The most effective natural approaches to preventing and treating prostate enlargement, heart disease, sexual dysfunction, and more
1. Enlarged Prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)
The all-too-common problem of prostate enlargement, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), affects almost half of men over the age of 45. It is characterized by problems with urination, including difficulty starting and stopping, a sluggish stream, the need to urinate frequently at night, and the tendency to dribble.
As men age, their hormone status changes. Testosterone levels decline, while levels of estrogen and a metabolite of testosterone known as DHT increase—and this fuels prostate growth. To make matters worse, toxins such as pesticides and herbicides, plasticizers such as BPA, and other environmental pollutants known as xenoestrogens mimic the effects of estrogen in the body and exacerbate the problem. So the key to successful treatment is to reduce their effects on the prostate.
To prevent and treat prostate enlargement, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, that promote hormone balance by detoxifying estrogen. Also consume foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce prostate inflammation. Cold-water fish (salmon, sardines), flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, fermented soy (miso, natto, tempeh), and nuts and seeds are all good sources. Zinc-rich foods, including pumpkin seeds, are also helpful. And limit your intake of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, all of which can inflame the prostate.
Supplement-wise, saw palmetto extract has been shown in several studies to help BPH. A meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed 18 randomized, controlled trials involving 2,939 men with BPH and found that saw palmetto can improve urinary fl ow as effectively as the commonly used drug Finasteride.
Pygeum africanum is an herb that works well with saw palmetto to improve prostate health and nightly urination; beta sitosterol is a phytonutrient that reduces symptoms of BPH; and indole-3-carbinol is an extract of broccoli that helps the liver metabolize hormone metabolites that may cause prostate swelling. And don’t forget zinc, which is an invaluable mineral for treating prostate enlargement.
What to take
Saw palmetto: 320 mg daily of an 85–95 percent fatty sterol standardized extract
Beta sitosterol: 60–130 mg daily
Pygeum africanum: 120 mg twice daily
Indole-3-carbinol: 300 mg daily.
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