Prostate problems affect a large percentage of the male population over 50 years of age. These problems manifest as hyperplasia or swelling of the prostate, impotence issues, urinary issues and worst of all, cancer issues. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Factors such as age, lifestyle and family history are all significant in the onset of prostate problems. However, men should be familiar with one very important aspect which contributes to the maintenance of normal bodily functions over which they have complete control and this is the area of zinc nutrition.
Research conducted at the Linus Pauling institute in Oregon State University has shown that prostate swelling usually precedes prostate cancer. This swelling or hyperplasia as it is known has also been shown to be associated with zinc deficiency. While they did not conclude that this swelling was a precursor to prostate cancer, it is almost always seen prior to the onset of the disease. They also showed in the course of these investigations (in vitro) that this prostate swelling could be reduced by adequate zinc intake. In fact, the prostate cells that were beginning to swell underwent programmed cell death or apoptosis when zinc deficiency was corrected.
The prostate gland contains the highest concentration of zinc of any organ in the human body. Science is unsure of the reason for this but cancerous prostate glands have been shown to have less zinc than healthy ones. Going back to the research in Oregon, it was also noted that supplementation had little effect on already cancerous prostate cells – maintaining correct levels of zinc in the body cannot prevent treat or cure cancer however maintaining overall good health is important for functions to be carried out within the body.
So, maintaining an adequate supply of good quality zinc would appear to be a good policy in maintaining normal testosterone levels in the blood, normal fertility and reproduction as well as contributing to the process of cell division. However, deciding on the right zinc supplement is not as easy as you may think. They are many synthetic ones on the market and research has shown that taking zinc on its own may upset the delicate balance it maintains with other trace elements in the body. For example, copper absorption may be affected by taking too much zinc. As copper and zinc are needed together in a large number of enzyme processes in the body, we must be careful to respect the balance.
Oyster extract is a very good source of organic zinc. However, it not only contains zinc, but other trace elements the body needs such as iodine, copper and selenium. These are balanced by nature, as nature intended. A good quality oyster extract will contain at least 3mg of zinc for every 1g of powder. Some however can be as low as 0.1mg for every 1g of powder and these brands are obviously less effective. These low potency brands also tend to come from places like New Zealand, Japan and China where oysters are not harvested with this zinc potency in mind.
Ask your supplier if the oyster extract they sell is high in zinc potency before making a purchase. It is a clear contender to be the supplement of choice for those seeking to improve their health in conjunction with a varied diet. It is considered by many to be the caviar of zinc supplements.
Not a substitute for a varied diet.
Think before you zinc!