A Hill Not to Die On by Greg Webster
(This article originally appeared in Beeyoutiful's Fall 2008 Catalog.)
"When a man reaches middle age, his hormones change, causing the prostate gland to grow. And its proximity to the urethra can cause problems... The expanding gland can constrict the urethra and make bad things happen like:
- Frequent urge to urinate or the opposite-difficulty in doing so
- Blood in urine or semen
- Painful or burning urination
- Dribbling of urine
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
"These problems can be caused by prostate inflammation or infection (prostatitis), enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), and/or cancer. Health-gloom-wise, prostate cancer is to men what breast cancer is to women. The second leading cause of cancer death in men, 90% of cases go undetected until it is untreatable and has spread to the lymph system.
"This disaster is just waiting to happen in most grown males. By age 50, 35% have developed some cancer cells in the prostate. The result is that 97% of all men will be affected with some manner of prostate problem at some point in life. The typical solution is surgery. Yet even in successful cases the outcome can be, shall we say, unhappy.
"While the prescription for good health is familiar-maintain an active lifestyle, eat a nutrient-rich diet, and take high quality supplements- there are a number of elements in this typical health recommendation that especially benefit prostate functioning.
"Exercise--Sedentary men are 30% more likely to get prostate cancer and 40% more likely to have the non-cancerous condition, BPH. The same stats apply to highly stressed men. Both experience low levels of glutathione (an antioxidant produced inside the body and induced by exercise) in their cells, a situation that lessens resistance to cell and DNA damage. Sitting for long periods also pinches nerves in the vertebrae that transmit messages from the brain to the prostate. This reduces the flow of fresh blood to the gland, allowing toxins to build up. Prostate- specific exercise can free up nerves and blood flow. And routine outdoor exercise adds a winning touch. Vitamin D, essential to prostate well-being, is manufactured naturally by the body when exposed to sunlight.
"Diet--Foods rich in antioxidants-the cancer-fighting wonders found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables-are crucial. In addition, oysters and other shellfish, lamb, pumpkin seeds, and nutritional yeast contain zinc, an important mineral for prostate health and replacement of seminal fluid. The Weston A. Price Foundation (an organization committed to education about natural, healthful eating) encourages the use of raw milk from grass-fed cows. It’s high in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) for powerful protection against cancer of all types. If raw milk is not available, whole (not low-fat) organic milk is a good second choice. Excessive caffeine or alcohol should be avoided since these are immune suppressors...
"Supplements--A few supplements directly improve and maintain prostate functioning, but none better than Beeyoutiful’s Prostate Health. As men age, the body’s ratio of estrogen to testosterone increases, but Prostate Health contains stinging nettle root extract to counter the effects of excess estrogen production. Many cheaper health products use only the stems and leaves, not the root of this herb, which renders it significantly less effective.
"Saw palmetto supports normal urinary flow and calms inflammation. Berries from the saw palmetto plant, which grows in the southeastern U.S., are used to inhibit production of an unwanted form of testosterone suspected of contributing to enlargement of the prostate. “Bargain brands” use a powdered form of the plant which does not perform as well as berry-based formulations like Beeyoutiful’s. Prostate Health, in fact, contains an especially high percentage of healthful fatty acids in the form of serenoa repens. And while there is a downside effect of any saw palmetto-blocking the enzyme responsible for prostate enlargement causes another enzyme to kick into high gear and make estrogen-the stinging nettle root in Prostate Health counter-balances this tendency.
"Pumpkin seed oil is high in four free fatty acids and is now considered as vital to prostate health as lycopene.
"Lycopene-the natural pigment that makes tomatoes red-has been shown to slow or even halt the growth of BPH.
"Zinc offers an anti-bacterial effect to help stave off genito-urinary infections.
"Vitamin B6 supplements the zinc and stinging nettle in regulating the enzyme which makes 'bad testosterone.' B6 helps control inflammation of the bladder and counteracts the development of prostate tumors.
"Prostate Health offers all-in-one prostate protection. If someone you know isn’t taking it by the time he turns 50, add a bottle to the gag gift pile. The name will fit with one of the “kind” cards he’s certain to get, and the pills are just the color you’d want-basic black. This is one over-the-hill gift to keep on giving- and taking-so men can enjoy celebrating not only 50, but 60, 70, and beyond."
Greg Webster is a freelance writer, homeschool father of eight, and owner of The Gregory Group advertising, marketing, and design firm. He and his family enjoy “natural, country living” just south of Columbia, Tennessee.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.