Men’s Health Month Spotlight: Prostate Health & Beyond – Invite Health Podcast, Episode 112
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
In honor of Men’s Health Month, I wanted to speak with you about important nutrients that men should be using to promote overall wellness, energy, stamina and libido. I will also be speaking about BPH (benign prostatic hypoplasia) and Erectile Dysfunction.
BPH, or , is a benign enlargement of the prostate gland. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, approximately 25% of men in their 40s have BPH. This number grows to about 80% of men in their 70s. The good news about this disease is that it is a benign condition. Now, that doesn’t mean that it is normal or not harmful, as it does still cause health concerns but being benign means that it is not cancerous. BPH has been shown to impact sleep, which can cause many issues.
A Healthy Diet
If you are following a Standard American Diet (SAD), that will worsen any kind of condition you have, as it is commonly filled with sugar and processed foods. If you have an enlargement of the prostate gland, there is inflammation that may be reduced by following an anti-inflammatory diet. A Mediterranean diet is a great example of a healthy diet that can help quell inflammation in the body, as it touts seeds, nuts, oils, fish and other protein. Learn more about the Mediterranean Diet by clicking here! This diet can help to provide higher amounts of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like omega-3s. The better you are able to adhere to a high quality diet (like the Mediterranean diet), means that the body will be able to generate less inflammation. High-fat foods, bad carbohydrates and high amounts of sugar can exacerbate the underlying condition and contributes to inflammation.
In addition to following a healthy diet, there are some clinically studied nutrients that may provide added benefit.
Lifestyle and Nutrient Recommendations
The first I want to speak with you about is Saw Palmetto. Saw Palmetto is probably one of the most well known, natural, herbal extracts that has been used in the support of a healthy prostate. Published in the Journal of Phytotherapy in 2013, researchers performed a study that demonstrated men who were treated with 320mg of Saw Palmetto extract daily for eight weeks not only experienced a significant improvement in their international prostate symptoms score (the standard tool to measure the severity of BPH) but they also had a significant improvement in sexual dysfunction scores.†
Stinging Nettle Root Extract is another herbal extract that has been widely used in the support of prostate health, as well. Both human and animal studies have shown that Nettle Root extract is very effective in many of the symptomatic issues that go along with BPH. A study was published in the Journal of International Neurology and Nephrology where researchers combined Nettle root extract along with Saw Palmetto in men who had BPH. They found that this combination of extracts reduced their international prostate symptoms score by upwards of 53% and helped to improve urinary flow, as well as the residual urine volume when compared to the placebo group.†
There was a study that was done in 2009 that was published in the journal Nutrition Research and Practice – a double-blind, placebo controlled trial. This was a twelve-month study in men who had BPH, while taking Pumpkin Seed Extract. Researchers were measuring the men’s overall quality of life, their PSA levels, their flow rate, prostate volume and the international prostate symptom score (IPS). What they found was an increase of the participants IPS by 70% – urgency, frequency, and how many times the men got up in the middle of the night to relieve themselves. Their PSA levels decreased by 40%.
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