One of the biggest issues I deal with among men is prostate problems. Whether it's benign enlargement (BPH) or cancer, every male patient I see either has one of these problems or wants to prevent it. That's because the former causes urinary obstruction. The latter can kill and hits about 1 in 7 American men. The good news is there are easy ways to prevent both of them.

You probably already know that the plant nutrient lycopene is great for your prostate. But you can help it fight prostate problems even better.

By itself, lycopene can reduce PSA scores in men with BPH. But if you eat lots of onions and garlic along with the lycopene, you'll dramatically lower your risk of developing BPH in the first place.

In a recent study, researchers found that those eating the most onions and garlic had a significantly reduced risk of BPH. Compared to those who didn't eat any onions or garlic, those who ate them regularly saw their risk go down by 59% and 28%, respectively. The researchers found that eating the two together frequently will lower your risk by 35%. These are two of my favorite foods. Feel free to eat as much as you want.

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And regarding cancer, a lab study found that adding lutein to lycopene (two colorful carotenoids) makes it an even better cancer preventive. The researchers incubated cancer cells with lycopene and lutein. They discovered the combination inhibited the growth of the cells. These carotenoids have the combined ability to reduce the incidence of BPH and slow cancer growth.

If you don't like tomatoes, a prominent source of lycopene, then you can take the supplement Lyc-O-Mato. It's available at most health food stores and on the Internet. And you can take lutein and garlic in capsule form (available everywhere). But the best way to get all of these nutrients is to eat a diet heavy in fruits and veggies. Start now before the trouble hits.

Ref: Urology, 2007; 70(4 Urology, 2007; 70(4); Nutrition and Cancer, 2007; 58(2); J Nutr, 2007; 138(1).

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