Nutrition and Urologic Health: A Holistic Approach

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Nutritional OutlookNutritional Outlook Vol. 27 No. 4
Volume 27
Issue 4

How lifestyle, diet, and supplements can help men manage their prostate health.

Photo © AdobeStock.com/Lifeking

Photo © AdobeStock.com/Lifeking

As the prostate gland enlarges with age, it can lead to a myriad of symptoms such as frequent urination, weak urine flow, and incomplete bladder emptying. These symptoms not only disrupt daily activities but can also affect sleep quality, sexual function, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, many men suffer in silence.

As a urologist, I have worked with numerous patients to consider a more comprehensive approach to urinary tract health. In my clinical practice, I aim to incorporate a traditional approach to urology alongside lifestyle modifications such as nutrition that can lead patients toward a more positive outcome. There’s good news about this. Overall prostate and urinary tract health can be positively impacted by lifestyle changes that are easy to make.

By the fifth decade of life, many men find themselves grappling with issues related to prostate health. While some growth of the prostate gland can be expected in aging, there are many other factors that can contribute or exacerbate discomfort and even the health of the urinary tract and prostate.

Some men can stay ahead of everyday prostate concerns related to aging by providing the support of a healthy lifestyle, nutrition, and targeted supplementation. In other cases, medication prescribed by a doctor will become necessary to address these concerns.

Adherence to a prescribed protocol is paramount to keeping symptoms at bay, but many other factors can aid in the maintenance of prostate health.

One of the first things you can do is eliminate the top 5 bladder irritants from your diet to see if this makes a difference. Those irritants are:

  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Mints
  • Spicy Food

If you do not experience a difference within a couple of weeks, it can be an indicator that it might be time to consult your doctor.

Another key consideration is nutrition. In the right circumstances, dietary supplements can provide support for maintaining a healthy prostate. There is no magic bullet, but a number of ingredients have shown promise in supporting the prostate and urinary tract. A balanced diet is the necessary underlying component.

One ingredient that comes up often is saw palmetto extract. It is derived from the berries of the saw palmetto plant. There are nearly 30 studies that have shown a potential benefit from saw palmetto supplementation. The plant contains a precise ratio of fatty acids that may support the prostate. The studies performed to date have covered a wide range of potential benefits from better sleep to urinary tract health, prostate support, and even testosterone support.

As with any supplement, not all saw palmetto ingredients are created equal, and in formulating my own supplement, I prefer a trademarked, clinically studied form from a reputable manufacturer of the ingredient. This provides consumers consistent quality and results.

Other ingredients show promise for prostate health as well. These include pumpkin seed oil, lycopene (from tomatoes), and beta-sitosterols. Pumpkin seed oil is utilized to maintain healthy prostate and bladder function while lycopene promotes prostate cell growth.

Beyond supplementation, prostate health can be supported by hydration, nutrition, and proper sleep.

For men who do require medication to manage prostate conditions, supplements can complement prescription interventions in certain cases. For example, some medications may come with side effects such as decreased libido or erectile dysfunction. Supplements containing ingredients like L-arginine or zinc may help mitigate these side effects and support sexual health. A doctor should be consulted to determine whether there are any interactions to consider.

As a urologist and member of the scientific advisory board for 1MD Nutrition, my mission is to empower individuals to take control of their urologic health through evidence-based solutions. By embracing a holistic approach that incorporates nutrition, lifestyle modifications, and targeted interventions, we can pave the way for a healthier future—one where urologic health thrives, and individuals lead fulfilling lives free from the burden of urinary tract concerns.

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