Preventing hair loss and benign prostate hypertrophy
- Suggested Supplements
- Estrogen References
Male pattern baldness and benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH) is caused by a chemical called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). 5 alpha-reductase is a naturally occurring enzyme in your body that transforms the male hormone testosterone into DHT. There is a direct relationship between prostate health and hair loss. Anything that we can do to reduce the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase can only benefit our prostate, hair line and sexual health. In the following sections we will discuss what we can do to combat DHT naturally.
Herbs such as saw palmetto, pygeum species, nettles, star grass and other herbs are used to treat prostate problems. An area of concern with using these is that they only contain one part in three thousand of the beta-sitosterol complex. It takes about a pound of saw palmetto berries to get a 330mg of beta-sitosterol. Even with the best "10x" (ten times) extracts of these herbs one would still have to eat about two hundred 500mg capsules to get the 330mg of beta-sitosterol!
In Europe these extracts are standardized according to beta-sitosterol content regardless of their source. Whether you buy Permixon in France, Harzol, Tadenan and Azuprostat in Germany or Prostaserene in Belgium, these are all based on how much beta-sitosterol content they have. And they are very expensive. A bottle of 60 tablets of Permixon, for example, containing 30mg of beta-sitosterol per tablet will cost about 50 American dollars.
After one really researches beta-sitosterol it becomes obvious that herbs are a completely uneconomic source, but soybeans, sugar cane pulp and pine oil (tall oil) are excellent, inexpensive sources. Many sugar processors now extract the valuable chemicals from the pulp after the sugar is pressed out.
There are many classic double blind studies done with men on the effects of beta-sitosterol on benign prostate hypertrophy or BPH. Below are a few references about the research that has been done around the world regarding beta-sitosterol.
Volume 21 of Eurpean Urology (1992)
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in volume 18 (1984)
Volume 98 of the German journal Fortschrifte Medizin (1980)
Italian journal Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica, volume 37 (1985)
Medical Science Research, volume 16 (1983)
British Journal of Urology, volume 80 (1997)
Journal Urolage A, volume 24 (1985)
Lancet, vol 345 (1995)
Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica, volume 39 (1987)
German journal Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift, volume 22 (1990)
Volume 77 of the German journal Midizinische Klinik (1982)
Volume 280 of the Journal of the American Medical Association (1998)
British Journal of Urology, volume 78 (1996)
Volume 55 of Current Therapeutic Research (1994)
The references above are only a few of the many dozens of studies that have appeared in the major medical journals around the world that have been done in some of the most important urological clinics. This shows that it is, in fact, beta-sitosterol that is the active ingredient in herbs. American herbal products - even the most expensive extracts that claim "85% fatty acids and sterols" - have almost no beta-sitosterol in them and it is never mentioned on the label because of this fact, suggesting that every OTC natural prostate remedy sold in the U.S. has little if any value at all.
It is important to always remember that hormonal balance is the most important thing we can do for our health. Or to put it more broadly our diet and lifestyle including smoking, drinking alcohol, exercise, coffee and other such things effect our hormonal balance. Supplements are very secondary to diet but are very important. You can do a lot more with both diet and supplements than just diet alone. All the supplements we are going to discuss are natural, safe and inexpensive.
A most important supplement you can take is beta- sitosterol. It is a good idea to take a full 300mg of beta-sitosterol a day. Taking more than this will not help and just costs you more. You can cut the tablet in halfand take 150mg AM and PM if you want to.
A most important mineral you can take is zinc. The prostate contains ten times more zinc than any other part of the body. Low zinc levels have been linked with low testosterone levels. In the Japanese journal Kitakanto Igaku researchers found low levels of zinc in prostate cancer patients. Some other valuable studies have been done in such journals as Journal of Nutrition, Journal of Steroid Biochemistry, Endokrinologiya, Prostate and many. You only need about 15 mg of zinc daily and taking too much can be detrimental. Zinc is generally deficient in ourdiets and there are many other benefits to supplementing it.
Fish oil is very good for prostate health and contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are very important. Two articles in Anticancer Research suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may have important protective properties for human prostate cells in vitro. Take at least 3 grams a day split up through out the day.
Soy isoflavones have gotten a lot of attention recently but who has bothered to tell you they may have great value for your prostate? The studies on soy isoflavones on prostate health have been numerous but only in the last seven years. The main constituents in soy that we are concerned with are genestein and daidzein. These are not "phytoestrogens" as many people will tell you as there is no estrogen (or testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, etc.) in any plant. Studies on prostate health and isoflavones have been published in journals such as Prostate, Anticancer Research, Journal of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Cancer, Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and many other journals. The proof here is overwhelming. Get a good brand that lists the amount of genestein and daidzein on the label and take one in the AM and one in the PM.
The value of selenium is undeniable and this is a most important trace element you can take and you only need a mere 200mcg (one fifth of one milligram) a day. Even if this is in your multi-vitamin and mineral tablet it is probably not enough. Take a 200mcg tablet a day of any brand. Selenium, like many minerals and trace elements, is often deficient in our diets due to processed foods. There are many other benefits to taking this as well.
Vitamin D rarely occurs in our diets and is basically made by our exposure to sunlight. It is important to take 800 IU of vitamin D a day, preferably 400 IU AM and PM. It is surprising that nearly all the research on vitamin D and prostate has only come out in the last five years but there are about a dozen clinical studies proving the importance of vitamin D to prostate function. These include studies in such journals as Cancer Research, Anticancer Research, Prostate, Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Letters, Surgical Forum and other respected international journals.
We all know that vitamin E is a very beneficial nutrient especially for our cardiovascular health and that our American diets are generally deficient in vitamin E. Take a 400 IU supplement daily. Purchase only the natural d-alpha tocopherol. Dl-alpha tocopherol is synthetic and may be of no benefit. At East Carolina University in North Carolina researchers found vitamin E to suppress human prostate cancer cells in vitro. In Finland a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Foundation showed a 32% reduction in prostate cancer when vitamin E supplementswere taken. Other studies were published in the Journal of Urology and Nutrition and Cancer.
We all have heard garlic is good for cardiovascular health but who has ever told you garlic may help your prostate? You need a good, dependable name brand here as some garlic extracts are almost useless and they differ very much in constiuents. In the book "Nutraceuticals" by Lachance he lists 44 references in his study of the beneficial effects of garlic extracts on prostate health. In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1997 a very good study showed the value of garlic supplementation for prostate health.
A Chinese study showed the importance of glutathione levels for prostate health in the journal Shondong Yike Daxue Xuebo. Our glutathione levels are critical for immunity and how long we live. Taking glutathione itself surprisingly is expensive as well as somewhat ineffective. Fortunately you can take an inexpensive 600mg capsule of N-acetyl-cysteine and enhance your glutathione levels very effectively and safely. This is widely available so buy any brand. You will gain many benefits by raising your glutathione levels especially raising your immunity so you fight disease.
The value of green tea extract has been shown in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Cancer Letters. The problem is finding a good brand that is decaffeinated. It is not good to buy the many cheaper brands that contain caffeine obviously so look for a brand that is clearly marked "decaffeinated" if possible.
Citrus pectin has been shown to have value in actual prostate cancer. It most probably has value in BPH as well. Studies were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Biochemical Molecular Biology International showing the anticancer properties of citrus pectin. Expensive "modified" pectin is promoted but plain, inexpensive citrus pectin is very bioavailable. Take a good 5 grams a day in juice as it is tasteless.
In Cancer Research beta-carotene intake showed a strong correlation with reduced prostate cancer in Japanese men. This is an important antioxidant and 25,000 IU of any brand daily is good.
Quercitin is something you may have never heard of but studies in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and the Japanese journal Daizu Tan. Ken. Kaishi show it can help promote prostate health. 250 to 500mg of any brand daily is good. This is a good supplement for many other reasons as well, a good antioxidant.
Vitamin C has received too much attention in the media especially for megadoses, but studies do show its importance in prostate function. Studies in Surgical Forum, Prostate, Cellular Biology International and many other journals suggest strong anticancer properties.
As we age our human growth hormone falls and as it falls the likelyhood of developing prostate disease rises. Raising our growth hormone levels could strengthen our immunity and allow us to live longer. Unfortunately actual HGH is very expensive, must be injected, is dangerous and is known to cause severe side effects. There are countless promotional products that claim to raise HGH but most of them do not appear to do so. Fortunately, we will be covering this subject at a later date. There are supplements that can help promote HGH.
No studies show the value of taking acidophilus for prostate health. However, this is another supplement you should take. Our intestines are generally in terrible shape from eating the wrong foods and too much food. Eating healthy foods and eating less and taking a good brand of acidophilus twice daily will change that. You must find a good brand that states every tablet or capsule has at least 3 billion live organisms at time of manufacture. Keep this refrigerated. Take "FOS" with this. FOS is an indigestible sugar that feeds the good bacteria in our intestines. Take a capsule with your acidophilus.
Herbs such as saw palmetto and Pygeum africanum, etc. have been shown to contain insignificant amounts of phytosterols and no matter how strong the extract they are useless. The exception is rye and other similar pollens as they contain a hydroxamic acid called "DIBOA". Unfortunately pollen (not bee pollen!) extracts contain very little DIBOA and are very expensive. Unless someone synthesizes this and puts it on the market don't bother. And we must discuss a very questionable promotion called lycopene which is the product of the major ketchup manufacturer in the world. It is claimed that the more pizza men remembered eating on questionaires correlated with prostate health! This is asinine on the surface. Many studies contradict this and actual serum level studies of lycopene proved there is no correlation between tomato intake and prostate health. In fact no matter how many fresh tomatoes or tomato juice you eat you won't raise lycopene levels at all - you must eat cooked tomatoes with fats. Don't fall or this no matter how much advertising you hear about it. Men in Asia who have the lowest rates of prostate disease in the world almost never eat tomatoes in the diets anyway.
There are seventeen supplements recommended here all of which have been shown to be safe, effective, natural and inexpensive. Within reason take as many as you can as they have many other health benefits. Please remember the alternative probably is surgery, radiation, dangerous prescription drugs.
- Beta-sitosterol complex 250mg
- Zinc 15mg
- Salmon oil 1gram three times daily
- Soy isoflavones 750mg twice daily
- Selenium 200mcg
- Vitamin D 400 IU twice daily
- Vitamin E 400 IU
- Garlic extract 500mg twice daily
- N-acetyl cysteine 600mg
- Green tea extract 200mg twice daily
- Citrus pectin 5g
- Beta-carotene 25,000 IU
- Quercitin 250 - 500mg
- Vitamin C
- L-glutamine 1 gram twice daily
- Acidophilus 3 billion twice daily
- FOS 750mg twice daily