Top Three Natural Ways to Improve Prostate Health

By Reviewed by Health, Men, Sexual Health Published on February 6, 2020 Updated on April 6, 2020

What is the Prostate?

All men are born with a prostate gland. It is a tiny muscular gland about the size of an apricot.

The term “prostate” is coined from the Greek expression “prostates,” which literally translates to “to stand before.” This generally describes the position of the gland. Looking from below, just in the area where the urethra leaves the gland, the `prostate gland “stands before” the bladder.[1]How does the prostate work? (2016, August 23). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279291

The prostate gland typically weighs around an ounce or 30 grams. It is a part of the male reproductive system that aids in ejaculation.

The gland is found right below the bladder, sitting just above the muscles of the pelvic floor. It is also in front of the rectum, which makes it possible to be able to feel the prostate gland around the rectum area.[2]How does the prostate work? (2016, August 23). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279291

What Does The Prostate Do?

The main function of the prostate is to aid in the production of some of the compounds found in semen. Its muscles also ensure that this seminal fluid makes its way forcefully through the urethra, allowing it to be dispersed during the process of ejaculation.[3]How does the prostate work? (2016, August 23). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279291

In detail, a part of the semen comes from the prostate. Along with the spermatozoa from the testicular glands, fluid from the seminal vesicle, and other secretions from the bulbourethral gland, the prostate makes up a part of the semen. These fluids are all mixed together in the urethra, a duct that transfers urine from the bladder.[4]How does the prostate work? (2016, August 23). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279291

Moreover, prostatic secretion is an important process in keeping the proper function of the male reproductive system, thus affecting overall fertility in men. This prostatic secretion can be identified as a thin, milky-like liquid that contains enzymes called the prostatic-specific antigen or PSA.[5]How does the prostate work? (2016, August 23). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279291

PSA is the enzyme that makes the semen thinner in consistency. This essentially helps in sperm motility and ejaculation. Moreover, the prostate gland also plays a role in the conversion of testosterone to its biologically active form, dihydrotestosterone.[6]How does the prostate work? (2016, August 23). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279291

What Are The Signs of Prostate Problems?

It is not uncommon for men to encounter health problems in the prostate, especially the older population. For this reason, it is best for men to be aware of the signs of prostate problems.

Among the signs that men should be on the lookout for are the following:

  • Pain or discomfort during urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Traces of blood on the urine or semen
  • Pain or discomfort in the lower back, hips, or pelvic area
  • Pain or discomfort in the rectal area or upper thighs
  • Pain during ejaculation

These accumulated symptoms generally point out prostate-related problems. Among the most common conditions that affect the prostate is benign prostatic hyperplasia, and in worse cases, prostate cancer.

What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the nonmalignant growth of the prostate. This condition is most common among aging men. In fact, about 90% of men aged 70 to 80 are diagnosed with the condition.[7]Roehrborn, C. G. (2005). Benign prostatic hyperplasia: an overview. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1477638/

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is often associated with the following symptoms[8]Benign enlarged prostate: Overview. (2018, January 25). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279204:

  • A more frequent urge to pee, especially during the night time
  • Longer yet weaker stream of urine
  • After urinating, more urine tends to leak out and the bladder never feels empty
  • It takes a while before the urine starts flowing

These symptoms are all due to the unusual enlargement of the prostate. This enlargement causes the prostate to push against both the bladder and urethra, pushing the patient to urinate more often than normal.[9]Benign enlarged prostate: Overview. (2018, January 25). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279204

Additionally, the size of the prostate growth and the severity of the symptoms may not always be directly related. The symptoms vary from one person to another. Some with very enlarged prostates experience few symptoms, while some experience more even though their prostate is not that enlarged.[10]Benign enlarged prostate: Overview. (2018, January 25). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279204

On the surface, the condition itself is not as complicated compared to other prostate-related problems. For this reason, BPH doesn’t usually call for immediate treatment, although preventive medication is often recommended by physicians.[11]Roehrborn, C. G. (2005). Benign prostatic hyperplasia: an overview. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1477638/

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer happens when the cells in the prostate region start to multiply in an uncontrolled manner. This happens when the DNA of the cells become mutated.[12]Prostate Cancer: Overview. (2018, February 22). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK284958/

The body’s immune system usually keeps these cells “in check.” Prostate cancer develops if too many of these mutated cells propagate and a tumor starts to grow.[13]Prostate Cancer: Overview. (2018, February 22). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK284958/

While cancer is a condition that is less stigmatized, diagnosis of the disease still comes as a shock to the patients. But, the good news is, prostate cancer is among the types of cancer with the biggest chances of recovery.

Prostate cancer is not as fast-acting versus the other types. This type of cancer often grows very slowly, allowing it to be treated effectively.[14]Prostate Cancer: Overview. (2018, February 22). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK284958/

Signs of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer may not show any symptoms until it reaches a more advanced stage. Until then, here are some of the signs associated with the condition[15]Leslie, S. W., Soon-Sutton, T. L., Sajjad, H., & Siref, L. E. (2019, October 8). Prostate Cancer. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470550/:

  • Increased urge to pee
  • Blood traces in urine or semen
  • Fatigue due to anemia (happens at a later stage)
  • Bone pain (happens at a later stage)
  • Renal failure (happens at a later stage)
  • Paralysis (happens at a later stage)

What Causes Prostate Cancer?

Age, ethnicity, family history, obesity, and certain lifestyle choices all contribute to the possible development of prostate cancer. The risk increases as people get older, although the aggressiveness of cancer decreases along with age.[16]Leslie, S. W., Soon-Sutton, T. L., Sajjad, H., & Siref, L. E. (2019, October 8). Prostate Cancer. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470550/

Diet is also another big risk factor that may cause prostate cancer. It has been noted that the typical Western diet is linked to the development of the condition. Additionally, vitamin supplementation doesn’t necessarily lower the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, certain vitamins may even trigger the development of the illness.[17]Lin, P.-H., Aronson, W., & Freedland, S. J. (2015, January 8). Nutrition, dietary interventions and prostate cancer: the latest evidence. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25573005

A diet high in saturated fat and milk products may also increase the risk of prostate cancer.[18]Pettersson, A., Kasperzyk, J. L., Kenfield, S. A., Richman, E. L., Chan, J. M., Willett, W. C., … Giovannucci, E. L. (2012, March). Milk and dairy consumption among men with prostate cancer and risk of metastases and prostate cancer death. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22315365 While the consumption of milk has been shown to contribute to increasing the risk of recurrence of the condition, particularly in overweight men.[19]Song, Y., Chavarro, J. E., Cao, Y., Qiu, W., Mucci, L., Sesso, H. D., … Ma, J. (2013, February). Whole milk intake is associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality among U.S. male physicians. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23256145

Chemical exposure is another factor that contributes to the risk of developing prostate cancer. Research suggests that the condition is linked to certain medications and medical procedures.[20]Myles, P., Evans, S., Lophatananon, A., Dimitropoulou, P., Easton, D., Key, T., … Muir, K. (2008, June 3). Diagnostic radiation procedures and risk of prostate cancer. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18506189

Exposure to Agent Orange may particularly increase the risk of recurrence of prostate cancer, especially after surgery.[21]Shah, S. R., Freedland, S. J., Aronson, W. J., Kane, C. J., Presti, J. C., Amling, C. L., & Terris, M. K. (2009, May). Exposure to Agent Orange is a significant predictor of prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based recurrence and a rapid PSA doubling time after radical prostatectomy. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19298411 Agent Orange is an herbicide and synthesized defoliant.

Having multiple sexual partners may also increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. The same thing goes for starting sexual activities at an early age.[22]Spence, A. R., Rousseau, M.-C., & Parent, M.-É. (2014, December). Sexual partners, sexually transmitted infections, and prostate cancer risk. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25277695

Top Ways to Naturally Improve Prostate Health

While there are several treatment options for prostate conditions, some people still choose to go the natural way. And as surprising as it is, keeping the prostate in good health is not that hard.

Among the top ways to naturally improve prostate health is by making simple and easy-to-do lifestyle changes.

Eating Healthier

Making small changes to your current diet and aiming to eat healthier, overall, is one way to naturally improve prostate health. In a nutshell, a diet that consists of the right serving of fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and healthy fats is a surefire way to keep the prostate healthy.[23]Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). 10 diet & exercise tips for prostate health. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/10-diet-and-exercise-tips-for-prostate-health

Staying Active

Another way to maintain prostate health is through staying active. Engaging in more physical activities and a regular workout routine decreases the risk of developing almost all kinds of diseases.[24]Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). 10 diet & exercise tips for prostate health. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/10-diet-and-exercise-tips-for-prostate-health
age-bone-health

Taking Supplements

Sometimes, the nutrients found in food is just never enough, For this reason, taking the right supplements may just be the answer in filling in those nutritional gaps. There are a wide variety of all-natural herbal supplements that are formulated and extracted to help maintain good prostate health.[25]Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). 10 diet & exercise tips for prostate health. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/10-diet-and-exercise-tips-for-prostate-health

What Are The Best Foods For Prostate Health?

“You are what you eat” may often seem to be an understatement. But in reality, this saying comes pretty handily as what we eat generally reflects on our body.

The same thing goes to prostate health. Eating healthier overall and following a favorable prostate health diet will help you naturally improve your reproductive health.

Below are some of the best foods for prostate health.

Turmeric and Prostate Health

Turmeric is a flowering plant that hails from the ginger family. It is most popularly used as a spice and usually sold in powder form.

Aside from being used as a principal spice, turmeric is known to come with a number of health benefits. The spice was used as a remedy to several ailments in Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine.[26]Prasad, S. (1970, January 1). Turmeric, the Golden Spice. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/

Turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. It may also have the ability to aid the treatment of several conditions such as stomach ulcers, heart disease, and many others.[27]Prasad, S. (1970, January 1). Turmeric, the Golden Spice. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/

These medical benefits are all due to the bioactive component found in turmeric, called curcumin. Curcumin is also being linked to possibly assisting the treatment of reproductive health conditions, such as prostate cancer.[28]Schmidt, K. T., & Figg, W. D. (2016, November). The potential role of curcumin in prostate cancer: the importance of optimizing pharmacokinetics in clinical studies. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6320229/

Research shows that curcumin derivatives may work as a promising alternative to nanoformulations. This is especially helpful in inhibiting tumor growth and suppressing prostate cancer presence.[29]Schmidt, K. T., & Figg, W. D. (2016, November). The potential role of curcumin in prostate cancer: the importance of optimizing pharmacokinetics in clinical studies. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6320229/

Ginger And Prostate Health

Ginger is among the most popular condiments used worldwide. Not only used as a spice, but the herb is also used as a natural remedy for several ailments.[30]Bode, A. M. (1970, January 1). The Amazing and Mighty Ginger. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/

Ginger contains several bioactive components. Among these components is gingerol which exerts a variety of pharmacological activities that aid in treating certain health conditions. These pharmacological activities are believed to soothe common colds, arthritis, and nausea among many others.[31]Bode, A. M. (1970, January 1). The Amazing and Mighty Ginger. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/

Ginger may also have the ability to aid the treatment of prostate cancer. This is due to the gingerols, shogaols, and paradols found in the herb. Combined, these phytochemicals may have anticancer properties.[32]Karna, P., Chagani, S., Gundala, S. R., Rida, P. C. G., Asif, G., Sharma, V., … Aneja, R. (2012, February). Benefits of whole ginger extract in prostate cancer. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511003308

Additionally, sufficient evidence suggests that ginger root extract may inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The extract also showcased chemopreventive and chemoprotective mechanisms.[33]Karna, P., Chagani, S., Gundala, S. R., Rida, P. C. G., Asif, G., Sharma, V., … Aneja, R. (2012, February). Benefits of whole ginger extract in prostate cancer. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511003308

Gingerols also showed activities that arrest the cycle of cancer cells, leading to apoptosis and cancer cell death. This essentially works as a chemopreventive strategy.[34]Karna, P., Chagani, S., Gundala, S. R., Rida, P. C. G., Asif, G., Sharma, V., … Aneja, R. (2012, February). Benefits of whole ginger extract in prostate cancer. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511003308

Ginger also possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Indirectly, these pharmacological activities of the herb may assist in treating prostate cancer.[35]Bode, A. M. (1970, January 1). The Amazing and Mighty Ginger. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/

Nuts And Prostate Health

Nuts are an excellent source of good, healthy fats. These superfoods may help lower cholesterol levels and even promote brain health.[36]O’Brien, J., Okereke, O., Devore, E., Rosner, B., Breteler, M., & Grodstein, F. (2014, May). Long-term intake of nuts in relation to cognitive function in older women. doi: 10.1007/s12603-014-0014-6

Nuts also make an excellent go-to snack. They are convenient and gives that extra shot of energy in between meals.

Aside from being known to be good for the brain, nuts may also benefit the prostate. Brazil nuts, especially, are researched for their possible effect on treating prostate cancer. In fact, they are among the best nuts for prostate health.

A 2010 study pointed out that Brazil nuts may help treat the condition, along with soy intake. This effect may be due to its selenium content. Selenium is a mineral that is known to be anti-cancer.[37]Lippman, S. M., Klein, E. A., Goodman, P. J., Lucia, M. S., Thompson, I. M., Ford, L. G., … Coltman, C. A. (2009, January 7). Effect of selenium and vitamin E on risk of prostate cancer and other cancers: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19066370

Edible Oils And Prostate Health

Healthy fats, for the most part, may have the ability to prevent the development of prostate cancer. They may also combat the early stages of the condition.[38]Pendick, D. (2013, June 12). Healthy fats may fight early-stage prostate cancer. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/healthy-fats-may-fight-early-stage-prostate-cancer-201306126377

Physicians often recommend the intake of healthy fats and oils to prevent the development of prostate cancer. Among the edible oils that are good for prostate health are olive oil, coconut oil, and other vegetable oils.

In further detail, olive oil consumption has been associated with decreasing the risk of cancer, in general. And when it comes to prostate cancer, the oil has shown to pose protective effects due to its oleic acid content.[39]Psaltopoulou, T., Kosti, R. I., Haidopoulos, D., Dimopoulos, M., & Panagiotakos, D. B. (2011, July 30). Olive oil intake is inversely related to cancer prevalence: a systematic review and a meta-analysis of 13,800 patients and 23,340 controls in 19 observational studies. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-10-127

Coconut oil, on the other hand, may combat the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In an animal study, the effects of the oil were examined. The study stated that coconut oil consumption significantly reduced the prostate weight of the subjects.[40]De Lourdes Arruzazabala, M., Molina, V., Mas, R., Carbajal, D., Marrero, D., Gonzalez, V., & Rodriguez, E. (2007, July). Effects of coconut oil on testosterone-induced prostatic hyperplasia in Sprague-Dawley rats. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17637195

Aside from olive oil and coconut oil, fish oil intake may also contribute to prostate health. This effect of fish oil may be due to its high omega 3 fatty acid content, which is known to have protective effects in cancer-related conditions.[41]Freitas, R. D. S., & Campos, M. M. (2019, April 26). Protective Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Cancer-Related Complications. doi: 10.3390/nu11050945

Other Foods Good For The Prostate

Tomatoes are not only heart-friendly but prostate-friendly as well. They contain high levels of lycopene which has been shown to inhibit the growth and progression of cancer cells in the prostate.[42]Xu, X., Li, J., Wang, X., Wang, S., Meng, S., Zhu, Y., … Xie, L. (2016, November 14). Tomato consumption and prostate cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. doi: 10.1038/srep37091

Another food that is good for the prostate is broccoli. This cruciferous vegetable is not only full of antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals but has also been shown to delay the formation of prostate cancer.[43]Beaver, L. M., Lӧhr, C. V., Clarke, J. D., Glasser, S. T., Watson, G. W., Wong, C. P., … Ho, E. (2017, December 26). Broccoli Sprouts Delay Prostate Cancer Formation and Decrease Prostate Cancer Severity with a Concurrent Decrease in HDAC3 Protein Expression in Transgenic Adenocarcinoma of the Mouse Prostate (TRAMP) Mice. doi: 10.1093/cdn/nzy002

Berries are tangy fruits that are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. These little treats may also have the ability to protect the prostate. In a study, the consumption of berries posted apoptotic effects on cancer cells. In other words, consuming berries may help prevent the development of cancer.[44]Protective Role of Dietary Berries in Cancer. doi: 10.3390/antiox5040037

Fish is also another food that is beneficial for the prostate. Aside from being protein-packed and heart-healthy, this seafood may decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer.[45]Terry, P., Lichtenstein, P., Feychting, M., Ahlbom, A., & Wolk, A. (2001, June 2). Fatty fish consumption and risk of prostate cancer. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11403817

Foods to Avoid for Prostate Health

Keeping the prostate in check and healthy shouldn’t be a hard task. And while there are foods and supplements that are beneficial for this aspect of male health, keep in mind that there are precautions to be observed, too.

There is a saying that goes “you are what you eat,” and the same thing applies when it comes to your prostate health. Below are a few of the foods you should avoid to keep your prostate in its tip-top shape.

Red And Processed Meat And Prostate Health

A diet high in red and processed meat has been associated with an increased risk of acquiring prostate issues. This may be caused by the heterocyclic amines found in cooked meat, especially when it’s well done. Heterocyclic amines are carcinogens that may trigger the development of cancer.[46]Zheng, W., & Lee, S.-A. (2009). Well-done meat intake, heterocyclic amine exposure, and cancer risk. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769029/

Additionally, the consumption of red and processed meat may increase the chances of developing prostate cancer. Including the way the meat is cooked is also a risk factor in acquiring the disease.[47]Sinha, R., Park, Y., Graubard, B. I., Leitzmann, M. F., Hollenbeck, A., Schatzkin, A., & Cross, A. J. (2009, November 1). Meat and meat-related compounds and risk of prostate cancer in a large prospective cohort study in the United States. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp280

Moreover, the same study pointed out that the risk of prostate cancer is dependent on the way the meat is cooked. It has been found that grilled and barbecued red meat increases the risk of acquiring the disease.[48]Sinha, R., Park, Y., Graubard, B. I., Leitzmann, M. F., Hollenbeck, A., Schatzkin, A., & Cross, A. J. (2009, November 1). Meat and meat-related compounds and risk of prostate cancer in a large prospective cohort study in the United States. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp280

This is due to the PAH produced by the food prepared and cooked through smoking and grilling. PAH is a mutagenic compound formed during the process which coat the surface of the grilled meat.[49]Sinha, R., Park, Y., Graubard, B. I., Leitzmann, M. F., Hollenbeck, A., Schatzkin, A., & Cross, A. J. (2009, November 1). Meat and meat-related compounds and risk of prostate cancer in a large prospective cohort study in the United States. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp280

Dairy Products And Prostate Health

Dairy products, without a doubt, are a part of a healthy diet. They are a great source of calcium and some healthy fats.

But what most of us don’t know is that some of these dairy products may do more harm than good to the prostate. In fact, it has been found that excessive milk intake may lead to a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.[50]Preble, I., Zhang, Z., Kopp, R., Garzotto, M., Bobe, G., Shannon, J., & Takata, Y. (2019, July 16). Dairy Product Consumption and Prostate Cancer Risk in the United States. doi: 10.3390/nu11071615

Furthermore, it has been noted that the following dairy products increased the risk of fatal prostate cancer[51]Preble, I., Zhang, Z., Kopp, R., Garzotto, M., Bobe, G., Shannon, J., & Takata, Y. (2019, July 16). Dairy Product Consumption and Prostate Cancer Risk in the United States. doi: 10.3390/nu11071615:

  • Full-fat milk
  • Full-fat cheese
  • Full-fat cream cheese
  • Full-fat ice cream
  • Other dairy products that are high in fat

Foods High In Saturated Fat And Prostate Health

Foods that are high in saturated fat gets a bad rap due to their involvement in developing various heart diseases. And while the latter is proven by research, it has also been found that these types of food may also encourage the development of prostate cancer.

In one study, 384 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between the year 1990 and 1992 were subjected to a case-control trial that examined the relation of a diet high in saturated fat and prostate cancer. The subjects were regarded as proportional hazard models to estimate the relativity of death from prostate cancer in association with fat intake.[52]Fradet, Y., Meyer, F., Bairati, I., Shadmani, R., & Moore, L. (1999). Dietary fat and prostate cancer progression and survival. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10325493

The said trial ran for five and a half years and during the follow-up period, 32 of the patients have been reported to have died of prostate cancer. The study therefore concluded that saturated fat consumption was significantly involved in the survival chances of prostate cancer.[53]Fradet, Y., Meyer, F., Bairati, I., Shadmani, R., & Moore, L. (1999). Dietary fat and prostate cancer progression and survival. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10325493

Moreover, research has also shown that consumption of foods high in saturated fat may encourage the aggression of preexisting prostate cancer.[54]Allott, E. H., Arab, L., Su, L. J., Farnan, L., Fontham, E. T. H., Mohler, J. L., … Steck, S. E. (2017, March). Saturated fat intake and prostate cancer aggressiveness: results from the population-based North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27595916

Alcohol And Prostate Health

panax ginseng and alcoholAlcohol consumption is known to pose several negative impacts on all aspects of health. The same thing goes when it comes to prostate health.

In fact, a collection of studies found that alcohol consumption is a risk factor in acquiring prostate cancer. As a whole, these studies have found that men who abstain from alcohol had significantly lower risks of developing the disease, while high-volume drinkers, on the other hand, were at higher risks.[55]Zhao, J., Stockwell, T., Roemer, A., & Chikritzhs, T. (2016, November 15). Is alcohol consumption a risk factor for prostate cancer? A systematic review and meta-analysis. doi: 10.1186/s12885-016-2891-z

On top of that, early-life high-volume consumption of alcohol has shown to increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. It is estimated that men who drank at least seven drinks in a week are prone to developing high-grade prostate cancer compared to those who did not drink.[56]Michael, J., Howard, L. E., Markt, S. C., Hoedt, A. D., Bailey, C., Mucci, L. A., … Allott, E. H. (2018, August 23). Early-Life Alcohol Intake and High-Grade Prostate Cancer: Results from an Equal-Access, Racially Diverse Biopsy Cohort. Retrieved from https://cancerpreventionresearch.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2018/08/16/1940-6207.CAPR-18-0057

Coffee And Prostate Health

Coffee is a breakfast staple that gives the body an instant energy boost. It is a popular favorite of many.

And while coffee is the go-to energy booster for most, it may do more harm than good in terms of prostate health.

In one trial study, over 47,000 participants were subjected to test the possible effects of coffee consumption on the prostate. The aim of the study was to determine whether or not caffeine intake is a risk factor in developing prostate cancer.[57]Li, Q., Kakizaki, M., Sugawara, Y., Tomata, Y., Watanabe, T., Nishino, Y., & Tsuji, I. (2013, June 11). Coffee consumption and the risk of prostate cancer: the Ohsaki Cohort Study. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.238

By the end of the study, it has been found that 5,035 of these avid coffee drinkers developed prostate cancer.[58]Li, Q., Kakizaki, M., Sugawara, Y., Tomata, Y., Watanabe, T., Nishino, Y., & Tsuji, I. (2013, June 11). Coffee consumption and the risk of prostate cancer: the Ohsaki Cohort Study. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.238

Another study has also examined the link between caffeine intake and benign prostatic hyperplasia, another health condition that affects the prostate. It has been noted in the study that caffeine intake may disrupt androgen which may increase the risk of acquiring the condition.[59]Sarobo, C., Lacorte, L. M., Martins, M., Rinaldi, J. C., Moroz, A., Scarano, W. R., … Felisbino, S. L. (2012, December). Chronic caffeine intake increases androgenic stimuli, epithelial cell proliferation and hyperplasia in rat ventral prostate. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2613.2012.00843.x

Best Drinks For Prostate Health

Aside from food, there are also drinks that are beneficial for the prostate. Below are a few of the best drinks for prostate health.

Green Tea and Prostate Health

Green tea is a drink packed with antioxidants. Many people swear by this soothing drink due to its amazing health benefits.

But what many don’t know is that this warm drink can also pose benefits to the prostate. Recent studies took a look at the link between green tea and treating prostate-related conditions.

For one, green tea may be an effective aid in treating prostate cancer. In fact, several case-control studies have examined this effect of the drink against the condition. These studies have found that green tea may decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer.[60]Miyata, Y., Shida, Y., Hakariya, T., & Sakai, H. (2019, January 7). Anti-Cancer Effects of Green Tea Polyphenols Against Prostate Cancer. doi: 10.3390/molecules24010193

Prospective studies also showed a correlation between green tea and prostate cancer. These studies suggest that green tea catechins inhibit the progression of prostate cancer. Green tea catechins are polyphenols found in green tea that pose the majority of its health benefits.[61]Miyata, Y., Shida, Y., Hakariya, T., & Sakai, H. (2019, January 7). Anti-Cancer Effects of Green Tea Polyphenols Against Prostate Cancer. doi: 10.3390/molecules24010193

Juicing For Prostate Health

Pineapple JuiceJuicing is a dietary practice that gained popularity due to its amazing benefits for health. It is known to be a surefire way to get all the extra micronutrients into the body at concentrated amounts.

Juicing for prostate health may be beneficial, especially when the right recipe is followed. For instance, pomegranate juice has been gaining popularity for its positive impacts on the prostate.

Many believe that drinking pomegranate juice may pose benefits to prostate health. In recent studies, pomegranate juice and extracts have shown promising results in aiding the treatment of prostate-related conditions.[62]Malik, A., Afaq, F., Sarfaraz, S., Adhami, V. M., Syed, D. N., & Mukhtar, H. (2005, October 11). Pomegranate fruit juice for chemoprevention and chemotherapy of prostate cancer. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16192356

Pomegranate juice and extracts are especially effective in inhibiting the growth of prostate tumors. Its major components, luteolin, ellagic acid, and punic acid, are all-powerful in inhibiting the growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis of prostate cancer cells.[63]Malik, A., Afaq, F., Sarfaraz, S., Adhami, V. M., Syed, D. N., & Mukhtar, H. (2005, October 11). Pomegranate fruit juice for chemoprevention and chemotherapy of prostate cancer. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16192356

Aside from pomegranate juice, cranberry juice has also been found to be good for the prostate. In one study, the juice has shown to decrease the serum prostate-specific antigen in patients with prostate cancer. In conclusion, daily consumption of cranberry juice and/or extract may regulate the expression of androgen-responsive genes that are beneficial in fighting prostate cancer growth.[64]Student, V., Vidlar, A., Bouchal, J., Vrbkova, J., Kolar, Z., Kral, M., … Vostalova, J. (2016, December). Cranberry intervention in patients with prostate cancer prior to radical prostatectomy. Clinical, pathological and laboratory findings. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27833172

Exercises to Improve Prostate Health

exercise regularlyExercise, without a doubt, is among the most effective ways of naturally combating several health conditions. It is also a great way of staying healthy and in shape, for the most part.

When it comes to keeping the prostate healthy, exercise also plays a key role. That said, below are some of the best exercises that may improve prostate health.

Yoga And Prostate Health

Yoga is a low-impact exercise that brings out a lot of health benefits. For one, it improves posture and flexibility. It may also help with other health conditions, such as chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and cardiovascular issues.

On top of those, yoga may also have positive benefits on the prostate.

Doing yoga may help in improving the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. This effect of this low impact exercise may be due to its ability to work and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Additionally, yoga has been found that those who practice yoga can improve their muscle strength.[65]Woodyard, C. (2011, July). Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life. doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.85485

Moreover, yoga is a type of exercise that is very relaxing, thus it is popular in reducing stress. And as we all know, stress triggers several health problems. Indirectly, yoga may help in preventing the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia and the worsening of its symptoms by combating stress.[66]Woodyard, C. (2011, July). Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life. doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.85485

Kegel Exercises And Prostate Health

Kegel exercises are gaining popularity as a type of exercise that specifically targets the pelvic floor muscles. It is especially recommended for women due to its effect on stabilizing and strengthening the muscles right under the uterus, bladder, and bowel.

Kegel exercises are not only for women as it may also pose benefits for men, especially in terms of prostate health. In fact, the role of the exercise on to help on prostate-related issues was looked at in several studies.

For one, kegel exercises are examined to be beneficial in assisting incontinence in patients after going through radical prostatectomy.[67]Aydın Sayılan, A., & Özbaş, A. (2018, July). The Effect of Pelvic Floor Muscle Training On Incontinence Problems After Radical Prostatectomy. doi: 10.1177/1557988318757242 Additionally, this type of exercise is also a recommended practice prior to prostate surgery.[68]UCLA Health. (n. d.). Kegel Exercises for Men [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www.uclahealth.org/urology/workfiles/Prostate_Cancer/Kegel_Exercises_for_Men.pdf

Best Supplements for Prostate Health

SupplementsMore often than not, it’s difficult to get all the nutrients we need from diet alone. This is where dietary supplements come in extra handy.

Keeping an eye on your prostate health should be a lot easier by finding the right supplements to take. For that reason, below are some of the most promising herbal supplements for prostate health.

Saw Palmetto For Prostate Health

Saw palmetto is a tree native to the Southeast North American soil where it grows in the hills of South Atlantic and Gulf Coastals.

A fan palm that bears berries, its fruit are extracted to create saw palmetto dietary supplements.

Saw palmetto and prostate health are often linked together. The extract itself is believed to be very beneficial for the prostate.

Saw palmetto extract is popularly used today in assisting the treatment of prostate-related conditions. Its extract may have the mechanisms to effectively prevent the development of cancer in the prostate.[69]Scholtysek, C., Krukiewicz, A. A., Alonso, J.-L., Sharma, K. P., Sharma, P. C., & Goldmann, W. H. (2009, February 13). Characterizing components of the Saw Palmetto Berry Extract (SPBE) on prostate cancer cell growth and traction. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19059205

Supplementing on saw palmetto extract may also aid the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.[70]Roehrborn, C. G. (2005). Benign prostatic hyperplasia: an overview. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1477638/ This effect of the supplement may be due to its phytotherapeutic properties. It may also combat lower urinary tract symptoms.[71]Fagelman, E., & Lowe, F. C. (2001). Saw Palmetto Berry as a Treatment for BPH. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1476047/

Bee Pollen For Prostate Health

Bee pollen is a byproduct of honeybees. They come in small ball-shapes or pellets. These consist of pollens that are used as food for the beehive colony.

Bee pollen is packed with simple sugars, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. These components of the pellets are what makes them among the most sought-after superfoods today.

As a dietary supplement, bee pollen may work as an antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory. It may also have hepatoprotective and anticancer properties.[72]Komosinska-Vassev, K., Olczyk, P., Kaźmierczak, J., Mencner, L., & Olczyk, K. (2015). Bee pollen: chemical composition and therapeutic application. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377380/

As an aid in prostate-related health conditions, bee pollen may execute wonders. In fact, bee pollen for prostate health has been subjected to several studies in recent years.

Bee pollen may soothe inflammatory conditions involving the prostate gland. It is effective in soothing nonbacterial prostate inflammation by removing the pain. It may also help in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia.[73]Komosinska-Vassev, K., Olczyk, P., Kaźmierczak, J., Mencner, L., & Olczyk, K. (2015). Bee pollen: chemical composition and therapeutic application. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377380/

Additionally, bee pollen may have the ability to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. In a study, the supplement has shown to induce apoptosis of cancer cells in the prostate.[74]Wu, Y. D., & Lou, Y.-J. (2007, November). A steroid fraction of chloroform extract from bee pollen of Brassica campestris induces apoptosis in human prostate cancer PC-3 cells. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17639562

Zinc And Prostate Health

Zinc is a micronutrient famously marketed towards male health. It is often found in red meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, and eggs.

This mineral is essentially popular for its benefits on male health. It is known as a male enhancer and aphrodisiac.

Zinc for prostate health has been a common subject of debate in the past decades. Many argue whether or not the micronutrient is especially beneficial for the prostate.

However, recent research shows that moderate levels of zinc are good for the prostate. This amount may pose a mechanism that inhibits the terminal oxidation and induction of mitochondrial apoptogenesis.[75]Ho, E., & Song, Y. (2009, November). Zinc and prostatic cancer. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32833106ee

In simpler terms, zinc prevents cell death and deterioration. This is especially helpful in suppressing the development of prostate tumors.[76]Ho, E., & Song, Y. (2009, November). Zinc and prostatic cancer. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32833106ee

Moreover, zinc is present in the prostate in high concentrations. It is found in the prostatic fluid. This suggests that zinc itself may be essential for keeping a healthy prostate.[77]Ho, E., & Song, Y. (2009, November). Zinc and prostatic cancer. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32833106ee

Lycopene And Prostate Health

Lycopene is a natural carotenoid found in most fruits and vegetables that are red and orange in color. This is also more commonly found in tomatoes.

Lycopene is essential to the health, especially in terms of cardiovascular health. The carotenoid is also looked at for its possible effect on treating cancer.

Lycopene for prostate health as also been looked at in several studies. In one study, lycopene showed significant impacts on decreasing the risk of prostate cancer development.[78]Chen, P., Zhang, W., Wang, X., Zhao, K., Negi, D. S., Zhuo, L., … Zhang, X. (2015, August). Lycopene and Risk of Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000001260

Additionally, lycopene may reduce the progression of prostate cancer. It may be effective in inhibiting the development of prostate tumors.[79]Zu, K., Mucci, L., Rosner, B. A., Clinton, S. K., Loda, M., Stampfer, M. J., & Giovannucci, E. (2014, February). Dietary lycopene, angiogenesis, and prostate cancer: a prospective study in the prostate-specific antigen era. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djt430

Maca And Prostate Health

maca-bone-healthMaca is recently rising as a popular supplement due to its several health benefits. Mostly marketed towards male health, it’s no surprise that this herb is also good for the prostate.

Additionally, the consumption of cruciferous crops has been associated with reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Maca itself is a cruciferous vegetable.

Additionally, maca is rich in glucosinolate, which has antiproliferative and proapoptotic properties. These properties may both be effective in inhibiting the development of prostate tumors.[80]Gonzales, G. F., Miranda, S., Nieto, J., Fernández, G., Yucra, S., Rubio, J., … Gasco, M. (2005, January 20). Red maca (Lepidium meyenii) reduced prostate size in rats. doi: 10.1186/1477-7827-3-5

An animal study conducted on rodents examined the effects of maca on the zinc levels of the prostate. The said study pointed out that the herb reduced both the prostate size and zinc levels on the subjects, therefore concluding that maca administration may be beneficial in keeping the prostate health in check.[81]Gonzales, C., Leiva-Revilla, J., Rubio, J., Gasco, M., & Gonzales, G. F. (2012, May). Effect of red maca (Lepidium meyenii) on prostate zinc levels in rats with testosterone-induced prostatic hyperplasia. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21762188

However, take note that only the red variety of maca posed the said benefits on the prostate.

Ashwagandha And Prostate Health

Ashwagandha is a popular herb from Ayurvedic medicine. It is known to improve strength, stamina, and the immune system.

Supplementing ashwagandha may go beyond just the basics. This Ayurvedic staple may also benefit the prostate in different ways.

One study examined the comprehensive effects of ashwagandha intake on prostate health. The said study noted that the herb has the ability to regulate highly invasive prostate cancer cells.[82]Aalinkeel, R., Hu, Z., Nair, B. B., Sykes, D. E., Reynolds, J. L., Mahajan, S. D., & Schwartz, S. A. (2010, June). Genomic Analysis Highlights the Role of the JAK-STAT Signaling in the Anti-proliferative Effects of Dietary Flavonoid-‘Ashwagandha’ in Prostate Cancer Cells. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nem184 In other words, supplementing ashwagandha may inhibit the development and decrease the risk of prostate cancer.

Moreover, ashwagandha has mechanisms that may act as an immunomodulator. This may be

Effective in promoting prostate cancer cell death. The herb may also downregulate the expression of certain transactivators that pro-cancer cells.[83]Aalinkeel, R., Hu, Z., Nair, B. B., Sykes, D. E., Reynolds, J. L., Mahajan, S. D., & Schwartz, S. A. (2010, June). Genomic Analysis Highlights the Role of the JAK-STAT Signaling in the Anti-proliferative Effects of Dietary Flavonoid-‘Ashwagandha’ in Prostate Cancer Cells. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nem184

Korean Red Ginseng and Prostate Health

Fermented Korean Red GinsengKorean red ginseng is a powerful herb most popularly used in Traditional Asian Medicine. It also happens to be an herb that is famous for its favorable benefits on male health.

Among this herb’s benefits include improved strength, stamina, and virility. Popular towards sexual male health, Korean red ginseng also happens to pose benefits to the prostate.

In fact, the effect of the herb in combating prostate-related issues have been looked at in several studies.

In one study, Korean red ginseng has been found to proliferate the growth of cancer cells. The herb has also been found to pharmacological effects on reducing the growth of the prostate. This is essentially helpful in preventing the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia.[84]Bae, J.-S., Park, H.-S., Park, J.-W., Li, S.-H., & Chun, Y.-S. (2012, July). Red ginseng and 20(S)-Rg3 control testosterone-induced prostate hyperplasia by deregulating androgen receptor signaling. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22101440

A study was also conducted to test the effects of Korean red ginseng on rodents with testosterone-induced benign prostatic hyperplasia. The study pointed out that the ginseng may influence and decrease prostate size and inhibit the further development of benign prostatic hyperplasia.[85]Kim, S. K., Chung, J.-H., Lee, B.-C., Lee, S. W., Lee, K. H., & Kim, Y. O. (2014, December). Influence of Panax ginseng on Alpha-Adrenergic Receptor of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. doi: 10.5213/inj.2014.18.4.179

Tongkat Ali And Prostate Health

Tongkat Ali is another herb most commonly used in Traditional Asian Medicine. It is well known as a natural aphrodisiac, and most of its health benefits are marketed towards male health and virility.

Tongkat Ali has also been looked at as a possible treatment for cases that involved cancer. In fact, a few studies revealed that the herb may encourage toxicity towards breast cancer cells, making it an essential chemotherapeutic agent.[86]Abouhamraa, H. (2013). Effect of Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali) on the prostate cancer cell line LNCaP. Retrieved from https://etd.uwc.ac.za/xmlui/handle/11394/3201

Another study investigated the in vitro and in vivo activities of Tongkat Ali when it comes to fighting cancer. This study has found that the herb selectively induces cytotoxicity on human prostate cancer cells.[87]Tong, K. L., Chan, K. L., AbuBakar, S., Low, B. S., Ma, H. Q., & Wong, P. F. (2015, March 31). The in vitro and in vivo anti-cancer activities of a standardized quassinoids composition from Eurycoma longifolia on LNCaP human prostate cancer cells. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25826409

The same study has also shown the ability to inhibit the growth of these cancer cells, therefore noting that the herb may work as an effective chemotherapeutic agent in prostate cancer cases.[88]Tong, K. L., Chan, K. L., AbuBakar, S., Low, B. S., Ma, H. Q., & Wong, P. F. (2015, March 31). The in vitro and in vivo anti-cancer activities of a standardized quassinoids composition from Eurycoma longifolia on LNCaP human prostate cancer cells. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25826409

References   [ + ]

Fran Sanchez, BSc MSc

About Fran Sanchez, BSc MSc

Fran Sanchez, the founder of Herbolab, graduated from Uppsala University (Sweden) with a master in molecular biology and Karolinska University (Sweden) with a degree in medical sciences and business. He then moved to Singapore to run e-commerce operations in a pharmaceutical company, until eventually, he could fulfill his dream of creating a brand dedicated to help men reach their peak performance. Drawing on his experience as a lifelong multi-sport athlete and cutting edge medical and scientific research, Fran launched herbolab tongkat ali as flagship supplement in April of 2014. Fran now spend most of his time weight lifting and creating content dedicated to improve people’s lives.

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