Prostate Health: Reasons for Dysfunction and 12 Ways to Improve It

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prostate

12 Ways to Improve Your Prostate

The prostate gland is a key player in the male reproductive in that it secretes a good % of the makeup of male sperm.  The gland is about the size of a walnut and sits just below the bladder in men.  A common health problem today is prostate inflammation and cancer.  Fortunately, this disorder is completely preventable and reversible through a healthy lifestyle.

Common symptoms associated with prostate enlargement include frequent urination, urinary urgency, difficulty starting, reduced force of the urine stream, terminal dribbling, incomplete emptying of the bladder and the inability to urinate at all (1, 2).

It is believed that most men experience some level of prostate enlargement by the age of 45 but many do not have symptoms.  By the age of 60, it is believed that 80% of all men experience some sort of urinary problems due to prostate enlargement (3, 4).

The Prostate Filters Toxins:

The prostate gland was designed to filter toxins and impurities out of the semen to produce its finest sperm product for conception and reproduction of a strong healthy species.  The most common impurity in our systems today are xenoestrogens or man-made estrogen mimicking molecules (5, 6).

These chemicals disrupt the normal male estrogentestosterone balance and lead to unwanted prostatic growth.  As with any degenerative disease, oxidative stress from excess free radicals and inflammatory agents are also critical factors in prostatitis and prostatic carcinomas (7, 8).

Sedentary Lifestyle and Prostate Health

The prostate depends on a healthy amount of circulation to bring fresh blood and oxygen in this region.  A sedentary lifestyle creates congestion and stagnation in the prostate.  Certain population groups are at a higher risk than others (9).

These are people who spend longer periods in a seated position with increased pressure from automobile vibrations. This includes truck drivers, bus drivers, motorcycle riders, pilots, & people with long daily commutes. Another group at risk for prostatic problems includes bicycle riders since they experience increased pressure in the groin as they ride.

Nutritional Solutions:

An anti-inflammatory diet rich in phytonutrients from fresh fruit and vegetables is critical.  Eliminating all processed grains, meats, & dairy products is essential.  Load the diet up with good fat sources such as avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, & seeds.

Grass-fed and free-range meat products are important components.  These meats are rich in zinc and omega 3 fatty acids which are extremely critical for healthy prostate function (10, 11, 12).  Use natural anti-inflammatory based herbs such as cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, ginger, garlic, & rosemary.

Unique Nutritional Compounds:

Certain nutritional compounds are particularly good for preventing and reversing inflammation of the prostate.   Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, broccoli sprouts, kale, collard greens, & cabbage contain Indole -3-Carbonyl, isothiocyanates and sulforaphane which helps remove excess estrogens and other toxins from the body (13, 14, 15).

The best food source of these powerful nutrients are in cruciferous sprouts such as broccoli and kale sprouts.  With my prostate enlarged cases, I also like to use EstroProtect which is a concentrated DIM & sulfuraphane product that has the equivalent of eating several pounds of these sprouts.

EstroProtectHeader

Lycopene, Green Tea and  Zinc:

Lycopene is an antioxidant normally found in the prostate but it declines with age and poor lifestyle (16).  The best food sources include grapefruits, tomatoes, red peppers, goji berries and raspberries.  Be careful not to consume too much of these as they are higher in sugar.

Green tea and its polyphenolic anti-oxidants epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC) are also a powerful protection for the prostate (17, 18).  Epidemiological observations have suggested that people who consume green tea regularly have a lower risk of prostate problems.

CancerStemCellNutrientsPic

The Critical Importance of Zinc:

Zinc plays a critical role in enzymatic function, immunity, & reproductive health.  Prostate issues are very commonly associated with zinc deficiencies. Eat pumpkin seeds and organic, pasture-raised animal products, which are rich in zinc and have been shown to diminish the triggering of prostate cell multiplication (19, 20).

I like to have my prostate clients take an additional 40-80mg daily depending upon their zinc status assessed through heavy metal/mineral testing.  I use a highly absorbable form of zinc glycinate chelate.  This product is called Zinc Charge

ZincChargeHeader_grande

12 Ways to Improve Your Prostate:

1)  Optimize Your Vitamin D:  Low vitamin D3 (less than 60 ng/ml) is associated with low testosterone production and increased prostatic growth (21, 22, 23).  Be sure to increase your vitamin D through good amounts of regular sun exposure and/or taking a high quality vitamin D3/K2 supplement.

2)  Good Sleep:  It is absolutely critical to sleep well in order to produce healthy sex hormones.  Inadequate sleep will result in elevated stress hormone production and lowered testosterone. It also causes blood sugar imbalances and prostatic growth.  Follow these strategies to improve your sleep quality.

3)  Anti-Inflammatory Diet:  Focus on good fats, anti-oxidants and clean proteins.  Good fats such as coconut oil, grass-fed butter, avocados, olives and olive oil and fish oil provide the key fatty acids needed for optimal testosterone production and prostatic health.  Here is a helpful group of shopping lists to help you follow the right diet.

4)  Increase Anti-Oxidant Consumption: Drink anti-oxidant rich teas such as ginger, saw palmetto, and decaf green tea for an extra dose of anti-oxidants and phytochemicals to assist the body in the detoxification cycles necessary for a healthy prostate.

5)  Use Natural Products:  Be sure to avoid all plastics, deodorants, shampoos, household cleaning agents and anything else with xenoestrogen substances.  This article has a list of things to avoid.

6)  Use a High Quality Omega 3 Supplement:  I have all of my prostate clients using 2-5 grams of omega 3 fatty acids.  This helps to reduce inflammation in the prostate and improve testosterone production.  Research has revealed that high dose omega 3 fatty acids are very effective at reducing prostatic growth.  I also recommend 200 -500 mg of GLA with the omega 3’s for added anti-inflammatory benefits (24, 25).

7)  Zinc and Magnesium:  Be sure to optimize your zinc and magnesium levels.  Both of these nutrients are key for testosterone production and xenoestrogen detoxification.  Pumpkin seeds are one of the richest sources of both zinc and magnesium. Additionally, make green drinks or use super green powders and consume healthy organic meat products.

8)  Practice Deep Breathing:  Deep breathing can help calm an overactive sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system and relax the body.  This lowers stress hormone and reduces inflammation and abnormal growth in the body. Check this article out for more info on deep breathing.

9)  Low Intensity Movement:  A sedentary lifestyle depletes testosterone and inflames the prostate.  Throughout the day, get a lot of low-intensity movement such as walking, light cycling, playing, etc.  Regular movement will help reduce inflammation in the body and improve prostate health.

10)  Intermittent Fasting:  Going 16 hours between dinner and breakfast is one of the best ways to boost testosterone and reduce whole body inflammation and cancer growth.  Consume your meals in an 8 hour window such as 11am – 7pm.  Read this article for more info on fasting.

11)  Improve Your Gut Motility:  Improving bowel movement frequency and consistency is a key detoxification concept.  Consuming an anti-inflammatory diet with good fiber sources such as  chia seed and flax seed, using bone broths, fermented foods and probiotics will improve bowel motility.

12)  Use a Detailed Blood Sugar Support Pack:  Along with an anti-inflammatory diet, I use a specific blood sugar support program for my prostate clients.  This program contains high quality fish oil, glutathione boosting agents, curcumin, Vitamin D3/K2 and probiotics to support the gut microbiome.  These products will help the body become more sensitive to insulin and will down regulate inflammation in the body.

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Prostate Enlargement/BPH Health Center Link Here
2. Roehrborn CG. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: An Overview. Reviews in Urology. 2005;7(Suppl 9):S3-S14.
3. McNeal JE. Origin and evolution of benign prostatic enlargement. Invest Urol. 1978 Jan;15(4):340-5. PMID: 75197
4. Arrighi HM, Metter EJ, Guess HA, Fozzard JL. Natural history of benign prostatic hyperplasia and risk of prostatectomy. The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Urology. 1991;38(1 Suppl):4-8. PMID: 1714657
5. Wozniak M, Murias M. [Xenoestrogens: endocrine disrupting compounds]. Ginekol Pol. 2008 Nov;79(11):785-90. Polish. PMID: 19140503
6. Dickerson SM, Gore AC. Estrogenic environmental endocrine-disrupting chemical effects on reproductive neuroendocrine function and dysfunction across the life cycle. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2007 Jun;8(2):143-59. PMID: 17674209
7. Welshons WV, Nagel SC, Thayer KA, Judy BM, Vom Saal FS. Low-dose bioactivity of xenoestrogens in animals: fetal exposure to low doses of methoxychlor and other xenoestrogens increases adult prostate size in mice. Toxicol Ind Health. 1999 Jan-Mar;15(1-2):12-25. PMID: 10188188
8. Wetherill YB, Fisher NL, Staubach A, Danielsen M, de Vere White RW, Knudsen KE. Xenoestrogen action in prostate cancer: pleiotropic effects dependent on androgen receptor status. Cancer Res. 2005 Jan 1;65(1):54-65. PMID: 15665279
9. Lynch BM, Friedenreich CM, Kopciuk KA, Hollenbeck AR, Moore SC, Matthews CE. Sedentary behavior and prostate cancer risk in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 May;23(5):882-9. PMID: 24526287
10. Christudoss P, Selvakumar R, Fleming JJ, Gopalakrishnan G. Zinc status of patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate carcinoma. Indian Journal of Urology : IJU : Journal of the Urological Society of India. 2011;27(1):14-18.
11. Gonzalez A, Peters U, Lampe JW, White E. Zinc intake from supplements and diet and prostate cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(2):206-15. PMID: 19235036
12. Liu Z, Hopkins MM, Zhang Z, Quisenberry CB, Fix LC, Galvan BM, Meier KE. Omega-3 fatty acids and other FFA4 agonists inhibit growth factor signaling in human prostate cancer cells. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2015 Feb;352(2):380-94. PMID: 25491146
13. Sarkar FH, Li Y. Indole-3-carbinol and prostate cancer. J Nutr. 2004 Dec;134(12 Suppl):3493S-3498S. PMID: 15570059
14. Frydoonfar HR, McGrath DR, Spigelman AD. The effect of indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane on a prostate cancer cell line. ANZ J Surg. 2003 Mar;73(3):154-6. PMID: 12608980
15. Nachshon-Kedmi M, Yannai S, Haj A, Fares FA. Indole-3-carbinol and 3,3′-diindolylmethane induce apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells. Food Chem Toxicol. 2003 Jun;41(6):745-52. PMID: 12738179
16. Wertz K. Lycopene effects contributing to prostate health. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(6):775-83. PMID: 20155615
17. Johnson JJ, Bailey HH, Mukhtar H. Green tea polyphenols for prostate cancer chemoprevention: A translational perspective. Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology. 2010;17(1):3-13.
18. Gupta S, Ahmad N, Mukhtar H. Prostate cancer chemoprevention by green tea. Semin Urol Oncol. 1999 May;17(2):70-6. PMID: 10332919
19. Christudoss P, Selvakumar R, Fleming JJ, Gopalakrishnan G. Zinc status of patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate carcinoma. Indian Journal of Urology : IJU : Journal of the Urological Society of India. 2011;27(1):14-18.
20. Gonzalez A, Peters U, Lampe JW, White E. Zinc intake from supplements and diet and prostate cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(2):206-15. PMID: 19235036
21. Nimptsch K, Platz EA, Willett WC, Giovannucci E. Association between plasma 25-OH vitamin D and testosterone levels in men. Clinical endocrinology. 2012;77(1):106-112.
22. Chen TC, Holick MF. Vitamin D and prostate cancer prevention and treatment. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Nov;14(9):423-30. PMID: 14580762
23. Tuohimaa P, Lyakhovich A, Aksenov N, Pennanen P, Syvälä H, Lou YR, Ahonen M, Hasan T, Pasanen P, Bläuer M, Manninen T, Miettinen S, Vilja P, Ylikomi T. Vitamin D and prostate cancer. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2001 Jan-Mar;76(1-5):125-34. PMID: 11384870
24. Liu Z, Hopkins MM, Zhang Z, Quisenberry CB, Fix LC, Galvan BM, Meier KE. Omega-3 fatty acids and other FFA4 agonists inhibit growth factor signaling in human prostate cancer cells. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2015 Feb;352(2):380-94. PMID: 25491146
25. Robbins M, Ali K, McCaw R, Olsen J, Vartak S, Lubaroff D. gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)-mediated cytotoxicity in human prostate cancer cells. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1999;469:499-504. PMID: 10667374

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Comments

  1. Hello Dr David
    Awesome information regarding prostate problem. In 12 Prostate Health Action Steps at point 9 you mentioned – Low intensity Movement e.g. walking? But at subsequent point you advised intermittent fasting as well. Intermittent fasting has enormous benefits without any doubt. But generally with intermittent fasting I heard of High Intensity / Burst training??
    So in case of prostate problem ( enlargement ) if somebody is practicing intermittent fasting + other measures advised by you? Should he go for low intensity training or high intensity training? If low intensity training is okay, then what is it’s advantage over high intensity and why not high intensity traing? There is some confusion on this important issue. Kindly clarify .
    With regards,
    Dr Prakash Chhajed

  2. I am a 56 year old male. I consider myself as a ver active man, fit, strong, healthy eater and lifestyle, normal blood markers, slight middle age spread. I went high fat low carb for 4 years , felt great, lost 8 kgs but my PSA count started increasing (from 2.5 to over 5) and my urine stream slowed down (typical BPH). If I go strictly vegan (not vegetarian), which includes plenty monounsaturated (olive oil and nuts) and natural polyunsaturated fats (nuts – not vegetable oils) for a month (punishment month),it has helped me a lot to stay healthy, I also take alpha rise health, it is really good and natural!

  3. Dr. Jockers,

    My husband who is only 38 had his psa level tested as apart of a routine physical for his work. His psa level came back at a 7.8! It was tested again about a month later and was lower at 4.1 but also concerning was his free psa level which the doctor said was “low.” He doesn’t have any symptoms of prostate problems but the doctor wants to do a biopsy anyway. I have been a supporter of TTAC for several years now and am not in favor of a biopsy. The doctor said he had never done a biopsy on a patient so young. We are scared and confused about what to do and who to trust. In your opinion would it be a good idea to begin the supplements/herbs and change his diet while monitoring his psa for a few months especially before agreeing to a biopsy? Is there any other way to diagnose prostate cancer instead of a biopsy? Thanks for your help!

    -M

    1. I would not recommend the biopsy but would recommend that he do some coaching on diet and supplements with our functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner Michael. Periodically rechecking PSA markers would definitely be a good idea as well.

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