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Prostate Health Awareness month is upon us, and moustache season – the popular marker of prostate cancer awareness month – is just around the corner. But this important message doesn’t need to be contained to one season, style of facial hair, or any particular age for that matter.
Prostate health affects men of all ages, but did you know that symptoms of an enlarged prostate can begin as early as age forty? Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the enlargement of the prostate gland due to an increase in the reproduction rate of its cells. The strictly age-related phenomenon affects nearly all men at some point in life, but starts around age 40.
Studies have shown that approximately 20% of men in their forties are affected by the condition. That number increases by 50–60% for men in their sixties, and up to 90% for men in their seventies and eighties . Despite the prevalence of BPH it does not necessarily constitute a problem unless symptoms present themselves.
Signs and symptoms
BPH commonly presents itself with lower urinary tract symptoms. These can include:
- Hesitancy and/or straining during urination
- Weak flow
- Prolonged voiding
- Urinary retention
- Frequency of urination
- Painful urination
- Nocturia – the frequent waking at night to urinate
- Small voided volumes
Often these signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate remain categorized as simply irritative and benign, hence the name benign prostatic hyperplasia. It is however, a good idea to visit your doctor or health care practitioner if symptoms present themselves.
Getting routine check ups from your doctor and testing for prostate specific antigen (PSA) after the age of fifty are both essential parts of maintaining prostate health. PSA testing is the primary method of testing for prostate cancer and should be included in your approach to maintaining prostate health. There are also dietary and supplemental ways to support prostate health as well as relieve symptoms of BPH.
Natural Ways to Support Prostate Health
Aside from routine check ups and testing, there are many ways to support a healthy prostate.
Including foods such as tomatoes and pumpkin seeds as well as herbs like saw palmetto have all been shown to support prostate health and relieve symptoms associated with BPH.
Tomatoes and tomato products contain a compound called lycopene that has many protective benefits. Pumpkin seeds, especially raw, are also a great food to include in your diet regularly as they are high in zinc and essential fatty acids – both essential nutrients for prostate health.
Saw palmetto is one of the most common herbs used for the prostate and contains various compounds such as sterols, flavonoids, and fatty acids, of which use has shown mild-to-moderate improvement in BPH symptom score and urinary flow . Reports of saw palmetto’s use in treating BPH even date back to the 1800s .
Super Prostate, a supplement from Webber Naturals, contains a combination of these ingredients in one-per-day dosing to help relieve the urologic symptoms of mild-to-moderate BPH and support prostate health.
It’s important to consult a health care practitioner prior to use to exclude a diagnosis of prostate cancer or if symptoms worsen. Keep in mind that taking a proactive approach to prostate health is an important part of every man’s lifestyle. Moustache optional.
- Roehrborn C, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: An Overview. Rev Urol.2005; 7(Suppl9): S3-S14.Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1477638/
- Fagelman E, Lowe F. Saw Palmetto Berry as a Treatment for BPH.Rev Urol.2001 Summer; 3(3): 134-138.Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1476047/
- Dreikorn K, Borkowski A, Braeckman J et al. Other medical therapies. in: L Denis, K Griffiths, G Murphy (Eds.) Proceedings of the Fourth International Consultation on Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), July 1997.Health Publications, Plymouth, UK; 1998: 635-659.