For men, maintaining prostate health becomes a greater concern with age. An awareness of dietary options and nutritional support to promote optimal prostate function is the best weapon to deter a future battle.
The prostate gland secretes fluid that combines with sperm to create semen, and is located around the urethra, the tube that allows urine to flow out of the bladder. A common problem with age is enlargement of the prostate. If the gland grows too much, it can pinch off the flow of urine through the urethra. Symptoms of prostate enlargement therefore include frequent trips to the bathroom (most noticeable at night), a weak urine stream and persistent sensations of needing to urinate. The prostate is also susceptible to infections which can cause pain in the pelvis, or pain and burning with urination.
Note that men with prostate enlargement may also have low testosterone levels, which can lead to additional problems such as fatigue, depression and vascular disease. A physician can check testosterone through standard blood testing.
Prostate cancer is the number one diagnosed cancer of men. Though the aggressiveness of the cancer will vary among patients, it is a very serious diagnosis. Prostate cancer may be detected during a routine prostate exam screening or through a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Prostate cancer may cause symptoms similar to prostate enlargement. Risk factors for prostate cancer include increasing age, family history and race (African American). Not every man with prostate enlargement has prostate cancer, but the symptoms may overlap. Inform a doctor of any problems associated with frequent urination or pelvic pain.
The prostate gland requires a constant supply of nutrients to prevent overgrowth and cancerous cells. Learn about nutritional support for the prostate on the next page.