How to Prevent Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer prevention - Dr Tracy Gapin

Did you know that September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month? Organizations such as the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) promote awareness and testing during the month of September, encouraging preventive testing and raising funds toward developing new treatments. ( However, prostate health education is an important topic for men year round.

Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer diagnosed in men. The PCF estimates that 1 in 9 men in the United States will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. It’s important to undergo routine screening and do everything you can to avoid prostate cancer. 

Routine screening consists of an annual PSA blood test and prostate exam. Screening should begin at the age of 50, unless you are African American or have a first degree relative with prostate cancer.  In these previously mentioned cases, testing should start at the age of 40.

Today we’re going to talk about some steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer. Remember that small decisions you make every day can go a long way!  

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month Topics:

Sex is Fun!

A study by the National Institutes of Health in 2004 initially suggested that frequent sexual activity might reduce the incidence of prostate cancer.

The Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which followed 32,000 men for 18 years, also supports this. Men with frequent sexual activity showed a 20% lower risk of prostate cancer. Jennifer Rider, the study’s lead author, suggests, “Safe sexual activity could be good for prostate health.” Studies also show that regular sexual activity reduces stress and improves mood.

Sex and prostate cancer prevention - Dr Tracy Gapin and Smart Men's Health Blog

How can exercise prevent prostate cancer?

Evidence is mounting that inflammation and oxidation both play key roles in the development of prostate cancers and other conditions. Fortunately, research from the prevention side suggests that regular exercise may be one of the best natural antioxidants.

A study published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology specifically evaluated the effects of exercise in prostate cancer patients. They studied men who exercised vigorously for at least 3 hours per week. 49% showed reduced overall mortality, and 61% reduced prostate cancer mortality, compared to men having less than 1 hour per week of vigorous activity.

Other studies show that exercise is effective at reducing risks of prostate cancer development, possibly decreasing prostate cancer development, and diminishing the side effects that may be caused by treatment medications. A recent Swedish study supported these findings, concluding that both resistance training and aerobic exercise clearly improve prostate cancer-specific and overall survival.

And, don’t forget that intense exercise can actually alter your DNA. A period of intense exercise can positively change your gene regulation.

Medications – Proscar and Avodart

Proscar and Avodart are prescriptions that men use to “shrink” the prostate by lowering the number of male sex hormones. The drugs block an enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a much more potent hormone.

The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) studied whether finasteride (Proscar) reduced the incidence of prostate cancer. The trial found that men who had taken finasteride developed fewer prostate cancers than in men who had not. However, the men who had taken finasteride and developed prostate cancer had more aggressive tumors. The number of deaths from prostate cancer was the same in both groups.

The Reduction by Dutasteride of Prostate Cancer Events Study (REDUCE) studied whether the drug dutasteride (Avodart) reduced the risk of prostate cancer. This study also showed that there were fewer prostate cancer diagnoses in men who took dutasteride compared with the men who did not. Overall, Avodart did not significantly reduce the number of aggressive cancers though.

What about testosterone replacement therapy?

The news media has fueled concerns that there may be an adverse connection between testosterone replacement therapy and increased prostate cancer risk, but studies have not borne this out.

A recent study looked at over 1,000 men who were receiving testosterone therapy. Over the 5 years the researchers conducted the study, only eleven (or 1%) of the men’s doctors diagnosed them with prostate cancer. This is well below the historically-expected 7% incidence. These men did not appear to experience any increased prostate cancer risk with their testosterone replacement.

Another study assessed almost 150,000 men who had previously undergone treatment for prostate cancer and were currently receiving testosterone replacement therapy. Researchers found no increase in prostate cancer mortality or overall mortality in the men receiving testosterone.

A recent study actively monitored men with low grade prostate cancer. These men’s doctors were also treating them with testosterone therapy. The study concluded there was no significant progression of disease in these men either.

In fact, a recent report suggests that testosterone therapy may actually be therapeutic in men with hormone-refractory advanced prostate cancer.

Studies show that low testosterone levels correlate with an increased risk of prostate cancer. This finding is somewhat counter-intuitive given the scientific community’s longstanding notion that hormone therapy “pours gas on the fire” of prostate cancer. But the literature clearly shows that testosterone therapy does NOT increase your risk of prostate cancer.

Will statins help or hinder?

 Researchers have been interested in the possible connection of cholesterol-reducing medications and prostate cancer. Several of the 18 trials researchers conducted, revealed a reduced risk of cancer recurrence after both surgery and radiation therapy. These trials suggest that statins may reduce the progression of prostate cancer.

Ongoing research continues to look into this possibility, as well as to determine whether statins may also reduce the incidence of prostate cancer.

Metformin and Men's Health - Dr Tracy Gapin

How about Metformin?

Metformin is a prescription medication used primarily to manage diabetes. Studies suggest Metformin may have a protective effect on the progression of prostate cancer. A study of nearly 4,000 diabetic men found those men taking Metformin, when diagnosed with prostate cancer, were less likely to die from cancer or other causes than men taking other diabetes drugs.

Prior research looking at whether metformin might reduce the risk of prostate cancer development did not show a benefit. More studies are currently underway to look at both prevention and management.

What about taking aspirin?

The jury is still out on how or whether aspirin might help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. After extensive studies on aspirin’s effects, researchers found many of the studies demonstrated it had a protective effect and others did not.

If your doctor has you on an aspirin regimen after a heart attack or stroke, follow their current recommendations.

Are there other things I can do?

Absolutely! There are many lifestyle choices that will not only help you prevent prostate cancer, but also boost overall health and well-being, reduce stress, and improve fitness. Many of the dietary recommendations experts have already proven as successful for weight loss, will also reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer.

Your Diet Matters!

Start by adopting a diet lower in saturated fats and higher in plant-based fats. Your body and brain need fat to thrive, but studies have shown that a diet high in animal fats was more likely to be associated with an increased risk for prostate cancer.

A number of studies have shown that men who ate the most dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt on a daily basis had a higher risk of prostate cancer. Studies are conflicting, but the mechanism could be because of the presence of saturated fat, insulin-like growth factor (IGF), or elevated hormone levels.

Some fats are superstars, however. Studies have linked the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish such as salmon, tuna, and herring to reduced prostate cancer risk. If fish isn’t your favorite, try a good quality fish oil supplement. Avoid trans-fatty acids, though, as numerous studies proved they promote cancer. The most common foods containing trans-fatty acids are butter and processed or fried foods.

BBQ’s are fun – but charred meat, not so much

Overcooking or charring meat creates carcinogenic compounds called heterocyclic amines. Animal studies have shown that these can cause prostate cancer. In addition, charbroiling red meat or chicken with skin produces another set of carcinogens called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). 

Research shows that intake of PAHs triggers mutations in prostate cell DNA, leading to a chronic inflammatory response in the prostate. We’ve already discussed that inflammation leads to an increased risk of development of prostate cancer. It appears that the combination of mutation and inflammation appear to be a key in this development. 

Steaming or baking meats, thereby avoiding overcooking meats, can significantly reduce the amount of carcinogens present.

The bitter truth about sugar

Cutting the amount of simple sugars and carbohydrates you intake may slow prostate cancer growth. Studies have linked excess sugar intake to prostate cancer growth through increased insulin levels. 

Compounding the problem, insulin resistance has been shown to reduce levels of proteins that are important for stimulating prostate cancer cell death. Numerous studies have shown that sugar “feeds” cancer cells. 

ANOTHER reason not to eat gluten

Doctors typically recommended adopting a gluten-free diet to aid patients with celiac disease, an inflammatory bowel condition. By reducing inflammation, a gluten-free diet may have a role in cancer prevention as well. Foods with no gluten include all fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and eggs.

Many believe the vitamins and minerals present in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Although, studies have yet to prove any specific nutrient guarantees to reduce your risk. Cruciferous vegetables have unique antioxidant properties that seem to enable them to counteract some of the damage caused by carcinogens. A well-rounded selection of fruits and vegetables introduces necessary enzymes and tends to make you feel fuller, so you have less room for other high-fat, high-calorie foods.

A tomato a day keeps cancer away? Well, it’s a pretty good start! Kudos for Prostate Cancer Awareness!

Several animal studies have suggested that lycopenes, present mostly in tomatoes, may reduce prostate tumor growth. Some human studies have shown that a diet high in lycopene may be linked to a decreased risk of prostate cancer.  Other studies are inconclusive.

Note that these studies utilize the whole, fresh tomato, not the sugar-laden spaghetti sauce. There is no data showing a benefit to taking lycopene supplements in lieu of the real food.

To reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, men should reach for foods rich in antioxidants and nutrients and low in pro-inflammatory and carcinogenic substances.  Colorful fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, leafy and pungent greens, seeds, nuts, and berries all contain powerful anti-cancer nutrients. 

The Mediterranean isn’t just a great place to vacation

Consider adopting the Mediterranean diet, loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, tomatoes, garlic, fish, red wine, and olive oil. This heart-healthy diet may be very beneficial for prostate cancer prevention, and will keep the whole family fit and well!

30-Day Health Challenge for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Whether it’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month or any time during the year, check out the 30-Day Health Challenge for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. It was developed specifically to increase your knowledge around reducing your risk for prostate cancer, yet it is an excellent all-around way to rethink your lifestyle.

I designed the challenges to help you look at your current situation and consider areas of change and improvement. Many of the daily challenges will benefit women as well, especially Day 24, Day 28, and all of the other non-prostate-specific days!  

Regardless of your diet or lifestyle, knowledge is one of the biggest and best ways to reduce prostate cancer risk. By staying informed on the latest research and developments regarding prostate cancer research, men can make small changes that can lead to big improvements.

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Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS  is a board-certified Urologist,  world renowned Men’s Health & Performance Expert, Author, and Professional Speaker. Using state-of-the-art biometric monitoring, nutrition and lifestyle intervention, Dr. Gapin coaches Fortune 500 executives and evolutionary leaders of business, sports medicine, and high performance. He specializes in cutting-edge precision medicine with an emphasis on epigenetics, providing men with a personalized path to optimizing health & performance.

Want more tips to optimize your health?  Listen to the latest podcasts. Click HERE

What Does A High PSA REALLY Mean?

PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, is often thought of as an immediate signal of prostate cancer—but is it really? Doctors have discovered that a high PSA level does not necessarily correlate to prostate cancer. There could be other health and lifestyle factors impacting your PSA test results.

What do PSA levels mean and what could cause an elevated level that isn’t prostate cancer?

What is PSA?

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the prostate cells. The PSA test is used as a simple blood test to screen for prostate cancer. It’s also used to monitor men who have previously undergone prostate cancer treatment to reevaluate where they stand.

At your yearly checkup after age 50, your doctor will likely run a PSA test in your blood panel. PSA is generally reported as nanograms of PSA per milliliter of blood (ng/mL). Often, a PSA test will be performed in conjunction with a digital rectal exam (DRE) to test for potential prostate cancer.

There seems to be a link between PSA level and incidence and aggressiveness of prostate cancer. However, there are still small amounts of PSA found in the blood of healthy men, and doctors don’t yet have evidence of what a “normal” PSA looks like.

If you have “high” PSA levels, your doctor may want to do a biopsy to check for cancer. However, elevated or rising PSA doesn’t necessarily mean prostate cancer—as we’ll explore further below.

Read: Does My Husband Have Prostate Cancer?

What is considered a “high” PSA level?

The average PSA level that is a “cause of possible concern” is above 3 ng/mL. Some studies have shown that biopsy-detected prostate cancer is “not rare” in men with PSA levels over 4.0 ng/mL. For younger men, PSA levels should be much lower.

However, an elevated PSA doesn’t automatically mean you have prostate cancer. In fact, 13% of men over 55 have a PSA level of greater than 4 ng/mL without necessarily having prostate cancer.

One study wanted to better understand what a “normal” PSA looks like. Researchers followed 4,383 healthy men for 28 years. They found the 10-year absolute risk for developing prostate cancer was 11-22% for men with PSA of 4.01-10.0 ng/mL and 37-79% for those with PSA of greater than 10.0 ng/mL.

In this case, 10.0 ng/mL seems to be the significant point at which PSA could prove a higher incidence of prostate cancer.

This study insinuated that PSA level is directly correlated to prostate cancer risk, especially at a higher PSA.

But does this always hold true?

This link between PSA and prostate cancer is good to keep in mind as you follow your health. Knowing that there’s a correlation between PSA and prostate cancer risk, aggression, and mortality rates can help you catch possible cancer while it’s small and less aggressive.

More importantly than even the PSA level is the PSA velocity. Your PSA levels shouldn’t rise more than 0.5 year to year. If so, this could indicate a change in the prostate—like prostate cancer.

Does PSA cause prostate cancer?

PSA doesn’t cause prostate cancer. PSA is simply a protein made in the prostate.

However, PSA could be a result of prostate cancer. Cancer might cause the prostate to create this protein at a higher rate, leading to higher PSA levels.

But cancer is not the only thing that causes the prostate to make this protein, thus raising PSA levels. Also, cancer doesn’t necessarily boost PSA levels.

This means that PSA and prostate cancer are not causal. Although prostate cancer and PSA are linked, there could be other factors going on that we don’t yet understand.

It’s important to note the difference between correlation and causality here because an elevated PSA does not always mean prostate cancer and prostate cancer will not always result in increased prostate levels.

Your PSA test can result in a false positive or a false negative.

A “high” PSA test is a good cancer warning sign, but it is not a death sentence.

So what other factors can cause an elevated PSA and what can you do about it?

What are the reasons for an elevated PSA?

There are only three reasons for an elevated PSA: BPH, prostate infection, or cancer.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is one of the most common causes of an elevated PSA level. BPH is an enlarged prostate, and it’s a common concern for older men. This prostate enlargement causes the prostate to make more protein cells and raise PSA levels. There is no proven link between BPH and prostate cancer.

Learn more about BPH here.

Prostatitis, an infection in the prostate, can cause the prostate to create more PSA to help fight off the bad bacteria. Prostate infection also often leads to prostatitis, which is an inflammation of the prostate gland (similar to BPH).

Prostatitis is a common problem, especially for men under age 50. It is generally from an infection or bacteria that irritate the prostate. Symptoms include pain with urination, fever, pressure in rectum, difficulties ejaculating, and change in sexual function. Thankfully, prostatitis is usually treated with a round of antibiotics.

Read: Prostate Health Foods For Men – Add These 3 To Your Diet

And then there’s prostate cancer.

There may be other “influencers,” like trauma or medications, but these don’t typically raise the PSA enough to influence testing.

How do you know if it’s BPH, prostate infection, or cancer?

First, your doctor will try to figure out if you have BPH or a prostate infection. You can diagnose these much easier than prostate cancer. For example, you can usually tell from blood or a urine sample if there’s an infection in the system.

However, it’s not always easy to diagnose BPH. You could show up clean as a whistle with no sign of infection, and your doctor may not be able to determine if it’s BPH or cancer.

That’s when additional testing may be necessary.

Thankfully, “additional testing” isn’t as scary as it used to be. Learn more about our updated prostate cancer screening methods here.

Do I need a PSA test?

The PSA test won’t tell you why your levels are increased. Thus, a lot of men get unnecessarily worried or stressed after a “high” PSA result. A high PSA often calls for a biopsy, which can have unpleasant side effects.

To avoid this, the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) used to recommend against testing for PSA in healthy men. (“Healthy” men are those with no known risks, symptoms, or family history of prostate cancer.)  
However, the USPSTF made a few changes to this position in 2017. The new USPSTF screening draft encourages doctors to discuss the benefits and harms of the PSA test to allow men to determine whether or not they would like to include it in their workup.

If you are above 50, I recommend a PSA test on a yearly basis. I discuss with my patients how an elevated PSA does not necessarily mean cancer and there is no need to worry. Nevertheless, it can be a useful means of potential detection in the early stages of prostate cancer.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Testing your PSA levels is an ounce of prevention that can help stop prostate cancer in its tracks.

If you have an elevated PSA level, follow-up with a doctor but do not assume you have cancer.

When do I need a PSA test?

I recommend a PSA test for all men over age 50 at your yearly checkup. It’s a simple, minimally invasive blood test just like your other screenings.  

You should also get your PSA levels tested if you show any symptoms of prostate cancer:

However, it’s important to note that a lot of the symptoms of prostate cancer are also symptoms of BPH, urinary tract infection, or prostatitis.

If you’re showing the above symptoms, it’s time to see a doctor—but it’s not time to stress.

Did you know you can reduce your risk of prostate cancer with lifestyle changes and diet?

Bottom line

The PSA test is not 100% accurate in its ability to predict risk or aggression of prostate cancer. It can be a sign of infection or BPH, and it’s no use worrying about—yet.

Nevertheless, a PSA test is a harmless way to get an idea of where your sexual health stands. Don’t be afraid of a PSA test…and don’t be afraid of the results.

If you want support with a recent PSA result, check out our Male 90X program to learn how to handle stress and change your lifestyle for ultimate health and wellness!

It’s time to take control of your physical and mental wellbeing. Don’t wait to live— GET MALE 90X today!


Want more tips to optimize your health and testosterone?

Listen to the latest podcasts. Click HERE


Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS – Board Certified Urologist in Sarasota, Men’s Health Optimization Expert and Medical Director of Sarasota Apeiron Center for Human Potential. Founder of    


11 Ways Zinc Controls Your Health And Sex Life

Did you know that there is 5mg of zinc expended with each ejaculation?

Did you also know that the highest concentration of zinc is found in your prostate cells?

That’s because zinc plays a critical role in sexual health. It’s a building block for sperm quality, prostate health, and testosterone levels.

Zinc is one of the most vital nutrients for libido, fertility, and sexual prowess.

It is also important for overall wellness, impacting immunity, protein synthesis, and cellular function.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the importance of zinc for overall health and sexual wellbeing.

What is zinc?

Zinc is an essential mineral that plays an important role in your health. Your body needs it just as much as Mother earth needs it.

In fact, your body can’t function properly without zinc because it is found in every cell in your body. It’s also found in your major organs, fluids, and tissues. It’s found in especially high concentrations in semen and within the prostate gland.

What are the benefits of zinc?

Zinc is a key component in over 300 enzymes and it facilitates natural enzyme activity, including the production of protein. “Protein” is what your body is made of. Your skin, hair, and nails are all made of protein. Zinc is a vital and necessary component of the protein synthesis process, which makes it essential for healing wounds because your body needs zinc to produce the skin (protein) that will cover the wound.

Zinc also plays an important role in the cell. Since Zinc is an antioxidant, it helps protect your cells from oxidative stress. These harmful free radicals, aka “oxidative stress,” can cause disease, aging, and cancer. This antioxidant property also makes zinc a great boost for immune health.

Zinc is also highly linked to sexual health, including testosterone levels, prostate vigor, sperm motility and count, and fertility. We’ll dive into this more below.

Zinc is even necessary for adequate smell and taste reception! That’s right. You need zinc if you want to taste a lemon or stop to smell a rose.

Unfortunately, your body can’t make zinc on its own as it can with other vitamins, so you need to intake zinc through food and supplements.

What is zinc deficiency?

An estimated 17% of the global population suffers from a zinc deficiency. However, this deficiency is much more common in the developing world as it’s associated with an imbalanced or poor diet. Most Americans get enough zinc in their diet to maintain at least moderate levels of zinc in their body.

However, even if you aren’t fully “deficient” in zinc, low levels can cause serious health concerns, especially with regards to sexual health.

Vegetarians and vegans are most at risk for low zinc, as a majority of our daily intake of zinc comes from meat or fish.

Men over 65 can also have low zinc levels. This is because, with age, the body has more trouble absorbing nutrients. It’s also possible that some men eat less meat as they age because they are trying to minimize their cholesterol or high blood pressure. A minimized diet can create nutrient deficiencies, like low zinc levels.

Certain conditions can also interfere with the absorption of zinc and other nutrients:

  • Chron’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ulcers
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Eating disorders

Certain medications, like diuretics, can impact the body’s ability to properly absorb essential nutrients.

What are the symptoms of zinc deficiency?

Symptoms (and effects) of low zinc include:

  • Frequent illness or colds
  • Chronic respiratory issues or pneumonia
  • Skin rashes
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Hair loss or thinning
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Mental tiredness
  • Slow healing wounds
  • Acne/dermatitis/psoriasis
  • Sensory impairment, especially taste and smell

Most importantly, low zinc can cause low testosterone, low libido, and drastically diminished sexual health.

Why is zinc important for health?

Zinc plays a number of critical roles in the body. Below, I’ll go through some of the proven ways zinc can impact your health—starting with the ones you care about the most – its impact on your sex life.

1. Balances testosterone levels

A number of studies have shown a proportional link between zinc and testosterone. More zinc = more testosterone. Low zinc = low testosterone.

A study in 1996 looked at young men with normal testosterone levels. They were put on a zinc-deficient diet for five months. Researchers found that these participants’ total testosterone levels dropped by nearly 50%.

Simultaneously, they looked at a second population. Researchers gave zinc gluconate to older men with low testosterone levels. After five months of zinc supplementation, their total testosterone levels had doubled.

This proved that zinc affects the amount of testosterone in the body.

Basically, no zinc means no testosterone and high zinc means high testosterone.

Another study of elite wrestlers found that total and free testosterone was higher following zinc supplementation than without supplementation. This was true both at rest and after exercise.

This concluded that zinc supplementation has a direct effect on testosterone regardless of diet and exercise.

We aren’t exactly sure why zinc plays a role in maintaining healthy testosterone levels. Experts believe that zinc inhibits the aromatase enzyme. This enzyme transforms testosterone into estrogen. If zinc can intercept this enzyme, it can prevent this conversion, thus preserving the body’s free testosterone.

In reverse, low zinc levels may increase the rate of transformation of testosterone to estrogen, like the low levels of vitamin D does.

One study found that zinc could be a useful erectile dysfunction treatment for those with long-term kidney disease. It does this by boosting testosterone levels.

So why does the zinc-testosterone link matter?

Because testosterone is the foundation of your manliness. Low testosterone is linked to low libido, fatigue, low muscle mass, brain fog, and even erectile dysfunction.

If you want high sexual function and overall health, you need strong testosterone levels and avoiding low testosterone levels may be as simple as ensuring you have adequate zinc intake.

2. Promotes a healthy prostate

Normal prostate tissue has 10x more zinc than other tissue cells in the body. Research has shown that zinc is found in healthful prostatic fluid and semen.

However, studies have also shown that cancerous or diseased prostate tissue has significantly less zinc than healthy organ tissue.

There is a direct relationship here. A healthy prostate has high levels of zinc. An unhealthy prostate has low zinc.  

Additionally, research has shown that zinc isn’t just a result of a healthy prostate—it’s a critical component that keeps the prostate healthy. For example, studies show that high levels of zinc can reduce the risk of BPH (an enlarged prostate) and prostatitis. This is likely due to zinc’s anti-inflammatory properties.

Zinc abundance may also help fight the risk of prostate cancer. One study found that taking 15mg of zinc showed a 66% reduction in the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. Another study found that a higher intake of zinc was linked to a 36% reduced risk of dying from prostate cancer.

It’s not proven that zinc deficiency causes prostate cancer or that zinc intake conclusively prevents it… but there is definitely a correlation.

Read: Can You Prevent Prostate Cancer Through Diet?

3. Boosts sperm count, quality, and motility

If you are looking to be a father, you need healthy sperm. This means you need a high sperm count with strong motility.

Zinc plays a direct role in the health and quality of your sperm (and thus your fertility). Your testes need enough zinc in order to produce sperm. Zinc deficiency is linked to decreased sperm motility. Generally, men with lower levels of zinc have lower sperm counts and an increased rate of abnormal sperm morphology.

But high levels of zinc are linked to strengthened sperm and fertility. One study found that 66mg of zinc was actually able to increase sperm counts in sub-fertile men. (Don’t try this at home, though. Over 40mg of zinc daily can be toxic if not monitored by a physician.)  

Another study found that a combined supplement of zinc, folic acid, and golden root improved ejaculatory control of men with previous premature ejaculation concerns.  

4. Improves endurance and energy

Zinc facilitates the conversion of energy. Your body uses zinc to turn food into usable energy. If you don’t have enough zinc, your body starts to lose energy. This leads to low endurance, reduced muscle strength, and even minimized organ function.

Studies have shown that zinc supplementation may be able to increase endurance and performance.

This energy boost keeps you motivated throughout the day… and throughout the night when it’s time to get sexy. Who doesn’t want greater endurance in the bedroom?

5. Enhances immunity

Zinc is a strong antioxidant that can help neutralize free radicals to keep your immune system strong and thriving. It also increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection.

Zinc creates more white blood cells and more aggressive white blood cells. This means your cells can release a greater number of antibodies to fight off illness faster and more forcefully. 

Because of this, zinc is often used as an infection fighter—especially for the common cold. 

The Cleveland Clinic published a report in 1996 that made a huge splash in the medical world. They found that zinc reduced the severity and duration of a cold by nearly 58%. (However, some have speculated this was slightly exaggerated to sell a new product.)

Still, literature has come to conclude that zinc can help attack cold viruses and boost the immune system.  

You’ll even find zinc lozenges and nose sprays for over-the-counter cold and flu relief.

An enhanced immune system is especially important as we age and as our bodies naturally start to slow down. Thus, zinc could be a potential solution to slow this decline and maintain one’s immunity against disease and infection.

6. Thickens hair

As discussed earlier, zinc plays an important role in protein synthesis. Your hair is made of keratin, which is a type of protein. Zinc is a building block of hair.

Low levels of zinc can cause weak, brittle hair. This can often result in thinning hair or balding.

However, high levels of zinc lead to thick, luscious locks that won’t stop growing.

Thus, zinc may help slow down and even reverse the process of growing bald. There are even some topical products that have zinc as an active ingredient to help hair regrow!

7. Heals cells

Your body is subjected to free radicals on a daily basis. From pollution to fatty foods, your cells are constantly bombarded with oxidative damage (which is what causes disease and illness).

Even exercising causes damage. You stress out your body, breaking down your muscles on a cellular level. During the recovery period, your cells have to rebuild.

Your cells use zinc to synthesize the protein needed to rebuild your muscles. With available zinc, your body can make more protein, which makes your muscles grow back bigger and stronger.

So zinc plays a dynamic role. It helps prevent oxidative damage that hurts cells and it helps cells to rebuild after receiving damage.  

(It’s important to note that working out causes heavy sweating and low-calorie intake, both of which can cause insufficient zinc levels. Thus, it’s especially important to intake more zinc on heavy workout days, like HIIT lifting.)

8. Improves brain health

There are high concentrations of zinc found in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.

A study at MIT and Duke University found that zinc doesn’t just hang out in the hippocampus; it plays a role in long-term memory and learning. You need sufficient levels of zinc to keep your brain cells working properly.

Another study found that zinc may help protect the brain from viruses and toxins. Healthy zinc levels may actually help defend against brain diseases like schizophrenia, seizures, and even addiction.

9. Improves heart health

Like your muscles and brain, zinc plays a role in cellular restoration and healing the heart. This can help prevent heart concerns and maintain heart health after any damage has occurred (like after a heart attack).

Because zinc is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant, it helps minimize plaque buildup and cardiovascular disease. One study gave 40 healthy older adults 45mg of zinc gluconate daily for six months. They found that it had a positive impact on minimizing factors of atherosclerosis (cardiovascular disease). A second study found that zinc helped protect the myocardium (heart muscle) from damage.

Zinc protects your cells from damage, which in turn can protect your heart from damage.

10. Improves liver and gut health

The antioxidant powers of zinc may help detox the liver and rebalance the gut.

Research has shown that zinc boosts metallothionein (MT), which is a detoxifying compound. Low MT levels make the liver sensitive to potential damage, especially alcohol damage. High MT levels help stabilize the gastrointestinal tract to minimize inflammation.

Thus, zinc supplementation may help boost detoxifying effects, stabilize the GI tract, and reduce inflammation, which in turn, boosts immunity by clearing the major organs of extra “gunk!”

Learn about the dangers of chronic inflammation in the gut here.

11. Fights adult acne

If you’re suffering from adult acne, it’s likely that your hormones are unbalanced.

Zinc can help overcome unsightly (and annoying) acne in three ways.

  1. Zinc helps rebalance your hormones by boosting testosterone levels.
  2. It’s an anti-inflammatory agent, which means it can be applied as an ointment to help blemishes heal faster.
  3. Zinc is involved in protein synthesis, which helps wounds (like acne) heal faster to be replaced with new, healthy skin.

How can I get the zinc I need?

The daily recommended intake of zinc is 11mg. Most people consume 13mg of zinc daily.

If you’re eating a balanced diet, you’re probably getting the zinc you need.
You’ll find zinc in:

  • Lean red meat
  • Dark meat chicken
  • Liver
  • Seafood
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Whole grains

Oysters have the highest levels of zinc. There is about 74mg of zinc in a 3-oz serving of oysters. This high level of zinc is what makes oysters such an aphrodisiac. The zinc helps your testosterone levels skyrocket, which makes your libido off the charts!

Protein diets also have zinc. Beef, pork, lamb, and chicken will give you the most zinc for the smallest amount. Four ounces of lean beef will give you 5-6mg of zinc, which is half the daily recommendation.

Don’t overeat your meat, though. A high-protein diet can be just as damaging as a low-protein one; Everything in moderation!

Yes, you can have a small cut of steak to boost your zinc when you go out with your friends. Just be mindful of how much meat versus veggies, carbs, and fat that you’re consuming to avoid damaging your system.

Did you know that what you eat can even impact your genes?

If you’re not getting the zinc you need from your diet, there are zinc supplemental options as well. Most multivitamins will include small doses of zinc in them. Other zinc options include zinc+:

  • Gluconate
  • Sulfate
  • Acetate
  • Orotate (most accessible for the body)

You should not get more than 40mg of zinc daily. This can put you in toxic levels that may damage your health. High levels of supplemented zinc can also cause a harmful copper deficiency. If taking zinc vitamins, you might want to add copper to your supplemental regimen as well.

If you’re using zinc as a means of therapy, work with your doctor to create a plan that will boost your health without harmful side effects.

Should I supplement zinc for sexual health?

Zinc is not a proven treatment for sexual health concerns. However, it’s worth discussing zinc supplementation with your doctor.

Zinc therapy is different than other treatments because it helps raise your testosterone levels naturally. You’re not using synthetic hormones, like with testosterone replacement therapy. Your body uses zinc to prevent the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. This helps preserve testosterone, thus boosting free-floating and overall T levels.

Zinc supplementation also has a number of other benefits inside and outside the bedroom.

Work with your doctor to make sure you have sufficient zinc levels for optimal health.

Want to start improving your sexual and overall wellness in a few short weeks?  Sign up for our newsletter and schedule a consult.


Happy Men’s Health Month!

Happy Men’s Health Month! June is our favorite month because it’s a period dedicated to education and awareness about men’s wellness. This is a great opportunity for the media, healthcare providers, and public policy creators to bring men’s sexual health to the forefront of the healthcare conversation.

Did you know that the life expectancy for males is 76.1 years, while the life expectancy for females is 81.2 years?

Although it’s possible that there are genetic factors, most experts believe that behavior plays a larger role in the shortened life expectancy of the American male.  

This June, it’s time to commit to your health. With awareness and understanding of common men’s health concerns, you can reduce your risk of serious health concerns.

What are common male health concerns?

Not every man will have the same lifestyle, behaviors, and health risks. However, there are a number of diseases that affect a large percentage of men, especially with age.  

Below are the most common male health concerns and their typical causes or risk factors.

Heart disease

The most prominent male health threat is heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S., accounting for nearly 1 in 4 male deaths. It’s much more common in men than women, with over 3/4 of sudden cardiac events occurring in men.

One of the most frightening statistics about heart disease is that half of the men who die suddenly from heart disease have no previous symptoms.

Though not showing symptoms, research has proven that heart disease can be preventable. The key factors for high risk of heart disease are all controllable:

  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use

Other significant risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking. Unfortunately, though, half of American men have at least one of these three risk factors—even though these are entirely dependent upon lifestyle choices.

Heart disease isn’t something to mess with. At the very least, it can cause erectile dysfunction and reduced quality of life. At the worst, it can be fatal. 

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men (except for skin cancer). It is often treatable, but it’s the second leading cause of cancer death behind lung cancer. In America, 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, and 1 in 41 will die of it.

Prostate cancer is rare before age 40 and becomes much more frequent after age 65. Nearly 6 of 10 diagnosed cases occur in men over the age of 65, and the average age of diagnosis is 66. 

Early detection is key to treating prostate cancer. It is completely curable if caught early enough. In fact, with early detection, the 5-year relative survival rate of prostate cancer is 99%, the 10-year survival rate is 98%, and the 15-year survival rate is 96%. Thus, it’s recommended that prostate cancer screening start at age 50 and occur at least every five years. For some men, doctors may recommend yearly screenings.

Risks for prostate cancer include age, family history, race, nationality, sedentary lifestyle, diet, calcium, obesity, beer, smoking, height, and Agent Orange.

Learn more about prostate cancer here.

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common concern for men, affecting about 40% of men in their 40s, 50% of men in their 50s, 60% of men in their 60s, and 70% of men in their 70s. ED also called impotence, is when a man cannot get or sustain an erection long enough to have satisfying sexual intercourse. It becomes a long-term concern that can impact sexual health, relationships, and even mental health.

Although it’s more common for men of older age, studies suggest that 1 in 4 men seeking treatment for ED are under the age of 40. Those under age 40 also often have more severe symptoms of erectile dysfunction.  

Erectile dysfunction is often not a disease in and of itself. It is usually a symptom or side effect of another serious health concern like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity. ED is often one of the first warning signs that something serious is going on in the body.

Thus, if you’ve been experiencing ongoing erectile dysfunction, you want to talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will usually consider ED as a symptom, so they will screen you for other potential concerns as well.  

There are a number of potential causes of erectile dysfunction including:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Performance anxiety
  • Smoking
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Neurological diseases
  • Hormonal disorders
  • BPH
  • Low testosterone
  • Peyronie’s disease
  • Prostate cancer treatment
  • Porn addiction

ED can also be a side effect of certain medications you’re taking—including the medications that could be causing your ED in the first place. Work with your doctor to understand where your ED is coming from and what you can do about it.

Check out more erectile dysfunction resources here!

Low testosterone

Testosterone is the “man” hormone. It’s the most important hormone in maintaining male health including muscle mass, hair growth, bone density, red blood cell development, and sex drive. It also plays a role in cognitive function, mood stability, exercise endurance, and energy.  

Testosterone levels naturally decline with age. But this decline can create serious health problems for men. Low testosterone can cause:

  • Lower libido
  • Fatigue
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Mood changes
  • Reduced cognitive function
  • Poor memory
  • Arthritis
  • Increased risk of heart disease

Men with low testosterone often present a general feeling of “un-wellness.” If you’ve been feeling “off” recently, you may be dealing with low testosterone.

There are natural ways to boost testosterone, and there is the possibility of replacement therapies if lifestyle changes aren’t showing fast results. You can quickly overcome low testosterone if you commit to your health and wellness! 


A stroke is caused by a clot or ruptured blood vessel that cuts off blood flow to the brain. This can cause lasting brain damage that can have serious and fatal implications.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., numbering about 800,000 deaths yearly with an additional 130,000 from stroke-related complications. Men are at a higher risk of stroke than women.

There is an increased risk of stroke in those who smoke, have high blood pressure, have diabetes, abuse drugs or alcohol, are overweight or obese, or live a sedentary lifestyle. Don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk for something that could permanently damage your brain.


Diabetes is when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin (type 1) and/or can’t use its insulin properly (type 2). This causes sugar levels to rise, which can create serious health concerns. It increases the risk of heart disease and impacts eyes, kidneys, and nervous system. It’s also directly linked to increased prevalence of erectile dysfunction.

The risks for type 2 diabetes and complications from diabetes include smoking, being overweight, sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It’s also more common in men over age 40.

See if you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes with this 60-second online test.


After age 40, the prostate can start to grow. This is called benign prostate enlargement, and it’s “mostly” benign. Although it isn’t dangerous, it can create a number of sexual health concerns for men. It mostly impacts the urinary tract, creating a number of “bathroom” problems like a sudden urge to go to the bathroom or a slow urine stream.

BPH has also been linked to erectile dysfunction and other metabolic diseases. This is because the prostate typically grows when there’s a change in the prostate cells. This can be due to infection, prostate cancer, prostate cancer treatment, age, or other factors.

Although BPH is itself not harmful, it’s often the first sign of another underlying factor. Enlargement is a signal that something in your body is changing your prostate cell makeup—and it’s not a sign to be ignored.


Mental health is equally—if not more—important than physical health. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America, and almost 45,000 people die by suicide yearly. Men die by suicide 3.53x more than women, and the rate is higher in middle age.

Too many men feel like they’re drowning with no route for escape. Men’s health month is the perfect time to open up the conversation about men’s mental health.

If you are struggling or feeling lost, it’s important that you realize you’re not alone—and you won’t feel this way forever. Find a local professional or support system to take the first steps towards regaining your life.

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is the term used to describe a collection of conditions that increase the risk for diseases, like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Conditions of metabolic syndrome include:

  •     Insulin resistance (pre-diabetes)
  •     Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  •     High cholesterol
  •     High blood sugar
  •     Obesity 

Metabolic syndrome is a direct cause of lifestyle choices like diet and exercise.

Did you know…

Chronic inflammation may be the link between all of the above diseases including heart disease, cancer, stroke, depression, and Alzheimer’s. Preventing chronic inflammation may help minimize the risk of disease. Learn more about chronic inflammation here.

How can you protect your health?

Handsome businessman with eyeglasses working from home

I didn’t present you with all the major male health problems to scare you. I’m not here to spook you. Rather, I’m here to remind you of your own mortality—as well as your CONTROL over your mortality.

All of these diseases are preventable with the right lifestyle changes and behaviors. So what can you do to make sure you’re maintaining your health and wellness this June—and the rest of the year?

  1. Get yearly screenings.

When was the last time you went for an annual checkup? If it was more than a year ago, it’s time to go get screened.

Yearly screenings are the top prevention method for all of the above diseases. It allows you to “catch” diseases or conditions early, so they can be treated and monitored.

You should get an annual liver, kidney, sugar, and cholesterol screenings at the very minimum. Also, talk to your doctor about a PSA test as a preliminary prostate cancer checkup.

Kill the monster while it’s a baby before it turns into an unstoppable force. If you catch diseases when they’re early on, they’re more treatable. 

  1. Eat a healthy diet. 

Diet is one of the key lifestyle factors to overall health and wellness. Diet impacts your genetic expression and epigenetics,  meaning it plays a role in just about every disease.

Studies show that you can prevent prostate cancer with a healthy diet

Learn more about eating a healthy diet with the following resources: 

  1. Exercise.

Exercise is one of the simplest ways to fix nearly all of your health problems. Working out 4-5 hours per week can:

  • Help lose fat and maintain a healthy weight
  • Improve metabolism
  • De-methylate genes
  • Improve sleep
  • Minimize stress
  • Elevate mood and happiness
  • Regulate blood pressure
  • Reduce bad cholesterol
  • Get rid of inflammation

Exercise is one of the easiest ways to control your health—without even thinking about it. Whether you swim, walk, lift weights, or play Frisbee, your body needs movement to be healthy and strong. I especially recommend a low-pressure exercise that won’t damage your joints, like yoga, stretching, and swimming.

Learn more about the importance of working out here.

Running man in forest woods training and exercising for trail run marathon endurance race. Fitness healthy lifestyle concept with male athlete trail runner.

  1. Know your supplements.

Most American men don’t get the micronutrients they need to maintain their health and vitality. Thus, I recommend most men take the following supplements to boost their wellness:

But make sure you know what’s in your supplements. A lot of one-a-day vitamins actually contain inactive ingredients that can do more harm than good. Always take a look at the ingredients label.

You should also talk to your doctor about the medications you’re on. If you’re experiencing any side effects, don’t be afraid to open the floor for conversation.

  1. Stress less.

Stress is the number one killer of men today. It’s an epidemic that seems to only be getting worse in America. In fact, more and more research is proving that stress is at the root of a number of serious, fatal diseases. Stress even influences your genes and epigenetic expression, “turning off” the protective genes and “turning on” those that cause serious disease.  

Make sure you’re taking time for yourself. Whether that means spending time with family, taking up yoga, or finding a less stressful career path, it’s critical that you put your health first. Learn more about how to address stress here.

  1. Sleep more.

Sleeping 7 to 8 hours every night has proven health benefits. Sleep is when your body’s hormones reset, which helps lower cortisol (stress) and boost testosterone. Without this period of rest, your body starts to go into “overdrive” and its normal functioning starts to slow down. Sleep (and a lack of sleep) can even impact your genes.

Learn how to sleep better right now.

  1. Use sunscreen.

Put on your SPF. Skin cancer is the most common cancer, and it’s frequently caused by exposure to UV rays. Daily sunscreen can help prevent the free radical damage that causes both cancer and wrinkles.

Sunscreen should become a daily habit to show the full effect. Check out these other five habits that will boost your health overnight!

  1. Drink water.

Health and wellness all come down to water. Water makes up the majority of your body. Without it, your body can’t function properly. That’s why just a couple of days of dehydration can kill you.

Drink more water and you’ll find improvements in energy, weight, sleep, mood, diet, exercise, sex, and more. Water is the building block of life—so make sure you’re getting enough.

Pro-tip: Drink pH balanced water. This helps keep your body’s pH aligned, which helps keep your body in balance to fight disease and infection.

Celebrate Men’s Health

How are you going to celebrate men’s health month? By FINALLY going in for that yearly screening? Or using these summer months to get outside and exercise?

How about changing your diet? Or by signing up for a N1 Performance Health consultation?

The G1 Performance Health Consult is a private consultation that takes you through every aspect of your health. We discuss everything about diet, exercise, psychology, and sexual health to reinvigorate your health and wellness. With high performance wellness & anti-aging medicine, Dr. Gapin provides Fortune 500 executives and entrepreneurs a personalized path to lose weight, maximize energy, & restore vitality.

And yes, I prescribe having more sex…

Schedule a consultation to learn more about N1 Performance Health.

Ready to take the next steps?

Schedule a Call


Epigenetics Series – Is Cancer Related To Your DNA?

Are we predisposed to cancer, based on our DNA?

Or do our lifestyles and choices primarily determine our health?

For years, doctors debated this question in a “black or white” fashion: either disease is predetermined in DNA or disease is determined by lifestyle.

Recently, though, doctors determined that the answer falls somewhere in the gray area between both sides.

Our risk of disease, especially cancer, is defined by the expression of our genes.  And the expression of our genes is defined by our lifestyle and environment.

This is where epigenetics has stepped in to answer questions about disease and illness that have stumped scientists for decades.

There is an intimate link between disease, genetics, and lifestyle that can’t be ignored.

These epigenetics findings declare resoundingly: you are not a slave to your genes.

You can take control of your own health and wellness, which can enable you to fight off disease and cancer at its root.

Let’s explore how epigenetics plays a role in cancer—and what you can do about it.

What is epigenetics?

In order to understand how epigenetics impacts cancer, we need to first understand the basics of epigenetics.

Epigenetics is the expression of your genetic sequence. You’re born with a certain DNA sequence, and that’s the same DNA you’ll have for life. However, the expression of those genes can change throughout the course of your life. This expression depends on which of your genes are active or inactive.

There are two primary epigenetic factors that impact the expression of your DNA sequence: DNA methylation and histone modifications. (There’s also RNA-associated silencing, which we won’t get into today.)


DNA methylation occurs when a methyl group is added to DNA. Usually, it’s added to a specific part of the DNA sequence: on a cytosine nucleotide next to a guanine nucleotide linked to a phosphate.

This is called the CpG site. Keep this in mind, as we’ll be discussing the impact of methyl groups at the CpG site in our discussions of cancer and disease below.

Generally, methylation “turns off” or deactivates genes. More methylation equals greater silencing of the gene.

In some cases, this can be positive. For example, if you have a gene that puts you at high risk for disease, you would want it to be silenced with a methyl group.

However, you don’t want to silence genes that fight off disease or tumors. Silencing certain tumor-fighting genes is one of the key causes of cancer.

Histone modification

Histones are proteins that make up chromatin, which is the foundational component of DNA chromosomes. DNA wraps around histones, like thread around a spool. When these histones are modified, then the chromatin arrangement can be altered and misread.

There are two types of histone modification: acetylation and methylation.

When an acetyl is added to the histone (acetylation), it typically activates chromatin. Deacetylation, then, is associated with heterochromatin, which is a deactivated or suppressed expression of the gene.

Histone methylation also impacts the active and inactive regions of chromatin. For example, a methylation on lysine K9 with histone H3 is responsible for the inactivated X chromosome of females.

Any of these epigenetic factors, especially methylation, create abnormal activation or silencing of genes. This can put you at greater risk for cancer, disease, syndromes (especially chromosomal instabilities), and other serious illnesses.

So how do these epigenetic changes occur? What causes methylation or acetylation?

Environment and lifestyle dynamics have a direct impact on these epigenetic factors, which I’ll discuss further below.

How does epigenetics affect cancer?

One of the most forceful diseases of our time is cancer. While there’s still so much we don’t know about the growth and treatment of cancer, there is one thing we know for sure: genetics and epigenetics play a significant role in the development and progression of cancer.

In fact, study after study has proven that there are links between certain types of cancers and certain epigenetic modifications.

Epigenetic factors can suppress cancer-fighting genes.

All humans are programmed with certain genes. These genes are meant to keep us healthy and functioning.

For example, there’s a gene that helps fight off diseased cells (aka cancer cells). There’s another gene that suppresses tumor growth.

You want these healthy “fighter” genes to be active, so they can minimize your risk for cancer.

But if methylation or acetylation impacts these genes, then they can be deactivated. So if cancer strikes, your body is unable to fight off the diseased cells or spread of cancer. This then would leave you susceptible to cancer, which you may have otherwise been able to fight off had your healthy genes been activated.

Studies have even shown a proportional link between methylation levels and severity and prognosis of cancer.

For example, the GSTP1 gene is methylated in over 90% of prostate cancers.

An early study found that diseased tissue affected by colorectal cancer had less DNA methylation than normal tissue. This is because the methylated genes “turned off” or deactivated the tumor suppressor genes.

Methylation deactivates genes that are necessary to fight off cancer.

Methylation impacts cancer cell growth.

Moreover, methylation itself plays a role in how cancer develops. Methylation is involved in cell divisions, DNA repair, apoptosis (cell death), metastasis, cell detox, and more.

High levels of methylation (hypermethylation) indicate that diseased cells aren’t dying off and healthy cells aren’t generating fast enough. Thus, high methylation is a predictor—and potentially a cause—of cancer.

For example, hypermethylation in APC and RASSF1A genes are used as epigenetic markers for early detection of cancer, especially breast cancer.

Methylation causes microsatellite instability.

Microsatellite instability is linked to a number of cancers, including colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, and gastric cancers.

Microsatellites are repetitive DNA, they have certain strands of DNA  that are repeated within the genome. They’re common in normal individuals without disease.

Instability of microsatellites, though, is linked to chromosomal instability. This upsets the genetic function, creating a dangerous mutation.

Microsatellite instability is a direct cause of DNA methylation, especially methylation of the gene MLH1, which is the gene that repairs DNA. If the gene is methylated, then it is unable to properly repair your DNA when it becomes damaged by disease and cancer.

Researchers have seen microsatellite instability in a number of cancers, even occurring in 15% of colorectal cancers.

How can I prevent cancer with epigenetics? 

Genes are inherited. This means that your risk for cancer could come from your ancestors—just like your genes that suppress tumor growth and cell division come from your ancestors. 

But just because you inherit certain genes does not direct the course of your fate.

In fact, nearly half of all inherited genes related to cancer can be impacted by methylation.

And methylation is not inherited. Methylation and other epigenetic factors are proven responses to environmental stimuli including diet, toxins, pollutants, and other stressors.

This means you can take control of your risk for cancer by directing your epigenetic expression.

In fact, some doctors have even started building cancer-fighting programs—like my EDGE Blueprint Consultbased on epigenetics as potential chemopreventative measures.

You can change your health with certain lifestyle and diet choices, many of which I go through below.

  1. Get your folic acid.

Folate or folic acid is a B vitamin (B-9) that plays an important role in cell growth and function. It’s actually the foundation of a number of prenatal vitamins as a means of reducing the risk of birth defects.

Folate can play an important role in gene expression and DNA integrity and stability. Studies have shown that folate can help modulate DNA methylation. On the other hand, a folate deficiency may cause DNA methylation.

Learn more about folate’s role in epigenetics in section 3.1 here.

You can get folate through both diet and supplementation. You can find folate in:

  • Garbanzo beans (100% of the required daily dose)
  • Liver (55% DV)
  • Lentils (45% DV)
  • Pinto beans (37% DV)
  • Asparagus (33% DV)
  • Black-eyed peas (28% DV)
  • Beets (17% DV)
  • Avocado (15% DV)
  • Spinach (14% DV)
  • Broccoli (14% DV)

You’ll also receive folate in oranges, lemons, bananas, melons, and strawberries.

You can also take folic acid vitamins. The recommended daily amount of folate is 400 micrograms (mcg).

  1. Consume polyphenols.

Polyphenols are antioxidants, which help reduce the damage of cancer-causing free radicals. They help minimize cell damage and regulate methylation. There are four types of polyphenols: flavonoids, phenolic acids, benzoic acids, and stilbenes.

Green tea polyphenols have been shown to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and oesophageal cancer. It’s been shown to suppress methylation or demethylate TSG promoters, which helps protect against the spread of cancer.

Resveratrol has been shown to modify histone acetylation, as it works as a Silent Information Regulator 1 (SIRT1). It helps fight off cancer while maintaining the structural integrity of DNA. You can find resveratrol in blueberries, dark chocolate, red wine, peanuts, cranberries, and pistachios.


  1. Drink coffee. 

Caffeic acid is a type of polyphenol. It affects the bioavailability of SAM, which is a methyl donor (and required for methylation).

Some studies have shown that coffee consumption may be able to reduce the risk of cancer, especially progressive prostate cancer. In fact, one study found that coffee was a better regulator of methylation than even tea.

As with anything, though, you want to regulate your caffeine intake. A cup or two a day may help with methylation, but too much can have the opposite effect.

  1. Get sleep.

Sleep has a direct impact on epigenetic factors of methylation and histone acetylation. Learn more about the link between sleep and epigenetics here.

Sleep can literally help your body fight cancer. Tonight’s “all-nighter” could put you at risk for serious disease down the line. Get your Zs for optimal health.

  1. Cut the alcohol.

Alcohol consumption is directly linked to DNA methylation.

Over 20 studies have found that heavy alcohol consumption creates epigenetic modifications that can lead to disease and cancer.

One study, in particular, found that low folate intake and high alcohol intake had a significantly greater prevalence of hypermethylation, which was especially linked to colorectal cancer.

This doesn’t mean you need to cut out alcohol altogether necessarily. A glass of red wine can give you a boost of resveratrol and heart-healthy benefits. As with coffee, it’s the excess of alcohol that can cause genetic concerns. Stick to one glass daily at maximum.

  1. Eat a balanced diet.

Like sleep, nutrition has a direct impact on your genetics. What you put into your body can be the strongest predictor of future health—especially in regards to cancer.

Eating phytonutrients and vitamins is the only way to fight against inflammation, oxidative damage, imbalanced hormones, and more.

Learn about the importance of a rainbow diet for your epigenetic health.

  1. Minimize your stress.

Stress is a proven cause of DNA methylation. The more stress you have, the more it impacts your genetic expression.

In fact, stress has even been linked to cancer—but until recently, the cause of this link was always fuzzy. Epigenetics might be the “missing link” in the DNA.

Stress creates harmful free radicals while also causing methylation that suppresses cancer-fighting genes. This creates a double whammy that can cause progression of cancer.

Find out about the link between stress, epigenetics, and cancer here.

  1. Get more vitamin D.

Studies show that Vitamin D can reverse abnormal epigenetic modifications. Vitamin D has especially been linked to the development of breast cancer due to the role that vitamin D plays with estrogen.

Vitamin D is also linked to the development of prostate cancer.

  1. Workout.

Working out directly impacts your genes. Studies have shown that intense workouts can eliminate methyl groups in just one session. Daily exercise regulates ongoing methylation at a greater rate than even diet or sleep.

This means that you may be able to reduce your risk of cancer with intense, frequent exercises.

If you want to have improved overall health and optimal epigenetic expression, you need an exercise routine. 


Cancer is directly related to epigenetic expressions of your genes. But you can control this expression with lifestyle changes that minimize methylation and acetylation.

It’s time to sign up for our G1 Performance Health program to start experiencing the health and vitality you’ve always dreamed of.

Disease doesn’t wait—so why are you?

Sign up now to start living.

Will Lycopene (Tomatoes) Improve My Prostate Health And Fight Prostate Cancer?

Lycopene is one of the most popular supplements for prostate health, but does it actually work?

The answer: maybe. The jury’s still debating about lycopene and prostate health.

What is lycopene and what’s its link to prostate health?

What is lycopene?

Lycopene is a carotenoid. Carotenoids are the pigments found naturally in plants and algae. Different carotenoids provide different organic coloring. Lycopene gives a reddish color to fruit. Plants use the lycopene pigment to gather light for photosynthesis. It also helps protect plant cells from photosensitization.

Lycopene is found in highest concentrations in tomatoes and tomato products, like tomato paste, tomato sauce, and even ketchup. Over 80% of human consumption of lycopene comes from tomato products.

Lycopene is naturally present in human tissues and blood. It is especially concentrated in the prostate, testes, adrenals, and liver.

Lycopene isn’t essential to human health, meaning you can live without it. However, lycopene has shown some significant health benefits that shouldn’t be ignored.

Lycopene is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are protective defenses that help fight “free radicals” and prevent oxidative damage. Antioxidants are known to have cancer-fighting abilities. Because of its antioxidant properties, lycopene may decrease risk of chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

How is lycopene linked to prostate health?

Lycopene has commonly been associated with prostate health. A number of studies have looked into the interaction between lycopene and prostate cells, especially since lycopene is found in such high concentrations in the prostate and testes.

But does lycopene actually prevent and treat prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer prevention

Published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute, researchers compiled and reviewed 57 studies regarding the lycopene-prostate link. Of the 57, 35 studies showed an inverse relationship between lycopene levels and risk of prostate, lung, and stomach cancer.

They concluded that “frequent consumption of tomato products is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.”

So should you start devouring tomatoes to reduce your risk of prostate cancer?

Yes and no. The researchers also concluded that the data is sensitive, as it’s hard to separate lycopene from other factors in tomatoes and dietary regimens.

Additional research has in part backed the claims of that review.

A 2015 study concluded that tomato paste may protect against prostate cancer by regulating the cancer genetic expression through kappaB. Basically, they found that tomatoes were able to reduce cancer-related inflammation.

Another study in 2014 of nearly 50,000 health professionals found that a higher intake of lycopene was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, especially fatal prostate cancer.

The Health Professionals Follow-Up study found a significant cancer risk reduction in tomato sauce, pizza, and strawberries. Strawberries, though, don’t have lycopene (despite their red color). They concluded that consumption of tomato-based foods may reduce risk of prostate cancer, but other factors may be involved as well.

Read Now: Can We Product Prostate Cancer Risk Through Lifestyle Change?

Despite this “proof,” other research has been less reassuring.

A study in Hawaii showed no association between lycopene and prostate cancer.

Another study of 14,000 people found that a higher consumption of tomatoes showed a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer. But they also found a reduction with beans, lentils, and peas, which don’t contain lycopene. The variables seem to create inconclusive data.

Research results are mixed. Likely this has to do with the multiple vitamins found naturally in tomatoes, creating too many variables for true segmentation.

Prostate cancer treatment

Can lycopene actually treat cancer?

Some studies say yes, but it’s definitely not a treatment option just yet.

One study found that a lycopene supplement, Lyc-o-mato (15mg lycopene), showed a PSA level decrease of 18% compared to 14% in the control group. The difference was significant, showing that 15mg of lycopene twice daily could help minimize already present cancer levels.

Another study looked at PSA levels after orchiectomy (removal of one or both testicles). They found that lycopene consumption produced a more consistent and predictable decrease in PSA level by diminishing the primary tumor and secondary tumors. It also provided better relief from bone pain and lower urinary tract symptoms caused by the operation

However, just like with prostate cancer prevention, lycopene is not yet a proven solution. Results are mixed and it may or may not have an impact on prostate health.

Read Now: Does My Husband Have Prostate Cancer?

Where does the link come from?

There are three major theories for the link between lycopene and prostate cancer.

The most accepted theory is the antioxidant effect. Lycopene is a known antioxidant. This means that it can help fight off oxidative damage that cause chronic disease and cancers. Lycopene is found in high concentrations in prostate cells. Thus, due to proximity, it’s likely the fastest-acting antioxidant against prostate cancer.

Lycopene and other carotenoids can also help stop tumor growth by increasing the communication between healthy cells and decreasing the communication between malignant ones. One study speculated that lycopene was able to reduce prostate cancer because of its suspected ability to inhibit the growth of tumor cells.

Lycopene also may impact insulin growth factor. High levels of insulin growth factor are linked to prostate cancer. Lycopene consumption can actually reduce insulin growth factor levels. Thus, there may be a correlation with regards to lycopene’s ability to reduce the cancer-causing impacts of insulin growth factor.

What’s the conclusion on lycopene and prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is highly prevalent among men, especially men over the age of 50. Due to its prevalence, experts are constantly looking for new ways to prevent and treat prostate cancer. While lycopene may hold some promise, it’s not a solution just yet.

It may not be a proven treatment, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consume lycopene. Some studies suggest it does help, and it has very few toxicities or side effects.

Lycopene supplementation may help your prostate, so it’s worth the consumption.

Plus, lycopene may have other health benefits as well. It may be able to:

It may even keep you looking young by maintaining the skin cell’s integrity against everyday pollutants and toxins. Tomatoes = the fountain of youth?

How should you consume lycopene?

You can get the majority of your necessary lycopene and its prostate-healthy benefits from your diet. Most Americans get 80% of their lycopene from tomatoes and tomato products, like tomato paste and tomato sauce.

This is the one and only time I’ll tell you to eat pizza. Yes, once in a while, a sauce-heavy pizza won’t hurt! We can call pizza night “prostate health night” instead.

Cooking or heating tomatoes helps release the lycopene. Fresh, uncooked tomatoes have about 30-70mg per kg, while tomato paste and cooked tomatoes have about 300mg/kg. So make a homemade tomato sauce to put over your quinoa for a super-charged, lycopene-filled milled.

Pro-Tip: Eat healthy fats with your tomatoes. Fat may help the body better absorb lycopene and other carotenoids. Healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed. I love a Mediterranean salad with salmon, olive oil, and slightly cooked tomatoes.

Lycopene is also found in watermelon, pink guava, papaya, red cabbage, asparagus, grapefruit, mango, and carrots. Time to start chomping down on some red foods!  

P.S. Be sure to buy organic tomatoes and tomato sauces to avoid toxins from pesticides and herbicides. Avoiding genetically modified foods or packaged foods is important to maintaining a healthy prostate and overall body.

Read Now: Can You Prevent Prostate Cancer Thru Diet?


You can also supplement with lycopene if you feel you don’t get enough in your fruits. Most supplements are between 6mg-15mg, taken twice daily.

Lyc-o-mato is the most common lycopene supplement, coming in a 15mg capsule. One study even found that Lyc-o-mato supplements twice daily decreased the growth rate of prostate cancer.

However, I don’t usually recommend a lycopene supplement. A healthy diet should satisfy your lycopene needs.

If you want to add cancer-fighting supplements to your lineup, check out these 7 supplements every man should take for optimal health.

The Bottom Line

Lycopene may or may not prevent and treat prostate cancer… but eating lycopene-rich foods doesn’t hurt!

So put tomatoes on your sandwich today. Your prostate might just thank you.

Do you want to reduce your risk of prostate cancer?

Lycopene can help… but there are other proven ways to reduce your risk and get you on the road to health!

Click below to get the Male 90X program and make the choice to reduce your prostate cancer risk on top of achieving your maximum potential!

Does My Husband Have Prostate Cancer?

1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in his lifetime. As a concerned partner, you worry that your husband or companion could be that one. Maybe your partner doesn’t go to the doctor enough or maybe he has a mindset of invincibility. Maybe you’ve noticed a shift in his health and behavior.

You ask him to go to the doctor, but in true husband fashion, he won’t go.

So what should you be on the lookout for to know if your husband is at risk of prostate cancer? What do you need to know about prostate cancer to be alert for your partner’s health?

What Is Prostate Cancer?

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in the man’s pelvis. It sits between the penis and bladder, wrapped around the urethra (the urine tube). There’s one main purpose of the prostate: to make thick white fluid that mixes with sperm to create semen. The fluid is important so that the sperm can “swim” and ultimately impregnate a partner.

Prostate cancer happens when the cells in the prostate grow at an uncontrollable rate. When localized, it usually only affects the prostate and the bladder. In fact, prostate cancer wouldn’t even be that dangerous—if it stayed in the prostate. Some men have prostate cancer and never know because it remains localized to the prostate.

But for other men, prostate cancer can quickly and aggressively spread to other parts of the body. When this spreading happens, it can impact glands, organs, the bones, and the blood.

Thankfully, you can take simple steps to detect prostate cancer before it spreads.

What Are The Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer?

As a concerned partner, you’re likely trying to look for signs or symptoms that your husband is developing prostate cancer. I hate to say it, but most men with prostate cancer have no symptoms. Most of the time, you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at him or talking to him.

Moreover, the typical symptoms of prostate cancer tend to be “personal.” The symptoms usually appear when the tumor has grown so big that it causes blockage in the bladder. So usually most of his symptoms will appear when he’s in the bathroom—and you’re often not there with him.

These symptoms include:

  • Difficulty stopping or starting urine stream
  • Pain while urinating
  • Increase in urination frequency
  • Diminished urinary stream
  • Sensation of incomplete emptying
  • Blood in urine
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in semen

The most common symptom is waking up often in the middle of the night to urinate. A man (and his partner) will often reflect back and realize that he was going more often more in the middle of the night than he had in the past. If he’s constantly waking you up all night taking trips to the bathroom, send him to the doc—for both of your health!

These symptoms may not be a sign of prostate cancer, though. Often these are also related to BPH, which is prostate enlargement. BPH is less serious than prostate cancer—although a doctor can help your husband treat this naturally as well. Thus, if you know your husband is suffering from bathroom problems, it’s time for him to visit a doctor.

If the prostate cancer has spread, there may be other types of symptoms to be on the lookout for:

  • Fatigue
  • Bone pain
  • Malaise (general feeling of illness)
  • Weight loss
  • Deep pain or stiffness in hips, lower back, pelvis
  • Easy fracture of bones
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of legs (tumor obstructing lymph tissue)

If symptoms of prostate cancer are inconsistent and often absent, how can you better understand if your husband is at risk for prostate cancer?

What Are The Risk Factors of Prostate Cancer?

  1. Age

The most common risk factor for prostate cancer is age. Most men who develop prostate cancer are over age 50—and more often, age 65. About 6 of 10 prostate cancer cases are diagnosed in men over age 65, with the average age around 66. In fact, the number of men over 65 affected by prostate cancer is on the rise.

  1. Family History

A man is at higher risk for prostate cancer if other men in his family have had the disease. Men with one affected relative are twice as likely to develop the disease; men with two or more affected relatives are 4x as likely to be diagnosed. The risk increases with the number of relatives affected. Moreover, the younger the family member is when diagnosed, the higher the risk his male relatives will develop prostate cancer as well. If your husband has had a brother, uncle, or father with a history of prostate cancer, he should be screened early and often.

Some researchers suggest there is also a higher risk of prostate cancer if there is a family history of other cancers as well. If your partner has a number of relatives with cancer, it could indicate a genetic mutation somewhere in the family line. Genetic mutations are a key cause of different types of cancer in the body.

Individual genetic factors may also play a role. If there is a known mutation in his genes, he should be more aware of his risk for cancer and other diseases.

  1. Race

African-American men have 60% higher incidence of prostate cancer than Caucasians. They also have a prostate cancer mortality rate that is two to three times higher than the average. The reason for this difference isn’t fully understood yet, but the proof is there. African-American men should be screened twice as often to ensure they do not develop an aggressive form of the cancer.

Asian and Hispanic men are the least likely to develop prostate cancer, likely due to their nationality (see below). Note: this doesn’t mean they’re immune from the disease!

  1. Nationality

Prostate cancer is more common in North America, Europe (northwestern especially), the Caribbean, and Australia. It’s less prevalent in Asia, Africa, and South and Central America. Researchers believe this has to do with diet and lifestyle; the “Western diet” tends to be a higher risk factor for prostate cancer, as discussed further below.

  1. Sedentary Lifestyle

If your husband tends to sit a lot with low activity, he’s at a higher risk for prostate cancer. A review of studies found a significant decrease in the risk and incident of prostate cancer in active men. This is likely because physical exercise balances hormone levels, prevents obesity, enhances immune function, and reduces oxidative stress—all of which are cancer-fighting benefits.

  1. Diet

Diets high in red meats, dairy, and fatty foods with a low intake of fruits and vegetables are linked to an increase in prostate cancer incidence and mortality. Some studies suggest that a lack of veggies in the diet can actually cause a more aggressive form of prostate cancer as well.

  1. Calcium

Although not completely proven, some researchers suggest that a high calcium intake could be a risk factor for prostate cancer. Dairy is a primary source in Western diets, while the Asian diet has no dairy—and Asians are at the lowest risk for prostate cancer.

Just some “food” for thought…

  1. Obesity

Moreover, being overweight or obese has significant effects on prostate cancer. Although studies haven’t proven that obesity causes prostate cancer, “what is clear is that obese men are at significantly greater risk for dying of prostate cancer.” Obese men have a higher prostate cancer mortality rate than healthy and fit men.

Thus, a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet can further contribute to aggressive prostate cancer. Click here to learn about the link between obesity and metabolic syndrome—which can also cause a number of diseases.

It’s important to note that some research has shown that PSA test results in obese men can appear low… even if they have prostate cancer. Often this can lead to a delay in diagnosis and treatment, in which time the cancer can spread and worsen. If your husband is overweight, it’s time to sign him up for my 4-week Transformation Vitality Course to bring back his health and reduce his risk of prostate cancer.

  1. Beer

Research in Australia found that two pints of beer daily increased a man’s risk for prostate cancer by nearly 23%. They also found that the risk of mortality increased with even low alcohol consumption levels. We need more studies to prove this, but the findings were nevertheless significant.

This is likely because beer is highly estrogenic, which can unbalance hormone levels. Moreover, alcohol can damage the cells in the body, creating a toxic overload when consumed in excess.

  1. Smoking

Although smoking isn’t linked to prostate cancer (yet), studies show that smoking is associated with more aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Plus, the chemicals in cigarettes are highly toxic and can damage your cells—which can ultimately cause a variety of cancers and diseases.

  1. Height

There may be some link between taller height and prostate cancer incidence. But just because your husband is tall doesn’t mean he has prostate cancer.

  1. Agent Orange

Agent Orange was an herbicide sprayed during the Vietnam War. Research is inconclusive about whether Agent Orange is fully cancer-causing, but ultimately studies have found that AO exposure is linked to more aggressive prostate cancer.

Okay. So you think your husband may be at risk because he’s overweight and his brother and dad both had prostate cancer.

What’s next?

What can you do as his partner?

How Can You Talk To Your Partner About Prostate Cancer Risk?

There’s really only one thing you can do: equip your husband with the knowledge you now know about risk factors. Hopefully, this can help convince him to see the doctor.

You can start by telling him some of these prostate cancer statistics:

That’s the scare tactic.

But what if now he’s too scared to go to the doctor and “face the facts.” It’s not uncommon for men to avoid going to the doctor if they think something is wrong, because they don’t want to deal with the negative consequences of it.

Your husband doesn’t want to hear he has cancer.

So you could also try the encouraging tactic:

  • Between 2007 and 2013, the average survival rate of prostate cancer was 98.6%.
  • Even though there’s a 12.9% probability of developing prostate cancer, there’s only a 2.5% chance of dying from it.

Maybe he’s more willing to go now. He won’t die! But he’s still a little fearful of the tests. (“You know I don’t like needles, honey!”)

The preliminary tests for prostate cancer are easy peasy.

First, the doctor will start with a digital rectal exam. Yes, the doc will put a lubricated finger in your husband’s rectum to feel for the prostate. Your husband may not love the idea of this, but it lasts only a few seconds and it’s a great indicator of any lumps or hard areas in the prostate.

The doctor may also run a PSA (prostate specific antigen blood) test. This measures the blood level of the protein produced by the prostate gland. If elevated, it can indicate prostate cancer. However, some people with prostate cancer come back with low PSA levels in some cases.

It’s important to track PSA over time. Consistent tests can track how fast the level is increasing or changing. The change in PSA is often more important than the number.

Yearly visits are crucial to keep an eye on these changing PSA levels. Doctors recommend testing once or twice per year after age 50. If your husband hasn’t been tested, now’s the time to get him to the doctor.

If the doctor suspects prostate cancer based on the rectal exam and PSA test, he’ll take a biopsy. This is a sample of prostate tissue to see what the prostate cancer cells look like.

How Can You Prevent Prostate Cancer?

You can prevent prostate cancer before it strikes. Check out some of my other resources about prostate cancer prevention to learn more:

Can We Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk Through Lifestyle Change?

Prostate Healthy Foods For Men: Add These 3 To Your Diet

Can You Prevent Prostate Cancer Through Diet?

The Bottom Line

You’re a caring partner, concerned for the wellbeing of your loved one. But it’s important that you not stress yourself out worrying. Most men don’t die from the disease, and the survival rate is one of the highest of all cancers.

But it’s important to catch prostate cancer early before it spreads or becomes more aggressive. That’s why it’s crucial that you and your partner know the risk factors of prostate cancer and the cadence at which you should be visiting the doctor.

Want to help your husband regain his health (without harassing him too much)?

Sign him up for our Male 90X program!

This is a genetic-based report and consultation that will give him the tips, tricks, and resources to lower his risk for prostate cancer and minimize any other sexual health concerns. He’ll also learn how to make a few lifestyle changes that will drastically impact his entire wellbeing.

Reduce the risk, make the change and get Male 90X now!

Chronic Inflammation Is The Silent Killer Of Men

What if I told you there is one common link between almost all deadly diseases, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease? And what if I told you that same link is also a key contributor to prostate problems, anxiety, depression, brain fog, moodiness, arthritis, allergies, and even gas?

That link exists, and it’s called chronic inflammation. Scientists are discovering with increasing certainty that most major illnesses and diseases are caused in some part by chronic inflammation in the body.

What is chronic inflammation?

Acute inflammation

You’ve likely met acute inflammation before. You sprain your ankle, and it swells up, turns red, and lets off heat—that’s inflammation. Even when you get a red, angry pimple filled with pus, that is an inflamed, infected skin pore.

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to something that has gone wrong in your body. Your body sends out white blood cells and cytokines, which are the “good guys” used to fight off infection and virus. Inflammation is the reaction when white blood cells take over and start to do their job. The process of inflammation gets rid of toxins and starts to repair damaged tissue.

sprained ankle, inflammation, men's health
Think of it this way. You’ve got some bad stuff going on in your body—whether it’s the flu virus or a broken ankle or bacteria on your face. Your body sends good stuff to fight the bad stuff. That “battle” between good and bad causes inflammation. So, inflammation is actually a good thing. It’s just a sign that the good stuff—the white blood cells—are doing their job and fighting to rid the body of the bad stuff.

Basically, inflammation is there to protect your body against infection or disease. It’s also the start of the healing process.

Chronic inflammation

Though this process is useful in the short-term, chronic long-term inflammation can have serious consequences. In the case of chronic inflammation, the white blood cells end up attacking the bad and the good in the body. Your white blood cells are sent to fight off some infection or virus, but then they stick around and start to attack your healthy tissues and organs as well. It’s an unfortunate case of “friendly fire” in the battle of your body.

Your body’s defensive mechanisms go rogue and start attacking everything in the body, good and bad.

Cytokines are pro-inflammatory proteins released by immune cells when the body detects some sort of injury or invasion. But, in chronic inflammation, the cytokines build up and don’t go away. These pro-inflammatory proteins start to inflame everything around them, which can actually worsen damage and disease.

Until the cytokines are eradicated, chronic inflammation can last indefinitely. Over time, the inflammation only continues to aggravate. The cytokines are inflaming your organs and tissues, which releases even more cytokines to the area to fight against the damage and injury. The immune system just can’t keep up with the influx of inflammation, and the entire system starts to break down.

Chronic inflammation is a deep-rooted, systemic problem that attacks at some of the most vital inner-workings of your system.

One of the most dangerous parts of chronic inflammation is that you can’t see or feel it happening. It is the silent killer, spurring a number of serious diseases. Chronic inflammation is most likely to attack your heart, brain, joints, belly, and immune system—the five processes that do the most to keep you alive and healthy.

What are the consequences of chronic inflammation?

Chronic inflammation can go undetected for years. In this case, inflammation is constantly assaulting your brain, heart, and immune system, progressively worsening and worsening over time. This can lead to serious and even fatal problems.

Heart disease and stroke

The inflammation actually damages blood vessels and leads to a plaque buildup in the arteries and brain. This will, at first, cause high blood pressure, hypertension, and a weakened heart. Over time, these inflammatory-related blockages can be fatal. In fact, some researchers have suggested that anti-inflammatory medications may help treat cardiovascular risk before severe damage is done.


Inflammation can damage DNA and interrupt the body’s immune system processes. This, in turn, can cause tumors to form without any processes for self-destruction. Common inflammation-related cancers include lung, lymphoma, ovarian, pancreatic, and prostate cancer—the organs that commonly inflame easily. Colorectal cancer is also common, as chronic inflammation is also the cause of a number of bowel diseases like IBD, ulcerative colitis, and Chron’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairment (like dementia) is one of the most common consequences of chronic inflammation. Although the direct connection is still being worked out, studies have concluded that there is an activation of immune and inflammatory processes in cognitive disease. One study noted that drugs for cognitive decline often don’t work to stop or reverse the disease, likely because they don’t attack the underlying chronic inflammation; in fact, drugs for cognitive impairment may even make the inflammation in the brain worse.


Studies show that depression is linked to systemic, chronic inflammation. Brain scans of people with depression show that their brains have increased neuroinflammation, which causes depression, fatigue, brain fog, and impaired concentration.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Inflammation in the joints is the number one cause for rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and macular degeneration. In fact, rheumatologists almost always look at the causes of inflammation first in order to find the appropriate ways to treat pain in their patients. This is usually the best cause of action for people who have suffered from this pain on a daily basis. For some people though, their pain may start out of nowwhere and may want to find a quick source of pain relief that can help relieve their symptoms. Some people could decide to turn to certain types of cannabis strains that are supposedly meant to help with a person’s pain. You can Visit website here for more information on this type of relief. However, there are many different types of options out there to help you, it’s all about finding the one that is effective for you and your pain.

Prostate disorders

Enlarged prostate and prostatitis are due to inflammation in the prostate gland. Studies have looked at the intimate link between inflammation and BPH as well as that of inflammation and prostate cancer.


Inflammation in the body will directly impact the kidneys, which are the body’s natural detoxifying organs. Any toxins in the body will be filtered through the kidneys; this causes nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys) and chronic kidney disease.

The same is true for pancreatitis, and anything that ends in –itis (like arthritis). The suffix –itis is the term used to describe the inflammation of something like sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinus.

The list of concerns with chronic inflammation goes on and on. Studies suggest chronic inflammation is also linked to:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic lower respiratory disease
  • Parkinson’s
  • ADD
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Migraines

As you can see, chronic inflammation can cause an umbrella of consequences. Interestingly, chronic inflammation tends to cause problems in those areas where you are genetically weakest or not taking care of yourself. So you may have full-body systemic inflammation, but it may only impact those areas where your body already has some sort of predisposed risk.

Chronic inflammation knocks you down at the knees and then hits you again while you’re down.

What are the symptoms of chronic inflammation?

Now you’re thinking, “do I have chronic inflammation?” And I’m glad you’re asking the question. Because understanding and acknowledging chronic inflammation is the first step in fighting against it and its associated diseases.

Unlike acute inflammation, you usually won’t be able to see the symptoms of chronic inflammation firsthand. It won’t cause your ankle to swell up or your infection to fill with pus. Chronic inflammation is a silent killer.

However, if you’re feeling symptoms of a weakened system, you may be dealing with chronic inflammation:

  • Gut problems like heartburn, gas, nausea (inflamed gut)
  • Overweight or obesity (fat fuels inflammation)
  • Constant fatigue and insufficient sleep (lowered immune system)
  • Prostate problems like BPH and prostatitis (inflamed sex organs)
  • Stress, especially in the morning (a sign the immune system is working in overdrive)
  • Mental fog or emotional instability (inflamed brain)
  • High cholesterol and blood pressure (inflamed heart)
  • Unexplained pains or weakness (inflamed joints and immune system)

If you feel generally unwell but can’t place why, you may have chronic inflammation.

What causes chronic inflammation?

So where does chronic inflammation come from? How do you know if you’re at risk?


Being overweight and/or having diabetes is a proven cause of chronic inflammation. Diabetes and obesity are both linked to insulin resistance, which is when the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin. This means that cells fill up with glucose and the pancreas has to go into overdrive producing more insulin. This creates an excess of free-floating insulin, which in turn unbalances hormones and increases the body’s storage of fat.

Extra visceral belly fat sits around the organs in the abdomen. These fat cells actually pump out chemicals and proteins, like cytokines, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor. These all provoke the inflammatory system, thus causing chronic inflammation. The more fat you have on your body, the more pro-inflammatory chemicals sent out.

2. Stress

One of the most prominent causes of chronic inflammation is stress. We’ve known for years that stress wreaks havoc on your system, but we weren’t always sure exactly how. Recent studies have shown that the body’s stress response actually impairs its ability to regulate inflammation. Participants who were stressed were unable to fight off infection as quickly and had a higher inflammatory response than non-stressed participants.

Moreover, stress causes high levels of cortisol. Cortisol lowers testosterone, diminishes the immune system, and negatively affects insulin levels (which we discussed under “obesity”). Basically, more stress leads to more inflammation.

3. Diet

The foods you are eating could be contributing to or causing your chronic inflammation as well. Some foods are actually pro-inflammatory, like sugars, saturated fats, trans fats, gluten, MSG, and processed or packaged foods. Alcohol in high amounts is also a cause of inflammation.

4. Toxins

Moreover, if you’re eating processed foods, you could be exposing yourself to pesticides and hormones. Chemicals negatively impact our immune system and cause inflammation. Toxins in the air or in your environment can also be stimulating this response. Toxins are found most prominently in glues, adhesives, plastics, air fresheners, cleaning products, pollution, and heavy metals.

5. Smoking

Cigarettes are filled with toxins that will cause inflammation. The chemicals in these cigarettes attack your immune system and release high amounts of cytokines that your body can’t regulate.

6. Periodontal Disease

Interestingly, periodontal disease is linked to systemic inflammation. When you have any sort of inflammatory disease, it can seep out into your other bodily systems. Since the mouth is so close to the brain, heart, and kidney, periodontal disease can do surprisingly severe damage to your crucial functions. Smoking often causes periodontal disease as well.

7. Hormones

If your hormones are unbalanced, your body gets thrown out of whack. Low testosterone levels specifically contribute to chronic inflammation, which is why men with low T often feel brain fog, aches and pains, and a disinterest in what they once found enjoyable. Learn more about regulating hormones here.

8. Sleep

Your body resets itself during sleep. If you don’t sleep consistently or have disrupted sleep, your body thinks something is wrong. It will release pro-inflammatory factors like tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6 to fight against what it thinks is something invading your body. When those factors have nothing to fight, they’ll hang around and do damage to your healthy organs—aka chronic inflammation.

9. Aging

As we age, our body can’t fight off infection as easily. This means our body overcompensates with high amounts of inflammation to fight off daily toxins and stressors. Our aging body then can’t fight off the inflammation as well either, causing a vicious cycle of illness and inflammation.

10. Genes

Some people have a genetic predisposition to certain inflammatory concerns. As discussed, inflammation likes to hit you where it already hurts—like in genetic weaknesses or soft spots.

But this doesn’t mean that chronic inflammation is inevitable just because you’re getting older, it’s in your genes, or you feel stress every once in a while.

Do YOU have chronic inflammation?

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We have no idea how many people are suffering from chronic inflammation. It’s likely that anyone with any sort of disease or illness is dealing with some sort of inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s healing response; so, if you need healing, your body is going to send out some sort of inflammatory response. If you need healing but aren’t getting better, likely that inflammatory response has gone rogue.

If you have any of the above symptoms and/or you’re at risk for chronic inflammation with the above causes, then it’s time to consult a doctor. Your doctor can run blood tests for inflammation, like the C-reactive protein test or fibrinogen test. There are also more expensive tests that look at your cytokine levels to determine inflammation intensity.

But it’s important to note that you could have low-grade inflammation that still goes undetected. Often, chronic inflammation isn’t considered until it causes severe cellular damage that results in another disease, like Alzheimer’s or heart disease.

A good rule of thumb: always take care of yourself as if you had chronic inflammation.

How can you reduce chronic inflammation?

In most cases, chronic inflammation can be treated with lifestyle changes and healthy living. This means that whether or not you have diagnosed chronic inflammation, you can make these changes to reduce your risk and start feeling better.

So what can you do to reduce your chronic inflammation and threat of associated diseases?

1. Avoid inflammatory foods.

Most Americans eat a pro-inflammatory diet, which contributes heavily to chronic inflammation. Unhealthy meals are directly linked to stress, negative emotions, and long-term disease. Inflammatory foods include:

  • Fried foods (trans fats)
  • Soda (sugar)
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Red meat
  • Processed meat
  • Margarine
  • Processed foods (preservatives and chemicals)

Gluten is also highly inflammatory. Gluten irritates the intestinal wall and actually makes the large intestine porous and open. This can contribute to “leaky gut,” which is when substances leak out of the intestinal tract and into the bloodstream and lymph system. Yes, the toxins you’re supposed to poop out find their way back into your central system.

Try cutting gluten from your diet for 4-6 weeks. Reintroduce one gluten item for a week to see how your body reacts. If you suddenly feel anxiety, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems when you reintroduce gluten, you know that you need to cut the inflammatory-gluten altogether.

2. Eat anti-inflammatory foods.

The Mediterranean diet has proven have anti-inflammatory effects that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and other maladies. It can also help maintain a healthy weight and fight off obesity, which is a key contributor to chronic inflammation. The Mediterranean diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, beans, nuts, herbs, and spices. You should be eating fresh fish at least three times per week, especially the omega-3 fatty fish salmon. Reduce your intake of eggs, red meat, and dairy to 1-2 times per week maximum.

Other anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Bell and hot peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Ginger
  • Olive oil
  • Berries
  • Cherries

A number of spices can also help reduce inflammation, like turmeric, ginger, cloves, curry, cinnamon, sage, and marjoram.

While heavy alcohol consumption can inflame the system, a few glasses of wine per week can actually have heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory effects. Plus, a glass of wine before bed can help you sleep—and sleep is crucial to health.

When possible, choose fresh and organic foods. This will help avoid the preservatives and chemicals found in processed foods, which can unbalance your hormones and promote inflammation.

Learn more about anti-inflammatory foods with Harvard’s “Foods That Fight Inflammation.”

3. Exercise the right amount.

Exercise is vital to alleviating insulin resistance and reducing fat, both of which are crucial to reducing chronic inflammation. Exercising can help maintain a healthy weight, which improves the immune system and the body’s ability to fight disease.

Find some of my favorite health-boosting moves here.

Interestingly, exercising too much or too little can promote inflammation. If you exercise too much, acute inflammation (from tearing muscles and overworking the body) can become chronic. So you need to balance working hard with resting hard.

4. Take magnesium.

A study in “Magnesium And The Inflammatory Response” found that magnesium can actually reduce inflammation at the cellular level. The researchers discovered that a magnesium deficiency causes an inflammatory condition, while increasing magnesium intake can decrease inflammation. Thus, supplementing with magnesium may be a “missing link” in your inflammatory-related health concerns.

Always talk to a doctor before adding magnesium or other supplements to your regimen.5. Consume more probiotics.

Having a healthy gut is key to a strong immune system and regulated inflammatory response. Probiotics contribute to intestinal health, which is directly linked to the body’s release of inflammatory factors. Remember that “leaky gut” stuff? Probiotics can help that. Remember that stuff about toxins and cytokines? Probiotics fight that. Probiotics are good bacteria that help regulate your body’s systems. Studies have proven that probiotics have anti-inflammatory effects that can improve intestinal and non-intestinal diseases.

Learn more about the health benefits of probiotics—and how to include them in your diet—here!

6. Manage stress.

As discussed, stress has a severe inflammatory response. If you want to reduce your body’s stress, you need to link your mind and body on a spiritual level. Try yoga, meditation, or guided visualization to help reduce your cortisol levels. Lower cortisol, lower inflammatory response.

7. Sleep, sleep, sleep.

Sleep is also an important part of regulating your body. Getting to bed also helps reduce cortisol and balance out your hormones. It also works to fight against inflammation and improve the immune system. Consider sleep an essential stress and health management practice.

8. Don’t smoke.

The chemicals in cigarettes will cause inflammation and other serious diseases. It’s time to stop smoking. Right now.

Bottom line

Chronic inflammation is the number one silent killer. It can lurk in your body undetected for years, attacking your heart, brain, joints, organs, and immunity. If you’ve been feeling “off” or your doctor has told you that you have an increased risk for disease, you may be dealing with this silent, stalking killer.

But you don’t have to let it take over your life. With the right lifestyle choices and guidance from a doctor, you can be on the road to health in no time.

If you’re looking to introduce healthy practices into your life to reduce chronic inflammation and feel youthful again, schedule a consultation to learn how to personalized health advice so you can live your life to the fullest.

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In Male 2.0™, Dr. Tracy Gapin has turned everything we once thought we knew about men’s health and performance upside down. The old model of how to be “a man” is broken. A man who works himself to death.  Unfortunately, a man who tries to NOT get sick but isn’t really healthy either.  And a man who takes a pill for every ill but is never really cured. That was Male 1.0. Now, imagine being THE MAN ─ owning your performance in the bedroom, the weight room, and the boardroom. Living a fully optimized life. Becoming limitless. This is Male 2.0!

Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS  is a board-certified Urologist,  world renowned Men’s Health & Performance Expert, Author, and Professional Speaker. Using state-of-the-art biometric monitoring, nutrition and lifestyle intervention, Dr. Gapin coaches Fortune 500 executives and evolutionary leaders of business, sports medicine, and high performance. He specializes in cutting-edge precision medicine with an emphasis on epigenetics, providing men with a personalized path to optimizing health & performance.

Want more tips to optimize your health?  Listen to the latest podcasts. Click HERE

5 Benefits Of Pomegranate For Your Sexual Health

Is pomegranate the ultimate solution to all of your “sex-drive” needs? What are the benefits of pomegranate?

What if I told you pomegranate could help all of your sexual health problems, from low testosterone and diminished libido to erectile dysfunction to even prostate cancer? This superfood is filled with antioxidants that have proven results to help both men and women have better sex lives. This fruit can increase testosterone levels, improve sperm quality, and increase sex drive and mood.

Pomegranate has three times more antioxidants than even red wine and green tea. Antioxidants are what improve blood circulation, decrease inflammation, reduce the risk of heart disease, and fight harmful free radicals that cause aging, illness, and cancer. Pomegranate antioxidants have even been known to help fight breast cancer.

If you’re looking to improve your sexual health, you need to add pomegranate to your daily lineup. From juice to seeds to supplement extracts, it’s easy to enhance your life with the wonders of pomegranate.

Let’s take a deep dive into the 5 benefits of pomegranates for your sexual and overall health.

1. Boosts testosterone

Testosterone is the “manly” hormone that controls your facial hair, deep voice, muscle growth, and even your sex drive. Low levels of testosterone can become a serious health problem leading to lowered energy, depression, diminished libido, weight gain, muscle loss, brain fog, and more. Women also need testosterone for their sex drive and regulation of estrogen levels.

By the way, low T means low libido… and low libido means a low desire for sex. If you have been losing your interest in sex recently, you may be suffering from low testosterone levels.

I always recommend increasing testosterone levels the natural way before resorting to costly (and often ineffective) testosterone replacement therapies. A daily intake of pomegranate is one of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to improve your testosterone.

Firstly, pomegranate is shown to block estrogen production. The Beckman Research Institute in California reported that pomegranate is rich in ellagittanins (ET). ETs convert into compounds that are used to stop your androgens from turning into estrogens. Basically, ET helps lower the production of estrogen.

This is critical to testosterone levels. Too much estrogen can interfere with libido, hurt erectile health, and damage bone strength. Plus, estrogen actually blocks testosterone production. High levels of estrogen actually further diminish T levels to create an unhealthy imbalance of hormones that are destructive to male sexual health.

A study at the Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland found that participants who were given one glass of pomegranate juice per day for two weeks had a 24% increase in testosterone on average. They also saw further results linked to improved testosterone, balanced hormones, and regulated mood:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decline of stress levels
  • Increase in positive emotions, especially self-confidence
  • Heightened mood
  • Lowered feelings of shyness, fear, and sadness

2. Treats erectile dysfunction

It’s important to note that the Queen Margaret study found not only an increase in testosterone levels, but also an increase in positive emotions as well. Stress, anxiety, low self-confidence, and fear are all major causes of erectile dysfunction. This study demonstrated that pomegranate might be able to improve psychological concerns that could cause erectile dysfunction.

Furthermore, pomegranates help address three major causes of erectile dysfunction: restricted blood flow/high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.

Blood flow

You need proper blood flow in order for your penis to fill with blood and get “hard.” If you have high blood pressure, damaged arteries, or vascular problems, blood flow to the penis can be restricted, thus causing erectile dysfunction. Some studies show that pomegranate juice can reduce systolic blood pressure with “promising acute hypotensive properties.” This lowered blood pressure can help promote blood flow to the penis when it’s time for an erection.

Furthermore, a 2007 study found that drinking 100% pomegranate juice (POM Wonderful brand) actually helped manage erectile dysfunction. 50% of participants who drank the juice saw an improvement in their erections. They concluded that this was due to the high antioxidant content of pomegranates, which can stop free radicals from inhibiting blood flow to the penis.

Additionally, pomegranate is high in vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in the production of nitric oxide (NO) by converting nitrites to nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is the chemical that relaxes blood vessels and flexes muscles near and in the penis. This NO process prepares your penis for an erection. A 2005 Italian study found an increase in levels of nitric oxide and a decrease in oxidant damage in all blood vessels after consumption of pomegranate juice.

Heart disease

In a similar “vein,” heart-healthy pomegranates (filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals) can open up your blood vessels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Heart disease is another cause of erectile dysfunction and lowered libido. Pomegranates can help lower cholesterol, remove arterial deposits (bad cholesterol), limit inflammation, and encourage blood flow—all lowering the risk of heart disease.

One study found that daily pomegranate seed oil for four weeks improved participants’ ratio of triglycerides to HDL, basically lowering bad deposits and raising good cholesterol. Researchers discovered that half a glass of pomegranate juice and three dates had enough antioxidants to help protect against heart attacks and strokes. A second study also showed that pomegranate juice could reduce bad cholesterol in those with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.


Being overweight can cause erectile dysfunction, lowered testosterone, imbalanced hormones, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Pomegranates also have been shown to help fight obesity by curbing hunger pains and improving satiation levels.

A 2016 study at Queen Margaret found that those participants who took a daily supplement of pomegranate had less desire to eat, were less hungry, and felt more satiated while eating than the placebo group. Researchers hypothesized that this was because of the fruit’s polyphenols (a specific type of antioxidant), which can act as an appetite suppressant.

Plus, pomegranates can help improve exercise performance, helping you lose weight and gain muscle at a faster rate. Pomegranate has a high amount of nitrates, which enhance blood flow throughout the body. This improved blood flow to the muscles can improve exercise performance, efficiency, and endurance. The better you workout, the more your body can burn off that extra flab. Regulated, healthy weight can reduce ED symptoms—and make you more energetic, happy, and productive!

3. Lowers risk of prostate cancer

Prostate cancer affects 11.6% of men at some point in their lives. What seems to be an inevitable disease is actually preventable—and maybe even with a delicious fruit like pomegranate! Recent research suggests, “pomegranate is likely to be valuable for treatment of some forms of human prostate cell life.”

One study looked at the reason why pomegranates may have this effect on prostate cancer. Data suggests that pomegranate extract down-regulates HR which sensitizes cells to DSBs, growth inhibition, and apoptosis.” Basically, pomegranate polyphenols help your cells kill themselves. “Apoptosis” is your body’s natural process where unhealthy cells self-destruct before spreading their “disease” to other cells. When damaged cells don’t self-destruct, they begin to breed and grow into tumors and cancers. Pomegranate extract helps keep this natural process of apoptosis functioning, so cancerous and damaged cells will continue to die off at an appropriate rate.

4. Improves sperm quality

A Turkish study found that rats that drank pomegranate juice had significant increases in healthy sperm. Generally, “healthy” sperm refers to the quantity, movement, structure, and fertility of the sperm. Healthy sperm is more likely to fertilize an egg and create a healthy embryo. If you and your partner are trying to get pregnant, it’s time to start glugging the pomegranate juice.

Turkish researchers also found an increased amount of natural antioxidants in sperm and blood, further demonstrating that pomegranate extract helps to send nutrients directly into the bloodstream to fight against damaging oxidation.

5. Other benefits of pomegranate

Pomegranate also has a number of health benefits that will make your overall wellness significantly better. For example, pomegranate’s ability to fight oxidative stress and minimize inflammation has been shown to fight rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, and swelling. It has also been shown to aid brain health, improve memory, and fight off signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

As we age, our body’s natural processes start to slow down. If you want to stay functioning with optimal health, you need to take care of your sexual, physical, emotional, and mental wellness in tandem. Pomegranates have proven benefits in all of these wellness facets.

How to consume

There are a number of ways to get your daily dose of pomegranate. Pomegranate juice and pomegranate supplements are a popular way to get a shot of healthy goodness.

But be careful. Steer clear of most store-bought pomegranate juice, which tends to be filled with sugar—and sugar can actually make your sexual health worse. If you’re going to buy store-bought, stick to all-natural 100% juice like POM Wonderful.

I like making pomegranate juice right at home, so I can control the taste and consistency myself. Here’s how:

  • Cut open a fresh, organic pomegranate.
  • Scoop out the seeds and place in a bowl filled with water.
  • The seeds will sink to the bottom, and their white goopy membrane will float to the top.
  • Strain the water, which will clean the seeds and remove the membrane.
  • Place the seeds in a blender and blend to a pulp.
  • Strain the seed mixture into a pulp.
  • Add water and agave sweetener to taste.
  • Eat the rest of the pomegranate or use in your cooking!

And don’t neglect pomegranate seeds! They burst in your mouth for a hydrating and sweet snack. If you have a midnight sweet tooth like me, pomegranate seeds are a deliciously healthy way to curb those cravings.

Bottom line

Get back to the sex life you want with boosted T, high libido, diminished erectile dysfunction, lowered risk of prostate cancer, improved sperm quality, higher energy, regulated weight, improved memory, fewer aches and pains, and so much more… all with pomegranates!

Adding pomegranates to your morning routine or midnight snack is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to boost your sexual health and wellness. In fact, you’ll start seeing most of the benefits of pomegranates in as little as four weeks.

What else can you do to upgrade your health? 

Well, you can flip the page on your calendar.

And you can renew your vitality and vigor with a Male 2.0 Consult! Sign up to start living your best life in now!


Tracy Gapin, MD FACS is a board-certified Urologist, Men’s Health Expert, Author, and Professional Speaker. Using state-of-the-art biometric monitoring, nutrition and lifestyle intervention, Dr. Gapin coaches Fortune 500 executives and evolutionary leaders of business, sports medicine, and high performance. He specializes in cutting-edge precision medicine with an emphasis on epigenetics, providing men with a personalized path to optimizing health & performance.

BPH and Erectile Dysfunction: Are They Related?

Approximately 70% of men with BPH (enlarged prostate) have co-existing erectile dysfunction (ED), according to research presented in The World Journal Of Men’s Health. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that ED causes BPH or that BPH causes ED. It also doesn’t mean that if you have one problem, you must have the other as well. This statistic simply means there’s some sort of connection between the two. But what is the relationship? And what does this link mean for your wellness?

If you’re suffering from BPH and/or ED, you’re likely wondering how this will influence your sexual and urinary health. Wonder no more—the answers are here!

(Well, not all the answers. Still waiting on more research and science for some explanations. But a lot of the answers!)

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a man can’t get or keep an erection. ED affects nearly 52% of all men at some point in their lives. It can stem from psychological concerns like: anxiety, depression, stress, poor sleep, relationship concerns, or lowered confidence. It also has physical causes like: vascular problems (high blood pressure or poor blood flow), imbalanced hormones, lowered nitric oxide, damage to pelvic area, clogged arteries, and diabetes.

Basically, your brain, blood vessels, hormones, nerves, psyche, and muscles all need to work together to create an erection. If one part of the process isn’t functioning properly, an erection simply won’t happen.

But none of these have to do with the prostate. The prostate isn’t part of the erection process  (it’s part of the sperm-making process)… so why are BPH (enlarged prostate) and erectile dysfunction linked?

What is BPH?

The prostate is the walnut-shaped gland at the base of the bladder that surrounds the urethra. Its primary function is the production of fluid for the semen. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is the noncancerous growth of cells in the prostate, creating an enlarged prostate gland.

Although the prostate function is sexual in nature, the enlargement of the prostate actually upsets the urinary tract due to the proximity to the urethra and bladder. When the prostate enlarges with a benign tumor, it tends to block off the urethra—aka the tube from which you urinate and ejaculate.

This is the first link between BPH and sexual dysfunction. Even though BPH primarily influences the urinary tract, this is the same tract that semen comes out of. This indicates there is also some sort of concern with sexual health and ejaculation as well. But read on for a deeper understanding of this connection…

What are the symptoms of BPH?

The symptoms of BPH tend to be urinary in nature. If you are struggling going “number one” in the bathroom, you may want to get checked for BPH. You’ll often see BPH referred to as LUTS, which stands for “lower urinary tract symptoms.”

Symptoms can include:

  • Feeling the urge to urinate frequently or urgently
  • Trouble starting or stopping urination
  • Weak stream of urine
  • Straining during urination
  • Incomplete emptying of bladder
  • Needing to go excessively at night

It’s interesting to note that there may be a correlation between the severity of BPH symptoms and the risk of other sexual dysfunctions. For example, men with severe trouble going to the bathroom often also find they have reduced sex drive, inability to keep an erection, and lowered sexual satisfaction. One review found that most men who sought treatment for either BPH or ED were actually diagnosed with both conditions.

What causes BPH?

BPH is a common concern for a number of men. In fact, autopsy studies around the world have found prevalence among all men regardless of race or location. The one link is age: 10% of men in their 30s, 20% in their 40s, 50-60% in their 60s, and 80-90% over age 70. The cause of BPH is poorly understood. Because of its prevalence worldwide, it’s concluded that the major cause of BPH is simply age. However, some research has suggested that genetics, insomnia, anxiety, heart disease, and diabetes also play a role in prostate enlargement.

The “causes” of BPH are also causes of ED. This is where the second link comes in. Age, anxiety, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and poor sleep are all proven causes of erectile dysfunction—as they are with prostate enlargement. In this way, the two may not be interdependent—but their root causes are the same.

What are the treatments for BPH?

Typical treatments for BPH include hormone blockers and surgeries. This is where the third link, and possibly the most potent connection, plays a role. The treatments for BPH are proven to impact and potentially cause erectile dysfunction.


Common medications that are often prescribed for the treatment of BPH are alpha blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. Alpha blockers, such as Flomax, relax the urine channel that runs through the middle of the prostate to ease urination. The 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, such as Proscar and Avodart, influence your endocrine system (hormones) to slowly promote shrinkage of the prostate.

Although 5-alpha reductase inhibitors may improve symptoms BPH and reduce the likelihood of problems related to BPH, they have some potential serious side effects. A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that the most common side effect for 5-alpha reductase inhibitors was erectile dysfunction. They attributed this to a decrease in nitric oxide activity; nitric oxide is necessary for the blood flow to the penis that happens during an erection.

Another study in Hormones Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigations found that Avodart could worsen erectile dysfunction in men already experiencing some sexual dysfunction problems. Moreover, the study found that Avodart put men at an increased risk for diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Researchers at George Washington University found that finasteride (Proscar) caused a number of sexual side effects including ED, changes in genital sensation, and quality of ejaculate. These side effects could even persist for up to 14 months after discontinuation of use. Proscar has been linked to ED in 3.7% of men who use it, and 3.3% of men report a diminished libido.


One of the most common surgeries for BPH is TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate). The incidence of erectile dysfunction post-TURP surgery is approximately 14%, as reported in the World Journal of Urology.

Overall, it’s widely accepted that surgery on or around the pelvis/prostate can cause erectile dysfunction.

Research has shown that less invasive surgeries for BPH may have reduced risk of ED. For example, TUNA (transurethral needle ablation) has been shown to less likely to cause sexual dysfunction. TUIP (transurethral incision of the prostate) and TUMT (transurethral microwave thermotherapy) also have lower incidence of ED. Nevertheless, any prostate surgery has the chance to potentially cause ED.

What is the link between BPH and ED?

So what does all this mean? Let’s recap.

Enlarged prostate does not cause ED. ED does not cause BPH.

But they do often appear simultaneously. The Survey of the Aging Male found that 60% of men who had urinary symptoms also presented ED symptoms.

There are three major links between these two independent concerns:

  1. Enlarged prostate blocks the urinary tract, which is also where semen is released. This may thus influence the ability to maintain an erection and ejaculate quality semen. Though this is not related to erection quality, it demonstrates a sexual health concern as well.
  2. The accepted causes of BPH are also common causes of ED, such as age, poor sleep, stress, heart disease, and diabetes.
  3. Common treatments for BPH, including hormone blockers and invasive prostate surgeries, often hold erectile dysfunction as the most prevalent side effect.

So what can you do about this? How can you overcome your symptoms of BPH and ED easily, quickly, safely, and effectively?

Do ED medications work for BPH?

Some research has shown—though not definitively—that ED meds may also help BPH. It seems against logic, since ED meds tend to affect the vascular system and BPH is not a vascular problem. Despite logic, ED meds might work for BPH.

For example, tadalfil (Cialis), when taken daily, has been shown to improve erectile function, ejaculatory function, and sexual satisfaction in men showing both BPH and ED. Another study found that ED and BPH symptoms share common pathophysiological pathways that can be treated by tadalafil. This is likely because tadalfil increases cGMP, which is the chemical that both enhances blood flow to the penis and relaxes the muscles in the prostate and bladder. Nevertheless, tadalfil is not an approved treatment for BPH.


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However, despite the research, there is still hesitancy to start prescribing tadalfil for all men with ED and BPH. ED pills don’t get to the root of the problem, instead just masking the symptoms indefinitely. This means you will be on pills the rest of your life in order to stay healthy. Moreover, medications often host a number of mild and serious side effects that aren’t worth the trouble, including blood pressure and heart concerns.

You want to get to the root of the problem of your BPH and erectile dysfunction. As we know, the causes of erectile dysfunction are also the shared causes of BPH. In this way, fixing the root cause can solve both problems in the long-term.

This means taking a look at your risk factors and making lifestyle changes accordingly. Common causes of BPH and ED that you should consider with your doctor include:

  • Weight (being overweight/obese)
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Medications

Treating symptoms of BPH and erectile dysfunction

If you’re dealing with BPH and ED, you might feel overwhelmed running to the bathroom and unable to enjoy the sexual pleasures of life. And lifestyle changes take time. Below are a few tips to reduce your suffering in the meantime, while you attack the root causes of your ED and BPH problems.

  • Reduce your intake of fluids, especially after dinner. This will help reduce the urge to urinate throughout the night.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine. These are diuretics that increase urine flow.
  • Talk to your doctor about anticholinergic medications like antihistamines and antidepressants. These weaken bladder contractions, so it can be a challenge to control your symptoms.
  • Talk to your doctor about blood pressure or heart medications, which are usually diuretics.
  • Avoid medications that stimulate your muscles, like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and other decongestants.
  • Clear the path from your bed to the bathroom so you don’t hurt yourself in the middle of the night.
  • Always use the bathroom when you feel the urge.
  • Eat an ED-fighting diet.
  • Exercise! Sweating can help reduce the urge to go to the bathroom. It can also help maintain a healthy body weight, reduce stress, and lower anxiety—all of which may be causing your BPH and ED.
  • Get more vitamin D, which is linked to prostate health.

Bottom line

Enlarged prostate and erectile dysfunction are linked, often presenting signs at the same time. If you’re suffering from urinary and sexual symptoms, it’s time to talk to your doctor. Be sure to discuss how your treatment for BPH will influence your ED and vice versa.

You don’t need to run to the bathroom. You don’t need to shy away from sex. It’s time to take control of your health.

Take power over your health and vitality right now by checking our Male 90X program. With this genetic-based report and private consultation, your sexual and overall health will be completely renewed and revolutionized.