On the occasion of World Men's Day, which is traditionally celebrated every year on November 19, we spoke with our phyto- and apitherapist Mr. Bačlija - what he recommends for all older men and how to preserve health nowadays, read in the interview.


Mr. Bačlija, tell us, in consultation with you, what you noticed - what problems do men most often face in middle age?

What starts to bother men after 40 is an enlarged prostate. The prostate is a chestnut-sized gland that is in direct relation with the urethra and bladder and is very important for male fertility. Although by prostate diseases we mostly mean benign enlargement (so-called benign prostate hyperplasia), it, however, often interferes with regular urination and, like any inflammatory process of the prostate, can mutate cells. This tends to end quite fatally; possible consequences are prostate inflammation and even cancer. Inflammation of the prostate is the most common urological diagnosis in men under the age of fifty, while benign enlargement and prostate cancer rarely appear, unfortunately, even before the age of fifty. Prostate cancer is the leading malignant tumor in men today.


Considering everything you mentioned, what would you advise men who are over 40 years old - what is the first step of prevention?

Nature has gifted us with medicinal herbs that successfully prevent and help treat diseases and pathological conditions of the prostate. For that reason, it would be very good to start taking Macerat 06 – an oil macerate based on nettle (Urtica dioica) , willow (Epilobium parviflorum) and thyme (Thymus serpyllum) combined in cold-pressed oil pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo). We all know about pumpkin oil, but unfortunately, the one we use most often is not cold pressed. Namely, in the case of these salad oils, pumpkin seeds are "toasted" in classic production before squeezing - they are baked at around 120 ºC. Because of this, they give more oil and are much finer, but they lost most of their nutritional value during baking. This is how we get the well-known taste of oil from roasted seeds. The oil produced in this way is certainly tastier, but not the healthiest. In Matičnjak, we press pumpkin seeds like all other seeds at a temperature of up to 28 ºC. without prior heating. That pumpkin oil, admittedly, is not as tasty as the one people are used to, but it is therefore much more effective because it contains various phytosterols that do not contain the oils we use for food. So, the seeds we press for Macerat 06 are fresh, but when the oil is obtained from them after pressing, it is quite tasteless. [smijeh]


Why is cold-pressed pumpkin oil chosen as a macerator?

Cold pressed pumpkin oil is especially rich in vitamins A, E, C and K. Fresh oil contains more than 60% of unsaturated fatty acids. It also contains B group vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids, minerals (phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium) and trace elements (iron, zinc, manganese). It also contains lecithin, proteins and salicylic acid. Pumpkin seed oil has proven to be a very good food for the prevention of some diseases and ailments. It is often recommended by primary care physicians to men who have problems with an enlarged prostate or bladder (which has also been confirmed by scientific studies).


How difficult is it for men today to lead a healthy life?

Heavy! Very, very, hard! [smijeh] Yes, life has changed drastically from the time when I was younger looking at everything until now. Today, it is extremely difficult for men (and equally for women) to lead a quality and healthy life, both because of the speed of life and the amount of food available to us, which very often should not be anyone's first choice when it comes to proper and balanced diet. Unfortunately, we eat a pro-inflammatory diet, which means that we consume large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids and very little omega-3 fatty acids. Although both acids are essential, the difference is that omega-6 is pro-inflammatory and omega-3 anti-inflammatory. We find these last few in food, but people do not pay too much attention to the main differences between these two acids, and precisely in this difference lies the key to a healthy and normal life span. About eighty years ago, this ratio in Croatia was 1:1, and today it is 1:33 in favor of pro-inflammatory omega-6 acids. That's a huge and scary difference, because it means our bodies are under constant chronic inflammation! However, there is a natural solution for this too.


So what can a man change for the better in his daily diet?

If I were to follow up on this story about pro- and anti-inflammatory acids, it would be very desirable to include cold-pressed wild flax oil (Camelina sativa) in the menu, which has over 50% polyunsaturated of fatty acids, and it contains the most alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) at 31%! It significantly improves the lipid profile in the blood, but the most interesting of all (and the most important!) is the fact that the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in this oil is exactly 3:1, which is the ideal ratio, the golden ratio - that is, the ratio which everyone (both men and women) should aspire to!


What can men do for their health already today and when should they start thinking about some changes at the earliest?

Unfortunately, guys/men in their early 30s still don't think much about healthy habits and some major health changes, but after 40 they should start thinking about it more seriously. You should definitely reduce alcohol and tobacco products, eat as much fruit and vegetables as possible (a varied diet), high-protein food, and reduce the intake of fats and UH (carbohydrates), and protect the liver from various chemicals and toxins that we increasingly introduce into the body - because the liver it is very important to us because of the glutathione it creates to protect against possible cell mutation. Therefore, in this regard, I would also emphasize our functional honey Hepta sana, not only because of the liver, but also because of the importance of the fenugreek ingredient in it, which affects the hormonal balance. Of course, it would be even better to take fenugreek powder alone (Fenugreek Plus), but for all those who are not inclined to its specific taste and smell, I suggest this much sweeter honey version. Fenugreek with its phytohormones gently and non-aggressively supports our hormonal system; it acts as a natural tonic - for both men and women, and people who regularly consume it over time notice how much more energy they have and better focus and concentration. Therefore, fenugreek - either in powder or in honey, is certainly my warm recommendation for use.


Conclusion for the end?

Unlike women, men generally take less care of themselves [smijeh], but it is important for men to understand that if their general health is optimal, it will also have a very favorable effect on the prostate. In the simplest terms - in nature we have everything that human health needs. With only two to three medicinal herbs, I believe that men can very successfully control and direct their health condition, and thus prevent everything that age brings. Men, take care of yourselves – because if not now, when?


Ivo Bačlija, herbalistapitherapist

+The information and statements are for educational purposes and should not replace your doctor's advice.

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