The prostate is a walnut shaped gland found in almost all male mammals. In human beings, it forms a very important part of the male reproductive system as it is primarily responsible for the production of semen. It is situated just below the bladder, surrounding the urethra in a circular fashion. The prostate gland requires the male hormone “testosterone” for proper functioning and regulation.
With advancing age, testosterone production tends to decrease gradually; leading to the various problems associated with the prostate gland. Moreover, the prostate gland can be adversely affected by various factors like obesity, improper diet and pollution etc. The common problems associated with the prostate gland are detailed below.
1. Benign prostatic hyperplasia: BPH normally affects men older than fifty. It involves enlargement of the prostate gland making urination difficult and painful. In severe cases urination stops completely.
2. Prostatitis: Inflation of the prostate gland is called prostatitis. It varies in severity; with the more severe cases being treated with antibiotics.
3. Prostate cancer: Prostate cancer is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths annually. It is rarely diagnosed early as it is asymptomatic in the initial stages.
As the saying goes, preventing the above mentioned problems is much easier and safer then trying to cure them. According to experts, adequate intake of fluids, regular exercise and a wholesome vitamin rich diet are the sure-fire ways to maintain optimal prostate health.
Vitamins or vital amines are organic compounds which help the body in various ways, viz. convert food into energy, regulate the immune system, ensure bone strength etc. The specific prostate vitamins that help keep the prostate gland healthy are detailed below.
1. Vitamin E: Studies have shown that regular supplementation with vitamin E in its alpha tocopherol form, significantly reduces the risk of prostate cancer. It is a major anti-oxidant which delays cell death due to toxicity and oxidation. Vitamin E naturally occurs mainly in vegetable oils, leafy vegetables like spinach and dairy products.
2. Vitamin C: It protects the prostate gland from microbial infections. Regular consumption of foods containing vitamin C goes a long way in preserving overall prostate health. Since vitamin C has diuretic properties, it helps ease urination in BPH patients. It mainly occurs in citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, animal livers and dairy products.
3. Vitamin K2: A recent Japanese study has shown that daily supplementation with vitamin K2 (menaquinone) cuts the risk of prostate cancer by 35%. Vitamin K2 is found in most dairy and meat products.
In conclusion, eating a balanced and healthy diet containing all the above mentioned vitamins on a regular basis is the most logical and convenient way to keep the prostate healthy.