Benign Prostate Hypertrophy or Enlarged Prostate
According to WebMD, 50% of men will have benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH) by age 60, and by age 70 this increases to 90%. The causes of BPH are not well known, but one theory is that the swelling is related to changes in hormone production – specifically testosterone. Other changes include certain estrogens and the hormone dihydrotesterone (DHT) increasing. Contributing factors to hormone disturbance include inflammation, nutrient deficiency and liver congestion.
Inflammation and Overactive Inflammation
Inflammation is talked about everywhere these days. In a health context, it usually refers to overactive inflammation processes in the body, meaning natural systems are unable to recognize when to stop acting. For example, when a person is stung by a mosquito, signs of inflammation such as redness, heat, swelling, irritation and a bump appear. Think of a red flame. These are all healthy signs of the immune system responding to an injury and repair cells are sent to the site of damage. Once the repair work is done, symptoms diminish and healing takes place. In cases of over-inflammation, the process of healing is incomplete and inflammation continues unabated. The result is excessive symptoms such as ongoing swelling that can affect the original tissues and surrounding healthy tissue as well, causing further problems.
Liver Detoxification and Herbs for the Prostate
Healthy inflammation and detoxification mechanisms are largely regulated by the liver. With several hundred functions, this organ can be overworked – especially after several decades. Spring is an excellent time to tone the liver by eating lots of leafy green vegetables and using liver supplements containing herbs. These are “cooling” greens that contrast with the red flame of inflammation. Plants that support the liver and the prostate include saw palmetto, nettles, turmeric, rosemary and Pygeum African. With a well-functioning liver, digestion improves, nutrient absorption increases and detoxification processes are efficient. This applies to foods and toxins taken in by the body such as alcohol and air pollution as well as natural wastes created by the body such as expended cells. A healthy liver is able to break down and eliminate excess and spent hormones. This is a key function for men seeking to re-balance hormone ratios.
Minerals for Men’s Health
The minerals zinc and selenium are particularly useful for men’s health. As antioxidants they protect cells from free radical damage. Free radical damage occurs both as a natural process in the body and as a result of over-inflammation. The largest concentration of zinc is found in the prostate gland. Zinc deficiency has been linked to benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH) and prostate cancer. According to Phyllis Balch, CNC and James Balch, MD, selenium plays a protective role in the immune system by contributing to the production of antibodies that help maintain a healthy liver. Selenium, zinc and vitamin E together may also relieve an enlarged prostate.
Energy and the Male Libido
So what about the libido and energy levels? With nutritional support and healthy inflammation processes, the sex hormones are much more likely to stay in their proper ratios. Age-related changes to hormones can be supported to maintain healthy muscle tissue and a well-functioning liver. All of these factors contribute to a healthy libido with energy to spare, making a man happy and balanced. So when it’s time to give a gift to your man, forget about the gadget – go for some leafy green vegetables and the appropriate supplements. The man in your life will be glad you did.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.
WebMd.com, Prostate Enlargement/BPH Health Center