The human gut contains over a thousand different types of bacterial species, yet most of this population is accounted for by just forty different species. Animal models suggest that obesity is associated with specific types of these bacterial species. For example, obese mice have different types of bacteria in their gut compared to their thin counterparts. What this means is that there is hope for us all. If we are obese, then by altering our diet and eating the right foods we can influence the growth of “favourable” bacteria and reduce the “negative” bacteria that may in turn harm us.
With Movember in full swing, conversations about prostate health are on trend. Dr. Hrkal discusses the benefits of prevention when it comes to prostates.
As men age, most begin to experience changes in urination which can have a serious impact on quality of life. The prostate gland is located between the bladder and the penis and is an important structure in males , as it contributes important factors to seminal fluid. Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) is a non-cancerous swelling of the prostate gland that affects the majority of men beginning in late-middle age. More than 50% of men will develop an adverse prostate condition by the time they reach their sixties. BPH causes a number of symptoms such as frequently waking from sleep in the middle of the night to urinate, pain in the groin, painful urination, and reduced sexual function; all of which can reduce the quality of life in the men who suffer from it. A number of natural substances have been touted to address the symptoms of BPH with mixed success.
One substance is a specific pollen extract called Prostaphil-2™ is garnering a lot of attention in Europe as it is able to address urinary complaints for both men and women. This proprietary blend is prepared from several types of pollen sources with the main ingredient being rye pollen but it also includes pollens from timothy grass and alfalfa. The pollens are dried, purified and then mixed together in a specific ratio. The unique mixture contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, free-fatty acids, amino acids and naturally occurring waxes.
The extract Prostaphil-2™ has been the subject of a large number of gold standard double-blinded placebo-controlled studies for prostate health. In comparison, other natural products currently being used for prostate health have far fewer studies. Research indicates that 60% to 90% of patients have shown signs of improvement within one-to-three months of taking Prostaphil-2™, depending upon the initial severity of their conditions.
Supplementation with pollen extracts for three months in subjects experiencing moderate BPH symptoms provided significant relief in all of the following categories of complaints in 85% of patients:
- Poor flow of urine
- Waking up at night to go to the bathroom
- Incomplete voiding
- Prolonged voiding
- Delayed voiding
- Post-voiding dribbling
Even more impressive is the fact that pollen extracts have a pronounced beneficial effect when used long-term with improvements still evident 12 months later. The studies have also shown both prostate volume and residual urine volume decline remarkably with continued treatment. This means that Prostaphil-2TM actually addresses the root cause of BPH and shrinks the enlarged prostate.
How Does this Specific Pollen Extract Work?
Prostaphil-2™ has a number of unique mechanisms of action that are responsible for its wide range of benefits.
- Relaxes smooth muscles so the urine can flow more easily
- Improves bladder contraction so the bladder can empty
- Inhibits prostate cell growth, thereby preventing excessive
- Reduces the size of the prostate gland by inhibiting the formation of the active form of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and clears it from the prostate tissue This is important since DHT is a key hormone involved in prostate enlargement, and can concentrate in the prostate tissue
- Acts as both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant; most other natural products are only antioxidants. The powerful anti-inflammatory effect of Prostaphil-2™ is responsible for its effectiveness in conditions like prostatitis
- Additional research also suggests that defined pollen extract can also support detoxification and liver protection and eliminate heavy metals
How Does Pollen Extract c
ompare to Other Natural Substances?
There is no doubt that the results of clinical trials involving prostate concerns have found the defined pollen extract present in Prostaphil-2™ to be superior to those reported with any other natural products, including saw palmetto. While saw palmetto has been shown to be effective in mitigating symptoms of an enlarged prostate it does not change the underlying problem of prostate swelling and it does not possess any of the anti-inflammatory effects of a the standardised pollen extract. Prostaphil-2™ has also been shown to be stimulating the immune system, reducing the growth of abnormal cells and eliminating heavy metals like cadmium.
Other well studied natural substances for prostate health include lycopene (traditionally associated with tomatoes). Lycopene is a red pigment that is responsible for giving a variety of fruits and vegetables their colour. Lycopene is found in apricots, pink grapefruit, watermelon, papaya and in especially high concentrations in tomatoes. Surprisingly, fresh tomatoes are not the best source of lycopene. In fact, it has been found that cooking and processing tomatoes actually increases the bioavailability of lycopene. It is for this reason that tomato sauces, like pizza and spaghetti sauces, have been linked to lycopene’s beneficial effects. Furthermore, studies have shown that is not simply lycopene alone that is responsible for the health effects associated with tomatoes. Tomatoes contain a large number of nutrients and phytochemicals that work together to produce positive results. A complete tomato lycopene complex should include other carotenoids such as beta‐carotene, phytoene and phyofluene as well as phytosterols and vitamin E.
On its own lycopene is a powerful antioxidant with a specific action that reduces the growth of abnormal cells in the prostate. The ability of lycopene to protect cells and DNA from oxidative damage and to prevent lipid peroxidation could be key factors in disease prevention. Due to its powerful antioxidant effect, lycopene is also beneficial for eye health and cardiovascular function.
In the spirit of “Movember” remember the old saying which especially rings true in prostate conditions, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”