The Natural Way

Thursday, April 26, 2012

An ad on television sells a prostate medicine to a group of aging good buddies. They are having a heckuva good time driving to a fly fishing camp. None has to stop on the road at the nearest Texaco station due to a "growing problem; not a going problem" as they use this new prescribed drug.

Most men will experience a problem with their prostate from middle age on, called BPH. Sometimes with slowly increasing PSA (prostate specific antigen) or quickly increasing levels. Natural products can be of great benefit and without side effect.

Early and not fully formed cancer cells are very common in the prostate gland, as is enlargement of the tissue just due to aging. The PSA can very quickly rise with cancer or it can very slowly creep up as we get older. Sometimes the slow creep (below 4) is not related to cancer at all but just to the gland getting larger and older.

If there is a fast jump then quick action should be taken, seeing your doctor right away as is the case if the value goes higher than 4. Many MDs think the 4 value is too high and act even sooner.

The growing problem is called BPH, benign (not cancer) prostatic hypertrophy (enlargement). When the prostate swells it presses around the urethra (the tube carrying the urine out of the body) and squeezes it. Less urine empties from the bladder and the guy has the urge to go again in a short while. Again, this is a common problem.

Saw Palmetto is the most common herb used to reduce the enlargement caused by aging. It is approved by the German Commission E and is used by German MDs for BPH.

According to the PDR, 500 mg/day of standardized extract should work. I've found higher amounts taken each day are far more satisfactory up to 1200 mg/day.

The mineral, selenium, should be taken by men over 40 on a daily basis and adding pygeum (100mg/day) or pumpkinseed oil, also very helpful. To lower PSA slowly creeping up, nothing beats lycopene taken daily.

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