The prostate is a male gland about the size of a walnut and sits just below the bladder. The prostate wraps around the urethra which is the tube through which urine flows from the bladder to the the penis. Most men by age 40 are already experiencing problems of an aging prostate. The most common symptoms of an aging prostate are caused by the gland swelling which is known as BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia). This swelling of the prostate tissue effectively restricts the flow of urine from the bladder which causes multiple symtoms.
The symptoms of BPH include: delayed onset of urination, weak urine stream (often resulting in two streams), dribbling urine, difficulty in urinating resulting in pushing to empty the bladder, and more trips to the bathroom (often during the night called nocturia) because the bladder does not empty completely. Sexual vitality is also diminished because an unhealthy prostate is usually the result of lower testosterone and higher estrogen levels.
The definitive cause of BPH continues to be debated. Many health professionals believe it is the hormone testosterone which causes the prostate to swell. More specifically, it is believed that the conversion of testosterone into a metabolite of testosterone, DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the prostate is to blame. This conversion of over 95% of testosterone to DHT in the prostate is due to the action of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. The DHT binds strongly to the androgen receptors in the prostate. Although it is true that a rise in testosterone and DHT just after birth and at puberty causes the prostate to grow, this does not mean that DHT causes the prostate to grow in an older male. Why? There are two reasons; first, in an older male the prostate begins to enlarge at the same time that testosterone levels are declining, not when they're rising. Secondly, DHT has been used clinically to treat prostate enlargement with success so it seems contradictory to assume that it is DHT which at the same time is the cause of BPH.
A more probable cause of prostate swelling is estrogen, especially estrodiol. This increase in estrodiol is caused by the aromatase enzyme which converts testosterone into estrogen which then gets bound to the prostate hormone receptors by SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin). SHBG binds up free testosterone and prevents it from being an active hormone in the body. In addition to testosterone, SHBG also binds up estrogen and attaches it to your prostate hormone receptors which causes cell proliferation and thus enlargement of the prostate.
ULTIMATE HEALTH FOR MEN
It is good to follow the dietary advice on this website for good overall health. Specifically, it is important to avoid all foods which are high in estrogenic substances. Some plants contain phytochemicals which act like estrogens and only contribute to more estrogen build up in the aging male body. Here is a list of the most estrogenic foods with the ones listed in red to be especially avoided. All these foods contribute to the feminization of the male body and promote the growth of the prostate. Additionally, estrogen (especially estrodiol) feeds the growth of cancers such as prostate, ovaries, uterus, and breast.
One of the most important health issues for the aging male is prostate health. A man's happiness and virility are entirely dependent on a healthy prostate!