As highlighted on the list of foods to avoid with benign prostatic hyperplasia and on the page highlighting environmental factors affecting enlarged prostate symptoms, BPH treatment options can be more effective when you are aware of what can exacerbate enlarged prostate symptoms. By avoiding these BPH triggers, you can better manage your symptoms.
What Are Vaso-active Amines?
In addition to tyramines, there are other vaso-active amines that can exacerbate BPH symptoms. An amine is a substance containing amino groups, such as histamine, dopamine, norepinephren, tryptamine, or serotonin. These substances are highly vaso-active and alter the permeability of blood vessels. They are known to cause a marked increase in blood pressure when administered intravenously to mammals. Vaso-active amines occur naturally in foods and can trigger symptoms that mimic allergic reactions.
Therefore foods and other ingestible substances containing these vaso-active amines should be avoided by those diagnosed with BPH or those at risk for developing BPH. By reducing your intake of vaso-active amines, you can better focus on your BPH treatment options.
Role of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in BPH
Monosodium glutamate, more commonly known as MSG, causes symptoms in many men similar to those caused by tyramines. These symptoms are a reaction to the free glutamic acid that occurs in food as a result of the manufacturing process.
Food Ingredients that Contain MSG
MSG is hidden in many foods and is rarely disclosed on the label. Foods containing the following ingredients always have MSG, regardless of the labeling:
- Glutamic Acid
- Calcium or Sodium Caseinate
- Textured Protein or Textured Soy Protein
- Hydrolyzed Protein
- Yeast Extract
- Autolyzed Yeast
Ingredients that Might Contain MSG
The following often contain MSG:
- Malt Extract or Barley Malt
- Stock or Broth (chicken or beef)
- Whey Protein
- Whey Protein Isolate or Concentrate
- Enzymes or Protease Enzymes
- Flavors or Flavorings
- Natural Flavors or Flavorings
- Natural Beef, Pork or Chicken Flavorings
- Soy Sauce
- Soy Protein or Soy Protein Isolate or Concentrate
- Disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate (food additives)
Keep in mind that “natural” or “naturally occurring” does not mean MSG free. MSG reactions have also been reported to soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, and cosmetics where MSG is hidden in ingredients that are hydrolyzed or that contain amino acids.
Hiding MSG on Labels
As more people are able to associate hydrolyzed proteins with MSG, the food industry is continually inventing new ways to disguise the presence of MSG. One way the industry is trying to hide MSG is by labeling hydrolyzed proteins as:
- Pea protein
- Whey protein
- Corn protein
- Wheat protein
- Soy protein
The way to distinguish between these proteins and the foods from which they were derived is simple. If a food contained peas, corn, soybeans, or other foods in their whole form - that is not hydrolyzed - the food would be listed without the word "protein" following it. So seeing "corn" listed as an ingredient instead of "corn protein" means that it is not a hydrolyzed version of corn, reducing the chance that MSG is in the product. However, be sure to check your food labels for all of the ingredients in the above lists since a food may have "corn," but will also have "gelatin" or other ingredient containing MSG.
Taking an Active Role in Your BPH Treatment
If you are diligent in checking food labels for vaso-active amines and ingredients with MSG, you can help control some exacerbations of enlarged prostate symptoms. This is a simple no cost step that should be an integral part of your BPH treatment options.
If you are unsure if you are affected by benign prostatic hyperplasia, take the BPH test and schedule an appointment with your doctor. Although you may be able to reduce the severity of your BPH symptoms, it is important that you work with a medical professional. A professional medical exam can help determine the extent of your prostate hyperplasia and allow you and your doctor to find the best BPH treatment options for your situation.