The prostate is a small muscular gland (weighs 1 ounce) that produces some of the ingredients of semen. It can be found in front of the rectum and just below the bladder. The prostate surrounds the urethra which is the tube that leads from the the bladder to the penis. It is vital for the proper functioning of the male reproductive system.
The prostate contracts during ejaculation and squirts its fluid into the urethra. During ejaculation, sperm travels along two tubes called vas deferens which carry millions of sperm from the testes to the seminal vesicles. The seminal vesicles are attached to the prostate and add extra fluid to the semen.The prostate contracts during ejaculation, closing off the opening between the bladder and urethra. The milky fluid produced by the prostate makes up around 30% of the total ejaculate (the rest is sperm and fluid from the seminal vesicles). This prostatic fluid protects the sperm. It contains a number of ingredients, including enzymes, zinc and citric acid.
The prostate needs testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to function. The enzyme 5α-reductase catalyses the formation of DHT from testosterone.
There are a number of ways in which the prostate can cause medical problems, including:
- Prostate cancer: This is the most common form of cancer in males, affecting 15% of men during their lifetime.
- Enlarged prostate: This affects almost all men aged 50 or over. When the prostate grows, it pushes against the bladder and urethra, making you feel like you need to urinate even though your bladder is not full. It also prevents the urine from flowing out naturally. The medical term for an enlarged prostate is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is the most common non-cancerous form of cell growth in men, and it does not lead to prostate cancer. There are surgical and drug options to treat BPH, but the very best option is to lose weight, reduce estrogen levels and to eat some specific foods and supplements.
Reducing Aromatase Activity
Ageing men sometimes have too much aromatase activity (aromatase is an enzyme), which causes their testosterone to convert to excess estradiol. There are drug options available, but the best option is to lose some weight, eat testosterone boosting foods & supplements and eat foods that inhibit aromatase. Here are foods that help to block this conversion:
- Celery stalks (organic is important as normal celery contains many pesticide residues)
- Red wine (in moderation). Pinot Noir is the best aromatase inhibitor.
- Organic virgin olive oil.
- White Button Mushrooms.
- Oysters. Oysters contain zinc which is a strong aromatase inhibitor.
- Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kale, sprouts). Contains 3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM) which is has estrogen lowering properties.
- Parsley. This contains apigening which inhibits aromatase. Parsley also stimultes testosterone production in the testicular leydig cells and contains nitric oxide producing nitrates (a key chemical trigger for erections)
Cabbage is full of a chemical called indole-3-carbinol (I3C) which reduces your blood estrogen hormones (great if you are a guy and also great if you are a women and want to reduce the risk of breast cancer). Indole-3-carbinol is produced by the breakdown of the glucosinolate glucobrassicin, which can be found at relatively high levels in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and kale. It is also available as a dietary supplement. Cabbage contains the antioxidants choline, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin as well as the flavonoids kaempferol, quercetin and apigenin. Studies show that I3C stimulates detoxifying enzymes, helping to eliminate toxins and harmful forms of estrogen that can lead to cancer. Boiling cabbage for 10 minutes doesn’t have a huge effect on I3C (80% level remains).
Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a major digestive product of indole-3 carbinol (DIM is formed naturally when I3C is broken down in the gut). DIM has potent effects on estrogen metabolism and is able to keep the bodies estrogen balanced. In small amounts, it can both inhibit the aromatase enzyme (and prevent conversion of testosterone into estrogen) and it can act on more potent forms of estrogen and convert them into less potent forms; this conversion reduces the overall effects of estrogen in the body. Taking too much DIM at once boosts the aromatase enzyme and increases the testosterone to estrogen synthesis. Supplementing our diets with DIM can shift the production of estrogen metabolites away from dangerous 16-hydroxy in favour of beneficial 2-hydroxy metabolites. The amount of cabbage needed to be consumed is large. DIM female dosage is 100-300mg per day. To attain this amount of DIM you would need to eat 500g of cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and green cabbage daily. Male dosage is slightly higher.
Men should take an estradiol test (estrogen), if levels are above average then you might consider supplementing with DIM (it is widely available). This is also applicable if symptoms of estrogen are present such as man-boobs, low libido, decreased morning erections, decreased erectile function. remember that way too much DIM can have the reverse effect and boost estrogen. You can also buy I3C supplements but these should be avoided due to side-effects at high doses, I3C can also transform into many other non-DIM substances. The Bioresponse DIM Supplement looks very good, sourced from the US. A supplemental dose of approximately 100mg DIM seems a sensible option.
Men experience a tendency to gain weight in midlife. Rising estrogen production can result, since fat cells contain the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. Unmetabolised estrogen creates a vicious cycle resulting in further estrogen production. This occurs because fat is one source of more active aromatase enzymes (that converts testosterone to estrogen), causing further estrogen production and continuing weight gain. DIM reduces excess estrogen production associated with obesity and male aging. Besides weight gain, another aspect of early ageing in men is prostate gland enlargement. Estrogen accumulates in ageing prostate glands at the same time enlargement occurs.
Things you can do to reduce prostate enlargement.
You need to be logged in as a member to see the rest of this content. As a member you will get a personalised strategy covering all the health topics on this site, with over 200,000 words of practical advice on how to live a long and happy life, free from chronic diseases. You will also get a personalised exercise programme tailored to your own goals. Central to everything is an achievable micro-nutrient strategy covering 50 vitamins, minerals and amino acids essential for good health. If you want to lose weight fast then we will help you every step of the way - 10 kilos in 30 days is easily achievable without counting calories or doing crazy levels of exercise.
Old age could bring you Alzheimer's, dementia, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, stress and cancer. Even ending up in a nursing home or requiring family to care for you. Regain your quality of life by making a start today.