I would venture to guess that most men probably aren’t aware that November is Men’s Health Month. In fact, many men rarely think about health at all—until something goes wrong. And that’s especially true when it comes to prostate health.
But if you’re over age 50, you may already be experiencing prostate problems… without even knowing it.
In fact, some of the most common prostate health issues might not produce any symptoms at first. But they can continue to develop with age. The good news is, there are simple, natural steps you can take right now to support your prostate. Which means you may be able to avoid the embarrassing, painful symptoms associated with these conditions altogether.
To bring more awareness to these important topics, I’ve put together a comprehensive, science-based protocol on prostate health that will help you recognize, rein in, and even reverse prostate problems before they become serious. It’s currently in the works, and, as always, you will be the first to know when it’s available.
In the meantime, in honor of Men’s Health Month, today I’ll give you a preview of some of the information—and step-by-step advice—I’ll be covering in my full protocol regarding a common prostate concern among men: benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.
But first, let’s take a quick lesson in Prostate Anatomy 101.
A tiny gland with a big purpose
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located at the base of the bladder. It has one simple job—albeit an important one for the future of the human race…
Its purpose is to make seminal fluid, which is added to sperm cells in the ejaculate fluid. Seminal fluid protects and nourishes sperm, allowing it to survive for hours after ejaculation. In fact, some reports show sperm may even live for days in the right environment.
Because it’s not a complex gland, there aren’t many things that can go wrong with the prostate. However, there are a few conditions you need to know about. And today, I’ll discuss a major one to be on the watch for.
BPH: When bigger ISN’T better
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is more commonly known as “enlarged prostate,” and it becomes more frequent after age 50.
In fact, some research shows that half of all men over age 60 may have some degree of prostate enlargement, and as many as 90 percent of men in their 80s are affected.
No one’s exactly sure why the prostate becomes enlarged in BPH, although there’s a theory (but no real evidence) that it’s caused by hormones. That would explain why it’s more frequent later in life, as men’s hormone levels change.
Most men with BPH have no symptoms. But for some, the prostate begins pushing on the urethra, which carries urine out of the body. That makes the bladder muscles work harder to force urine into the urethra.
This can cause several problems. The bladder muscles may contract more frequently, meaning more trips to the bathroom. Or the muscles may have difficulty contracting, leading to “dribbling” or painful urination. These symptoms may be your first (and usually only) sign that something is wrong.
In rare cases, the prostate completely blocks the urethra, and a man can’t urinate at all. If this happens to you, consult your doctor immediately. He or she may want to do a procedure to remove some of the excess prostate tissue.
Pinpointing problems—and plotting your course of action
So, if BPH can occur long before symptoms set in, how do you know if you have it? And what can you do to head it off at the pass?
Prostate enlargement is easily detected by your doctor during a digital rectal exam—when the physician places an index finger into the rectum to feel the prostate. (This procedure also detects the possible presence of colorectal cancer.) The doctor checks the size of the prostate, along with its texture and firmness.
So get an annual physical exam, including a digital rectal exam, starting at age 50. That means the doctor actually has to examine you physically, not just gloss over some questions while staring at his or her computer screen.
If for some reason you have a doctor who doesn’t routinely do this exam during your annual check-ups, find another doctor right away.
If it turns out your prostate is enlarged, you have a few options.
First, there’s “watchful waiting.” If you’ve ever heard this term, it was probably in reference to prostate cancer. But this approach is also a common recommendation for enlarged prostate. Watchful waiting is just what it sounds like—it includes regular exams to see if the prostate gets bigger, or if serious symptoms develop. But it doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing.
In fact, there are some very effective natural remedies that can help alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of BPH. (I’ll discuss one of these in just a moment.)
Of course, these sensible, natural approaches don’t make any money for big pharma. So, some years ago, drug companies decided that an enlarged prostate isn’t simply an inconvenient sign of aging, but rather a “disease” that must be treated. So now we have two types of drugs that are supposed to “relieve” BPH symptoms.
• Alpha blockers like Flomax® and Rapaflo® are designed to relax the muscles in the prostate and bladder neck. This is supposed to allow urine to flow more freely. But, as with any drug, alpha blockers have some serious side effects. They can cause erectile dysfunction, low blood pressure, nausea, weakness, and weight gain.
• Alpha-reductase inhibitors like Proscar® and Avodart® are supposed to stop the prostate from growing, or even shrink it. Like alpha blockers, they can cause erectile dysfunction (for which, of course, big pharma has other drugs to fix the problem they caused—as I will address in detail in my upcoming prostate protocol). Other side effects include low sex drive and depression.
Of course, doctors often prescribe more drugs to take care of the side effects associated with these medications. Meanwhile, most refuse to recommend the solid science showing that natural substances can help relieve symptoms of BPH with minimal or no side effects.
Natural relief that rivals drugs—without the side effects
Both saw palmetto and stinging nettle are well known in natural medicine—and for good reason. Both of these herbal remedies have impressive research supporting their benefits for relieving the symptoms of BPH.
For instance, a new review of 27 studies involving about 5,800 men found that compared with a placebo, saw palmetto improved urine flow and reduced the number of times men got up in the night to urinate. And it had similar results when compared with Flomax® and other alpha blockers.1 Most of these studies used 320 mg doses of saw palmetto extract per day.
And in one clinical trial, 257 men with BPH symptoms who took a combination of 160 mg of saw palmetto extract and 120 mg of stinging nettle root extract daily for 18 months experienced:
• 19 percent improvement in urinary flow
• 44 percent reduction in residual urine (urine left over in the bladder after a trip to the bathroom)
• And a whopping 53 percent improvement in overall prostate symptoms2
Of course, there are many more safe, natural approaches for easing BPH symptoms—and supporting overall prostate health. And I’ll be covering all of them in much more detail in my upcoming protocol. I’ll be sure to keep you updated and, as promised, you’ll be the first to know when it’s ready.
In the meantime, I encourage you to get an exam if you haven’t already— and encourage other men in your life to do the same. As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
1“Efficacy and safety of a hexanic extract of Serenoa repens (Permixon® ) for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (LUTS/BPH): Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and observational studies.” BJU Int. 2018 Apr 25.
2“Efficacy and safety of a combination of Sabal and Urtica extract in lower urinary tract symptoms—long-term follow-up of a placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter trial.” Int Urol Nephrol 2007; 39(4): 1137-46.
3“Quercetin in men with category III chronic prostatitis: a preliminary prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.” Urology 1999 Dec; 54(6): 960-63.
4“Use of supplemental long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and risk for cardiac death: An updated meta-analysis and review of research gaps.” J Clin Lipidol. 2017 Sep – Oct;11(5):1152-1160.e2.
5“Mediterranean Dietary Pattern is Associated with Low Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer: MCC-Spain Study.” J Urol. 2018 Feb;199(2):430-437.