In our health history form, we routinely inquire about internal health concerns a patient may be experiencing. I am amazed at the frequency of men over 40 years of age that have some degree of prostate disease. Studies support what I am seeing: by 50 years of age, 20% of men will have prostate cancer and 75% will have an enlarged prostate; by age 75, approximately 60% will have prostate cancer. Nearly 100% of men that live full lives will die with cancerous lesions in their prostate, though usually not actually dying from prostate cancer.
But wait… there must be medical options that can solve this epidemic in middle age and senior men, right? Unfortunately, many common medical treatments can leave a man impotent or in diapers so many of our patients have understandably opted to keep it to themselves and suffer silently. Men, do I have your attention now?
According to James Meschino, DC, the incidence of prostate cancer is 80% less in Japan, Africa, and Eastern Europe. He also sites studies that confirm 75% of prostate cancer cases can be prevented with lifestyle and nutritional changes. The following are a list of simple changes a man can make to beat the odds and live with healthy “plumbing” and reproductive health into later years. It is compiled from several sources including Meschino and Dr John Maher.
Top 10 Steps to a Healthy Prostate
1. Vitamin E (up to 400 IU) and selenium (200 mcg) is protective; zinc (30 mg) further supports prostate and testicular health, as do the fatty acids in flaxseed, pumpkin seed, and walnuts.
2. Eat more tomatoes, watermelons and pink grapefruit as they contain lycopenes which are anti-oxidant phytonutrients and are prostate-supportive.
3. Eat lots of phytoestrogens, which are plant foods that contain weak estrogens, such as soy products; beans; legumes; apples; alfalfa; flaxseeds; and whole grains. These plant estrogens take up the receptor sites (think of these as parking spaces) for the more powerful “bad” estrogens.
4. Sexual intercourse is good for the prostate, although promiscuity may lead to infections and prostatitis. Three orgasms a week in males is correlated with longevity.
5. Remain at or near your ideal body weight.
6. Consume alcohol in moderation, or not at all. Moderation is subjective but should be considered less than 3 drinks per week with a preference for beer or wine versus liquor.
7. Eat cruciferous vegetables a minimum of three to five times per week.
8. Remain fit and exercise regularly. From a cardiovascular fitness standpoint, strive to achieve a resting heart rate of below 60 beats per minute.
9. Avoid pan-fried meats and other sources of heterocyclic amines (charred BBQ meats and blackened fish and meats).
10. At about 40 years old, begin taking nutritional supplements that include the following; saw palmetto (160-320 mg x2/day), pygeum africanum (100-200 mg/day), beta-sitosterol (65 mg x2/day), soy isoflavones (.5o mg/day) and stinging nettle (also called urtica dioica at 20-60 mg/day).
So guys, it is time to “man up” and begin taking steps (and not just step #4) to beat the odds and live into later years with a healthy prostate. Don’t wait until your symptoms have become significant enough that your only medical options seem as bad as the affliction.