed annually. Normal levels are from 0-4. Numbers above this level suggest benign prostate enlargement or prostate cancer.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE RECOMMENDATIONS
- Decrease consumption of carbohydrates and increase intake of protein. Soy and pumpkin seeds are especially beneficial.
- Regular exercise improves circulation to the prostate gland AND helps normalize hormone levels.
- Decrease or eliminate consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.
- Maintain a normal weight. Overweight males have a two—fold increase in BPH.
- Use soy foods 3 or more times per week. Soy is associated with decreased growth of prostate cells and also helps normalize cholesterol levels. (Soy protein powder or soy capsules can be used to supplement soy intake)
- Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoke contains cadmium, which increases the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT.
- Maxi Multi: 3 caps, 3 times per day with meals. Optimal (not minimal) doses of zinc are especially important.
- Flax seed: 1 TBS. per day ground seed OR Flax seed oil: 2 caps, 3 times per day with meals.
- Saw Palmetto: (160mg) 1-2 caps, 2 times per day. (Target dose: 160-320 mg per day).
- A male hormone profile allows for precise correction of hormone imbalances.
DR. MYATT’S COMMENT:
Other herbs, such as pygeum and nettles, are also beneficial for prostate enlargement, but Saw Palmettohas by far the most research behind it. In clinical studies, Saw Palmetto has worked as well as the drug Proscar (finasteride) with no negative side effects. Always have a male hormone profile performed.