What vitamins and minerals are good for your prostate?
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is extremely common in men over the age of 50 and the symptoms, such as frequent and urgent urination, can interfere with day-to-day life.
Diet provides a means of managing and even preventing these symptoms, but a few vitamins and minerals are particularly beneficial. These include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C.
Read on to find out why these vitamins and minerals are so helpful and how you can get more of them in your diet.
This mineral is excellent for the health of the prostate as low levels of zinc have been seen to increase the likelihood of developing BPH.1 There is also evidence to suggest that zinc could help calm symptoms that already exist.2
Part of this is to do with the fact that foods high in zinc, such as nuts and seeds, contain a compound called phytosterol. Research shows that this works to ease the urinary symptoms of an enlarged prostate.3
Pumpkin seeds are a particularly good snack for anyone with BPH as they contain plenty of zinc, as well as essential fatty acids which can reduce inflammation in the prostate.
Research indicates that pumpkin seed oil is well tolerated and is beneficial in easing BPH symptoms.4 It has diuretic properties, for example, which could restore normal urine flow and relieve discomfort in the bladder.
On top of all this, research also shows that pumpkin seeds contain chemicals that stop testosterone being converted in Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is important as high levels of DHT can contribute to prostate problems.
How much zinc do you need per day?
The recommended daily allowance for zinc is 9.5mg for adult men.
As well as pumpkin seeds, some popular foods containing zinc include eggs, wheat germ, beef and cashew nuts.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D also has promising results when it comes to the prevention and management of BPH.5 There is, it seems, a correlation between vitamin D deficiency, the growth of the prostate gland and the resulting urinary symptoms.6
It seems to be the case that low vitamin D may encourage cell growth and inhibit the way a cell naturally dies off.7 As a result, low vitamin D may contribute to the growth of the prostate cells.
How much vitamin D do you need per day?
The suggested daily intake of vitamin D is 10mg per day for men. Most vitamin D is obtained from the sun meaning we may need to take a supplement in the winter to keep levels topped up when sunshine is less abundant.
3. Vitamin C
Research indicates that vitamin C could reduce the chance of developing enlarged prostate symptoms.8
Oxidative stress is thought to be a contributing factor in BPH so this may explain why nutrients such as vitamin C, which have rich antioxidant properties, may help to ease symptoms.9 The key is to keep up a regular intake of vitamin C, however, in order to reap its benefits.10
Vitamin C may also prevent the expansion of a molecule known as HIF-1alpha which can influence the growth of the prostate cells. By stopping this molecule in its tracks, vitamin C reduces the chance of prostate enlargement.
How much vitamin C do you need per day?
It is suggested we aim for 40mg of vitamin C a day. Again, this nutrient is available in a wide range of foods including fruit and vegetables like peppers, strawberries, broccoli and oranges.
A natural vitamin C supplement, such as Nature C Tablets, will help to top up levels even further. These tablets are made from a wide variety of fruits including blackcurrant, gooseberry and lemon.