Prostate enlargement and cancer risk are seen as inevitable aspects of aging, with treatments ranging from medication to invasive and debilitating surgery. But what if these conditions could be prevented and even reversed?
There are certain ailments one expects as an unfortunate consequence of getting older. For men, frequent late night trips to the bathroom and increased risk of prostate cancer are regarded as inevitable aspects of aging, with treatments ranging from medication to invasive and debilitating surgery. But what if prostate enlargement and cancer could be prevented and even reversed? What if what your doctor isn’t telling you could save your life?
Despite the serious complications and even fatal outcomes, the topic of prostate health is rarely addressed in an appropriate, constructive or respectful manner.
With an astounding array of prostate-themed jokes poking fun at increased urination and the horrors of rectal exams, an enlarged prostate seems more like a right of passage into infirmity than a medical condition. And with heaps of supplement scams, prescription-pushing physicians and scalpel-wielding surgeons, and it’s hard to know what information or approach to trust.
In this fourth installment of the Men’s Health Series with Dr. Michael Greger of Nutritionfacts.org, we’re going to see what the science says about preventing, treating and reversing Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)—the medical term for the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate—and prostate cancer. If you’ve seen the first three installments on testosterone, erectile dysfunction, and soy’s effect on hormones, you’ll notice a common theme of the medical profession—ignoring simple and effective treatment in favor of ineffective and debilitating measures.
Prostate surgery, the various methodologies of which read like a list of medieval torture practices, can leave men with ongoing erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence issues, among other side effects. 
Let’s take a quick look at what two of the leading institutions have to offer. In regards to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and prostate cancer respectively, the American Urological Association and National Cancer Institute do give a cursory nod to the effects of exercise and diet on prostate health, but fail to expand upon what that means in practical terms.
If we look at the AUA’s extensive guidelines for BPH treatment, there is “watchful waiting,” essentially meaning, let’s just see what happens, during which period no recommendations are made for dietary intervention. Then there are medical therapies, meaning drugs, which receive seven pages of prescription possibilities, a potentially promising section on alternatives only addresses dietary supplements, and surgical procedures shine with a six-page spread.
Perhaps the worst offender is the AUA’s Prostate Health Playbook, in which they attempt to convey this misinformation through strained football analogies in an astoundingly patronizing and condescending manner—as if possession of a prostate renders one borderline incompetent, requiring spoon-fed sports comparisons for basic comprehension.
The information Dr. Greger will share can spare you the pain of the devastating effects of potentially unnecessary surgery and even save your life. And the fact that you’ll never hear this from your doctor is why you should be pissed about your prostate.
“Some of the most compelling data for eating healthy for men and women has come out of Dr. Dean Ornish’s lab, who first showed that we first to do a randomized controlled trial showing that indeed heart disease could be reversed with a plant-based diet and other healthy lifestyle behaviors. Opening up arteries without drugs, without surgery.
And so, after conquering killer #1 he’s ok next and went on to kill the #2 cancer and took men with prostate cancer and put them on a plant-based diet. Same kind of regimen and actually got a reversal in the growth of prostate—early stage prostate cancer. And indeed it’s interesting when you take serum, when you take blood from men who have been on a plant-based diet for a year and drip them on cancer cells growing in a petri dish, they suppress the growth of that cancer about 8 times better compared to the blood of people men eating the Standard American Diet.
What’s interesting is a different group of researches said, well wait a second, I wonder if the same effect on normal prostate cell. So the same experiment and found indeed you go on a plant-based diet and this time it was just the diet without exercise and stress management components. You go on a plant-based diet your blood indeed is better able to suppress the growth of the normal prostate cells.
And I talk about in the video indeed this kind of it’s kind of inevitable consequence of aging. You get older, your prostate enlarges – No, that’s inevitable consequence of eating the Standard American Diet and aging.
So I talk about the statistics in the US. It effects—so an enlarged prostate—and when I say enlarged prostate, what does that mean? It kind of squeezes off the urethra where the urine goes through and so you have to frequently get up at night a couple times because you can’t, you have this kind of weak, hesitant urine stream and you can’t completely evacuate your bladder and then so your bladder fills up over and over again. And anyway.
And then is a stagnant pool of urine can set more than likely be infected. Fifty percent of men in their 50s are affected, 80% of their men in the 80s. It’s an epidemic in the US. 16 million American men. A billion dollars a year is spent on drugs to treat it and another billion on supplements, lots of surgery that’s done. And the reason we know that it’s not an inevitable consequence of aging is because you can look at different populations around the globe.
So for example in China, there was study that found at the Medical College of Beijing, they didn’t have 80% of me infected. They found 80 cases period. Eighty-four over a 15 year period. It was such a rare, it was considered kind of rare condition until of course China started eating like us.
And so there are particular food that appear to help. Garlic and onions, allium family vegetables. Cooked vegetables appear to work better than raw vegetables and legumes, beans, split peas, chickpeas, lentils as well as flax seeds. And there are actually head to head challenges of ground flax seed versus the leading drug prescribed for PBH patients and it worked just as well without the side effects.
But as a group Pritikin researchers showed its not just these individual plant foods, but if you go on an entirely plant-based diet, you can dramatically slow down the growth of the suppressed cancer cells so you don’t have to deal with this as one gets older.“
I hope you found what Dr. Greger shared to be helpful and eye-opening. On a personal level, when researching for this video, I did not at all expect to get so angry about prostates.
But the more I looked into the studies so graciously compiled by Dr. Greger, and compared their data to the guidelines of major medical organizations, the more angry I became.
everyone deserves to be fully informed about their health, and offered all of the possible treatments. As longs as doctors present BPH and prostate cancer risk as just a part of aging and fail to alert their patients to effective, non-invasive methods of prevention and reversal, countless men will continue to undergo unnecessary surgery and even lose their lives.
For more on why your doctor is lying to you, see this video with Dr. Greger. Please see the links below for further resources, like Dr. Greger’s extensive content on prostate health, including more about which foods to avoid and include in your diet, and to his NYT best seller How Not To Die, which includes an entire chapter on prostate health.
To make sure you’re getting the prostate-healthy nutrition you need, I wanted to let you know about Cronometer. It’s a free website and app that I’ve used in several of my videos because of it’s uniquely detailed nutrition reports and ease of use. Plus, they’ve reached out to help sponsor the Men’s Health series to get this vital educational information out to those who need it. Be sure to head over for your free profile!
Please share this video around to help men take hold of their health. Be sure to subscribe to the channel to not miss out on the rest of the Men’s Health Series.
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Now go live vegan, get pissed about your prostate, and I’ll see you soon.
— Emily Moran Barwick
Good to see the good old doctor and his walking machine back.
I turned 35 last year and instantly started to wake up at night needing to go to the bathroom and generally having to pee more often and having more difficult controlling the urge. I don’t have problems peeing, it flows strong and normal, so I can’t see how that would be prostate enlargement, and I don’t have any erectile dysfunction, but yeah, interesting how certain things seem to automatically click after a certain age. I wonder, since you read so much about prostate for the video, do you have any idea if this problem is related, or how? Weird how, after having sex before going to sleep, I seem to be ok for the night and don’t normally have to get up to pee until I wake up in the morning. I started to eat ground flaxseed, more legumes, exercise more and even do prostate muscle specific exercise, so we’ll see.
robert macdonald§ says
Flax seeds (especially crushed) have got a bad press recently because of the existance of cyanogenic glucosides in them.
Ron Landskroner says
I am a 70-year-old man, having followed a entirely vegetarian/vegan diet for a good number of years and therefore have no argument with this lifestyle choice. However, beginning at a relatively young age (approx. in my 30s), urination frequency became an increasing source of annoyance, at times moderately interfering with daily living. This condition worsened to the point of forcing me to seek the help of urologists which resulted in the usual battery of tests, including those awful invasive procedures which are uncomfortable and quite painful. Despite regular negative PSA results and failed attempts to slow the growth or reduce prostate size the situation became unacceptable at which point my urologist at the time convinced me that surgery was the only remaining option. Therefore, in spite of having been informed of the sexual function side effects only one day before I underwent the now infamous Saline TURP. Unfortunately, the predicted side effect did occur while the urinary problem persisted and does so to this day. This was more than five years ago and I would like to know what, if anything, could have been done to avoid this double bind.
P.S. To Prostatico: Enjoy it while you can:).