Author: Dr. James Balch, Urologist
If you answer yes to just one of these questions, read this report NOW!
Do you get up once or twice a night to urinate?
Do you often have sudden, uncontrollable urges to urinate?
Do you have frequent need to urinate?
Is your urine stream slow or dribbling?
Do you sometimes need to urinate, but find it difficult?
Do you experience burning or pain when urinating?
Benign Prostate Hypertrophy (BPH) refers to the enlargement of the prostate gland, a disorder that has reached almost epidemic proportions in our modern civilizations. When the prostate gland enlarges, it pushes against the urethra (the waterworks tube) affecting a man’s ability to urinate and often function sexually.
Millions have it and don’t know it, unfortunately, most men wait too long to do something about this problem, usually because it begins very quietly and progresses very slowly. One of the first symptoms is simply having to get up to urinate during the night, a sign that most men disregard1. Because these symptoms are so vague, nearly 90% of all Prostate cancer goes undetected until it has spread beyond the most easily treated stage. Dr. Mark Garnick recently reported in ‘Scientific America’ that nearly 10 million American men have prostate cancer and don’t know it!
If you are over 40 you probably have it, prostatic enlargement occurs in 96% of men over the age of 457. Although BPH is not a dangerous condition in and of itself, it can lead to other potentially serious conditions. For example, if BPH prevents the bladder from being emptied completely, bladder infections can occur which can progress to infections of the urethra and kidneys. Beyond that, urine can be retained in the blood (a very toxic and dangerous situation) and if BPH is left untreated, the cells of the prostate may begin to mutate leading to prostate cancer-the No 3 killer of men in the U.K.
The cause of prostate enlargement seems to begin with hormonal changes brought on by the aging process. After the age of 45, circulating testosterone levels begin to decrease every year, a change which tends to lead to increased levels of another hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT enters the nucleus of the cell and stimulates protein synthesis and growth causing the overproduction and swelling of prostate cells which ultimately results in BPH. This potent hormonal loop is considered by many as almost inevitable but may not be entirely age related, being also connected to vitamin deficiency, diet and pollutants.
Your diet may be damaging your sex life!
High cholesterol levels may also play a role in the development of BPH. Some of the by-products of cholesterol metabolism (free radicals) have been shown to be damaging to human cells and carcinogenic in nature. They also tend to accumulate in the human prostate gland, which has been shown to initiate the degeneration of prostatic cells.
What to do?
The only medically approved treatments for BPH to date are prescription drugs and/or invasive surgery. Prostate surgery has become the second most common surgery in men. Surgery also carries with it and up to 50% risk of impotence. All is not lost! Don’t believe these are your only choices. There are 100% natural alternatives that really do work. Scientific research trials in Europe and the U.S.A. on many natural products has shown significant improvement for prostate problems.
Let’s start with…Zinc – the man’s vitamin
The most critical nutrient needed by the prostate is the mineral zinc. It is arguably the most important element in any approach aimed at improving the condition of the prostate. The prostate needs 10 times more zinc than any other organ in the body; it is vital for the healthy functioning of the prostate gland.
Unfortunately, 90% of us consume diets deficient in zinc. Zinc is believed to be the natural modulator of prolactin secretion by the pituitary gland. Prolaction stimulates 5-alpha-reductose which causes an increased uptake of testosterone by the prostate, thus supplying more substrate for conversion to DHT. Zinc has been shown in several controlled studies to actually reverse prostate enlargement. This essential mineral helps to prevent the hormonal imbalance that causes prostate enlargement by reducing the amount of dihydrotestosterone produced.
Zinc can reduce the bonding of both testosterone and DHT to cell receptor sites, thereby allowing the body to excrete excess testosterone and dihydrotestosterone especially from the prostate. Irving Bush and associates at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital tested zinc supplements of between 11mg and 34 mg. All patients reported symptomatic improvements and 75% had palpable shrinkage of the prostate 11.
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa serrulata)
Saw Palmetto extract (sometimes referred to as ‘permixan’ in medical literature) can be known by its botanical name ‘Serenoa Repens’. Native to south eastern America, this plant has been recognized by the U.S. Pharmacopoeia as a remedy for prostate problems since 1905.
The extract is taken from the berries and works by inhibiting the production of 5-alpha-reductose. It also keeps dihydrotestosterone from binding to the cell receptors in the prostate.
In a double-blind study conducted by well-known British scientist, Dr. Champault, Saw Palmetto was given to numerous patients suffering from prostatis. The results of this study proved that Saw Palmetto counteracts the hormonal imbalances most commonly the cause of prostate enlargement.
Dr Champault’s study kindled such interest that 37 prominent scientists in 9 medical research centres around Europe decided to conduct their own double-blind studies. Their results showed an amazing 90% of the patients given Saw Palmetto experienced significantly relieved symptoms.
It also has been shown to exert superior benefits when compared to one of Europe’s most popular prescription drugs for prostate disorders. One journal cites more than 20 double-blind placebo-controlled studies that show how effective Saw Palmetto is in relieving all major symptoms of BPH. Of 11 studies that examined the effectiveness of Saw Palmetto,… ALL found the extract to reduce BPH symptoms.
Oriental men have over 50% less prostate problems than men from other areas of the world and boast of a lively sex life well into their eighties. They herald Panax Ginseng as their secret, but modern science wanted to be sure.
In a thorough study of this ancient herb at the University of Nebraska School of Medicine, world famous scientists Dr. W. S. Fahim and Dr. I. M. Harman showed that indeed Panax ginseng offered extraordinary powers for men. It increased the production of testosterone and, in doing so, it had several benefits.
Firstly it helps to reduce enlarged prostates; secondly it helps to prevent future prostate problems and thirdly, it greatly enhances the subject’s sex drive and performance. It is also thought Panax Ginseng aids the intestinal absorption of zinc.
Red fruits derive their colour from the chemical Lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid and is of the same family as beta carotene. It is a fat soluble antioxidant and has roughly twice the power of beta carotene and ten times the strength of vitamin E when it comes to neutralizing free radicals.
A Harvard University four year study involving almost 50,000 male health workers (free of cancer) found Lycopene, when taken daily, significantly reduced the risk of prostate cancer. The researchers discovered that men who ate at least ten servings of tomatoes or tomato based foods per week were 45% less likely to develop prostate cancer. This study found that African-Americans who consumed the lowest amounts of tomatoes have the highest rates of prostate cancer.
Out of a total of 46 different fruits and vegetables, only strawberries and tomatoes showed effectiveness in decreasing prostate cancer, interestingly, the process of cooking the tomatoes, seems to make the Lycopene more effective and easier to absorb.
According to Dr. David G. Williams of Alternative Health Newsletter, Lycopene has natural salicylates which are accepted by the medical community to be effective in decreasing cardiovascular related deaths. It is also considered the prime antioxidant to protect your skin against ageing effects caused by ultra-violet radiation from the sun8.
Alone, each of these ingredients has been shown in world-renowned scientific studies to be an effective treatment for BPH. To maintain a healthy prostate you should take as many of these ingredients as possible.
If you are over 40 years and have never had a PSA blood test (a precautionary indicator for prostate cancer). It is recommended you do so. This should be repeated as and when necessary dependent upon you PSA level.
1. Dr. James Balch, Urologist
2. Dr. Denham Harmon MD, PhD professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska School of Medicine
3. P P Vescov, Journal of Hormone Metabolism Research
4. Dr. Henry Finblatt and Dr. J C Gant, Journal of the Maine Medical Association
5. Dr. G Champault, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
6. Rosa Corseles, Ruffilli et al, Prolactim Excretion after Beer- Lancet 3:934, 1981
7. The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide (Random House)
8. J Nutri 95,125:1854-9
9. New England Journal of Medicine 1992
10. Acta Endocrinology 1984 Vol. 105
11. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Murray and Pizzerno
12. Wynder. Rose Cohen. Nutrition and prostate. Natural Remedies for the Prostate- E Wallace