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What Does Zinc Have to Do With BPH, Cancer and Other Prostate Disease?
Did you know that more than 60% of male Americans have a deficiency of zinc? Male semen has 100 times more zinc than the blood! Here is another the fact: You might have read somewhere that DHT (dihydrotestosterone) causes the prostate to grow.
WAIT! Maybe I am getting ahead of myself, let’s start again.
- The prostate gland is highly unusual because it undergoes an increase in size at several stages during most of a man’s life.
- The first growth phase is completed before or at birth, when the average prostate weighs about 1.5 grams.
- The second growth phase occurs early during puberty, when the weight of the prostate gland increases to around 11 grams.
- The third growth phase occurs during the mid-20s, when the weight of the prostate gland increases to approximately 18 grams.
- wth phase that begins when a man is in his 50s. Size varies depending on the males health.
- By the time a man is in his 70s, the prostate gland has reached a maximum weight of 31 grams.
There is another apparent gro
Although the prostate gland grows during much of a man’s life, urinary flow problems Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) and/or cancer usually appears only after the age of 50 as a consequence of the final growth phase.
The medical researchers don’t really know yet why the prostate gland enlarges during multiple growth spurts. However, there are two theories that attempt to explain this pheomenon. Both theories believe hormonal changes over time are responsible.
(1) Changes in the normal balance of sex hormones. With advancing age, the amount of the male hormone testosterone The primary male reproductive hormone. Made in the testes, it is responsible for the growth and maturation of the primary male reproductive organs and the development of characteristics such as a low-pitched voice, the male’s unique distribution of body hair, the relative lack of fat below the skin, and bigger bone structure. , decreases relative to the amount of circulating estrogen
A female hormone that is also normally found in small quantities in a man’s bloodstream., the main female reproductive hormone which also circulates in the male.
There is some evidence to suggest that this relative increase in circulating estrogen may strengthen the effect of the testosterone derivative DHT, which promotes cell growth in the prostate gland and is formed when testosterone is acted upon by a specific enzyme. As a consequence of estrogen and DHT acting together, cell growth and glandular enlargement are promoted.
NOTE: Ah-ha, DHT seems to get out of control and may be the cause of BPH. Every wonder exactly what DHT is? Well here you go. DHT is a biologically active metabolite of the hormone testosterone, formed primarily in the prostate gland, testes, hair follicles, and adrenal glands by the enzyme 5a-reductase by means of reducing the 4,5 double-bond. DHT belongs to the class of compounds called androgens, also commonly called androgenic hormones or testoids. Androgens are part of the biology of gender by stimulating and controlling the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics. DHT is 3 times more potent than testosterone; testosterone is 5-10 times more potent than adrenal androgens.
(2) Now here is the 2nd theory about DHT. Prostate gland development requires the conversion of testosterone into DHT. In the presence of a specific enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. As aging occurs, the amount of DHT in the prostate gland remains high, even through the circulating testosterone level drops.
Some evidence supports the idea that this high level of prostate DHT may by itself promote cell growth and lead to enlargement.
Now after that introduction we come to zinc. The role of zinc in a wide range of cellular processes, including cell division (ah – that means getting larger – right?) and proliferation, immune function, and defense against free radicals, has been well established. Zinc is the most abundant trace element in cells, and increasing evidence emphasizes zinc’s important role in both genetic stability and function.
Zinc deficiency can lead to immune dysfunction and impairments in growth, cognitive function, and hormonal function. Over 2 billion people worldwide may have a zinc deficiency, you don’t need to be one of them.
Research has established a link between zinc deficiency and cancer is now established by human, animal, and cell culture studies. We also know that zinc status is compromised in cancer patients compared to healthy people.
Zinc also appears to play an important role in maintaining prostate health. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American men, and most elderly men have some abnormal prostate cells. BPH may or may not be a precursor to prostate cancer. The normal human prostate ccumulates the highest level of zinc of any soft tissue in the body, but we don’t know why. However, cancerous prostates have much less zinc than normal rostates, and several studies have implicated impaired zinc status in the development and progression of prostate malignancy. There is also some evidence that ncreased dietary zinc is associated with a decrease in the incidence of prostate cancer.
Zinc supplementation strategies may not only aid in the prevention of ancer, but could also play an important role in limiting its malignancy. As an antioxidant and a component of many DNA repair proteins, zinc plays an important role in protecting DNA from damage. The current tolerable upper intake level for zinc is 40 mg/day, established by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. Thus, it is possible that the subjects in the epidemiological study could have been in the toxic range of zinc intake. As with most therapeutics, higher doses do not always equate with an increase in
Just as a final note, zinc has some positive side effects such as: effective in shortening cold symptoms, reduce the severity of cold sores, increase energy levels, treat ADHD in children, fighting hair loss and managing conditions such as hypoglycemia and diabetes.The negative side effect of zine could include: A decrease your copper, iron and magnesium levels, reduce your body’s immune function, and reduce your HDL (good cholesterol) level. Additional rare side effects could include: stomach upset, heartburn and nausea, fever, sore throat, mouth sores, weakness and fatigue.
There is some hope in clinical trials. Irving Bush, M.D., professor of urology at the University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School, senior consultant at the Center for Study of Genitourinary Diseases in West Dundee, Illinois, and former chairman of the Food and Drug Administration panels on gastroenterology, urology and dialysis, did a small study of the use of zinc in treating BPH. The men in the study took 150 milligrams of inc sulfate every day for two months, followed by 50 to 100 milligrams a day as a maintenance dose. Dr. Bush found that 14 of the 19 men experienced shrinkage of the prostate.
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