By the time you are 60 years old — if you’re a man — there’s a fifty-fifty chance that you’ll be suffering from an enlarged prostate. If you live long enough, your chances climb to 90%.
An enlarged prostate — a condition called benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), is a non-cancerous swelling of the prostate. As your prostate begins to swell, you’ll typically feel the urge to make more frequent trips to the bathroom, your urine stream could be weak, and you’ll have a hard time finishing, you’ll probable dribble more than usual.
An enlarged prostate can also interfere with your sex life and your overall quality of life. Often an enlarged prostate is a symptom of a hormone imbalance in part due to testosterone and estrogen imbalances. A process called aromatization causes testosterone to be converted to estrogen, triggering both male breast development and/or prostate problems. Most doctors take a ‘watch-and-wait’ approach to an enlarged prostate. They figure if it doesn’t grow too fast and the symptoms don’t become too severe, then it’s something you can live with. If the symptoms get worse and become unmanageable, then the next option they recommend is surgery.
This is not the approach I recommend for my clients. There are many intelligent options and steps to try prior to recommending surgery. In fact, you can begin treating your enlarged prostate right away. Many of the same steps you take now for an enlarged prostate can also protect you from prostate cancer in the future — an unrelated condition. Natural approaches can be successful in relieving a lot of the symptoms that come with an enlarged prostate.
Caring for an Enlarged Prostate…
How to Slow Its Growth and Keep it From Becoming a BIG Problem
Most doctors chalk up an enlarged prostate to a natural part of the aging process. And that’s why they feel comfortable taking a hands-off approach until things get real bad!
This pro-active strategy is part of a therapeutic lifestyle change that improves the quality of your life and has the added bonus of cutting your risks of cancer. So, just how do you keep your prostate from growing out-of-control?
I emphasize a proper diet as a major to help prostate health. This involves a low carbohydrate diet. It’s also important that you be physically active. Daily physical activity helps. Research shows that men who get the most exercise reduce their risks of an enlarged prostate by 40%. Increasing your metabolism and preventing muscle wasting (especially of type II muscle fiber) by strength training is very helpful. Doing only cardio aerobics won’t help muscle from wasting, in fact it may add to it. Resistance exercise is the key.
The way to stop/reverse, or outright prevent poor quality testosterone build up, is by doing resistance training with bodyweight exercise, free weights, kettlebells, bands, or cables – I do not recommend weight machines because these do not resemble real life movements. Weight machines limit motion and enhance loss of flexibility. Where in real life are you sitting down and pushing weights other than in a gym? You might call the combination of diet and resistance training Prostate Fitness.
Most people don’t want to do or stay committed to the fitness portion. We’ve been brainwashed into using food as medicine, as a substitute for pills and potions, and that alone will do it for us. Don’t be lazy! Put a demand on your endocrine system so that testosterone is being used. Thirty minutes of high intensity weight training four-six times a week will restore your manliness.
Once you start eating right and taking care of your embodiment, many ailments/problems start to disappear – and instead of a swollen prostate, a new healthy guy comes to life.
The diet must include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage five to six times a week. Snacks that are high in zinc and magnesium are also beneficial to your prostate.
Higher levels of estradiol promote prostate enlargement and getting that under control reduces the problem. For some men, the problem is that testosterone gets converted to estradiol, especially if testosterone replacement uses patches or creams – less so with injections. The life extension foundation, while not mentioning prostate issues specifically, notes after a review of almost all the literature on estradiol that estradiol is best in men when it is within the 20-30 ng/ml range. Lower levels and higher levels than 20-30 ng/ml leads to a greater incidence of stroke, heart problems, bone thinning and other issues. The lab reference range goes from 0 to 50 or so.
Additionally, having high or low estradiol leads to Erectile Dysfunction (ED), depression, anxiety, lethargy, low motivation and a whole host of other problems that one’s doctor is prone to prescribe a wide range of drugs instead of testosterone replacement. Most often men require supplements to prevent Testosterone from converting to estradiol.
Some Physicians hold that DHT (5-alpha diHydroxyTestosterone) is the culprit of prostate health. Areas of the body rich in hair follicles are also rich in 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme producing DHT. That conversion can be thwarted by means of half doses of OTC progesterone (found in the menopause section of natural food stores).
Supplements I recommend can be ordered on my website by clicking onto the Metagenics website.
Testralin is designed and intended for daily, ongoing support of the prostate gland and to balance hormones in aging males (40 years and older). In terms of mechanism of action:
– The vitamins and minerals in the formula (for example Vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid) support liver enzymes involved in hormone detoxification.
– The isoflavones and lignans support sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) production and sensitivity.
– Isoflavones also have an inhibitory effect on 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme in the prostate that converts testosterone to 5-alpha dihydrotestosterone, the main prostatic androgen. Furthermore, isoflavones are also known to inhibit aromatase activity, the enzyme in adipose tissue that converts androgens to estrogens. Lastly, according to the article attached, since prostate cancers and BPH specimens can express estrogen receptors, their growth may also be inhibited by the antiestrogenic effects of isoflavones.
– Turmeric serves as an anti-inflammatory and the green tea catechins are powerful antioxidants that protect tissues from oxidative stress.
Tribulus Synergy (aka puncture vine) has traditionally been used (literally for more than 1000 years) as an aphrodisiac for males. It has recently been used as a performance enhancer by some former Eastern block countries. While the mechanism is not really known, it is felt that Tribulus Synergy decreases testosterone clearance as opposed to directly stimulating its production.
Ashwagandha, also referred to as “Indian Ginseng,” has also been traditionally used as a “tonic” for men. Finally, cowage/mucuna contains natural L-dopa, a side-effect of which is spontaneous erection.
Thus, the rationale for using Tribulus Synergy is more philosophical and in line with the traditional use of these herbs contained in the formula. While Tribulus has very controversial documentation in western literature, it is one of the oldest herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is well respected in that circle.
“… In castrated rats, increases in [testosterone] levels by 51% and 25% were observed with [testosterone] and [tribulus] extract respectively that were statistically significant. [Tribulus] increases some of the sex hormones, possibly due to the presence of protodioscin in the extract. [Tribulus] may be useful in mild to moderate cases of ED…” Phytomedicine. 2008 Jan;15(1-2):44-54. The hormonal effects of Tribulus terrestris and its role in the management of male erectile dysfunction–an evaluation using primates, rabbit and rat. Gauthaman et al.
“…Withania somnifera, popularly known as Ashwagandha is widely considered as the Indian ginseng. In Ayurveda, it is classified as a rasayana (rejuvenation) and expected to promote physical and mental health, rejuvenate the body in debilitated conditions and increase longevity…” Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Sep 21 Withania somnifera: An Indian ginseng. Kulkarni et al.
“…Mucuna pruriens possesses significantly higher antiparkinson activity compared with levodopa in the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesioned rat model of Parkinson’s disease…” Phytother Res. 2004 Sep;18(9):706-12. Neuroprotective effects of the antiparkinson drug Mucuna pruriens. Manyam et al.
“…From animal research, there is ample evidence for a facilitating effect of dopamine on sexual behavior…These results support the view that dopamine is involved in the energetic aspects of appetitive sexual behavior in men…” Neuropsychopharmacology. 2005 Jan;30(1):173-83. Effect of a single dose of levodopa on sexual response in men and women. Both et al.
Other supplements often recommended are Nettle root (not leaf). This is a very good supplement to take if you’re suffering from benign prostate enlargement. Nettle inhibits the Aromatase and 5-Alpha Reductase enzymes that cause enlargement of the prostate, and it inhibits the binding of DHT to the prostate cells. Just don’t overdo it…take too much, or take it too often, and you’ll experience a reduction in your testosterone levels.
Vitamin D3 is particularly important for prostate health and the higher ones blood serum levels, the lower the chance of prostate problems including cancer.
I hope this helps!
Dr. Jeffrey TuckerMore