Benign Prostate Disease - BPD or BPH
Did you know over 40% of American men will experience Benign Prostate Disease (BPD)? This is also know as Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) or enlarged prostate. The prostate gland is the most common site for cancer to develop, with over 300,000 new cases in the U.S. in 1996. Symptoms of BHP include but are not limited to the following:
1. Frequent urination
2. Low volume urination
3. Full bladder feeling upon completion of urination.
The medical establishment places the blame for the prostate problems on the male hormones Testosterone, and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), yet this belief generates an obvious paradox. The highest levels of testosterone and DHT occur in young men and decline with age. Yet prostate problems are almost non-existent in young men, while they increase affecting 90% of all men by the age 85.
Current Medical Treatment options include: Surgical and Drug
1. (TURP) Transurethral resection of the prostate the surgical coring out of the urine passage. The downside to a TURP procedure is that it still leaves an annoying dribbling problem.
2. Drug treatments are also used by physicians. These drug treatments include:
Finasteride ( Proscar) a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, 5-alpha reductase converts to testosterone into DHT di-hydrotesoterone a compounded believed to stimulate prostate growth.
Terazosin ( Hytrin) relaxes the urinary sphincter muscles.
Trimidex, an aromatase inhibiting drug. Aromatase inhibiting drugs prevent theconversion of the male hormone, androstendione, into an estrogen called estrone.
In a review on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and estrogen, W. Farnsworth reports that the induction of BPH is shown to be determined by the androgen [T+DHT]/estrogen ratio. S. Boehm and coworkers conclude that estrogen suppression may be considered an efficient pharmacotherapeutic strategy in the medical treatment of uncomplicated benign prostatic hyperplasia. Progesterone is often thought of as a female hormone, but both men and women need progesterone in order to have a balanced endocrine function. Progesterone for the last 15 years has been used successfully to combat estrogen dominance in women and is now proven successful in estrogen dominance in men. And as researcher Ray Peat emphasizes, one of the most important roles for progesterone is to oppose the many toxic effects of excess estrogen.
Excess estrogen is a growth-stimulating hormone in prostate tissue. The idea is that with lower levels of testosterone, a man’s body cannot convert the excess testosterone into estrogen. New studies are showing a direct connection between low testosterone to estrogen ratio and BHP. Although testosterone is the male hormone, men naturally produce small amounts of estrogen from testosterone. With aging, the testosterone/estrogen ratio drops, often dramatically. An enzyme called aromatase, especially prevalent in fat cells, converts testosterone to estrogen. Since most men lose muscle and gain fat as they age, aromatase activity increases, reducing testosterone even as it increases estrogen. Advocates of M. Krieg and colleagues note numerous experiments indicate that estrogens might also be involved in the abnormal growth of the human prostate. The data in this communication show a clear-cut, direct biochemical effect of estrogens on the human prostate and provide a cellular mechanism by which estrogens may affect prostatic physiology [negatively].
Progesterone expert Dr. John Lee noted multiple roles for progesterone in antagonizing estrogen and promoting prostate health. Progesterone inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT. DHT is a weaker androgen than testosterone, and thus lowers the androgen/estrogen ratio in favor of estrogen. In addition, DHT is a far more potent stimulant of prostate cell growth than testosterone. Both testosterone and progesterone stimulate the activity of a protective gene called p53.The products of this gene activation are anti-cancer, and promote healthy apoptosis. Apoptosis is a programmed cell suicide that plays a key role in preventing cellular overgrowth (e.g., BPH) and cancer. Estrogen, on the other hand, activates a gene called bcl2. Bcl2 products inhibit healthy apoptosis.
Progesterone may even help with prostate cancer. V. Petrow, et al reported results of their study with rats and prostate cancer in 1984. .Growth of the Dunning R 3327-H prostatic adenocarcinoma, implanted in the rat, is inhibited by 6-methylene progesterone. This compound is a potent inhibitor of rat prostatic 5-alpha-reductase [as is progesterone; 5-alphareductase is the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT] and in-vivo produced marked involution [shrinkage] of the prostate. Thus, this tumor requires dihydrotestosterone and not testosterone for growth. Andrews and colleagues also note: Another steroid hormone that interacts with the androgen receptor in LNCaP [prostate cancer] cells (progesterone) also promotes apoptosis of these cells. Dr. John Lee has recommended a preventative dose of 8-12mg of progesterone per day for men in their mid-forties and older. Progesterone therapy is especially relevant for obese men; those with a family history of prostate cancer; those with proven low androgen/low progesterone/high estrogen levels.