Men have the risk of developing common as well as unique conditions specific to males, most of which can be prevented and/or treated. It is important to take care of each of our organs, from our heart to our prostate.
Men have unique health conditions that may present during their lifetime that are important to general health and quality of life. Some of these include:
Cancer and heart disease are still the top two causes of death in men in the U.S. and Western world, and a Nutritarian lifestyle cannot merely lower the risk of these but actually prevent them from ever occurring, as well as prevent other less severe conditions, such as enlarged prostate and erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction and low testosterone often are caused by the overall poor health of the arteries1 (atherosclerotic plaque) and metabolic syndrome.2 respectively, all related to one’s poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. This means that there is so much a man can do for his own health if he takes responsibility and adopts a Nutritarian lifestyle. Of course, staying alive longer with your full mental faculties intact is possible today with modern advances in nutritional science.
The following are sample questions from the Ask the Doctor Community Platinum and higher members can post their health questions directly to Dr. Fuhrman. (All members can browse questions and answers.)
Recently, after taking a routine blood test, my doctor informed me that my PSA was 13.4. Does this high PSA mean that I have prostate cancer? If so, does PSA determine what stage I am at? I went to see the urologist who informed me that I should do a biopsy and ultrasound. What would you advise as my next course of action?
On a global scale, testing and treating men with a PSA level like yours has not been shown to extend lifespan. There is no convincing evidence in the scientific literature that evaluating and treating prostate cancer is extending the healthy life expectancy of men. In other words, all the tests and treatments may be a big money-generating medical industry, but they do not prolong lifespan in men.
On an individual level, if I were you, I would follow a Nutritarian diet strictly (with a glass of green juice once a day) and follow up my PSA levels in 6 months to see how low I can get it to go. If it improves and does not keep rising, I would continue to only treat it nutritionally. The standard of care, however, is to get tested and treated if cancer is found, but I am less concerned with whether the biopsy shows prostate cancer or not, as I have even seen those reverse (as has Dr. Ornish). So, you have all the options, but it is still your decision. The option I am recommending here is often called "watchful waiting" by physicians.
What can I do to better my diet in order to improve my fertility?
Certain micronutrients are thought to contribute to male reproductive fitness. Oxidative stress can damage sperm. Higher blood antioxidant capacity, carotenoids, and vitamins C and E have been associated with higher sperm count and motility. Adequate folate, abundant in green vegetables, may also promote fertility by preventing DNA damage in sperm. In contrast, higher saturated fat consumption, cheese specifically, have been linked to lower semen quality. Adequate omega-3 fatty acids may also contribute to semen quality.
Couples who plan on becoming pregnant should follow a healthful, high-nutrient diet not only to better their chances of conceiving, but also to protect the future health of their children. Children’s health is influenced by their parents’ diets even before conception.
Maintaining a healthy weight and minimizing exposure to agricultural pesticides and endocrine disrupting chemicals (such as BPA and phthalates) are additional factors that can help to maintain favorable semen quality.
My wife and I have been trying to conceive for quite some time now without success. In the last check-up we did, we were both within normal range on all things.
My wife was advised to take Co-Q10 and DHEA. What is your view on these supplements? What supplements do you recommend for couples trying to conceive (For men as well as for women)?
We would not recommend DHEA but CoQ10 is fine. DHEA is a steroid hormone that should only be prescribed in a deficiency or autoimmune illness. Your body makes plenty of CoQ10 on a Nutritarian diet, and though it is not dangerous to take, it is likely a waste of money. A Nutritarian diet, with adequate intake of G-BOMBS will foster fertility. Your wife should take my Gentle Prenatal Vitamin and DHA/EPA Purity. You should take my Men’s Daily Formula and DHA/EPA Purity.
Will a Nutritarian diet help all cases of erectile dysfunction?
Strict adherence to a Nutritarian diet will help circulatory-related erectile dysfunction. The same diet-style that effectively improves circulation throughout the body improves erectile dysfunction. The reversal and removal of atherosclerotic plaque is remarkable with this program, however, there are other causes of erectile dysfunction, mainly emotional and performance anxiety that are not helped by dietary intervention. They are better treated with counseling.
My husband was told by his doctor recently that his prostate was enlarged. The doctor said it was normal for older men. His PSA tests were all fine. What are your thoughts on this?
My thoughts are that this is true and nothing to be concerned about. In studies, it has been shown that doctors are notoriously inaccurate at estimating the size of a man’s prostate by doing a rectal exam and touching the top of the prostate. In other words, whatever the doctor said is almost meaningless, and if his PSA is normal that further supports that the doctor’s statement was irrelevant.
Is there any way to decrease an enlarged prostate without prescription medication? Would a Nutritarian diet help?
I have not really seen the diet work effectively for this once symptomatic enlargement is present. Living healthfully and a lower protein diet all through early life can prevent it though.
In general, the protocol for prostate health includes a vegan or flexitarian Nutritarian diet with lots of cooked tomatoes, beans, cruciferous greens, mushrooms, pomegranate, berries, and seeds. Also, cruciferous juicing is beneficial.