It is that time of the year, where men proudly wear a moustache to raise awareness for men’s health. Although it is not widely talked about, men are facing a health crisis with prostate cancer being the number one registered cancer for men in New Zealand.
Over the past month we have been looking at hormone health, in particular, we have looked in depth at the female hormonal system. While the male hormone system is much more basic in comparison, it is vital men understand the role hormones play in their health.
Let’s have a look at what hormones are and the important roles they play in our body.
Hormones are chemical messengers in the body that tell our cells what to do. We have over 50 different hormones which flow around the body coordinating our mood, our digestion and our energy levels. Most of the functions that our body performs happen as a result of a hormone.
When our hormones are perfectly balanced they coordinate our body system like an choreographed dance.
Issues arise in men when their hormones fall out of sync and become unbalanced. This is linked to mood disorders (anger), fatigue, man boobs, and health concerns such a prostate issues and heart attacks. In this blog, we will look at the three key hormones for men, how these hormones affect prostate health and what nutrients nourish these hormones.
I like to think of men as a Toyota Hilux. They are reliable, and go and go and go until one day the engine explodes. In this analogy, the engine explosion is like having a heart attack or being diagnosed with prostate cancer. While men have a basic hormonal system, it too needs nourishing to keep it running smoothly, without breaking down. These key hormones are essential to men’s hormonal health:
Cortisol is our daytime hormone giving us energy. It helps modulate the immune system, and support our anti-inflammatory responses, nervous system, blood sugar levels and blood pressure. In a time of stress, our adrenal glands make cortisol to prepare our body to either fight or take flight. Cortisol is sent through the bloodstream to our heart stimulating it to beat faster and increases oxygen delivery to our organs. If you are highly stressed your adrenals will be working extra hard and may result in adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is basically when, over time, your adrenal glands are no longer able to effectively make essential hormones needed to function optimally – primarily cortisol. When you can not produce the right ratios of cortisol to other hormones, you experience adrenal burn-out or fatigue. Take time out to address your stress levels and incorporate stress management techniques into your daily life.
While more common in women, men also experience oestrogen dominance. A sign of oestrogen dominance in men is man boobs, where there is softer tissue or inflammation around your chest and armpits giving the appearance of breasts. The problem is largely associated with our environment; we are constantly exposed to oestrogen-mimicking chemicals. Our bodies are not able to deal with the excess oestrogen. These mimic-oestrogens are called xenoestrogens. They’re found in PCB’s - man made chemical compounds - such as BPA in plastic water bottles, parabens and phylates in skincare products and sunscreen. Where possible, opt for glass and 100% natural products to avoid these environmental toxins.
Testosterone is important for maintaining muscle mass, strength, and libido. When there is too much testosterone it does not get metabolised and instead turns into DHT testosterone. DHT testosterone is associated with mood issues particularly anger as well as prostate issues and male pattern baldness. It’s important to encourage the body to metabolise and clear testosterone. This can be done by letting off some steam with a run or lifting some weights.
Prostate cancer is the number one registered cancer for men. This means prostate issues are a high risk area for men. Symptoms include urination problems, trouble going, starting and stopping and getting up in the night. If you experience any of these symptoms get straight to your GP. Early detection is important as there is a higher chance of getting on top of it.
Ensuring you have good nutrient levels is important for prostate health. In particular, selenium, which has been found to be deficient in our soils and blood levels of New Zealand's population are at 1.1% on average, which is very low. Research shows selenium levels need to be above 1.6% and 1.7% to have an anticancer effect. Eating 2-5 brazil nuts a day and including a multivitamin in your diet will help boost your selenium levels.
A study looked at giving 200 micrograms of selenium to two groups of men, who were both at high risk of cancer. It was found that the group who received selenium, decreased their risk of prostate cancer by over 60%. The study had to stop after 8 years because they could not justify not giving selenium to the other group of subjects that were on a placebo. There is also research that shows drinking pomegranate juice is associated with prostate benefits.
Liver load is also likely to play a part in the development of prostate health. Alcohol, coffee, xenoestrogens and stress contribute to liver load. Liver load makes it hard for men to clear their excess testosterone and oestrogen. Reducing alcohol and coffee will help relieve the load on your liver. Read this blog post on more tips to clear the liver.
The prostate is responsible for making seminal fluid that protects the sperm. I like to think of it as a filter. Just like any filter, as it gets older it starts to get blocked. When the filter is blocked, there is increased immune molecules and inflammation in the area, which leads to the initial symptoms of prostate issues. When this starts, we need to look at what is driving the blockage of the filter.
Another blockage could be due to too much sugar. This is a systems biology approach to prostate health, as sugar feeds unfriendly bacteria in the gut. Bacteria release metabolites that go into your bloodstream and cause problems to the prostate. In our BePure Clinics, we have seen incredible results achieved by improving men's diets to support their health. This in turn, helps to improve the balance of gut bacteria and decreases the load on the prostate.
There are a number of products on the market with research behind them for improving hair growth. A key nutrient to support hair growth is zinc. Try this Brazil Nut-crusted Chicken recipe for a good source of male hormone loving nutrients. This recipe includes zinc and selenium to help your moustache grow and support your prostate. If you’re after some additional nutritional support on top of your whole foods diet, BePure Zinc Restore and the BePure Everyday Health Pack, containing BePure One multivitamin and BePure Three fish oil is a great place to start for improving your nutritional status.
Have stubborn weight that just won't budge, energy slumps, painful PMS or menopause issues? Join Ben Warren as he shares the secret role hormones play in your health, why our modern world is working against healthy female hormones and how to naturally heal your hormones and bring them back to balance. This is information every woman needs to know. Learn more and register here.
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