The prostate is a gland that is essential to a man’s reproductive health, although not every man understands what the prostate does. The prostate gland provides nourishment and protection for sperm cells. Without the prostate gland, a man does not have the ability to reproduce. It also happens to be a vulnerable part of the male body, and susceptible to different health problems. According to the Prostate Health Guide, more than 30 million men in the world suffer from prostate conditions, and every year 220,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. For a man, supporting prostate health is crucial. Prostate conditions negatively affect a man’s quality of life, and can sometimes be fatal.
How Can Supplements Help Support the Prostate?
Supplements can be formulated to include ingredients that support prostate health and enhance overall health and quality of life. After the age of 40, a man’s prostate starts to change and grow, putting it at risk for many common prostate health conditions.
Common Prostate Issues
The male prostate gland may fall victim to many different prostate conditions. Some conditions may reduce a man’s mental health or quality of life, and all of them will deteriorate a man’s physical health. Here is a list of common prostate conditions that men suffer from all over the world:
- Enlarged Prostate (BPH) – Enlarged prostate is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. Enlarged prostate is the most common prostate condition among men older than 50, and half of men between the ages of 50 and 60 will develop enlarged prostate. This common health complication is related to the hormonal changes of aging. The symptoms start with difficulty urinating, then turn into an urgent and frequent need to urinate, and eventually lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder. The main risk factors of BPH are age and being overweight or obese.
- Prostate Cancer – The most common form of cancer in men is prostate cancer. In the United States alone, there are almost 2.8 million men living with prostate cancer, and 30,000 men die from it each year. Some of the largest risk factors are old age, genetics, and diet.
- Prostatitis – Prostatitis is the most common prostate condition that affects men under the age of 50, and is inflammation of the prostate gland. The inflammation is usually caused by an infection. This swelling of the prostate gland produces symptoms such as pain in the lower abdomen, bladder, lower back, rectum, testicle, groin, and more. It also may cause abnormal urinary patterns, chills, fatigue, or fever. Risk factors include having an infection in the bladder or urethra, dehydration, having unprotected sex, and more.
- There are also health conditions of the reproductive system that are related to prostate health. Here are some of the reproductive conditions men are at risk for that are related to prostate health:
- Erectile Dysfunction – Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is a condition that impairs a man’s ability to have and maintain an erection. Risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, fatigue, stress, and also enlarged prostate. A survey of 14,000 multinational older men showed a prevalence of BPH associated with lower urinary tract symptoms, and 60% of these men had experienced erectile dysfunction.
- Incontinence – Incontinence is a condition in which bladder control is lost. Enlarged prostate is one of the causes of incontinence in men, therefore linking prostate health and incontinence. Many people with incontinence will experience occasional, minor leaks of urine, but others will wet their clothes frequently.
10 Supplements for Prostate Support
What is Boron?
Boron is a trace mineral that the body uses for building strong bones and muscles. It is extremely important to your health and body function. It is naturally found in a variety of different whole foods, such as whole grains, beans, nuts, avocados, berries, plums, oranges, and more. For adults, the recommended daily intake of boron is 20 mg per day.
How to Take Boron
Boron can be taken any time of the day, but should be taken with food to maximize its effects. When taken with food, boron is better absorbed by the body. You should follow the instructions found on the product packaging, or speak with your doctor if you have any concerns.
Boron Side Effects
At very high doses, boron may cause vomiting, stomach upset, gastric discomfort, etc. As long as you follow your supplement’s directions, you should not experience any side effects.
What is Red Clover?
Red clover is a flower that has been used medicinally for centuries due to its ability to thin the blood. Red clover naturally thins the blood because of its concentration of a phytochemical called coumarin, which has blood thinning properties. This herb is native to Europe and Asia, but was naturalized in North America. It is a rich source of micronutrients such as chromium, magnesium, calcium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and isoflavones. Isoflavones act as phytoestrogens, which are water soluble chemicals that act like estrogens. They act as strong antioxidants.
How to Take Red Clover
Red clover is available in many different forms, including teas, tablets, capsules, tinctures, and extracts. Red clover can be taken any time of the day and be equally effective. Different forms generally have different recommendations however, so read the directions on your specific supplement for guidelines.
Red Clover Side Effects
Some people may experience rash-like symptoms, headache, or nausea.
What is Nettle Root?
Stinging nettle is another herb that has been used for centuries, but for a variety of purposes. It is similar to flax and hemp, and has been used similarly for its fibers. In Northern Europe, fabric made from the nettle plant was considered of the highest quality. The root of the nettle plant has anti-inflammatory compounds such as coumarin, phytosterols, tannins, alcohols, pentacyclic triterpenes, lignans, ceramides and hydroxy fatty acids polysaccharides and lectins, monoterpenes and triterpenes. Nettle root has been traditionally used for urinary conditions and enlarged prostate.
How to Take Nettle Root
Nettle root supplements come in many forms, including tinctures, teas, powders, and capsules. It can be taken any time of the day, with or without food. Make sure to follow the supplement’s directions to ensure proper use.
Nettle Root Side Effects
Some people may experience stomach upset and sweating in high doses.
What is Saw Palmetto?
Saw palmetto is a palm-like plant that produces berries. Usually, the supplemental form of saw palmetto is actually the extract of the berries. The plant itself is indigenous to California and the Southern United States. Dr. J.B. Read was the first to document the use of saw palmetto medicinally in 1879, stating that “By its peculiar soothing power on the mucous membrane it induces sleep, relieves the most troublesome coughs, promotes expectoration, improves digestion and increases fat, flesh and strength. Its sedative and diuretic properties are remarkable.” This herb promotes urinary tract health, urinary system health, and thyroid health.
How to Take Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto can be taken any time of the day with or without food. It does not affect the efficiency or the rate of absorbency to take it either way. Follow the directions on your specific supplement for dosing to maximize your benefits.
Saw Palmetto Side Effects
Some mild side effects have been reported. These side effects include dizziness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, etc. Saw palmetto is however safe for consumption, and in order to avoid these side effects, be sure not to take more than the instructions advise.
What is Lycopene?
Lycopene is the naturally occurring chemical that makes fruits and vegetables red; a pigment called a carotenoid. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight oxidative damage to cells. It is also found in human blood, the liver, the lungs, adrenal glands, prostate, skin, and colon. Some of the foods that contain high amounts of lycopene include tomatoes, pink grapefruits, pink guavas, watermelons, apricots, and more.
How to Take Lycopene
Lycopene is fat-soluble, which means it is best taken with food for maximum absorbency. It can be taken without food as well, but it is most useful when taken with a meal.
Lycopene Side Effects
Lycopene has no notable side effects according to WebMD. The largest dose that has been successfully tested is a dosage of 120 mg per day for a year.
Green Tea Extract
What is Green Tea Extract?
Green tea comes from the tea plant, whose scientific name is Camellia sinensis, and is one of many different types of tea. It is prepared through steaming and pan-frying the leaves, bud, and stem of the plant and drying them, which produces tea that is green in color, rather than firing them to produce black tea. This process conserves the important antioxidants, polyphenols, and green tea catechins that set green tea apart from black or oolong tea. Green tea extract is derived from green tea, and is more easily absorbed by the body. The health benefits of the green tea extract are more concentrated and beneficial than the health benefits of a cup of green tea. The extract is taken from green tea and harnesses the catechins, antioxidants, and polyphenols to be taken as a supplement in a compact, purified form; usually with less caffeine. Green tea extract has numerous benefits, and happens to be one of the best supplements for prostate support.
How to Take Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is capable of being taken with or without food. Taking green tea extract with fish oil has positive synergistic health effects, including increasing its bioavailability. Some green tea extracts contain caffeine and can be a diuretic, so drinking lots of water is recommended.
Green Tea Extract Side Effects
Those with caffeine may cause caffeine related side effects, such as diarrhea, trouble sleeping, or anxiety. If you are sensitive to caffeine, look for a decaffeinated option.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables and is necessary to one’s health. Foods that are naturally rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits (especially oranges), berries, kiwi, papaya, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, broccoli, goji berries, and more. This famous vitamin is known for its immune-boosting effects, and its powerful antioxidant benefits. The body uses it to form and support connective tissues, such as bones, skin, and blood vessels.
How to Take Vitamin C
Vitamin C can be taken as a supplement in pill or capsule form. Because vitamin C is water soluble, it can be taken at any time of the day, and can be taken with or without food. It can also be found in all multivitamins, as well as many other health products.
Vitamin C Side Effects
Vitamin C rarely causes side effects, but some people have reported experiencing nausea, vomiting, cramps, and headaches. Side effects such as these may be associated with underlying health disorders as well.
What is Zinc?
Zinc is an essential metallic mineral which is extremely important to human health at a cellular level. It plays a role in protein synthesis, function of the immune system, DNA synthesis, and cell division. Zinc can be found naturally as a trace mineral in some vegetables, meats, and seafoods. Zinc is required as a biological catalyst for more than 100 enzymes your body uses for cell growth and function, as well as your sense of taste and smell. The body has no mechanism of storing zinc.
How to Take Zinc
Zinc is most effective when taken one to two hours before a meal, because this is the optimal time for the body to absorb it. It can be taken with meals if you have a sensitive stomach.
Zinc Side Effects
In some people, zinc may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, metallic taste, etc. Be sure to follow the directions on dosing for your particular supplement, and these side effects can be avoided.
What is Vitamin B6?
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is one of the many B vitamins that are responsible for the function of certain essential enzymes in the body. Vitamin B6 is specifically responsible for maintaining healthy levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which has been found to be associated with heart disease if unregulated. It also helps the body produce melatonin, norepinephrine, red blood cells, testosterone, and serotonin.
How to Take Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 provides optimal benefits when taken in conjunction with other B vitamins, because the B vitamins seem to have synergistic benefits. It is a water soluble vitamin, so it can be taken any time of the day, with or without food.
Vitamin B6 Side Effects
Vitamin B6 generally does not cause side effects. In some people, vitamin B6 has been reported to cause nausea, vomiting, headache, stomach pain, sleepiness, etc. Be sure to follow the directions on your supplement and these side effects will be avoided.
What is Garlic Powder?
Garlic powder is the result of grinding dehydrated garlic. Garlic is a species in the onion genus, and is native to central Asia. It has been used by humans in a variety of ways for over 5,000 years. It was originally cultivated in the Middle East. Today, it is a spice that is used frequently in cooking, spice blends, and dry rubs. It can be used to season meats, veggies, and low-sodium dishes. It has been used in history around the world to ward off evil spirits, to provide offerings to ancient deities, and as a medicinal herb.
How to Take Garlic Powder
Garlic powder can be found in powder, capsule, and pill forms. Garlic powder can be taken at any time of the day, with or without food. Make sure to follow the supplement’s dosage instructions.
Garlic Powder Side Effects
Garlic powder does not usually cause side effects, besides bad breath. Some people may experience nausea, heartburn, gas, body odor, etc.