Protecting Your Prostate

One of the most common health problems experienced by men is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH.

BPH is just a medical term that means a man’s prostate gland has become bigger than it should be.

There is an impressive body of scientific evidence that supports Saw Palmetto use for BPH.

So what is the story behind Saw Palmetto?

Saw Palmetto (serenoa repens) is a plant with berries that once were a staple food and medicinefor the Native Americans of the south eastern United States.

In the early 1900s, men used the berries to treat urinary tract problems, andeven to increase sperm production and boost libido.

Today, research suggests the reason Saw Palmetto may help BPH is possibly due to a mild inhibition of a certain enzyme (5-alpha-reductase), as well as anti-androgenic activity and an inhibition of androgen (sex hormone) binding.

Much of the clinical work has used a special type of Saw Palmetto extract called a liposterolic extract (LESP) dosage form. The LESP form is backed up by this research, so it may be interesting to check which form is used in any supplements you may be taking.

A recent, updated review of the clinical trials concluded that LESP improves urological symptoms and flow measures compared with placebo, and that LESP produces similar improvement in urinary symptoms and flow when compared to the drug finasteride and is associated with significantly less side effects.

A  study, published in the July issue of Advances in Therapy, revealedthat a saw palmetto extract (SPE), SP-085, is as effective as thestandard prescription drug ‘finasteride’ in blocking the criticalenzyme that leads to BPH.

Further animal studies have shown that Saw Palmetto may inhibit the growth of tumour cells, indicating that it could be helpful in the treatment ofprostate cancer.

Current conventional treatment of prostate cancer combines surgery (removing the prostate), radiation and chemotherapy, along with hormone blockers. Side effects usually involve incontinence and permanent impotence.

Most men are horrified at the thought of becoming impotent and incontinent. Perhaps that is why so many prostate cancer patients are seeking non-invasive, natural ways to help – such as Saw Palmetto.

Emed’s Comment:

Saw Palmetto is a great herb for the prostate. Some of Emed’s Best ‘practitioner only’ Prostate Protection supplements that include Saw Palmetto are:

Saw Palmetto is not the only natural medicine making leaps and bounds in researched treatment options for conditions of the prostate.

Only in August did researchers at Columbia University publish dramatic results of a 33-ingredient compound against prostate cancer cell lines.

The impressive results are found in the most recent publication of Integrative Cancer Therapies where Lead Researcher, Dr. Aaron Katz says the findings “demonstrate that this specific mixture is able to stop abnormal cell growth and induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in both hormone sensitive and hormone resistant prostate cancer cell lines at unusually low concentrations”.

This potent natural formula combines nutrients, medicinal mushrooms, herbs, and minerals that work together to provide long lasting prostate protection. This compound could potentially become crucial in the fight against prostate cancer.

Vitamin E also features in the front line of the prostate cancer fight.

Dr. Patrick Ling, whose research will be a centrepiece of the new $354 million Translational Research Institute (TRI) when it opens in Brisbane, is leading a team of researchers who have identified a particular constituent of vitamin E that can inhibit the growth of prostate tumours.

This constituent, known as gamma-tocotrienol (γ-T3) has been found to successfully kill off prostate cancer stem cells.

All this new research is very exciting, however it is important to consult with your health care practitioner about the best options for your individual situation.

Dont be Hesitant – Help for Your Prostate is Available

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What else can I do?

Click here to learn more about Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.

First, get the low down:

  • Only males have a prostate, females do not.
  • A normal prostate is about the same size and shape as a walnut.
  • 2/3 of the prostate is glandular tissue that produces fluid for semen, which carries sperm during a man’s orgasm.
  • 1/3 of the prostate is muscle, which contracts during an orgasm to expel the semen into the urethra.
  • The prostate surrounds part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder through the penis.
  • 50% of men will develop an enlarged prostate by the time they are 50 years old.
  • Up to 90% of men aged 70 to 90 years old develop an enlarged prostate.
  • In the United States, prostate cancer is the most common cancer inmen, and 1 in 6 will develop prostate cancer during his lifetime.

Symptoms of an Enlarged Prostate include:

  • Difficulty starting to urinate.
  • Difficulty maintaining urinary flow, or starting and stopping when trying to pass urine.
  • Needing to urinate urgently.
  • Needing to urinate more frequently.
  • Increase in occurrence of urinary tract infections, which may cause irritation or burning when passing urine.

These problems occur because the urethra is squashed as the prostate increases in size.

Because the prostate wraps around part of the urinary tract, when itbecomes enlarged, it actually presses on the tube that carries urine,altering the ability to pass urine. See the below diagram.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is a serious and troubling medicalproblem that requires proper management. It is important to mentionthat BPH is not prostate cancer, nor does it make you more likely todevelop prostate cancer, however it is possible to have both.


Give Nature a Helping Hand

Zinc is like the prostate’s best friend! Zinc is an essential nutrient for men’s health, and having low levels of zinc can create health problems. For men it is particularly important to include zinc rich foods in your diet. These include Oysters, Milk, Baked Beans, EggYolks, Herring, Beef and Lamb, Cashew nuts, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflowerseeds.

Click here for Emed’s Best Zinc Supplements.

Want to see if you have enough zinc in your body? Click here for more information on Emed’s Zinc Level Test.


Good News for Men with BPH

If you are sick and tired of needing to pass urine all the time, getting up in the night to pass urine and dribbling, then nature has agift for you.

Recent research has found that a combination of herbs SawPalmetto, Nettle root, and Small-leafed Willow are very effective at managing BPH and reducing the troublesome symptoms. A combination ofthese herbs can be taken in a convenient capsule to manage BPH or wherethere is a stong family history of BPH. Click here for more information on Metagenics Palmetto Plus.


Eat your Veggies!

Recent studies have found greater consumption of dark green and cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli and cauliflower, is associated with a decreasedrisk of aggressive prostate cancer.

Broccoli Sprout is a ‘Super Nutrient’. Studies have shown the benefit of sulforaphane (found in broccoli sprouts) in male health, and in particular in prostate disorders.

High consumption is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, and there is evidence that sulforaphane may prevent and induce a regression of prostate cancer.

How does it do this? Byinducing phase II enzyme expression and activity in human prostatecells, sulforaphane may boost prostate cellular defence mechanisms.

Sulforaphane may also inhibit androgen receptors in prostate cells, apathway often inhibited for prevention and treatment of prostate cancer. Sulforaphane has been seen to inhibit proliferation of human prostate cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (cell death).

This is why broccoli sprouts are included in some prostate protection formulas, such as Orthoplex AndroTone.


Try Soy

Genistein, a natural chemical found in soy, is being used in the lab of Raymond Bergan, M.D., the director of experimental therapeutics at theLurie Cancer Center, to inhibit prostate cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body.

So far the cancer therapy drug has worked in preclinical animal studies and now showsbenefits in humans with prostate cancer.

These findings support that of 2007 and 2008 studies.

Researchers say that the amount of the antioxidant genistein, used in the experiments was no higher than what a human would eat in a soybean-rich diet. This is promising news.

Human observational studies have found that while the spread ofprostate cancer is reduced in men who eat soy-rich foods, findings havebeen mixed as to whether prostate cancer incidence is markedly different. More clinical trials still need to be conducted.


Further Reading 



American Association for Cancer Research. “Soy Compound May Halt Spread Of Prostate Cancer.” ScienceDaily, 17 March 2008. Web. 10 November 2010. <­ /releases/2008/03/080314085038.htm>

American Association for Cancer Research (2007, March 16). Soy Found Protective Against Localized Prostate Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from­ /releases/2007/03/070315160803.htm

De La Taille A, Buttyan R, Hayek O, et al. Herbal therapyPC-SPES: In vitro effects and evaluation of its efficacy in 69 patientswith prostate cancer. J Urol. 2000;164:1229-1234.

Experimental soy-based drug shows benefits in men with localized prostate cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from­ /releases/2010/11/101108140919.htm

Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2007, July 25). Broccoli andOther Vegetables Linked with Decreased Risk of Aggressive ProstateCancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from­ /releases/2007/07/070724161644.htm

Public Library of Science (2008, July 2). Eating Broccoli May Keep Prostate Cancer Away, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from­ /releases/2008/07/080701221450.htm

Queensland University of Technology (2010, October 24). Vitamin E in front line of prostate cancer fight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from­ /releases/2010/10/101019111718.htm

Small EJ, Frohlich MW, Bok R, et al. A prospective trial of the herbalsupplement PC-SPES in patients with progressive prostate cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2000;18(21):3595-3603.

Wilt T, Ishani A, MacDonald R. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2002; (2): CD001423

Yan J, Katz AE. ProstaCaid Induces G2/M Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosisin Human and Mouse Androgen-Dependent and Independent Prostate CancerCells. Integrative Cancer Ther. 2010.

Yang Y, Ikezoe T, Zheng Z, Taguchi H, Koeffler HP, Zhu WG. Saw palmettoinduces growth arrest and apoptosis of androgen-dependent prostatecancer LNCaP cells via inactivation of STAT 3 and androgen receptorsignaling. Int J Oncol. 2007;31(3):593-600.