When Bigger is Not Better

TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ - We live in a country of excess where size often matters most. Supersize, grande, max, king size - but is bigger always better? Certainly not when it comes to male health and an enlarged prostate.

The camaraderie shared in men's clubs, locker rooms and poker games does not seem to extend to the sharing of male sex organs and their functions - a taboo subject. Denial is the wild card that is often played in the game of prostate health.

With Father's Day approaching, this is an appropriate time to remind loved ones that prostate health should not be overlooked. Prevention and awareness can help save lives.

One of the more common prostate issues is benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH. It is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that can make urination troublesome. The enlargement gradually compresses the urethra and hinders the flow of urine. BPH becomes increasingly more common in men after the age of fifty. Although difficulty in passing urine is the most common sign of a prostate problem, there may be other symptoms including:

    -  Weak urine flow and/or one that stops and starts
    -  Urgency in regards to the need to urinate
    -  Urinating more frequently than previously
    -  Night time urination
    -  Experiencing hesitancy (waiting before you start to go)

Complete emptying of the bladder may not occur and as such can make an individual more susceptible to urinary tract infections and kidney stones.

The precise cause of BPH is not known but it is thought that it involves changes induced by hormones, especially testosterone. It may be related to an increased conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme known as 5-alpha-reductase. In the prostate, specialized receptors take up DHT much more readily compared to testosterone, causing rapid tissue growth and the prostate to enlarge. A modification in dietary and lifestyle measures with the addition of a few natural health remedies can be supportive.

These include consuming a healthy diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein. Avoiding sources of excess estrogens and xeno-estrogens is important as they are endocrine-disrupting. Sources include plastics, herbicides, pesticides, commercially raised beef, chicken and pork and detergent.

Supplementation with a high-potency omega-3 fish oil, rich in EPA and DHA can help reduce inflammation.

Certain herbal supplements may help reduce symptoms associated with BPH. Saw Palmetto appears to be effective in the treatment of enlarged prostate. It inhibits the enzyme (alpha-5-reductase) that converts testosterone to DHT. Stinging nettle root contains compounds that may prevent or delay the growth of prostate cells, while pygeum appears to help decrease the frequency of night urination, increases the volume of urine and increases the amount of urine emptied from the bladder.

The only 'bigger' that positively relates to prostate health is that the more awareness of preventative measures, the better the outcome.

    Michele Sevier Biography

Michele Sevier, DNM, DAc, is an educator and advocate of natural health and healing. As an independent advisor to Nutrition House, she is actively involved in many facets of integrative medicine including research, the formulation of specialized supplements, and providing natural health solutions to the general public through Nutrition House's 'Ask Our Expert' service at www.nutritionhouse.com.


For further information: For further information: For Media Inquiries and Interviews with Michele Sevier: Telephone/Fax: 519-484-9967, or E-mail: micheles@nutritionhouse.com

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