Tag Archive | "healthy prostate"

Cranberry for a Healthy Prostate

According to a new study from the Czech Republic, cranberries may provide men’s prostates with protection from disease.  The British Journal of Nutrition published the results from a study conducted by scientists from Palacky University in Olomouc.  The team reported that six months of supplementation with 1,500 mg per day of dried powdered cranberries significantly improved measures of prostate health.

Several other significant improvements were reported in the Czech study, including improvements in the International Prostate Symptom Score, quality of life measures, urination parameters, and lower levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA).  The PSA is a marker used to screen for prostate cancer and for tracking the disease after its diagnosis.

Dr. Jitka Vostalova, head of the research team, explains, “Our trial is the first to evaluate cranberry in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) specifically in men with benign hyperplasia (BPH), elevated PSA levels and non-bacterial prostatitis.”  Dr. Vostalova continues, “Unlike currently used medication for prostatitis and LUTS, cranberry has no adverse effects.  Our findings may assist men suffering from LUTS, and also their clinicians, to decide on a treatment that is both inexpensive and natural, like cranberry.”

Researchers have already established a link between urinary tract health and cranberries, and they understand that the benefits are associated with cranberries’ proanthocyanidin (PAC) content.  In 2004, France approved a health claim for the North American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), which contains at least 36 mg of PAC, to “help reduce the adhesion of certain E. coli bacteria to the urinary tract walls.”  Scientists in France also agreed that this process is what fights urinary tract infections.

The study conducted in the Czech Republic extends cranberries’ effectiveness to prostate health, improves our understanding of cranberries, and indicates a unique role for the red fruit.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia and chronic prostatitis are conditions that prove problematic for the lower urinary tract system.  Both are non-cancerous, and BPH is a swelling in the prostate gland of older men.  In fact, BPH is quite common and affects millions of men in the United States over the age of 50, with an estimated aggregate cost of $1.1 billion annually.

“The results of the present trial are the first firm evidence that cranberries may ameliorate LUTS, independent of benign prostatic hyperplasia or C-reactive protein level,” note researchers of the study.  No longer is cranberry solely for women’s health, and men with prostate issues may now begin to see a market expansion of supplements that include cranberry in their ingredients.

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Eat Your Way to a Healthy Prostate

It is possible to treat yourself with nutrition. It is important, however, to first have that check-up with the doctor.

Prostate nutrition and health have a relationship. One may be able to avoid prostate irregularities by overcompensating with proper prostate nutrition.

There are two common types of carotenoid – lycopene and beta carotene. Lycopene is a pigment which gives certain fruits (watermelon, red guava, red grapefruits, papaya) and vegetables (tomatoes) their red color. Beta carotene is an orange pigment that is commonly found in carrots and sweet potatoes. Carotenoid is a powerful antioxidant that is linked in some studies to decrease risk of prostate cancer. Antioxidants are molecules that prevent, or at least slow oxidation. Oxidation can create free radicals, which may cause different types of cancer. Enjoy the benefits of carotenoid by eating more tomatoes, processed tomato products, carrots and sweet potatoes.

Cruciferous Vegetables
Eat more broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts and bok choy. A recent study found that men who ate cruciferous vegetables more than once a week were 40% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than men who rarely ate them. Phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables – sulforaphane – can stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens before they damage cells. Through different mechanisms, two other compounds found in cruciferous vegetables — indole 3-carbinol and crambene — are also suspected of activating detoxification enzymes. Another way cruciferous vegetables may help to protect against cancer is by reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the overload of harmful molecules called oxygen-free radicals, which are generated by the body. Reducing these free radicals may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, the more natural and unprocessed the food, the higher the fiber. It keeps the digestive system clean and healthy which keeps the food moving through the digestive tract moving the cancer-causing compounds out before they can create harm. Fiber can also eliminate excess testosterone in the body; thus, a high-fiber diet can aid in the regulation of your body’s hormone levels and may help reduce the risk for prostate cancer.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Eat oily fish such as wild salmon, mackerel, sardine and herring for their beneficial EPA/DHA fatty acids which help reduce production of arachidonic acid in the body. In connection, reduce intake of saturated fats and omega 6 fats. Saturated fats and omega 6 fats are not good for the body. Once consumed, they are converted by our body into arachidonic acid which the body needs to get rid of by producing a bad enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX). This 5 LOX enzyme directly stimulates prostate cancer cell proliferation. Further, 5-LOX is metabolized by the body to 5-HETE, which is a metabolite that prevents prostate cancer destruction.

Eating soy products (such as soy milk, tofu, soybean oil, soybean flour) causes a build up of isoflavones in the prostate. Isoflavones, an active ingredient in soy products appears to promote a process where cells initiate their own death (apoptosis). By encouraging apoptosis, soy isoflavones may be preventing cancerous cells from growing and spreading. Isoflavones may also inhibit the growth of new blood vessels, which is necessary for tumor survival. As cancers grow, they need nutrients that are carried to them via blood vessels. If new blood vessels cannot be grown as the cancer develops, the tumor growth will be slowed or stopped. Also, the phytoestrogens-nonsteroidal plant compounds in soy beans help to regulate imbalanced hormone levels (elevated levels of testosterone may increase risk of developing prostate cancer).

Although there is mix result in studies on zinc and prostate health, zinc has long been a target of prostate cancer research because it is found in high concentrations in the prostate. Cancerous prostates have much less zinc than normal prostates. Zinc deficiency in normal prostate epithelial cells not only induces DNA damage itself, but also may impair the cell’s ability to respond to DNA damage, increasing the risk of prostate cancer development. Adequate zinc levels are essential for maintaining healthy prostate cells, but zinc supplementation may not prevent already cancerous prostate cells from growing. Also, studies show increased cancer risk with very high dose or long-term zinc supplement use. As with most therapeutics, higher doses do not always equate with an increase in efficacy. Increase zinc containing foods in your diet such as seafood (especially oysters), pumpkin seeds, eggs and brewer’s yeast. Lean meat also contains zinc. Eat organically grown food if possible, as pesticides can reduce zinc uptake.

Green Tea
Drinking 4-6 cups of green tea daily may help prevent prostate cancer. The polyphenols found in green tea attack the growth factors and protein, interrupting the growth process of tumors. Earlier studies also show that the same natural plant substances may also help prevent the start of prostate cancer itself. The phytochemicals in green tea seem to increase the number of enzymes that help convert carcinogens in the body to a harmless form. Green tea can have side effects including increased stomach acidity and it’s still unclear whether high doses cause liver damage.

Limit dairy consumption
Diets high in dairy products and calcium may be associated with small increases in prostate cancer risk. Moderate your dairy consumption, and don’t overdo calcium¬ supplements or foods fortified with extra calcium.

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The Official Urology Week Begins September 13th Through 17th

Each year, the European Association of Urology (EAU), which is the center for urology in Europe, and the national urological societies in Europe organize Urology Week. This year Europe will be recognizing urological problems such as prostate cancer and other diseases during the week of September 13th through September 17th. The purpose of Urology Week is to create awareness of urological diseases, provide information concerning the symptoms of the diseases, and focus on treatments urologists across the world are practicing.
Millions of men suffer from urological disorders in Europe. For example, 42.8 million men suffer from erectile dysfunction in Europe alone. And in the United States, over 4 million visits to the doctor each year are for benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlargement of the prostate gland. Further, the mortality of prostate cancer ranks within the top three cancer death rates in the world.

Despite the number of men who have been diagnosed with a urological disease, many men still feel too ashamed to discuss the health of their prostate. In fact, studies have shown that shame and undetected symptoms are the two major reasons why many people do not seek medical help when experiencing urological symptoms. But urological patients should not be afraid to discuss their issues with their physicians: the urologists can help, especially when the disease is diagnosed early.

In order to promote Urological Week, the EAU has updated its website www.urologyweek.org to include activities throughout the week, information concerning prostate conditions and erectile dysfunction, and treatments. The platform also contains patient and expert interviews, film documentation, and many articles. In addition to the information, promotional materials such as brochures and leaflets may be downloaded for anybody to read or distribute. Finally, debates concerning the pros and cons of prostate screening are available through the website.

The message the European Association of Urology is sending to Europe and the rest of the world is important. Men over the age of 50 who are experiencing urological problems should not be ashamed of their conditions. Instead, a healthy, open relationship with your urologist leads to a healthy prostate.

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