The bad news is most men over the age of 50 will experience the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, such as needing to go for pee more often. The good news is you don’t have to put up with it, as research suggests a traditional remedy – pumpkin seed oil – could help.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland found just below the bladder in men. It converts testosterone into its more potent form, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and helps the body to produce and expel semen, making it key to your reproductive health.
Symptoms of an enlarged prostate
There’s no getting away from it – nearly all men can expect to experience some degree of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), otherwise known as an enlarged prostate.
The prostate tends to grow as you age. Once it gets to a certain size, it begins to squeeze the urethra, which can lead to:
• frequently needing to pee, especially at night
• urine flow stopping and starting
• not emptying the bladder fully
• difficulty or straining while having a pee
• suddenly needing to pee
BPH also increases the risk of bladder infections and developing bladder stones. Don’t panic if you are diagnosed with BPH – it is not linked to prostate cancer, but talk to your doctor if you are worried.
What causes prostate problems?
It’s not clear what causes the prostate to grow as men get older, but hormonal changes as you age could be to blame. Another theory is that too much DHT stimulates prostate cells, causing them multiply.
However, research shows that pumpkin seed oil blocks the actions of 5-alpha reductase, one of the enzymes involved in the conversion of testosterone into DHT. This could help prevent prostate cells multiplying.
How does pumpkin seed oil help?
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, carotenoids and phytosterols – compounds thought to support prostate health.
There is more zinc in a healthy prostate than in any other area of the body, but levels are lower in men with BPH or prostate cancer. What’s more, a carotenoid-rich diet has been found to reduce the risk of BPH, whilst phytosterols can help relieve the symptoms of BPH.
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Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please consult a doctor or healthcare professional before trying any remedies.
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