The Prostate: Small Gland, Big Trouble
By Darlene Kvist, MS, CNS, LN
July 19, 2016
If you are a man who needs to urinate frequently, experiences decreased urine flow and needs to get up several times every night, you are likely experiencing prostate problems. These are all signs of an enlarged and inflamed prostate or prostate cancer. Unfortunately, the majority of men in the U.S. over the age of 50 will develop prostate problems, but never fear, there are things you can do to improve your prostate health.
Why Are Prostate Problems So Common?
Research from the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York found as men's waistlines got bigger, the stream of their urine often slows to a trickle. A large waistline is often characteristic of a condition called metabolic syndrome, which is also linked to heart disease and diabetes. When a man's weight increases, often swelling or inflammation of the prostate occurs, along with erectile dysfunction, frequent nighttime urination and increased risk of prostate cancer.
Weight gain, especially around the middle, usually leads to higher estrogen levels in both men and women. The epidemic of weight gain in the U.S. has paralleled increased rates of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Many Americans today have excessively high levels of the female hormone estrogen because of the extra weight they carry. Fat cells have the ability to produce a type of estrogen that leads to inflammation of the prostate.
How Can Men Reduce Their Risk for Prostate Problems?
If men commit to losing even 10% of their body weight, they can greatly reduce their overall health risk. For example, a man weighing 250 pounds only needs to lose 25 pounds to become surprisingly healthier. Having fewer fat cells results in reduced estrogen levels and less risk.
In addition to weight reduction, prostate health depends on good nutritional habits such as:
- Drinking filtered water (stop drinking soda!)
- Reducing or eliminating processed high sugar foods (replace them with organic fruits)
- Reducing or eliminating processed carbohydrates like cookies, muffins, and pasta (replace them with vegetables)
- Eliminating foods with trans-fats (eat only beneficial fats such as olive oil, butter, nuts, and avocados)
- Limiting alcohol to not more than 1 or 2 drinks per day
- Choosing organic foods, if possible
- Eating cruciferous vegetables at least once daily since they play a special role in prevention of prostate cancer (Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts support detoxification of the bad forms of estrogen.)
For additional prostate support, add key supplements such as:
- Omega 3 essential fatty acid (fish oil) | 3000 IU per day (Fish oil reduces inflammation throughout the body, including the prostate)
- Vitamin E Toco | 200-400 IU per day (Gamma Tocotrienols were found to suppress the cell's ability to imitate tumor growth)
- Vitamin D3 | 3000-4000 IU per day (Low levels of vitamin D may be linked to higher rates of prostate cancer)
- Ultra Prostagen | 3 tablets per day (Ultra Prostagen is a supplement with a combination of key nutrients that reduce prostate inflammation and increase urine flow)
- Nutrikey Key Greens & Fruits | 1 scoop per day (Key Greens & Fruits provide the antioxidants that stop free radical damage in the body)
If you are experiencing prostate problems or are concerned about maintaining a healthy prostate gland, ask yourself:
- Are there habits I need to change?
- Are there foods I need to include in my diet?
- Should I be taking Omega 3 essential fatty acid (fish oil) to reduce inflammation?
- Is it time to consult with a nutritionist?
Remember, food is your first line of defense for prostate problems (and most health conditions).
For more information on prostate health, listen to our Dishing Up Nutrition episode "Prostate Problems? What You Can Do" with special guest Greg Peterson.