The prostate gland is a walnut sized gland that sits just below a man’s bladder. This gland is part of the male reproductive system and is responsible for the production of a clear liquid which is found in seminal fluid which carries and protects the sperm. The prostate is divided into three sections – peripheral, central and transition. The peripheral section is located at the rear of the prostate gland and is the section of the prostate in which prostatitis (inflammation of the gland) and prostate cancer are most likely to develop. The transition section, which lies in the middle of the prostate gland and surrounds the urethra (tube which empties out bladder), is the area in which benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is seen.
BPH is the condition in which a growth of non-cancerous cells occur and causes the prostate gland to become larger (not inflamed). Enlargement of the prostate is not a dangerous condition, but it does put pressure on the urethra. If left unchecked, benign BPH can cause serious problems over time including urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones or incontinence.
The most common cause of prostate enlargement are changes in hormone levels. As a man ages, his testosterone levels begin to fall. At the same time, his levels of the “female” hormones prolactin, estrogen, LH and FSH rise. This dramatic hormonal shift results in many body changes, such as weight gain, changes in fat distribution and a decrease in muscle strength. Even the testosterone itself changes. A potent form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) begins to dominate. Unfortunately, DHT can cause prostate cells to multiply excessively. Blood work reveals that on average four to six times the normal amount of DHT is found in most cases of enlarged prostate.
Most men by age 45 begin to develop a larger prostate gland (with no symptoms). By age 60, it is believed that 80% of all men experience some sort of urinary interference due to prostate enlargement. The prostate gland requires 10 times more zinc than any other organ in the body. It has been discovered that when a man ejaculates he loses zinc. Therefore, it is highly recommended that men in their late 30′s increase the intake of the mineral Zinc. Zinc can be highly effective in preventing prostate gland dysfunction.
Studies have noted that lower levels of zinc increase the potential for prostate infection (prostatitis) as well as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP – excess cell growth). Approximately 25 mg of zinc per day is recommended to help prevent these disorders. It needs to be clarified that BHP is not a pre-cursor to prostate cancer. However, the confusing aspect is that prostate cancer has the same symptoms noted below. Sometimes with prostate cancer there is blood in the urine, but this can also happen with a kidney infection.
Symptoms of Inflamed Prostate Gland
- Difficulty urinating; dribbling
- Urgent need to urinate
- Pain in the abdomen, groin or lower back
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating
- Pain or discomfort on penis or testicles
- Frequent urination, particularly at night
- Painful ejaculations
Symptoms of Enlarged Prostate Gland – similar to inflamed prostate w/out fever or burning
- Difficulty starting urine stream
- Multiple night urination
- Feeling the bladder is not completely empty
- Urge to urinate soon after urinating
- Pain during urination
How to Elevate Zinc
The best natural sources of zinc include: raw pumpkin seeds (very good source of zinc), oysters, meats, wheat germ, hard cheeses, lima beans, potatoes, oats, green leafy vegetables, tuna, kidney beans, sunflower seeds and ginger root. Other sources are brown rice, eggs, spinach and chickpeas (garbanzos). However, when there is a great need for any mineral or vitamin, the easiest manner in which to elevate the level quickly is through supplementation.
Besides straight zinc (utilize a high quality product) an herb that is high in zinc content is Saw Palmetto. A great mens’ herbal formula I have recommended to men in their late thirties as a preventative is Men’s Formula with Lycopene. I recommend 3 capsules per day. In the case of actual symptoms 6 per day is best with possibly extra zinc (maybe an additional 25 mg). Straight zinc initial amount recommendation when symptoms are present is from 75 mg to 100 mg per day (these amounts lessen as the weeks transpire).
There are other benefits in elevating zinc when it is found to be deficient. It seems to help with male pattern baldness, improves eye sight, prevents or reverses some fungal infections and it has been found to increase sperm count (has helped with infertility cases).
If you or anyone you know is exhibiting any of these symptoms it is very important to see a doctor to determine which prostate issue is present – prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, or prostate cancer. Either way know that there are always alternative natural medicine treatments which can be taken along with any western medicine treatment or as a stand alone.
Own your Health!
** If you would like to order some of the Nature’s Sunshine products (NSP) like Men’s Formula with Lycopene or Saw Palmetto, call them at 1-800-453-1422 and you can use my account number #576437-6. Tell them you want a drop ship order. For more information about NSP go to my Health Analysis page and read the last section.