Did you know that approximately half of all men over age 60 have an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). And, according to the Mayo Clinic, 95 percent of men who reach age 85 has BPH. Prostate exams for men should be performed annually but many men still don’t visit their doctors to get this test due to fear and embarrassment.
The Prostate Health Council of the American Foundation for Urologic Disease (AFUD) launched Prostate Health Month in September to educate about prostate disease, treatment and maintaining prostate health.
Prostate issues including enlarged prostate (BPH) and prostatitis are extremely common. Approximately eight in 10 men will eventually develop an enlarged prostate and one in 10 men will develop prostate cancer. And some men have both BPH and prostate cancer, as they are two different conditions. Having BPH does not mean it will transform into prostate cancer.
According to Tom Bruckman, executive director, AFUD, many men believe that most prostate issues are cancerous or lead to cancer, and that prostate issues only affect older men. Typically compared to the size of a walnut, the prostate gland often grows larger through simple aging. It normally wraps around the urethra. BPH is not cancerous, and it is the most common prostate issue. Its symptoms include difficulty urinating, weak urinary stream, and constant need during the night urinate.
BPH is often addressed by prescriptions and in some cases, surgery.
Prostatitis, meanwhile signifies that the prostate is inflamed; this is not a condition that is contagious. Although medical science still has not identified exact causes of prostatitis, it is believed that it is caused by bacteria that migrates to the prostate from the urethra. And this is commonly treated with antibiotics.
Men can support their prostate health by foods and dietary supplements, such as Fucosea, which is rich in numerous vitamins, minerals omega-3 EFAs and other nutraceuticals that help bolster immunity (and therefore prostate support).
According to the editors at Healthline.com, there are several key nutrients that prostate needs to function in a healthy and strong manner.
Zinc: Studies have shown that men who have BPH have lower zinc levels than men whose prostates are in a normal size range. Zinc is found in sesame seed, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.
Lycopene: This is a carotenoid found in tomato sauce and other tomato products has also been found to lower the risk of developing prostate problems, such as BPH. One study showed that men who took lycopene exhibited slower progression of BPH. Lycopene also helps lower the prostate specific antigen (PSA) connected to prostate inflammation. Other foods that contain lycopene watermelon, apricot, pink grapefruit and papaya.
Beta-sitosterol: This is a plant sterol that has been shown in some studies to reduce symptoms associated with BPH. There have been some reports that men who have supplemented with beta sitosterol have reduced BPH symptoms, and more normalized urinary flow. Foods abundant in beta sitosterol include avocados, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, soybeans and pecans.