Movember Edition: 6 Natural Ingredients for Men's Health

Published on November 13, 2013 by Dr. Jonothon Mainland

In lieu of it being MO-vember, and as men around the world are trying their best at growing a Tom Selleck worthy mustache, the underlying motivator is the importance of promoting men’s health.

Men are deemed as being less proactive when it comes to their health than women are, even with staggering statistics demonstrating that men are more likely to die of cancer than women, with the highest male-to-female death ratios being:

· 5.37:1 in larynx cancer

· 4.08:1 in esophagus cancer

· 3.36:1 in urinary bladder cancer

· 2.31:1 in lung cancer (leading cause of cancer death in men and women)

· 1.42:1 in colorectal cancer

· 1.37:1 in pancreatic cancer

This means that for every 1 woman that dies of larnyx cancer, 5.37 men die as a result of larynx cancer. Men also have a poorer 5-year survival time than women for most cancers as well.

By the age of 70 a large majority of males will be affected by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and Prostate Cancer is estimated to affect 1 in 7 Canadian men during his lifetime. Prostate health is a major concern among men and an important part of a man’s overall wellness. With the expected number of men affected by prostate conditions expected to rise, disproportionally to the number of practicing Canadian urologists, natural health becomes more critical in prostate health programs.

Some natural ingredients that have been shown to be helpful in protecting the prostate include:

  • Lycopene
  • Green Tea
  • Zinc
  • Sulforaphane
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin D

Lycopene, a carotenoid most commonly found in Tomatoes, has strong evidence in its protective effect against prostate, stomach and lung cancer. Short term studies using 15mg per day, have also shown it can naturally lower PSA.

Selenium has also been shown to reduce prostate cancer risk and reduce cancer death, especially in lung cancer (#1 mortality rate from cancer). It is most protective in those who have lower levels of selenium or a lower dietary intake.

Green Tea has been shown in population studies to be potentially protective towards cancer. Cancer rates tend to be lower in countries where people regularly consume green tea. It has also been studied in men with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) to decrease the development of prostate cancer.

Zinc levels have been shown to be depleted in the prostate and rapidly excreted in men with BPH and Prostate cancer. Zinc deficiency can also contribute towards an enlarged prostate.

Sulforaphane, a compound high in broccoli sprouts, has also been shown to naturally reduce PSA and is currently undergoing a Phase II trial for recurrent prostate cancer.

Vitamin D has been shown to be a useful adjunctive or second-line therapy if androgen deprivation fails in men with prostate cancer. There is also an association between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of prostate cancer at an earlier age, also involving a more aggressive progression of prostate cancer.

Men: Take control of your health and don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining a healthy prostate.

Image by © 2014 magann via DollarPhotoClub

References:

WebMD (http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20110712/men-have-higher-cancer-death-rates-than-women)

Rawson, N & Saad F. The aging male population and medical care for benign prostatic hyperplasia in Canada. Can Urol Assoc J. 2010 April; 4(2): 123–127

Chen TC & Holick MF. Vitamin D and prostate cancer prevention and treatment. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Nov;14(9):423-30.

Johnson, R., et al. Green tea and green tea catechin extracts: an overview of the clinical evidence. Maturitas. 2012 Dec;73(4):280-7. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2012.08.008. Epub 2012 Sep 15.

Ilic D & Misso M. Lycopene for the prevention and treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer: a systematic review. Maturitas. 2012 Aug;72(4):269-76. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2012.04.014. Epub 2012 May 23.

Christudoss P., et al. Zinc status of patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate carcinoma. Indian J Urol. 2011 Jan-Mar; 27(1): 14–18.

ASCO: Sulforaphane in Prostate Cancer Found Worthy of Further Investigation. (http://www.cancernetwork.com/prostate-cancer/asco-sulforaphane-prostate-cancer-found-worthy-further-investigation)