BPH

How Can I Improve My Prostate?

A vast majority of men experience problems with their prostate gland at one point or another.

Whether it’s enlarged prostate or some other prostate issue, symptoms can impair your quality of life. The good thing is that you can reverse enlarged prostate and improve your prostate health with simple lifestyle adjustments.

In this post, you’re going to learn how to promote prostate health and function to prevent or aid the management of underlying problems. 

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Red meat consumption

Men love red meat, but you may want to rethink how much you eat when you eat a diet high in red meat, especially when cooked well-done, the risk for prostate cancer increases.

The link between red meat and prostate cancer risk is down to the heterocyclic amines (HCAs), carcinogenic compounds found in meat. The same applies to processed meat, as well.

This doesn’t mean you need to avoid red meat entirely. Instead, you may want to decrease consumption and eat it less frequently. Good alternatives for protein source include:

  • Lean poultry, e.g., skinless chicken or turkey

  • Nuts and nut butter

  • Beans and legumes 

  • Fresh or canned fish

Switch out dairy

Healthy prostate requires wise diet-related choices. One of those choices should be to lower the intake of dairy. You see, too much dairy can increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Evidence shows drinking whole milk can increase the risk of progression to fatal prostate cancer. On the other hand, low-fat and skim milk elevates the risk of low-grade stages of this serious disease. 

To protect the prostate, you may want to lower milk intake. Also, you may want to stick to fat-free and low-fat varieties of dairy. These varieties are healthier for the prostate gland.

Besides milk, you may want to avoid (or lower intake) full-fat cheese, full-fat yogurt, full-fat butter, and full-fat ice cream. Nowadays, you can find a wide spectrum of non-dairy milk and other products to consume as well. 

Drink green tea

Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages in the world. It contains catechins, active compounds, which hold outstanding health potential. Some benefits of green tea are well-known.

People use it to slim down or maintain weight in a healthy range. Some people use it to promote brain and heart health treatment. But green tea can do a lot more than that. Evidence confirms that drinking about five cups of green tea a day reduces the risk of advanced prostate cancer. The exact mechanism of action is unknown. However, polyphenols from green tea act as antioxidants and may neutralize free radicals and damage they cause. 

Free radicals can speed up the development of cancer. Other studies show that green tea improves lower urinary tract symptoms and quality of life. Compounds from green tea are anti-inflammatory.

Inflammation is an underlying factor of prostate symptoms in the lower urinary tract and contributes to BPH symptoms. In fact, inflammation can aggravate the enlarged prostate and induce prostatitis. Strive to drink green tea every day. 

Add Omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for our health and wellbeing. They promote brain health, heart function, joint health, and so much more. The relationship between Omega-3s and prostate health is complicated.

More research on this topic is necessary. This is especially the case for the relationship between Omega-3 and prostate cancer. The latest piece of evidence shows that the intake of Omega-3 fatty acids can protect us from prostate cancer, especially EPA. 

The EPA works by alleviating chronic inflammation in the prostate tissue. Inflammation plays a key role in the development of prostate cancer. You can find Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon, mackerel, and other fatty fish. Supplementation is also a practical choice.

Speaking of supplements, nowadays, it’s possible to get specifically formulated products to support prostate health. They rely on natural ingredients such as saw palmetto to ensure the proper prostate function. These products also allow you to pass urine more easily. 

Consume fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are integral components of a healthy diet. They supply the body with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds.

To improve prostate health or support cancer treatment, you need to start consuming more fruits and vegetables. It’s never too late to start, even if you weren’t a fan before. Some examples include:

  • Cruciferous vegetables – high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. These vegetables also contain glucoraphanin, a phytochemical that may slow down prostate cancer cell growth.

  • Berries – abundant in antioxidants

  • Tomatoes – the best source of lycopene, a compound that gives tomatoes their vibrant red color. Lycopene is also a powerful antioxidant. You’ll get the most benefits if you cook tomato because the body has easier access to the antioxidant and sends it to your prostate.

  • Pomegranate juice – an abundant source of antioxidants and vitamin C, may inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, also supports the function and health of the urinary tract.

  • Cayenne peppers – contain capsaicin, which functions as an antioxidant and may act on cancerous prostate cells.

  • Garlic – may block the formation of certain cancer-causing substances.

Manage weight

Excess weight is harmful to your health. In fact, overweight and obese can increase the risk of prostate disease. Multiple mechanisms are involved in the harmful impact of excess weight on the prostate. They include:

  • Increased intra-abdominal pressure, especially on the pelvic floor

  • Altered endocrine status

  • Increased sympathetic nervous activity 

  • Elevated inflammation process 

  • Oxidative stress

All these mechanisms may lead to the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia, i.e., enlarged prostate. This problem is treatable and transurethral resection is one of a few approaches the doctor may suggest. It’s useful to mention that elevated inflammation processes can contribute to chronic prostatitis

Overweight and obesity can contribute to prostate cancer too. Mechanisms, in this case, include lower serum testosterone, aromatization of androgens, insulin resistance, among others.

Better prostate health and healthier urine flow require weight loss if you’re overweight or obese. However, if you’re within normal weight range, you may want to maintain that “status.”

Weight management isn’t a mission impossible. The combination of a well-balanced diet and regular physical activity is the crucial component of successful weight loss. Keep in mind that weight management also calls for wiser lifestyle choices. 

Lower stress levels

Stress is a natural response of the body to negative stimuli. However, sometimes we don’t manage stress very well. When left unmanaged, stress can cause various problems that affect our physical and mental health.

Studies show that stress can speed up the development of prostate cancer. Stress can also worsen benign prostate enlargement symptoms, such as having trouble empty the bladder and other urinary symptoms.

Moreover, high levels of stress hormone cortisol lower testosterone levels. Decreased testosterone harms prostate health.

The key is to manage stress properly. We can’t always avoid stress, but we can decrease exposure to stressful situations, people, and scenarios. Stress management doesn’t have rules. You can do something that you find relaxing. This can be: 

  • Deep breathing

  • Meditation

  • Yoga (yes, men can practice yoga too)

  • Workout 

  • Reading 

  • Writing 
    ~
  • Socializing 

Stop smoking

Smoking is an unhealthy habit that can harm your prostate. Current smokers are at a higher risk of fatal prostate cancer. Why does this happen? Smoking affects every cell in the body.

Additionally, smoking causes DNA mutations, along with inflammation. This explains the role of smoking in prostate cancer. However, the nicotine from cigarettes can increase DTH levels in the prostate and enhance sympathetic nervous system activity. 

As a result, smoking can contribute to prostate enlargement and urinary tract symptoms. Therefore, important cancer prevention measure to consider stopping smoking.

Visit your doctor regularly, especially if you suspect that you have cancer. The doctor will order the PSA test and other diagnostic approaches, such as a prostate biopsy, to detect any abnormalities. 

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is the best thing you can do for your body and prostate. A growing body of evidence confirms that regular exercise can decrease cancer risk.

After all, exercise supports prostate cancer prevention because it improves hormone levels, supports blood flow, strengthens the immune system, reduces oxidative stress, and also prevents obesity. All these things are important for a healthy prostate. The choice of exercise depends on you. 

Doing resistance and cardio training on alternating days could be useful. Make sure to plan your recovery as well. Even if you’re in prostate cancer treatment, you can exercise. Just make sure to consult your doctor and ask for recommendations. Low-impact activities are usually practical. 

Know your risk

An important strategy for improved prostate health is to understand the risk factors behind prostate problems. For example, risk factors for prostate cancer include:

  • Older age

  • Family history

  • Obesity

  • Unhealthy diet

  • Smoking 

  • Race, i.e., being African American

Risk factors for BPH include:

  • Aging

  • Overweight or obesity

  • Family history

  • Unhealthy lifestyle

  • Diabetes and heart disease 

Remember, regular prostate cancer screening can help detect or prevent this serious disease.

Conclusion

The prostate is susceptible to various problems. Simple lifestyle adjustments can improve prostate health and prevent complications such as erectile dysfunction. This post focused on some of the most useful things you can do for a healthier prostate and prevention of prostatic hyperplasia and cancer. Strive to include as many of these tips as you can in your lifestyle.

Sources

  1. Sinha, R., Park, Y., Graubard, B. I., Leitzmann, M. F., Hollenbeck, A., Schatzkin, A., & Cross, A. J. (2009). Meat and meat-related compounds and risk of prostate cancer in a large prospective cohort study in the United States. American journal of epidemiology170(9), 1165–1177. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwp280
  2. Song Y, Chavarro JE, Cao Y, et al. (2013). Whole milk intake is associated with prostate cancer – specific mortality among U.S. male physicians. Journal of Nutrition, 143(2), 189-196. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.112.168484
  3. Johnson, J. J., Bailey, H. H., & Mukhtar, H. (2010). Green tea polyphenols for prostate cancer chemoprevention: a translational perspective. Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology17(1), 3–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2009.09.011
  4. Katz, A., Efros, M., Kaminetsky, J., Herrlinger, K., Chirouzes, D., & Ceddia, M. (2014). A green and black tea extract benefits urological health in men with lower urinary tract symptoms. Therapeutic advances in urology6(3), 89–96. https://doi.org/10.1177/1756287214526924
  5. Moussa, H., Nguile-Makao, M., Robitaille, K., Guertin, M. H., Allaire, J., Pelletier, J. F., Moreel, X., Gevariya, N., Diorio, C., Desmeules, P., Têtu, B., Lamarche, B., Julien, P., & Fradet, V. (2019). Omega-3 Fatty Acids Survey in Men under Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer: from Intake to Prostate Tissue Level. Nutrients11(7), 1616. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071616
  6. Traka, M. H., Melchini, A., Coode-Bate, J., Al Kadhi, O., Saha, S., Defernez, M., Troncoso-Rey, P., Kibblewhite, H., O’Neill, C. M., Bernuzzi, F., Mythen, L., Hughes, J., Needs, P. W., Dainty, J. R., Savva, G. M., Mills, R. D., Ball, R. Y., Cooper, C. S., & Mithen, R. F. (2019). Transcriptional changes in prostate of men on active surveillance after a 12-mo glucoraphanin-rich broccoli intervention-results from the Effect of Sulforaphane on prostate CAncer PrEvention (ESCAPE) randomized controlled trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition109(4), 1133–1144. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqz012
  7. Parikesit, D., Mochtar, C. A., Umbas, R., & Hamid, A. R. (2016). The impact of obesity towards prostate diseases. Prostate international4(1), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prnil.2015.08.001
  8. Hassan, S., Karpova, Y., Baiz, D., Yancey, D., Pullikuth, A., Flores, A., Register, T., Cline, J. M., D’Agostino, R., Jr, Danial, N., Datta, S. R., & Kulik, G. (2013). Behavioral stress accelerates prostate cancer development in mice. The Journal of clinical investigation123(2), 874–886. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI63324
  9. Huncharek, M., Haddock, K. S., Reid, R., & Kupelnick, B. (2010). Smoking as a risk factor for prostate cancer: a meta-analysis of 24 prospective cohort studies. American journal of public health100(4), 693–701. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2008.150508
  10. Xu, H., Fu, S., Chen, Y., Chen, Q., Gu, M., & Wang, Z. (2016). Smoking habits and benign prostatic hyperplasia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Medicine95(32), e4565. https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000004565
  11. Torti, D. C., & Matheson, G. O. (2004). Exercise and prostate cancer. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)34(6), 363–369. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200434060-00003

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