Dr. Myers answers your questions on prostate health and the benefits of krill oil.
Q:Dr. Myers, I am concerned about developing an enlarged prostate. What can I do to support prostate health?
A: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as an enlarged prostate, is a common condition in men as they age. In fact, an estimated 50 percent of men have an enlarged prostate gland when they reach 60. By age 85, that number climbs to about 90 percent.
Luckily, most men with BPH have mild symptoms, with trouble urinating being the most common complaint. While unlikely, more severe cases of BPH can lead to infection and blockage of the bladder outlet. Some men find BPH can also impact their social lives, since they may avoid activities where a bathroom is not readily available.
The good news is that a combination of positive lifestyle changes and proper supplementation may support prostate health. Limiting or avoiding alcohol and caffeine, drinking plenty of water, getting regular exercise and losing weight may all contribute to a healthy prostate gland. Saw palmetto extract has also been shown to support urinary health. When selecting a saw palmetto supplement, a product dosage of 320mg is recommended, made of at least 85 percent free fatty acids; a supplement that includes phytosterol complex, vitamin B6 and zinc is also a good option.
Since symptoms of BPH can be similar to those of prostate cancer, be sure to see your physician if you think you might have an enlarged prostate, as well as before starting any supplement regimen.
Q:Dr. Myers, I’ve heard a lot about krill oil. What should I know about it, and should I add it to my supplementation regimen?
A: Krill is a small, shrimp-like crustacean that lives in the cold oceans of the world. Though small in size, krill makes up the largest animal biomass on Earth, with about 500 million tons populating northern seas. Whats unique about the oil from these crustaceans is that it contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two long strands of essential omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce certain risk factors for heart disease, in phospholipid structure, as opposed to the triglyceride form found in fish oil. Phospholipids form the structural components of the body’s cell membranes, making the DHA and EPA in krill highly absorbable.
The oil found in krill also contains astaxanthin, a very strong antioxidant that has a range of health benefits. A 2011 study published in Marine Drugs found that the antioxidant may protect against oxidative stress and associated inflammation and provide cardiovascular benefits; findings from another study in Experimental Dermatology suggest that astaxanthin may protect against UVA damage. Krill oil has also been shown to promote joint health.
Whether you’re looking to add omega-3s to your daily supplementation or want to complement your current omega-3 source, krill oil can be a great option. Since there are no established guidelines for krill oil intake, reference the dosage directions on the supplement you purchase, and be sure to talk with your health care provider before beginning any supplementation regimen.
Do you have a question about supplements?Email us at email@example.com, or write to us at Healthy Living Made Simple, 1703 Phyllis St., Suite 202, Bentonville, AR 72712.
Dr. Andrew Myers, an expert in nutrition and preventive medicine and the co-author of Health Is Wealth: 10 Power Nutrients That Increase Your Odds of Living to 100 and Health Is Wealth: Performance Nutrition. Visit healthiswealth.net for more information.