The prostate is an organ about the size of a walnut. It is located below the bladder (the organ that stores urine). The prostate also surrounds the urethra, a tube that carries urine away from the bladder. The prostate makes a component of semen. Semen is the white fluid that contains sperm.
Prostate problems have several names; enlarged prostate, benign prostate (BPH), prostatitis. The most common prostate problem for men over 50 is prostate enlargement. By 60, half have BPH; by 85, its 90%.
Urine flows from the bladder through the urethra. BPH is an enlargement of the prostate, which blocks the flow of urine through the urethra. As the prostate cells multiply and grow it creates an obstruction in the urethra. This 'chute' is how urine and semen pass out of the body.
As the urethra becomes constricted, the bladder contracts more forcefully to keep urine flow going. Over time, the bladder become stronger, thicker, and overly sensitive. The bladder then begins to contract from only small amounts of urine, which results in frequent urination. Eventually, the bladder fails to overcome the effect of the narrowed urethra and urine remains in the bladder after urinating.
All the symptom of an enlarged prostate is due to the weak or slow urinary stream that occurs when the prostate gland over-grows. These symptoms range from feelings of incomplete bladder emptying to frequent urination and dribbling of urine. Over time, these urination problems can cause serious health problems involving the kidney or bladder.
The following are a list of phytonutrients that are thought to prevent tissue hyperplasia in the prostate.
1. Beta-carotene, phytopigment found in carrots and sweet potatoes, Beta=carotene is a very most significant nutrient in the arsenal for the prevention of benign prostate hyperplasia, better known as enlarged prostate. It seems that beta-carotene has more value in protecting men against enlarged prostate than lycopene, vitamin E, or omega-3 fatty acids. Those nutrients have higher value in preventing prostate cancer.
2. Beta-sitosterol is a compound extracted from many sources. Beta-sitosterol is a naturally occurring fatty acid that interferes with the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme converts testosterone into an active form that stimulates the growth of the lining of the prostate.
3. Bee pollen, the pollen collected by bees and deposited in the hive, is an antioxidant-rich mixture used in many remedies for enlarged prostate.
4. Lycopene, the pigment found in tomatoes, is a well-researched compound. Lycopene is the best method to prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells. Over time, lycopene accumulates in the nucleus of the cells lining the prostate. This ultimately triggers apoptosis (cell death) before these cells can become cancerous.
5. Phellodendron (Phellodendron amurense) is a Chinese herb used for over 2,000 years. in raditional Chinese Medicine. They used in the the treatment of various urinary conditions.
6. Pygeum (Pygeum africanum) is an plant grown in Africa, The herb is used in many prostate health products.
7. Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) icontains the amino acid tyramine. Tyramine relaxes the tissues surrounding the prostate, permitting greater urine flow. Ttyramine can trigger migraines so men who are prone to migraines should avoid this herb.
8. Wild basil (Ocimum gratissimum), clove basil or tree basil, grow in the wild on Hawaii. It has been used to treat parasitic infections and intestinal worms. Extracts of the herb may slow-down or stop the proliferation of cells and prevent prostate cancer.
9. Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus and Vitex negundo) is used by women to treat menopausal disorders Ordinarily, men should never take vitex, since it interferes with testosterone production. In men with prostate problems however, lowing testosterone production helps shrink the prostate.
10. Xue lian hua (Saussurea involucrata) is a Tibetan plant in the sunflower family, used ito treat colds and arthritis.
Phytonutrients in the plant are believed to interfere with growth factors needed by cancer cells.
11. Zinc may help regulate cell death and stimulate the immune system response. Zinc may reduce an enlarged and inflamed prostate but can it prevent it from getting enlarged?
12. Exercise, espercaily Kegel exercises, improves circulation to the prostate. Kegel exercises are performed by tightening the muscles around the scrotum and anus. These exercises are recommended by sex therapists to help men with premature ejaculation problems. Kegel flexes iare performed 5 times a day, in sets of ten.
13. Tomatoes have a preventitiive effect on prostate cancer due to its lycopene content.