Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatic carcinoma (cancer) are two of the more common forms of prostate disease today. Although some scientist claim there is no known cause for either, there is actually plenty we know about prostate function. In fact, large bodies of evidence point out several common physiological imbalances are associated with abnormal changes in prostate function, which gives us major clues to some of the potential influential factors.
For example, there are studies that show varying changes in the level of the trace element zinc is associated with the normal and abnormal functioning of the prostate as well as other organs. 1
Zinc & Prostate Disease
The prostate contains the highest concentration of zinc of any gland or soft tissue in the body, and is found abundantly in prostate fluid. 2 In fact, it has been discovered that the concentrations of zinc in cancerous prostate tissues are only about 10-25% of that found in healthy prostates. This strongly suggesting that not only are high zinc concentrations essential for the healthy prostate function, but that a deficiency of it may lead to prostate disease and cancer. 3, 4, 5
Although all of the specific functions of zinc in role of regulating prostate health and metabolism are not fully known, we do know some. We have learned through experiments and evidence strongly suggests that generally speaking, zinc is needed for all prostate cell functions and survival. 6, 7
In fact, one study found that people with prostate carcinoma had a mean tissue zinc was deficient by 83% compared to normal prostate health. Also, that people with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) had a 61% decrease of zinc compared to normal prostates - both values were statistically significant. 8
When supplementing with zinc, it was found that people with prostate cancer showed a a significant increase in the urine zinc/creatinine (ratio), upward to 53% and a 20% significant increase was observed in those with BPH.
Where to Get Zinc?
This research concludes a very evident association with a deficiency of zinc and increase in urine zinc/creatinine with various forms of prostate disease. Therefore, supplementing with zinc and ensuring adequate dietary zinc intake may prove very therapeutic for treating prostate disease as well as ensuring normal prostate function.
With that being said, we will want to know the best sources of dietary zinc. Supplementing free metals may be dangerous and difficult to do without creating future imbalances or issues, so dietary zinc is the safest way to go. And there just so happens to be a few great sources of zinc you can get through food sources.
Oysters: Perhaps the number one source of zinc, containing particularly high amounts. 6 medium oysters provides up to 32 mg. of zinc, which is 290% of a man's daily recommended intake.
Beef Liver: Beef liver is another great source of bioavailable zinc. Although it contains less than oysters, a single serving of beef liver contains 4.25 milligrams of zinc, which is 38% of the RDA of zinc for men and 53 percent of the RDA for women.
- Polyrachis Black Ant: For those disinterested in consuming either oysters of beef liver, there is a third and wonderful option for zinc and that is Black Ant. As suggested, it is an extract of a particular species of ant, a common sexual tonic from Chinese Medicine. In just 1 serving (1g.) you can acquire 12-15 mg. of zinc, which is just over 100% of the RDA for men and women. Best of all, because it is an extracted powder, it can be easily mixed into coffee, smoothies or juices with little to no detection. You can learn more about Black Ant Extract here.