One of the latest trends in practical nutritional healing is the increasing use of prostate vitamins.
After the age of 40, many men are inconvenienced by an enlarged prostate. They may have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. They may tend to "dribble" when they urinate.
These symptoms are disagreeable, but the main concern of most men with these symptoms is that they have prostate cancer or they will develop prostate cancer soon.
Early Symptoms of Prostate Disease:
Burning sensation or burning pain during urination. This may be accompanied by chills, fever, pain in the scrotum, or painful ejaculation.
Delayed, interrupted, weak, or scanty urine stream.
Difficulty urinating and emptying the bladder.
Urgent or frequent need to urinate, especially at night.
The good news is, prostate problems are usually caused by a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BHP. This condition usually is truly benign. Cancer does not usually result. And prostate vitamins can relieve symptoms.
BHP is unquestionably unpleasant. The medications are therapies medicine offers for BHP have serious side effects. Prostate vitamins are among the overlooked nutritional tools that can treat prostate problems and even prevent prostate cancer. Let's look at the two principal prostate vitamins, D and E.
One of the many functions of vitamin D is to encourage cells to "differentiate," that is, to become uniquely suited to their tasks in the tissues where they are found. A characteristic of cancer cells is that they are "undifferentiated," that is, they have enough energy to consume nutrients and to reproduce themselves but they do not contribute to surrounding tissues.
This first of the prostate vitamins, vitamin D, essentially tells the cancer cell to switch itself off and stop reproducing. It may in some cases even cause cancer cells to revert to normal cells.
Getting enough foods with vitamin D or supplemental vitamin D reduces the risk of developing insulin-dependent diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or rheumatoid arthritis, especially in dark-skinned persons and persons living in the northern United States, Canada, northern Europe, Siberia, Alaska, or the south island of New Zealand.
But you won't know you're deficient until after vitamin D deficiency symptoms appear, many years after you should have started making sure you were getting enough prostate vitamins including vitamin D.
Can you get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone?
If you live north of 40 degrees north latitude (about the latitude of New York City) or south of 40 degrees south latitude (about the latitude of Wellington, New Zealand), for at least half of the year, you can't.
In Boston, Massachusetts, for instance, there is insufficient ultraviolet radiation in the sunlight for skin to make adequate amounts of vitamin D from early November to early March. On the South Island of New Zealand, vitamin D deficiency is a real risk from early May to early September.
In Calgary, Alberta, residents don't get enough vitamin D even if they get daily sun exposure from October until nearly April. And in northern Europe, Alaska, and Russia, the problem is even worse.
Vitamin E is another the prostate vitamins. It is especially important in preventing that great destroyer of sex lives in men, prostate cancer.
Finnish scientists have found that the risk of prostate cancer can be cut significantly when both of vitamin E's major components -- alpha- and gamma-tocopherol -- are both present in high levels in the blood, according to an analysis of 100 men with prostate cancer and 200 men who were cancer-free.
In this study published in the Journal of the American Cancer Institute in March 2005, men with the highest levels of alpha-tocopherol in their blood at the beginning of they study were 51 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer. Those who had the highest levels of the form of vitamin E known as gamma-tocopherol were 43 percent less likely to be stricken with the disease. The link between high tocopherol levels and the reduced prostate cancer risk was stronger among men who used vitamin E supplements than among men who didn't.
In addition to prostate vitamins, other nutritional supplements help BHP. Zinc not only restores normal urination, it helps the prostate return to its normal size. Just be sure your supplement contains not just zinc but also copper. Zinc interferes with the body's absorption of copper, and you should not take any zinc supplement by itself for more than two months.
There's general agreement among herb experts that saw palmetto can help shrink the prostate in BHP and relieve inflammation caused by prostate infection. Pygeum and stinging nettle root also help. Still better results may be found with beta-sitosterol. Unlike saw palmetto, beta-sitosterol blocks the action of testosterone in the prostate but does not block its effect on sex drive.
Flaxseed oil is often recommended to accompany prostate vitamins, but DHA or EPA from fish oil or marine algae may be a better idea. Flaxseed oil is a terrific source of the omega-6 fatty acids, but omega-6 fatty acids are abundant in the diets of North America, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids actually promote inflammation.
Especially if you are not taking prostate vitamins, you should get your essential fatty acids from fish or algae rather than from flax.
Avoid antihistamines and other over-the-counter cold remedies. They can make symptoms worse.
If the need for nighttime urination is a problem, stay away from caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, particularly beer. Consume fewer fluids after dinner.
Soy foods such as tofu contain isoflavones that may protect the prostate and ward off cancer. You don't have to switch to an all-soy diet to get the benefits of soy. In fact, your body can only absorb the isoflavones found in a one-ounce (30 gram) serving of soy a day.
If you take prescriptions for other health problems, let you urologist know. Interference with the flow of urine is a common side effect of medication, especially of some of the older (and cheaper) medications for high blood pressure.
If you buy an over the counter nutritional supplement for prostate health, read the label carefully. Many do not contain enough of the prostate vitamins to be effective.
Just be sure your supplement contains all the prostate vitamins listed on the label. Consider a product like Total Balance Men's Premium
. All of the 85 ingredients in Total Balance Men's Plus work in complete synergy without interfering with each other. You don't need high doses of any one of the prostate vitamins, just a highly concentrated, natural supplement providing all the prostate vitamins needed for sexual health.
We take Total Balance ourselves and are very happy with the results. It is in covered it in detail in the "what we take tab" on the upper left hand portion of this page.