Benign Prostatic Hyperlasia (BPH), is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland which commonly presents in men during their middle to later years in life. The prostate produces fluids for ejaculation and when enlarged can increase pressure on the urethra and may lead to urinary dysfunction and bladder issues. Elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels are one of the tests used to evaluate BPH and when high it indicates further evaluation of prostate cancer.
Up to 40% of men may experience:
- Urinary retention in bladder
- Pain with urination
- Dribbling after urination
- Incomplete emptying
- Increased frequency to urinate
- Bloody urine
- Decreased force and strength of the stream
- Prostate hyperplasia (enlarged prostate)
BPH is often associated with hypertension (high blood pressure) and high cholesterol levels.
Blood pressure ranges as a general guide:
120/80mmHg is considered normal (systolic/diastolic)
120-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg is considered pre-hypertensive
>135/85mmHg is stage 1 hypertension and common in many diseases including diabetes, obesity and chronic kidney disease.
High systolic pressure can lead to endocrine (hormonal) changes.
How to improve the function of the prostate naturally via diet and lifestyle:
- Reduce alcohol consumption – particularly beer.
- Reduce caffeine
- Reduce sodium (salt) intake
- Reduce saturated fats – animal protein, particularly red meat consumption
- Reduce weight
- Reduce cholesterol
- Increase physical activity – walking 2 to 3 hours per week can lower the risk of total BPH by 25%
- Cease smoking
- Reduce inflammation
- Eliminate endogenous sources of hormones
- Increase fruit and vegetables as they have a protective effect on the prostate – organic is even better as you will also be reducing pesticide residues.
- Garlic and Globe artichoke can also support lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Pumpkin seeds have historically shown to help maintain a healthy prostate
- Increase organic soy consumption – Rich in phytosterols, especially beta-sitosterol which is known to lower cholesterol
- Increase tomato intake – Rich in lycopene which may decrease the incidence of BPH and reduce PSA levels
For personalised support, book an appointment with our Naturopath Kim who can provide further dietary and lifestyle support and prescribe supplements and herbal medicine to support your body to lower PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels, reduce symptoms, regulate the function of the prostate gland, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
- Sarris, J. and Wardle, J. (2010). Clinical Naturopathy An evidence-based guide to practice. Australia: Elsevier, p.495-509.
- Cichello, S. (2018). Herbal extract and dietary therapy for the treatment of hypertension with associated prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), The Natural Therapist, Edition 33 (No. 2), p.18-20.
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. IMgateway [online]. Available at imgateway.net/page.jsp?profRef=ProfConditioins_BenignProstaticHyperplasiapc