First things first, men want to know the best ways to decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer. The easiest way to do this is through diet and lifestyle modifications – it’s that simple. There is no elaborate algorithm for this, just a few basic, mindful ways of living to help that little walnut shaped gland below your bladder stay healthy and active for many years to come. Outlined below is a brief introduction of some of the treatments you can incorporate into your life! By no means is this an exhaustive list and replace the advice and treatment plan of your naturopathic and medical doctor.
I know you hear it time and time again about how much wise dietary changes and choices can benefit your health, but this is something that is so easy to change and something you are in control of. One thing is for certain, prostate health is dramatically influenced by the diet you choose. Research has shown a pesco-vegetarian diet to have the most benefit when treating prostate cancer. According to the WHO, the most important dietary changes include cutting out red meat and dairy as well as being mindful of the fats consumed. The most important ones to be avoided are animal and hydrogenated fats.
Here are a few ideas for what healthy eating for your prostate health can look like:
- At least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables that are bright and rich in color, heck make it more than 5 servings.
- Choose healthy fats – avocado, olive, and nut oils.
- Smaller portion sizes, eating more frequently and slower.
- Avoid processed sugar – this a great rule in general no matter your health goals.
Plant based treatments
Probably one of the most well known herbs when it comes to naturally treating the prostate is Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens). What this will do is inhibit 5-alpha reductase – an enzyme that is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to DHT. So why is this important? DHT has been known to be one of the culprits behind enlargement of the prostate. It does this through cell proliferation – stop this conversion to DHT and you can start to understand how it will play an important part.
Another great herb is Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and can be used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Most of the medicinal constituents such as the phytosterols, lignin's, and polysaccharides can be found hidden away in the root. It has a strong diuretic action, helping with reduced urinary flow, incomplete emptying of the bladder, and constant urge to urinate – common symptoms of BPH. Stinging nettle may also slow the grow of some prostate cells and has minimal side effects - making it a safe and effective herb.
Gogi berries (Lycium barbarum) are a well known superfood that is high in superoxide dismutase (SOD) – a powerful antioxidant with an affinity for the prostate. From a Traditional Chinese medicine stand point, Gogi berries are also helpful in building Yin to help balance the Yin/Yang of our bodies. Side note, men are more Yang, but too much can be a bad thing – it’s all about balance gentlemen.
Prostate – pro + libido support from Can Prev. This has a great blend of plant based prostate support with plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Modified citrus pectin (MCP) is found in the peel or pulp of citrus fruit and is then modified. Research is suggesting that it is interfering with tumor cell metastasis and potentially inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death – a natural process in our bodies - for those defective and worn out cells that could cause damage to our systems).
Green tea!! This has great research behind it. All the polyphenols, catechins, and epigallocatchin gallates (EGCG) that your prostate needs to be on top of its game.
Exercise and weight
It’s this simple – even low to moderate intensity of exercise helps reduce the risk of developing BPH, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction. Of course this is all in addition to a healthy diet.
What exercise is best? That’s entirely up to your interests. Keep in mind aerobic activity has been found to help reduce the severity of prostatitis more than non-aerobic activities. To add another layer on your exercise regime try and do all of your activity outdoors where you can breathe in fresh clean air – not to mention getting your daily dose of vitamin D.
Reducing exposure to environmental toxicities
Evidence linking pesticides to prostate cancer is becoming stronger – in particular polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metal working fluids or minerals are linked to the prostate.
A few specific examples:
- Cadmium in tobacco – a heavy metal that accumulates in tobacco leaves and has been associated with prostate cancer
- PCBs in animal fat – these are polychlorinated biphenyls. They were banned over a decade ago due to many associated health risks, but still persist in the environment, being found in animal fat.
- Bisphenol A (BPA) – has been found to cause DNA damage in prostate cells.
These ideas are just scratching the surface! Happy prostate health!
Yours in health,
- Tanner Alden
Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. I have no affiliation with any company mentioned in this post. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider. Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician, or visit the Boucher Naturopathic Medical Clinic for individual care.