The prostate is a male gland about the size of a walnut that is located just above the bladder. The gland produces seminal fluid and surrounds the male urethra, through which urine is secreted. An inflamed or swollen prostate can hamper attempts to urinate as well as cause sexual dysfunction. Natural remedies may help reduce symptoms of inflamed prostate and provide preventive care for optimal health and function of the prostate.
- Eat plenty of foods that contain powerful antioxidants such as tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit. Antioxidants are effective in protecting the prostate against damage caused by free radicals, which cause cell destruction. The Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois has researched lycopene, an antioxidant component of fruits and vegetables with red colors, and found evidence of reduced prostate inflammation, reduced size of prostate tumors and even some anti-cancer properties.
Also eat plenty of fruits, as they contain fructose, which, according to the Department of Medicine of Harvard Medical School, promotes and stimulates vitamin D production in the body, which in turn slows and inhibits tumor growth.
- Take saw palmetto supplements to treat a variety of prostate disorders. Saw palmetto comes from a berry native to the southeastern U.S. Native Americans have traditionally used this herb for a variety of medical conditions. Saw palmetto may produce results in prostate enlargement in about four to six weeks. Follow instructions on packages or bottles of saw palmetto regarding dosage, which depends on the strength of the capsules you purchase. Cell Biology International in 2001 published results of a study by researchers at Boston BioProducts that found saw palmetto to inhibit cell growth of prostatic cancer cells in lab tests. More research will determine whether the effect works in human trials.
- Take pygeum for relief of prostate disorders that cause swelling or inflammation. Pygeum comes from a tree bark native to Africa and is used to treat prostate enlargement because certain chemicals found in it inhibit DHT, a derivative of testosterone that promotes cell growth and enlargement of glands. Recommended doses of pygeum are approximately 50 to 100 milligrams taken twice a day for six to nine months for optimal prostate health and wellness. Writing in the May 15, 2008, issue of American Family Physician, Dr. Jonathan L. Edwards says that limited evidence suggests pygeum relieves symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Take pygeum as your health care practioner recommends.
Like every other part of the body, the prostate needs a steady supply of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids, as well as enzymes, phyto-chemicals, and other substances found in food. A lack of any one of these vital substances could lead to disaster, especially since the prostate is exposed to toxins leaking from the colon, to which it is adjacent. Equally important and dangerous are the “negative” nutrients, such as excess dairy fats which quickly plug up the tiny blood vessels in the prostate, leaving it without a proper supply of nutrients and blood.
In the past, we would get all the nutrients we need from food. With the advent of modern agriculture, however, a nutrient deficit has become a common problem because our agriculture system focuses on producing good-looking items that don’t spoil on the way to the market, instead of nutrient-packed, health- rich foods. And when we become ill, are exposed to toxins or pick up parasites, we need even more nutrients. We thus must turn to supplements. However, not just any supplements will do. The typical vitamin and mineral pills so many of us swallow may not serve us well: they can place added stress on the liver, which processes these substances. We always need to make sure that the benefit we get from any supplement outweighs the added stress placed on our system by the effort to digest and process it. If you suffer from a prostate disorder, it is important to take supplements that specifically benefit the prostate.
Recent studies have shown that certain vitamins and minerals help the prostate by lowering harmful levels of testosterone in its tissues—while also improving the body’s healing capabilities. In addition, protective nutrients are known to help the body reduce or even eliminate harmful toxins and pollutants that can injure the prostate. Essential fatty acids and amino acids are also showing positive effects on prostate function. Medicinal herbs and plants can reduce swelling and inflammation; homeopathic medicines can alleviate prostate-related symptoms safely and without side effects; and special diets can bolster your body’s healing forces and speed up your recovery from prostate disease.
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