The prostate gland is actually located in a precarious
position. It sits just below the bladder and in front of the rectum and
then wraps around the upper part of the urethra. This means that if
there is ever an issue with the prostate gland, it could negatively
impact urination and sexual function. In addition, men can develop
prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or prostate cancer.
The prostate gland also plays a role in reproduction and hormone
metabolism. Testosterone is converted into dihydrotestosterone in the
prostate (DHT). This is important because DHT is the androgen hormone
that contributes to the development of male characteristics.
Just like any other organ or function in the body, the prostate gland
requires comprehensive support via diet, lifestyle, and potentially
The following ingredients found in foods and/or supplements have been shown to provide support to the prostate gland:
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Some food sources of omega-3s include fatty fish, nuts, and flaxseeds.
- Green tea. The polyphenols found in green tea have been shown to
support detoxification, immunity, and prostate health in general.
- Pumpkin seeds. These tasty little morsels contain carotenoids and
are also a great source of zinc, which has been shown to support
- Especially cooked tomatoes contain lycopene, which has been shown to reduce risk of prostate issues.
In addition to zinc and lycopene mentioned previously, there are
other specific nutrients and herbs to consider from a dietary supplement
- Saw palmetto. This botanical has been the subject of many studies
and has been shown to be effective in supporting prostate health.
- Stinging nettle. The phytosterols, lignans and polysaccharides found
in this botanical have also been shown to support prostate health.
- Just 200 mcg per day can help support the prostate gland.
- Vitamin D. Ensuring that male patients are not deficient in this important vitamin is also critical to prostate health.
From a lifestyle standpoint, one of the most important things to do
for male patients who are interested in protecting prostate health is to
get them moving. For example, several studies have shown that physical
activity can help reduce risk of prostate cancer. In addition, exercise
can help men maintain normal body weight, which is significant because
obesity is a leading risk factor in many conditions, including
conditions that involve the prostate.
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Chen P, Zhang W, Wang X, et al. Lycopene and risk of prostate cancer:
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Christudoss P, Selvakumar R, Fleming JJ, Gopalakrishnan G. Zinc
status of patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate
carcinoma. Indian J Urol. 2011;27(1):14-18.
Ghorbanibirgani A, Khalili A, Zamani L. The efficacy of stinging
nettle (Urtica Dioica) in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia: a
randomized double-blind study in 100 patients. Iran Red Crescent Med J.
Hurst R, Hooper L, Norat T, et al. Selenium and prostate cancer:
systemic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Clinical
Suter A, Saller R, Riedi E, Heinrich M. Improving BPH symptoms and
sexual dysfunctions with a saw palmetto preparation? Results from a
pilot trial. Phytother Res. 2013;27(2):218-26.
Young-McCaughan S. Potential for prostate cancer prevention through physical activity. World J Urol. 2012;30(2):167-79.