3 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Prostate

Steven V. Joyal, M.D.

In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven society, we’re inundated with so much information on
healthy living choices that’s it can be difficult to determine fact from fad. Think about it: from the next things being extolled on Facebook to the barrage of pharmaceutical ads, it’s hard for the average Joe to make informed decisions about their health.

September is National Prostate Health Month, which means it’s a great time to make a concerted effort to cut through that confusion to focus on decisions and lifestyle approaches that can aid prostate health.

First of all, let’s be clear – talking about prostate health can be an uncomfortable subject for many guys out there, but it’s just too important of an issue to be ignored. This year, approximately 200,000 men will develop prostate cancer. Beyond that, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, and one in 35 will die from the disease.

Those numbers are real – and terrifying - but if we can reset our minds on prostate health to one of general men’s health, we can focus on choices that prevent us from becoming a statistic. And the good thing is that many of the areas of focus for prostate health – diet, exercise, lifestyle choices and dietary supplements – are also key factors in general men’s health.

Diet for a Healthy Prostate

We know there is a direct correlation between a healthy diet and a healthy weight. Two dietary approaches – the traditional Japanese and Mediterranean diets – show some commonalities that are worth considering.

While the traditional Japanese diet tends to be high in green tea, fermented soy, rice, and fish, it also tends to be relatively low in calories and fat. The Mediterranean diet tends to be high in leafy green vegetables, garlic, tomatoes, red wine, olive oil, and fish, but also low in over-all calories in comparison to a traditional Western diet. Where do these traditional diets align? A significant focus on vegetables and fish, lower caloric intakes and less red meat. If men can shift their diets to include more vegetables and less red meat, they’ll see much healthier outcomes – as Michael Polian (author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”) says: “Eat food. Not too much. Mainly plants.”

Making changes to increase the amount of vegetables you eat while reducing the amount of red meat and calories you consume will definitively improve your weight, but also your prostate health. A healthy weight and diet is one of the greatest factors in prostate health. While the average healthy and active male should consume 2400-3000 calories a day, a mere reduction of 500 calories can result in a healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. What does 500 calories look like? One bagel with cream cheese.

Prostate Friendly Lifestyle Choices

Beyond diet, there are many other choices we make on a day-to-day basis that impact our health. Some of these are easy, some not so much. These choices impact our overall health, but more importantly, can impact prostate health. Most physicians will tell you how important it is to exercise regularly, cut out tobacco, reduce alcohol intake and schedule regular doctor visits.

When it comes to exercise, you don’t have to be an Olympian or a triathlete – a mere 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a week will have tremendous impact on long-term health. This can be time at the gym, a good walk, or a variety of stay-at-home options, including yoga or basic calisthenics.

Anyone who has paid any attention to their health in the last 50 years knows that experts recommend reducing alcohol intake and eliminating tobacco consumption. First of all, there’s no such thing as healthy use. Tobacco use has been directly linked to cardiovascular illnesses such as emphysema, heart disease, and a variety of cancers.

Many were excited to hear about studies suggesting moderate alcohol intake can have heart-healthy effects, but the key word is MODERATE. For men, this means no more than 2 standard alcoholic drinks per day, and no more than 14 drinks per week. Just like intake of red meat or sugar, alcohol should be consumed in moderation – and don’t forget that alcoholic drinks havecalories (especially beer and mixed drinks) and that should be considered in your daily caloric intake. Wine and hard liquor (served neat, straight, or on the rocks) are better choices to minimize the caloric impact of alcoholic beverages.

Very few people enjoy going to the doctor. But for men concerned about prostate problems – especially men between the ages of 55 and 69 years - – regular doctor visits and blood tests can aid in early detection and treatment for prostate disease. The sooner you know, the better the chance of a good outcome. This is also true when it comes to the prostate; with regular appointments and screening, your doctor can detect, diagnose and treat potential issues sooner.

Dietary Supplements for Prostate Support

Dietary supplements can provide additional support for good health when combined with healthy lifestyle choices (for example, plant-based diet, regular exercise, smoking cessation, reducing or eliminating alcohol intake). For prostate health, some research suggests that beta sitosterol (a type of plant sterol), the mineral boron, vitamin D, lycopene (found in tomatoes), and pygeum extract may offer support for a healthy prostate.

Of course, before beginning any major lifestyle modification program, supplement routine, be sure to talk to your doctor about your ability to exercise safely, as well as the potential benefits & risks of specific dietary supplements if you are also taking prescription medications.

Putting It All to Work

When you really think about it, men’s health isn’t complicated. A plan that consists of healthy and reduced-calorie eating, regular exercise, and if appropriate, integration of nutritional supplements to support your health will go a long way to supporting a healthier, happier prostate – and life. Talk to your doctor today!

About the author:

Steven V. Joyal, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer for Life Extension®, the world’s leading organization dedicated to extending the healthy human life span. Prior to joining Life Extension, Dr. Joyal led pharmaceutical research efforts in cardiometabolic disease for Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute and Abbott Laboratories/Knoll Pharmaceutical Company in obesity.

Preceding his entry into the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Joyal was in clinical practice in Rhode Island, including affiliation with Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital. He also managed the Internal Medicine service at Butler Hospital and helped guide member care at the Care New England Wellness Centers in Warwick and East Providence.

Dr. Joyal is a graduate of the Dartmouth/Brown program in allopathic medical education. He is a sought-after authority on men’s health and has been published in peer-reviewed medical journals.


Life Extension said...

Moaz Butt - Thanks! We're glad you enjoyed the post!

Unknown said...

Well this is really awesome post on the occasion on national prostate health month this kind of research and information will make people update and hot to take care of prostate.

Life Extension said...

Elina John - September is National Prostate Health Month. Thank you so much for reading the post! :)

Leona said...

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Life Extension said...

Leona - It's our pleasure & duty! Thank you so much for your support!

otto9B9otto said...

Sesame and pumpkin seeds:



klinacz said...

I would add sulforaphane supplement to the list and I3C-DIM too.

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