How to Support your Prostate
(The technical stuff!)
The Healing of Saw Palmetto...
“To prevent BPH, start taking Saw Palmetto extract on a regular basis in your mid-forties.
Take at least 160mg per day of the pure extract,” says Dr. Julian Whitaker.(19)
For those who already have a prostate problem, he recommends taking 160mg up to 320mg of the pure extract each day, and have your urine flow checked every 30 to 60 days.
The Saw Palmetto extract (commonly known by its botanical name, Serenoa Repens) comes from a member of the palm family, and is native to the south-eastern USA. This plant has been recognised by the U.S Pharmacopoeia as a remedy for prostate problems since 1905!
At least a dozen scientific (double-blind and placebo-controlled) studies have been conducted on the extract of the Saw Palmetto plant (20,21,22) and it has been used in the clinical treatment of BPH in Europe for more than a decade.
The extract is natural, safe and has no known side-effects.
Saw Palmetto extract appears to work by inhibiting the production of 5-alpha-reductase (which causes the speeding up the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, one of the main causes of prostate enlargement).(23)
In 1984, Dr. G. Champault, a well-known British scientist, conducted one of the first double-blind studies to show that Saw Palmetto actually counteracts the hormonal imbalances that most commonly cause prostate enlargement.(24)
The results of Dr Champault’s study were so impressive that he stirred up the interest of the medical community – to such an extent that 37 prominent scientists, in 9 medical research centres around Europe, decided to conduct their own double-blind studies on the Saw Palmetto extract.
Their results showed an amazing 90% of the patients who were given Saw Palmetto experienced remarkable relief from their symptoms.
Zinc + Vitamin B6...
One of the nutrients most critical for prostate health is the mineral, Zinc. The prostate needs 10 times more Zinc than any other organ in the body. It is vital for preventing prostate problems, and for BPH sufferers.(11)
Unfortunately, 90% of us consume diets deficient in Zinc(12) because most of the Zinc in our modern diets is lost in processing. Plus the soil in which our food grows is becoming more and more depleted of its natural Zinc.(13)
Irving Bush and associates at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital, tested the effect of Zinc on patients with BPH symptoms. All patients reported symptomatic improvements, and 75% had palpable shrinkage of the prostate.(14)
Zinc not only inhibits the production of 5-alpha-reductase (thereby reducing the levels of dihydrotestosterone), it also helps the body excrete excess dihydrotestosterone.(15,16) Zinc has been shown in several controlled studies, to actually reverse prostate enlargement.
Zinc is poorly absorbed on its own. Unless it is combined with adequate levels of Vitamin B6, Zinc cannot be converted into a form that is readily used by the prostate. Therefore, any therapy using Zinc supplementation must also include sufficient Vitamin B6.
When men reach their 40’s, prolactin levels tend to increase, which in turn encourages the production of more 5-alpha-reductase. As we have already established, this enzyme increases the amount of testosterone that is converted to dihydrotestosterone… and so we get prostate enlargement.
Scientists believe that Zinc is the natural modulator of prolactin secretion by the pituitary gland. In fact, the combination of Zinc and Vitamin B6 is so effective in reducing prolactin levels that many researchers believe that a deficiency in either one might be a main cause of prostate enlargement.(17,18)
A Tomato A Day...
Lycopene is a natural antioxidant that is particularly prevalent in tomatoes.
Recent studies show it to have roughly twice the antioxidant power of Beta-Carotene and 10 times the strength of Vitamin E, when it comes to protecting and healing our bodies from the damage of free radicals.
[Free radicals are now considered to be the main cause of disease and ageing. In a process known as oxidation, they accelerate the break-down of our cells’ structure, thereby damaging the DNA and compromising the entire body.]
A 4-year study at Harvard University set out to see whether the five major antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables would have any beneficial effect on prostate cancer. Of the five, only Lycopene was found to have a direct link.
Researchers found that, of the 50,000 healthy males studied, those who ate at least 10 servings of tomatoes or tomato-based foods per week were 33% less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who never ate them.
Even those who only ate tomato-based products once a week had a 23% less chance of developing prostate cancer.
Researchers concluded that the active antioxidant in tomatoes, Lycopene, significantly reduces the risk of prostate cancer.(25)
Amino Acids: The Building Blocks of Life...
Amino acids are often referred to as ‘the building blocks of life’ because they are one of the fundamental requirements for life.
They are the chemical units that make up protein, and it is protein that provides the structure for all living tissue.
Three Amino Acids in particular, Glycine, Alanine and Glutamic Acid, appear to have a direct link with prostate problems.
In a double-blind study(26) to quantify this link, a mixture of these 3 Amino Acids was given to half the men in a group of BPH sufferers. A placebo (inert sugar pill) was given to the other half.
Results showed that, compared to the placebo group, the group taking the Amino Acids:
- 92% experienced a reduction in prostate size; 95% experienced less nocturia (need to urinate during the night);
- 81% found they had less urgency to urinate;
- 73% needed to urinate less frequently;
- 71% had reduced discomfort.
Another study(27) produced very similar results. Of the 45 men who took all three Amino Acids (as compared to a control group who did not receive any Amino Acids ):
- 95% of them noted a reduction in nocturia;
- 81% said they had a diminished sense of urgency;
- 73% said they had to urinate less often;
- 70% reported less “delay” in urination;
NONE of the subjects reported any adverse side effects or reactions
Statistics show that Oriental men have 50% less prostate problems than men in the western world; they also boast a lively sex life that continues well into their 80’s.
The Orientals herald Panax Ginseng for this enviable state of affairs, but modern science wanted to be sure!
So, in a thorough study of this ancient herb at the University of Nebraska School of Medicine, world famous scientists Fahim & Harman showed that Panax Ginseng does indeed offer extraordinary powers for men.
Their studies showed that it increased the production of testosterone, and in so doing, had several benefits:
- It helped to reduce enlarged prostates.
- It helped to prevent future prostate problems, and finally,
- It greatly enhanced the subjects’ sex drive and performance.(28)
Not bad for one little herb, eh?!
Bee Pollen ...
Bee Pollen is extremely rich in protein and essential fatty acids, and has been found to be very helpful in treating prostate problems.
A report in a Swedish medical journal cited several studies using Bee Pollen extract:
“Patients with inflamed prostates showed a marked improvement, with their prostate size returning to normal over a one year period.”
Similarly, a Japanese study of 30 patients suffering from acute prostatitis, showed that 16 of the 30 men (over half) who were treated with Bee Pollen, described it as “markedly effective”, while 13 of the remaining 14 men enjoyed some relief, classifying the treatment as “effective”.
Protecting Your Manhood ...
Prostate problems can undermine, not only the daily quality of a man’s life, but also his confidence; yet, it is scientifically proven that simple, nutritional support can offer tremendous relief for prostate sufferers.
Because nutritional supplementation is so effective, safe and inexpensive, I would recommend it to all men who are suffering with prostate discomfort, or who are concerned that they may do so in the future. It is certainly the most common-sense place to start looking for answers.
As Dr. James Balch, member of the American Urological Association, and urologist for 30 years, said:
“Taking care of your prostate is taking care of your manhood.”
Dr. Peter Mansfield
(MA, MB, B.Chir.,Cert.GAM, MI Psi.Med.):
“We know that some nutrients, foods and herbs influence prostate enlargement and some of them may also influence cancer spread or development.
In the absence of any firm reason to the contrary, it makes common sense to take advantage of safe nutritional influences which may deter prostate enlargement or prostate cancer.”
10 Whitaker, Julian, MD., Op cit.
11 Leake, Chrisholm, Busuttil and Habib. “Subcellular distribution of zinc in the benign and malignant human prostate.” Acta Endocrinol, 1984; 105.
12 Harman, Denham,M.D.,Ph.D. Professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska School of Medicine.
13 Mindell, Earl, Ph.D., R.Ph., The Vitamin Bible.
15 Murray and Pizzorno. Encyclopaedia of Natural medicine.
16 Whitaker, Julian, MD., Op cit.
17 Vescov, P.P. Journal of Hormone Metabolism Research.
18 Whitaker, Julian, MD., Op cit.
19 Whitaker, Julian, MD., Op cit.
20 Champault, G. et al. “A double-blind trial of an extract of the plant Serenoa repens in benign prostatic hyperplasia.” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1984; 18:461-62.
21 Whitaker, Julian, MD., Op cit.
22 Tripoli, V. et al. “Treatment of prostatic hypertrophy with Serenoa repens extract.” Med. Praxis, 1983; 4:41-6.
23 Whitaker, Julian, MD., Op cit.
24 Champault, G. et al., Op cit.
25 Giovannucci E., Ascherio A., Rimm E.B., Stampfer, M.J., Colditz, G.A., Willett, W.C.. “Intake of Carotenoids and retinol in relation to risk of prostate cancer.” Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Journal of National Cancer Institute (USA), December 6, 1995; 87 (23); p.767.
26 Finblatt, H. and Gant, J.C. “Value of glycine, alanine and glutamic acid combination in the treatment of benign prostate hypertrophy.” Journal of the Maine Medical Association., March 1958; v.49, n.3.
27 Dumrau, F. “Benign prostatic hyperlasia: amino acid therapy for symptomatic relief.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 1962; 10:462-430.
28 Harman, Denham, Op cit.
Blackmores. Professional Services Nutritional Prescribers Manual., 1992.
Cunningham, Chet. Your Prostate. United Research Publishers, CA, USA, 1994.
De Rosa, Corseles, Ruffilli et al. “Prolactin Excretion after Beer.” Lancet 2:934, 1981
Whitaker, Julian, MD. Health & Healing, May 1996, v.6, n.5, p.4-5.
Journal of Nutrition, 1995; 125: 1854-9
Sunday Times, “Cancer Surgery ‘of no benefit’.” April 27, 1997.