It’s never too early (or too late) to start prioritizing your prostate health. Welcome to “Prostate Health 101,” your go-to resource to learn about key nutrients that can help keep your prostate healthy and maintain your quality of life for years to come.*
What is the prostate?
The prostate is part of the male reproductive system that’s responsible for making semen. It’s a walnut-sized gland located just below the bladder, and it surrounds part of the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body).
As men get older, many experience changes in their prostate health. Some prostate changes, like changes in size, can be uncomfortable and affect day-to-day life. Other changes in the prostate are silent but significant, affecting long-term health. So, it’s important to prioritize prostate health to keep yourself feeling your best.
How can you keep your prostate healthy?
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle plays a huge role in prostate health. Physical activity, a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, regular doctor visits, and avoiding tobacco products are all important factors. But, some specific nutrients and plant extracts have also shown promise for prostate health.* Let’s explore a few of them.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s well known for its role in bone health.* It helps your body absorb calcium, another important nutrient for strong bones.* But, research shows that healthy levels of vitamin D are also linked to prostate health.*
While your body can make vitamin D from the sun, factors like where you live, age, sunscreen use, and environmental conditions can make it difficult to make enough. Eggs, fatty fish, and fortified dairy products can also help you meet your vitamin D needs, but sometimes that’s not enough, either.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D for men is 15-20 mcg (600-800 IU) per day. However, many experts agree that most people need significantly more vitamin D each day to support healthy vitamin D levels, and daily doses up to 100 micrograms (4,000 IU) are considered safe for most adults.*
If you’re struggling to get enough vitamin D from sunshine and your diet alone, vitamin D3 supplements can help you meet your needs and support prostate health.*
Vitamin E is another important fat-soluble vitamin for prostate health.* And when it comes to vitamin E, form matters.
The vitamin E family is made up of compounds called “tocopherols.” The four main tocopherols are:
The primary source of vitamin E in the American diet is gamma-tocopherol (mostly from plant oils). But, most dietary supplements contain only alpha-tocopherol. Research suggests that gamma-tocopherol plays an important role in prostate health, so the best vitamin E supplements contain this form, plus a mixture of vitamin E from other natural tocopherols.*
Selenium is a trace mineral that functions as an antioxidant to keep your cells healthy.* Research shows that healthy levels of selenium are connected to prostate health, but they key is to get just enough.* Aim for around 55 mcg per day, which is the RDA for adults. Rich sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, organ meats, and seafood.
Soy foods, like tofu, soy milk, edamame (steamed soybeans), and soy nuts contain compounds called “soy isoflavones.” It’s these particular phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that are so beneficial for prostate health – research suggests that they may help keep your prostate cells healthy.*
Lycopene is another key phytonutrient for prostate health.* It lends vibrant color to pink fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes, watermelon, and grapefruit, and it acts as an antioxidant to keep your body healthy.* Studies have revealed a link between higher lycopene intake and prostate health.* So, it seems that the saying “eat the rainbow” is particularly true for prostate health – be sure to include plenty of bright red and pink foods in your diet.
Saw palmetto + beta-sitosterol
Saw palmetto is a shrub-like, berry-producing plant that’s rich in fatty acids and sterols, while beta-sitosterol is a specific type of plant sterol. Studies show that a combination of saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol is more beneficial for prostate health than saw palmetto alone.* Together, they’re the ultimate support for healthy urinary frequency, flow, and function – both day and night.*
Rye grass flower pollen + quercetin
Rye grass flower pollen is rich in amino acids, phytosterols, and antioxidants. If you’re allergic to bee pollen or flower pollen, don’t worry. Rye grass flower pollen is not the same as bee pollen, and rye grass flower pollen extracts typically only contain non-allergenic nutrients – just be sure to double-check for the extract you choose to take.
Quercetin is a naturally occurring compound with antioxidant properties found in red wine, apples, onions, and green tea.
These plant extracts can help address pelvic discomfort, and there’s some research that suggests rye grass flower pollen may also support healthy urinary function.*
Now that you’re on the path to prioritizing prostate health, be sure to talk with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. They’ll be able to provide the best guidance and care, and they may even recommend focusing on a few of these nutrients to support your prostate health.*