The prostate is a gland found in men that secretes fluid found in semen. The urethra also passes through the prostate, so changes in your prostate will significantly impact urinary function. Common prostate issues are prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate).
As men get older, the risk for developing prostate cancer increases. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent this. Ensuring that we get the proper nutrients to support prostate health is one of them. This article will outline two of the most common prostate issues and how we can avoid them.
Prostate cancer is responsible for one third of death in men caused by cancer. It is the most common cause of death from cancer for men over the age of 75. It is rare to find prostate cancer in men under the age of 40. Higher risk factors include a family history of prostate cancer, heavy alcohol use and a high fat diet. Below are some of the warning signs, usually found at later stages.
· Trouble urinating (straining, inability to empty bladder)
· Dribbling or urine leaks, typically seen after urination
· Slow urinary stream
· Blood or semen found in urine
Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BHP)
BHP is a common form of prostate enlargement. Although the prostate will constantly grow throughout a man’s life, prostate enlargement doesn’t usually occur in men under the age of 40. Over 50% of all men in their 60’s and as many as 90% of men over the age of 75 suffer from symptoms of BHP. These symptoms can start from blockage of the urethra and a loss of bladder function. This causes the inability to empty the bladder. Imagine the prostate as a donut-shaped gland that swells and enlarges. As the prostate swells, the urethra is squeezed and becomes narrower. Below are some of the symptoms of BPH.
· Weak urine stream
· Urgent need to urinate
· Leaking or dribbling after urination
· More frequent urination
The size of the prostate doesn’t always determine how severe the blockage will be. Sometimes the prostate can enlarge quite a bit and leave few symptoms; while others with less enlarged glands can experience more issues. Below we will outlines substances which are key to prostate health.
Zinc is critical for immune system function, brain function and reproduction. The fact that the prostate has more zinc than any other organ illustrates just how important this mineral is to prostate health. Furthermore, zinc levels have been shown to reduce in the prostate tissue.
Higher levels of selenium is believed by experts to slow the progression of cancer in men. Selenium accumulates in the prostate and fends off cell damage. Research has shown that men with a lower selenium intake were 4 to 5 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than those with higher selenium levels.
Increasing vitamin D levels can be helpful to prevent prostate cancer. Epidemiological studies show the relation between prostate cancer risk and the conditions that result in low vitamin D levels. The active metabolite of vitamin D is an inhibitor that blocks the growth of prostate cancer cells. A study of Finnish men also found that participants with low vitamin D levels were at an increased risk to develop quickly developing prostate cancer early on.
Boron levels in water have been correlated with a lower chance of death from prostate cancer. The National health and Nutrition Examination Survey compared boron intake in nearly 100 prostate cancer patients with nearly 9,000 controls. The results showed that boron intake was responsible for a lowered risk of prostate cancer with consistent intake.
Developing an enlarged prostate is a risk that comes with aging. It’s one of the most common illnesses to occur in men over the age of 60. While there isn’t one silver bullet to guarantee a healthy prostate, there are plenty of things you can do to improve prostate health. Your health care provider will work with you to determine what course of action is best for you. Total Home Health can connect you with experienced health care experts who are ready to help you live a long, healthy and fulfilling life. Join today to learn jumpstart a longer, healthier life.