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Nutrition & Healing - Enlarged Prostate

By Dr. Jonathan V. Wright

Nearly half of all men past 70 have had or will have surgery for an enlarged prostate gland. If you have  symptoms of an enlarged prostate, and want to avoid surgery, there are several nutritional and natural therapies that will usually reduce the size of the enlarged prostate and help restore normal function.
    Before doing anything else, please make sure there's no sign of prostate cancer. Have a physical examination done, , along with a blood test, the prostate specific antigen, also called 'PSA'.
    If these tests are negative, "mainstream" medical treatment is limited to waiting for surgery or the prescription of drugs. One type of drug promotes urination. The other type is a drug said to help reduce the size of the enlarged prostate, but statistics are vague, and the herbal remedy you'll read about next works better with virtually no side effects.
    The herbal is saw palemtto, also called 'serenoa' [sayr-uh-no-ah]. Saw palmetto increases the breakdown and excretion of dihydrotestosterone [dye-hydro-testerone], a metabolite of testosterone thought to be a major factor in causing enlargement of the prostate gland as well as prostate cancer. I usually recommend a standardized extract of saw palmetto, 160 milligrams twice daily. improvement usualy starts in two to four months, and continues for several months after. once an improvement "plateau" is reached, quantities can be reduced.
    Other nutritional supplements are very useful, too. To start, I recommend they be used individually, but as symptoms improve, there are many "multiples"  that contain many of these nutrients in a single formulation. These are readily available in natural food stores. Zinc and essential fatty acids are the "key items".
    Flax oil is the best balanced source of essential fatty acids for human use. To help reduce an enlarged prostate, I usually recommend one and a half tablespoons of flax oil daily.
    Whenever extra essential fatty acids are used, it's necessary to take extra vitamin E also, 400 units daily are usually enough.
    Zinc is the other key nutrient to help reduce enlarged prostates. For initial treatment, I usually recommend zinc picolinate, 30 milligrams, twice daily. Since it's possible for long term zinc treatment to significantly reduce body copper, I also recommend copper sebacate [seb-ah-kate], 4 milligrams daily, taken at a different time than the zinc.
    Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, unroasted, are both excellent sources of essential fatty acids and zinc. If you have symptoms of enlarged prostate, or want to prevent them entirely, add unroasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds to your diet now! Natural food stores have both.
    If saw palmetto, zinc, and flax oil aren't enough to completely releive symptoms and reduce the size of your enlarged prostate, there are three other herbal remedies which also can help. You might try pygeum africanum [pih-gee-uhm af-ree-can-uhm] 100 to 200 milligrams daily, flower pollen, 2 tablets three times daily, or urtica dioica [uhr-tik-uh dye-oh-ik-ah], 200 to 400 milligrams daily.
    Because of differences in age, sex, metabolism, or potential allergy, these diet and supplement therapies may not be suitable for you. Consult a health care professional skilled in nutritional and natural therapies. To locate one near you, you might call the American College of Advancement in Medicine at 800-532-3688 or the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians at 206-323-7610.


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