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Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)

Almost all men from the age of 45 onwards will experience some urinary symptoms as their prostate enlarges naturally. As men age, their hormones change whereby testosterone is converted into a more potent form called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes an overproduction of prostate cells, which in turn causes the prostate to enlarge causing the urinary symptoms.

The most important strategy is for men over the age of 40 to have an annual prostate examination with their GP. Women have their regular health checks but men need to take note!

From a supportive perspective, first and foremost, avoid beer. Beer contains a wonderful ingredient known as Hops, which is oestrogenic. Aussies love their beer and also have one of the highest rates of prostate disease. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Excellent foods to include are pumpkin and sunflower seeds – both are rich sources of Zinc and essential fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy prostate. Pumpkin seeds have also been shown to contain a plant hormone that inhibits the conversion of testosterone into the more potent DHT. Tomatoes (including cooked tomatoes, tomato paste etc) contain the anti-oxidant lycopene that is effective to prevent and treat BPH and prostate cancer. The herb Saw Palmetto has also been clinically proven to relieve symptoms especially when taken in conjunction with Zinc and Selenium. Avoiding cigarette smoking, caffeine and junk food are also good strategies as have all been implicated with prostate problems.