This small, typically male gland, located under the bladder, plays a key role in in the urinary system and in maintaining healthy genital function. With increasing age, however, the prostate can increase in volume (benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate) or become inflamed and surrounding tissue can become less flexible. This leads to a number of negative consequences that frequently impinge on daily life: increased desire to urinate, erectile problems, painful urination … It is estimated that 50% of men over 50 are affected by an enlarged prostate.
A healthy lifestyle (eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise) is now known to reduce the risk of prostate problems. A number of studies have also identified the key role played by dietary supplements, not only for preventing BPH, but also for those already diagnosed with the condition, particularly in terms of symptom relief. Saw palmetto, nettle root, pollen and cranberry are among the most beneficial nutrients and plants in this high quality range of supplements.
In Europe, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer and the third-leading cause of cancer death in men. Natural products unquestionably offer a valuable means of prevention. A number of studies have demonstrated the protective effects of foods containing lycopene (tomatoes, watermelon and grapefruit), selenium (nuts, fish and offal) and antioxidants. Since effects are dose-dependent, taking dietary supplements would seem to be a wise choice.
For some years now, it has been thought that natural products also play an important role in the treatment of prostate cancer. Their effect on a natural cellular recycling process called autophagy which is involved in cancer treatment is not yet fully understood but is nevertheless genuine. Regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, turnips, swede, radishes and rocket) which produce natural compounds called isothiocyanates may therefore be associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer and with less severe symptoms. In the same way, foods rich in polyphenols and certain vitamins may have anti-tumour effects.