Prevention and management of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
BPH may present with symptoms of bladder obstruction such as urination difficulties, urgency, dribbling etc. There may be swelling of the prostate, and if left untreated can result in retention of urine and possible kidney damage (Murray & Pizzorno, 2013).
Diagnosis may be made with physical examinations, blood testing for Blood urea nitrogen and Prostate specific antigen and ultrasonography of the region.
Treatment aims at Regulating hormone balance, regulate estrogen levels and reduce inflammation, reduce prolactin, support symptoms and improve bladder tone, enhance cell growth and repair (Hechtman, 2014).
Specific dietary treatment for BPH:
- Avoid pesticides, high sugar foods, processed foods, caffeine
- Increase antioxidants:
- Zinc – oysters, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, ginger may help to protect the prostate gland from inflammation and damage. Supports hormone balance and DNA.
- Vitamin C – (berries, citrus fruits, broccoli, kale) antioxidant to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Vitamin C supports collagen production and thus enhances the connective tissue health within the body. Vitamin C also supports healing
- Vitamin E – is a lipid soluble antioxidant known to support epithelial cell integrity. Reduce inflammation
- Vitamin A – carrots, spinach, eggs, fish oil. Epithelial cell differentiation, antioxidant to reduce oxidative stress. Vitamin A supports immunity.
- Vitamin D – may assist in reducing inflammation of the prostate and inhibit growth (Murray & Pizzorno, 2013). Adequate sunlight and consumption of oily fish will assist in obtaining vitamin D levels.
- Increase essential fatty acids – salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, herring. Reduce inflammation, support hormone secretions.
- Bitters – kale, rocket, endive. Enhance liver clearance of excess estrogens and support heavy metal chelation. Heavy metal toxicity may be a possible factor in BPH (Hechtman, 2014 p.884).
- Beta sitosterol – found in pumpkin seeds, and avocados. Phyosterol, which may assist in the reduction of cholesterol, which may be elevated in BPH Patients (Murray & Pizzorno, 2013).
- B vitamins – Support coenzymes such as Coenzyme A to regulate hormones and reduce inflammation. Vitamins B6, B3, B12 and B9 may help to reduce elevated homocysteine levels that are a risk for Cardiovascular Disease.
- Green tea – catechins found in green tea help to regulate androgens (testosterone).
- Tomatoes - contains lycopene, a dietary bioflavonoid that is said to help prevent DNA damage and over proliferation of normal prostrate cells.
- Flaxseeds and ground nuts – contain isoflavones to regulate hormones and inhibit growth-promoting factors within the prostate (Hechtman, 2014).
- Exercise is incredibly important for improving blood flow and nutrient transport around the body. It is recommended that 5-6 days per week are inclusive of a well designed exercise routine (Murray & Pizzorno, 2013)
- Limit alcohol and coffee intake
- Organic produce may be preferable to reduce the exposure to pesticides and hormone contaminated foods (Murray & Pizzorno, 2013).
EMpower Fitness and Nutrition
Hechtman, L. (2014). Clinical naturopathic medicine. Sydney, Australia: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier Australia.
Murray, M.T., Pizzorno, J.E. (Eds.) (2013). Benign Prostatic hyperplasia, In: Textbook of Natural Medicine (4th ed). Elsevier: St Louis, Missouri, pp. 1263 – 1269.