When you talk to your doctor about prostate health, the last thing you'd expect from him is a natural prostate solution that heads prostate troubles off at the pass.
Luckily, you have other options -- and they start with the manly mineral that's essential for your prostate health.
It's zinc, and here are the two most important things you need to know about it:
1) The highest concentrations of zinc in your body are in your prostate.
2) Up to 60 percent of American men don't get enough zinc.
Clearly, your prostate needs its zinc. And just as clearly, it's not getting it. You'll want to fix that ASAP, because studies have shown that zinc can inhibit the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT, the androgen that makes prostates swell.
In other words, shrinking zinc levels lead to a growing prostate -- and that's the one part "down there" you want to keep small.
That's not all zinc can do for you: This mineral is critical to all-around male sexual function. It can help you to maximize your testosterone production, and even make sure the testosterone you already have stays around longer.
But since your body doesn't store zinc, you need to find a way to get it every single day -- and unless you're really into oysters, that's going to mean a supplement.
Don't grab the first one off the shelf, because the most common zinc supplements are made from zinc sulfate, a form of the mineral that's lousy on stomachs.
Think gas and diarrhea. Think embarrassing moments. Then think about something gentler, like zinc citrate or zinc monomethionine. It's worth a couple extra bucks.
You don't need too much -- about 25 mg a day should do the trick for most men, and remember not to go overboard here: Too much zinc can be as bad for you as too little.
Don't stop with your minerals -- antioxidants can also play a key role in prostate health, especially the lycopene found in tomatoes. One study from Harvard found that men who ate foods high in this deep red pigment slashed their risk of prostate problems by 45 percent.
But like zinc, lycopene is something we just don't get enough of from diet alone. In fact, you'd have to eat a large tomato at every meal and two at bedtime to get what you really need.
No one loves tomatoes that much -- so while you're shopping for the right zinc supplement, pick up some lycopene as well.