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I was at a hockey game and had 20 minutes before the game started. I was with my best bud from college, having a beer and dying to ask him THE question, but I still hadn’t figured out how to talk about it. The dreaded prostate conversation.

I just can’t believe I’m at that time in life. Wasn’t it just last year I shot that winning goal with the local men’s hockey league and felt invincible? It’s been a different year for me. I’ve put on 10 pounds because work has been demanding and exercise has not been as regular, and I’ve been having way too many burgers for lunch instead of my usual protein shake. I vaguely remember Mike saying something once about seeing a specialist, but it went in one ear and out the other.

The frequent bathroom trips at night and the standing and waiting at the urinal is new and has me thinking I should ask my doctor, but I didn’t have these irritating issues when I was at my last physical. I’m concerned about my prostate because I’ve read prostate issues are pretty much a common occurrence for every man after the age of 40 and that having an enlarged prostate could lead to worse issues once you’re into your 50’s.

The frequent bathroom trips at night and the standing and waiting at the urinal is new and has me thinking I should ask my doctor, but I didn’t have these irritating issues when I was at my last physical. I’m concerned about my prostate because I’ve read prostate issues are pretty much a common occurrence for every man after the age of 40 and that having an enlarged prostate could lead to worse issues once you’re into your 50’s.

I leaned in a little and in a low voice I asked, “Hey, did you happen to see a specialist about your prostate?” Mike was a wealth of information and seemed eager to share his new-found knowledge. Mike says, “It’s really important you see your doctor when you’re experiencing any prostate issues, and while you wait for your appointment and results from testing, you might want to think about trying something natural in order to be more comfortable.” Mike had done his homework.

Mike started by saying that men’s hormones change as they age and they can create too much DHT, which is the bad form of testosterone. Apparently, there are two enzyme pathways that throw a monkey wrench into testosterone producing the biochemical background driving prostate imbalance: aromatase and 5a-reductase. The aromatase conversation disturbed me a bit since it has the power to turn testosterone into a type of estrogen. What man would want more estrogen in his body?

“There’s over 400 published studies on Pub Med regarding Saw Palmetto for supporting a healthy and normal prostate.”

I had heard of Saw Palmetto but had no idea there was so much legitimate scientific research on it for prostate issues. Mike says “There’s over 400 published studies on Pub Med regarding Saw Palmetto for supporting a healthy and normal prostate” 1, which piqued my curiosity. “There are these chemistries in the plant that are called phytosterols and they have been found effective for prostate health”.2

The rest of the conversation was a completely foreign one to me, but it certainly got my full attention. Mike described another herb that had been shown to manage aromatase called Nettle. He said, “With a healthy diet and strenuous exercise, you could manage the enzyme aromatase, but that Nettle was a great companion to regular weight training”. 3

I had already been taking 2000 IU’s of Vitamin D, since I had heard that it was good for my immune system, but Mike said that it might also be good for supporting a healthy prostate. 4

The game was about to start and Mike had one additional ingredient he thought might be helpful. He called it Swedish Flower Pollen. I have seasonal allergies and was concerned that there was pollen in the formula. I asked him about possible allergic reaction and he said it wasn’t like that.

“Researchers use a lipid extract from the pollen and the extract isn’t related to environmental pollens.” “The extract has been studied since 1970 exclusively for prostate issues in Europe and has been found to increase urine flow and volume, and maintain normal prostate cell metabolism, which is a lot of what you’re looking for” Mike said. 5

As my team hit the ice, I asked one more question. “Can I get all of this in one pill?” Mike starts cheering for the home team and shakes his head vehemently. “Yes!” He screams over the band. “Make sure you get it in a gel capsule!” “The ingredients won’t work for your prostate as well if you don’t take them that way!”

1Gordon AE, Shaughnessy AF. Saw palmetto for prostate disorders. Am Fam Physician. 2003 Mar 15;67(6):1281-3. PMID: 12674456.

2 Kwon Y. Use of saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) extract for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Food Sci Biotechnol. 2019 Apr 17;28(6):1599-1606. doi: 10.1007/s10068-019-00605-9. PMID: 31807332; PMCID: PMC6859144.

3Chrubasik JE, Roufogalis BD, Wagner H, Chrubasik S. A comprehensive review on the stinging nettle effect and efficacy profiles. Part II: urticae radix. Phytomedicine. 2007 Aug;14(7-8):568-79. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2007.03.014. Epub 2007 May 16. PMID: 17509841.

4Petrou S, Mamais I, Lavranos G, P Tzanetakou I, Chrysostomou S. Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation in Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review of Randomized Control Trials. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2018 Feb;88(1-2):100-112. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000494. Epub 2019 Apr 30. PMID: 31038028.

5Buck, AC, et al. “Treatment of outflow tract obstruction due to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia with the pollen extract, Cernilton: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study”. British Jounal of rology 91990), 66, 398-404.