Prostate Problems and Impotency
The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland located just beneath the bladder in men. The urethra, or tube leading out of the bladder, passes through the center of the prostate gland. The function of the prostate gland is to provide a nutrient-rich fluid that mixes with sperm during ejaculation. The testes provide the sperm, while the prostate gland provides most of the fluid, which also nourishes the sperm cells.
Enlargement of the prostate gland (benign hypertrophy) causes difficulty starting urination, frequent urination and/or a reduced urine flow. The urethra is squeezed by the swollen prostate gland, reducing the flow of urine. If a man cannot urinate at all, the situation has to be remedied quickly.
Irritation or infection of the prostate gland can cause pain, urination difficulty or blood in the semen. These problems are not uncommon in men over the age of 40. Prostate cancer is unfortunately quite common in older men.
The Prostate Gland And Zinc
Zinc plays a critical role in prostate function. Zinc is concentrated more in the prostate gland than in any other tissue except the eyes. Prostatic fluid is high in zinc. Zinc is lost during ejaculation and must be replaced. Zinc deficiency or imbalance is very common today and probably accounts for the high incidence of prostate problems. There are several causes for zinc deficiency:
Soil today is low in zinc. Carl Pfeiffer, MD, PhD reported that 32 of the 50 states are low in zinc. Zinc is not routinely replaced on our soil as crops are harvested. Over the years, the zinc content of the soil has declined in the world. This gives rise to crops that are low in zinc.
Food processing lowers the zinc content of foods. White flour, white rice and white sugar lose most of their zinc content during the refining process. Zinc is not replaced when these foods are "enriched".
Most vegetarian diets are low in zinc. Food sources for zinc are meats, especially red meat. Sea foods are a good source. Pumpkin seeds are one of the few vegetarian foods rich in zinc.
Zinc levels are depleted by stress. A severe stress can cause a loss of zinc within minutes. Chronic stress is an important cause of low zinc.
Copper and cadmium toxicity can lower zinc. Exposure to or accumulation of these toxic metals for any reason can interfere with zinc absorption. Cadmium or copper can also replace zinc in critical enzyme binding sites, leading to metabolic dysfunction.
Identifying Prostate Problems
Prostate problems are usually suspected based on the symptoms. These include trouble starting to urinate, reduced flow or frequent urination with only small quantities each time. A doctor can palpate the prostate gland to determine if it is enlarged, soft and boggy, or hardened.
Blood tests are only helpful to detect prostate cancer. Two tests are the prostate specific antigen (PSI) test and an elevated alkaline phosphatase level. These tests are commonly run on older men. Hair mineral analysis can reveal trends for prostate problems in any man over the age of 40.
- Low zinc levels. However, the zinc level may be normal if toxic metals are present that displace the zinc level upwards. For this reason, also check:
- Copper or cadmium toxicity.
- Low sodium/potassium ratio. This low ratio is associated with a hidden copper imbalance. A low sodium/potassium ratio is particularly associated with prostate irritation or infection.
- Very slow oxidation rate. A slow oxidation rate is an indicator for a copper imbalance, even though copper may appear normal on the test. Very slow oxidation is also associated with overall low energy levels that can contribute to prostate problems.
Improving The Prostate
Many times, the nutritional balancing program will cause improvement of an enlarged or inflamed prostate gland. Improvement may occur within three months, although correction may take longer. In some cases, several extra zinc tablets daily has proved helpful. However, high doses of zinc are usually not necessary for more than several weeks. It is common to encounter patients who felt better taking massive doses of zinc, however, after a few months symptoms worsened again because of zinc excess.
Saw palmetto is an herb that helps restore normal prostate function. Pygeum bark is also used for treating symptoms of enlarged prostate. Cold sitz baths can also help shrink the prostate. These can be taken by filling the bathtub with about 2 inches of cold water. The man sits in the water for ten minutes twice a day. Adding two tablespoons of flaxseed oil or salmon oil (EPA) to the diet may also help an inflamed prostate gland.
For prostate cancer, the medical treatment usually involves lowering testosterone levels through surgical castration or medication that lowers testosterone. Proper diet and a scientific supplement program provide excellent nutritional support for the immune system. Extra vitamin C, vitamin A, copper, manganese, zinc, and saw palmetto may be added to the supplement program in cases of malignancy.
Impotency is defined as the inability to have or sustain an erection. It is common in older men, but may occur at any age due to physical or psychological difficulties. Nutritional causes for impotency include a lowered energy level. The most common hair analysis patterns seen with impotency are the same as those seen with prostate difficulties. The oxidation rate may be very slow, or fast with a low sodium/potassium ratio. Copper and zinc imbalances are common. Toxic metals such as cadmium may also be present. Many cases of impotency improve as a result of a nutritional balancing program. The time required for improvement varies with each individual. Prostate glandular may be added to the supplement program. Plenty of sleep and healthful living habits are also important in any total health program.
The preceding statements have not been evaluated by the
Food and Drug Administration
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.