It’s a man’s problem

OK, guys, time to get real.  As we age, we develop a lot of aches and pains that are going to annoy us for the rest of our lives.  But there is one ailment that affects most men to some degree that we don’t want to talk about.  It’s a malfunctioning prostate.

The prostate is that little walnut shell under the bladder that is used like a flow regulator.  Under normal conditions, it determine whether urine or semen will be going out of the urethra.  When it works right, no problem.  When it doesn’t, big problems!   Leaking, incontinence, pain, poor flow, no flow, impotence, infections, cancer, death.  Some of these issues we can live with if they don’t become too severe.  Some we can’t.

The scale of the problem of BPH (Benign Prostate Hypertrophy) has been increasing for some time, and the consensus is that modern changes to the environment are to blame, including:

  • new toxins in our food chain, especially plastics
  • decrease mineral nutrients in our food, especially zinc
  • lower testosterone counts, due to diets high in carbohydrates and low in fats.
  • inadequate exercise
  • improper hydration

BPH, in itself, is just annoying.  But BPH can cause bladder and prostate infections.  Persistent infections can lead to an increase risk of cancer.  So no one should take the symptoms of BPH lightly.  They aren’t going to go away by themselves.

As the saying goes, “I’m no doctor, but I play one on the internet.”   As a male, let’s just say I have some working knowledge with this problem, and I will give you my top personal remedies.  They may not work for you.  But, given the radical surgical alternatives and their unsettling side effects, anything is worth a try.  Just remember that the earlier you start to treat the problem, the less of a problem it will become.  Here are my top picks.

1. Drink Broccoli Tea.

A real MD recommended this.  Can’t remember where, but I will find the link.  You are supposed to boil about a pound of broccoli in the morning.  Boil for about 10 minutes, then drain off the liquid (tea).  Drink half in the morning and have in the evening.  don’t eat anything before or for 15 minutes after.  There are potent curative chemicals in the tea, including sulfur compounds and quercetin.  Quercetin has been receiving a lot of attention lately.  When I started using this protocol, no one had heard of it.  But it’s one of the new wonder drugs in training.  I just know that it really helps.   I also use purified water to make the tea.

You are supposed to stay on the protocol for 21 days, then take a few weeks off, and repeat as necessary.  I must admit that I have never made 21 days, because that’s a lot of broccoli!  What you do with it is you business.  Sometimes I put it in the compost pile.  Sometimes I put it in soups.  Sometimes I have it with marinara; it’s much lower in calories and carbohydrates than pasta.

2. Be careful what you drink. But drink enough.

Tap water has a lot of toxins in it.  Chlorine is used to kill bacteria, which means it will kill the bacteria in you, also known as your flora.  This results in all kinds of problems, including indigestion and bloating.  Fluoride, which is added to help prevent cavities in children, is also toxic.

Soda uses purified water, but is loaded with phosphoric acid, which leaches minerals from your already mineral-deficient bones and teeth.  That’s why it promotes cavities, besides being packed with sugar.  The sugar in sodas, and fruit juices, causes insulin swings in the body that lead to diabetes, weight gain, and other maladies.  So I wouldn’t recommend soda at all, much less high quantities of fruit juices, unless you are training for a marathon of some extreme sport.

I use water purified by reverse osmosis.  This water has no toxins, but also no minerals, which makes it too tasteless for me.  Also, your body needs 70 trace minerals, of which is gets very few in modern food.  In fact, the FDA only require labels to indicate the top 5 minerals, Chloride, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium.  While your intake of these is important, at least twice that many are absolutely essential to function normally.  I add Liquimins(TM) Mineral drops, which is sea minerals with most of the sodium remove, to my drinking water.  I like to add a lot, so it tastes like the rusty well water I loved so much as a kid.  We won’t go into all the good things that minerals do for your body in this post, but suffice it to say that it can’t hurt.

Coffee and tea, to me, are perfectly fine, but they are only as good as the water they are brewed with.  There has been studies with coffee that suggest that caffeinated coffee lowers the risk of prostate cancer  The studies are quite preliminary, so the proof is not definitive.  It seems that decaf is worthless in this regard.  I have to laugh to myself about coffee, because today it’s good for you and tomorrow it’s bad.  This shows how much science doesn’t really know.

3. Exercise

Any doctor will tell you that exercise is good for you.  Strengthens the heart, muscles, joints, you name it.  But I think an under-looked side of exercise is that is promotes detoxification of the body.  The largest organ in the body is the skin, and its millions of sweat pores help excrete wastes from the body.  Along with excreting salt water to regulate of body temperature,  it releases waste product and other toxins from the cells.  For a double whammy, exercise after drinking the broccoli tea!

4. Eat fatty foods, especially foods high in fatty acids.

Lately, Omega fatty acids are hot news.  That’s because Essential Fatty Acids (EPA’s) have been discovered to be the major regulator of the body.  Because everything is processed with corn oil, which is high in Omega-6, no one has a shortage of Omega-6.  However, even more important to the body functions, especially to hormonal balances, is Omega-3 EPA’s.  High levels of Omega-6 inhibit the uptake of Omega-3.  So, put down that bag of chips!

Although there has been a big scare about mercury in tuna, Salmon has much lower levels of mercury, such that you would have to eat about a pound a day, every day, to have anything close to a toxicity level of mercury.  Fortunately, about four ounces of wild-caught salmon a day can supply most of your daily needs for EPA’s.  Other sources of good fats include avocados (I love them in salads or in dips) and nuts.  Flax seeds are also high in EPA’s, but the oils are not available to the body unless you grind them.  Since EPA’s spoil quickly, grind them the day you use them.  I found that a little electric coffee grinder works great.

So, how do Omega-3’s help?  As I said, EPA’s help regulate hormones.  Specific to BPH, omega-3’s help maintain healthy testosterone levels that promote a healthy prostate, and they inhibit the testosterone from breaking down into bi-products that promote BPH.

5. Take supplements.

This last one comes with some caveats.   Saw Palmetto has been used for decades to promote prostate health.  A recent study challenged whether there was any efficacy to this supplement.  So far, the majority of tests indicate that it can indeed inhibit chemical bi-products that promote hypertrophy. A recent study also found that inhibiting these same chemicals also reduced cancer protection.  The study recommended borage oil be taken as well as saw palmetto, which will protect from cancer.

Vitamin D is known to prevent all kinds of cancers.  Studies show that almost everyone in the US suffers from deficiency in this vitamin, which is created in the body by exposure to sun.  Vitamin D is especially helpful in allowing the body to assimilate calcium.  So adequate amounts are probably much better for you than calcium supplements.

Zinc is hugely important in the health of the reproductive system.  For one thing, semen is very high in zinc. Zinc depletion also significantly lowers testosterone levels.  Besides upsetting your prostate, this reduces your feeling of vitality and general well-being. Check your fingernails.  If you see white spots in them, you are definitely zinc-deficient.  Even if you don’t, supplement with up to 50mg per day.  Be careful, though.  Taking Zinc on an empty stomach can cause nausea.

So there you have my personal top five, and some of the logic behind it.  Once again, I’m not a doctor.  I’m just telling you what seems to work for me.  I will be adding to this blog as I go.  There are a lot of good places to send you for a more thorough  understanding of these and other issues about the prostate and it’s maladies, as well as cancer and hormone questions in general.  Even though this is a man’s problem, it ends up being everyone’s problem.

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Filed under On Family, Health, Environment and Ethics

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