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7th Dec 2023

​4 Tips for Supporting Prostate Health

Posted by Melanie Winter

What is the prostate?

The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut that sits around the urethra (the tube that passes urine and semen out of the body). The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system, and it produces a fluid that, together with sperm cells, makes up semen. The fluid helps to protect and transport sperm in the female reproductive system.

Prostate concerns

Three of the main health problems that men experience with the prostate can include Prostatitis (usually caused by bacterial infection). BPH or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, which impacts half of men over 50 and is also known as prostate enlargement, that can cause lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). These symptoms can include:

  • Increased frequency of urine (including nighttime- nocturia)
  • Polyuria (passing larger volumes of urine)
  • Voiding problems
  • Other urinary-related symptoms

The other main prostate problem is prostate cancer, and in 2022 it was estimated that 1 in 6 men would be at risk of being diagnosed by the age of 85.

When to see a doctor?

Anyone experiencing symptoms of LUTS should consult their doctor to check for any conditions related to the prostate. Other symptoms that could warrant a check-up with the doctor could include pain during ejaculation, blood in the semen, or pain around the base of the penis, the perineum, the lower back, or the rectum. Other more serious problems, like prostate cancer, may need to be ruled out.

Can I prevent prostate problems?

Remember, while maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial for prostate health, it's just one aspect. Other factors like genetics, age, and overall lifestyle habits also play a role. It's essential to adopt a holistic approach to health, including regular medical check-ups and healthy lifestyle choices, to support prostate health and overall well-being. If you have specific concerns about your prostate health, it's best to consult a healthcare professional for personalised advice and guidance.

Supporting prostate health

1. Maintain a healthy weight and BMI

Maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial for overall health, including prostate health. Here's how weight and prostate health are connected:

Reduced Risk of Prostate Cancer: although there is some mixed evidence, some studies showobesity has been linked to an increased risk of developing aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Men who are overweight or obese might have a higher likelihood of developing this condition.

Inflammation Management: Obesity is associated with chronic inflammation, which can impact prostate health. Chronic inflammation has been linked to an increased risk of prostate issues, including prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland) and other prostate-related conditions.

Hormonal Balance: Fat cells can produce hormones, including estrogen, which can affect the balance of hormones in the body. Changes in hormonal balance can influence the risk of prostate issues.

Improving Overall Health: Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise contributes to better overall health. This includes cardiovascular health, which indirectly affects prostate health, as good blood circulation supports the delivery of nutrients and the removal of waste from the prostate gland.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Weight and Supporting Prostate Health:

Balanced Diet: Focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limit processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats. Also, the Mediterranean diet can help manage weight and reduce the risk of prostate disease.

2. Reduce Stress

When our bodies are stressed, they go into fight-or-flight mode. This is a survival mechanism for when we were hunters and gatherers. When we came across a predator, we would get a burst of energy to fight or flee. This happens because adrenaline or cortisol is released. While this reaction can be beneficial sometimes, chronic stress can impact our health.

Stress can lead to increased levels of stress hormones like cortisol which can deplete zinc. Cortisol also depresses other key hormones like testosterone. Zinc is an important mineral for the prostate and is found in higher concentrations in the prostate than in other parts of the body.

Zinc deficiency, which can be caused by prolonged stress, can cause the prostate gland to enlarge, worsening symptoms.

How do I reduce stress, though?

Effective stress management involves various strategies. Start by practising mindfulness or meditation to focus on the present moment and calm the mind.

Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep play key roles in reducing stress. Prioritize tasks and set realistic goals to manage time effectively. Engage in relaxation techniques like yoga or progressive muscle relaxation.

Cultivate a supportive social network and limit exposure to stress triggers. Finally, consider seeking professional help if stress becomes overwhelming. Combining these strategies helps build resilience and promotes a healthier response to stressors in daily life.

3. Regular exercise

Exercise supports prostate health by aiding in weight management, regulating hormone levels, reducing inflammation, improving circulation, relieving stress, and enhancing immune function. Maintaining a regular exercise routine helps manage body weight, which is linked to a lower risk of prostate issues like cancer.

Physical activity also positively influences hormone balance and decreases inflammation markers in the body, potentially benefiting prostate health. Improved blood circulation supports the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the prostate gland while removing waste products.

Additionally, exercise acts as a natural stress reliever and boosts immune function, contributing to overall prostate health.

4. Nutrients and herbs to support prostate health

Saw palmetto: has been traditionally used in Western Herbal Medicine to support prostate health and function and has also been used for symptoms of medically diagnosed cystitis. Saw palmetto supports urinogenital health, including supporting healthy urine output.

Saw Palmetto has also been used in traditional Western Herbal Medicine as a nutritive tonic. Eclectic and naturopathic practitioners have used the berries as a tonic to support the body nutritionally. Saw palmetto has also been used to soothe and calm the nerves.

Epilobium (Willow herb): has a long history of use in traditional herbal medicine as a male tonic and to assist urinary flow. It is also thought to assist by reducing inflammation in the prostate.

Crateva: has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years for bladder and urinary problems. Animal studies have shown this herb may support prostate health through an antioxidant action.

Lycopene: Lycopene is a red-coloured carotenoid found in foods such as tomatoes, guavas, ruby grapefruit and watermelon. It is a powerful antioxidant that is stored by the body in the prostate gland and may help to maintain prostate health via a number of mechanisms. Cooked tomato products (including tomato sauce) are the best dietary sources of lycopene, but it is also available in supplement form.

Zinc: The prostate contains a higher concentration of zinc than any other body tissue and maintaining adequate zinc levels is important for overall prostate health and functioning. Some evidence suggests that men with prostate conditions have lower zinc levels in their prostates and prostatic secretions than men without prostate disease.

Key Takeaways

  • There are 3 main concerns with prostate health, prostatitis, BPH and prostate cancer
  • The cause can be bacterial for prostatitis. But for BPH and prostate cancer the reasons are either unknown or multifactorial.
  • Genetics, lifestyle and many other factors may be involved
  • Maintaining a healthy diet, exercise and managing stress are all important for maintaining prostate health
  • Some nutrients can support general prostate health but may not prevent or treat serious prostate problems so you will still need to see a health professional.

Information in this blog is not intended to take the place of any medical information and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical conditions. 

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