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Health Facts about the Prostate

What is it?

The prostate is an organ located at the neck of the bladder. The urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder through the penis, passes through the prostate.

What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?

BPH occurs when the tissues of the prostate gland begin to grow larger and start to compress the urethra. Over time, the condition worsens and the symptoms become more pronounced.

What are the symptoms?

* A slowing or decrease in the urinary stream.

* Frequent urination, either during the day or at night.

* Difficulty in starting to urinate or stopping.

* Urinating that produces incomplete elimination.

Who gets BPH?

Scientists are not certain what causes BPH, although hormonal changes in middle-aged and elderly males appear to be a factor. Currently 10 million American men have signs of BPH. The condition can begin to develop in men by age 40, but usually the symptoms don't appear until the age of 50. Unfortunately, by the age of 80, 75% of men will be affected.

Can BPH lead to other problems?

Yes, including bladder infections, kidney damage and sexual disability. If left untreated, the enlarged prostate could close off the urethra, causing extreme illness and even death.

What can I do to promote a healthy prostate?

There are several steps you can take to encourage a healthy prostate.

* Eat a low fat diet.

* Avoid spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.

* Eat whole grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables.

What supplements are beneficial?

Vitamin C - High amounts are found in the prostate gland and are believed to be important for prostate function.

Vitamin E - Acts as an antioxidant, which slows aging and hardening of tissue through oxidation. Essential fatty acids such as olive oil and evening primrose oil - Required by the prostate gland to perform properly and help reduce the amount of urine left in the bladder.

What herbal therapies are beneficial?

* Saw palmetto - Clinical studies show remarkable results when 320 mg. of

Saw palmetto are taken daily for 30 days. Studies indicate a success rate of 80-90% in the BPH patients tested. Unlike some conventional drugs, Saw palmetto does not cause impotence and shows no significant side effects.

* Garlic - Provides the body with vitamins and minerals and may provide a normalizing effect on the prostate.

* Pumpkin seed oil - Contains high levels of zinc, proven to be helpful for most prostate problems.

* Pygeum - The bark of the Pygeum africanus tree has been used for centuries in Europe to treat urinary problems. In France, 81% of doctors prescriptions for BPH are for Pygeum. Clinical studies have shown Pygeum causes no side effects.

Ask your doctor. This information is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment of prostate problems. If you suspect prostate problems, check with your health care provider.

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