The Forgotten Nutrient for Your Prostate

Health Alert 129

You remember your mother making you eat all your vegetables on your plate. She knew that a healthy mix of fresh veggies helped produce a healthy child. But she probably never guessed that she was protecting you from the most common disease diagnosed in older men.

When she made you eat those slimy greens you were getting natural vitamin E. And vitamin E, it turns out, can be a potent player in the battle against an enlarging prostate. Unfortunately, vitamin E is an underestimated and often completely overlooked nutrient for BPH.

This is your final installment in your series dedicated to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). You’ll see why you should include this “common” nutrient in your BPH arsenal. You’ll also learn the latest science on the best form and sources of Vitamin E.

* Vitamin E By Any Other Name *

Vitamin E is much more than just another ingredient on your multivitamin label. It is a powerful free radical fighter. It can help you avoid those late night trips to the bathroom … the urine dribbles … and the embarrassment, inconvenience, and pain of BPH.

Vitamin E is actually a broad term for a group of 8 related nutrients. There are 4 forms of substances called tocopherols. Vitamin E also includes 4 forms of substances called tocotrienols.

The 8 Forms of Vitamin E
Alpha Tocopherol
Alpha tocotrienol
Beta tocopherol
Beta tocotrienol
Gamma tocopherol
Gamma tocotrienol
Delta tocopherol
Delta tocotrienol

Each of these nutrients has its own unique health properties. Together, they give us one of the best nutrient combinations in nature. Studies continue to show that your body needs this vitamin E combo. It protects against heart disease, cancer, and yes, even BPH.

Several recent clinical trials have found that vitamin E is a serious contender

in the prostate war. One of the best recent studies comes from researchers at Georgetown University.

Participants with BPH took either a vitamin E supplement or a placebo. The authors of the study reported that the vitamin E containing supplement “… can significantly lessen nocturia and frequency and diminish overall symptomatology of BPH”. 1 Nocturia is the medical term for awaking at night needing to urinate.

How did good old vitamin E do this? Just this month, oncology researchers stumbled onto a cellular mechanism. They were studying vitamin E for prostate cancer when they discovered something surprising. Vitamin E directly applied to prostate cells in culture had a much stronger controlling effect on prostate cells with BPH. 2

* Initiate Your Preventative Program *

The preferred way to get your vitamin E is in its most natural form. Whole foods with a combination of all of the tocopherols and tocotrienols are best. Nature has provided us with a plethora of foods that fit this standard.

Foods high in Vitamin E:

• Nuts (almonds, pasticcios, walnuts, brazil nuts)

• Seeds (the very best are pumpkin and sunflower)

• Oily Fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines)

• Green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, collards)

• Fruits (mangos and kiwi are rich with vitamin E)

Include as many of these foods into your diet as possible. To get the maximum protection from prostate enlargement, you’ll probably need to take a supplement as well. Look for a supplement that includes a combination of tocopherols and tocotrienols.

I recommend about 400 IU of total vitamin E compounds per day to keep your prostate healthy.

Remember to take your vitamin E with some sort of fat or oil for better absorption. One teaspoon of flax oil, cod liver oil, a handful of nuts or a raw egg will not only help your gut absorb your Vitamin E but each of these also gives you a healthy boost of natural vitamin E on its own.

Al Sears MD

1 Preuss H. et al., Randomized trial of a combination of natural products (cernitin, saw palmetto, B-sitosterol, vitamin E) on symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).Int Urol Nephrol. 2001;33(2):217-25.

2 Wan X. et al., In vitro evaluation of chemopreventive agents using cultured human prostate epithelial cells. Oncol Rep. 2003 Nov-Dec;10(6):2009-14.