Prostate Health

There are a wide range of conditions which affect the prostate gland. The most common ones are

  1. Prostate Cancer
  2. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
  3. Prostatitis

You can follow the links for more information on each subject. Continue reading for more information on the prostate.

 

Diet, Exercise, Nutrition and Supplements for Prostate Health

 

Many patients enquire about the value of general lifestyle modifications on the health of the prostate, especially on the development of prostate cancer or urinary symptoms. Commonly, patients ask about a specific supplement such as saw palmetto, zinc, selenium, or vitamin E.

 

The short answer is that there is that supplemental intake of micronutrients and phytotherapies currently lack any evidence to support their efficacy in preventing or treating any prostate disease (as of 2011). This includes saw palmetto, zinc, selenium, vitamin E and any other micronutrient or phytotherapy which has been purported to improve prostate health. In 2006, Bent et al. conducted a well-designed randomized-controlled trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, which did not find any difference in the development of clinical BPH between saw palmetto extract (160 mg, twice daily) compared with placebo when taken for 1 year. The criticisms of this study have focused on the preparation and dosage. In 2009, a well-designed randomized controlled trial sponsored by the NIH and involving over 35,000 men did not demonstrate any benefit to taking supplemental vitamin E or selenium.

 

Fortunately, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that exercise and the intake of specific macronutrients and micronutrients through regular diet play a beneficial role. Most strikingly, the magnitude of these effects is similar to medical therapies using α-blockers and 5-α-reductase
inhibitors.

 

Habits that have been associated with improved prostate health include:

 

  1. Exercise and avoidance of obesity are complimentary and associated with significantly reduced odds of developing BPH.
  2. Diets high in vegetables and low in fat have the strongest inverse associations with the development of urinary symptoms.

 

The lifestyle habits associated with a decreased risk of developing urinary symptoms are also beneficial in reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

 

References:

  1. Kenneth S. Poon & Kevin T. McVary. Dietary Patterns, Supplement Use, and the Risk of Benign Prostatic
    Hyperplasia. Curr Urol Rep. 2009 Jul;10(4):279-86. Review.
  2. Sea J, Poon KS, McVary KT. Review of Exercise and the Risk of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Phys Sportsmed. 2009 Dec;37(4):75-83. Review.
  3. Bent S, Kane C, Shinohara K, et al.: Saw palmetto for benign prostatic hyperplasia. N Engl J Med 2006, 354:557–566.
  4. Lippman SM, Klein EA, Goodman PJ, et al.: Effect of selenium and vitamin E on risk of prostate cancer and other cancers: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA 2009, 301:39–51