Nearly 80% of men over 70 have benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). This condition can lead to a number of troubling urinary symptoms. Prostatitis and prostate cancer are also common. Over-the-counter (OTC) vitamins, herbs and supplements may be conveniently self-administered.
One study found that 33% of BPH patients used alternative medicines. However most men who use these alternative therapies don’t know the risks associated with them. This article will cover some of the most common non-prescription and best prostate health supplements.
What Is BPH?
BPH is when the prostate gland becomes larger and pushes against the urethra. This can cause various urinary symptoms. However, not all men who have an enlarged prostate experience these symptoms.
BPH is more common in men over 50, possibly because of an increase in estrogen and testosterone levels. BPH does not increase the risk of developing cancer, however, they can occur in tandem.
BPH symptoms include:
- Inability to urinate
- Difficulty starting urination or weakening of the urinary stream
- Frequent urination and urinary urgency
Are Prostate Supplements Worth Taking?
It doesn’t matter if you have been diagnosed with BPH, or if you are trying to prevent it from happening, it is tempting to look into alternative or complementary medicine. This article will clarify how vitamins and herbal supplements can affect prostate health.
Let’s not forget to mention that BPH can be difficult to manage. Sometimes, traditional treatments don’t work as well as you would expect. Over-the-counter prostate health supplements may be a great alternative. Before you take any new medication or prostate health supplement, it is best to consult your urologist.
What Are The Most Effective Prostate Health Supplements?
Harvard Health has estimated that approximately one-third (33%) of American men suffering from BPH have tried at least one alternative treatment, including herbal and supplement remedies. The most popular supplements are:
1. Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto prostate health supplement is near the top as it can be used for many urological conditions, such as patients with an enlarged prostate (also known by benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH). People take approximately 320 mg of saw palmetto daily.
This substance, which is extracted from the berry of the see palmetto shrub is believed to inhibit 5-alpha reductase (5-5-AR), which blocks the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. This is responsible for stimulating the growth of the prostate.
Some studies have shown that saw palmetto can increase urine flow in men with BPH compared with placebo.
While some studies claim it may help with incontinence, others suggest that saw palmetto does not really work.
Side effects of saw palmetto are rare, but can include headaches and stomach upset. You run the risk that you will get bleeding if you take this herb with pain relievers such as naproxen, aspirin, and ibuprofen.
2. Pygeum Africanum
P africanumis tall evergreen found in South and Central Africa and is used as a prostate health supplement. The powdered bark has been traditionally used to treat a range of urinary problems. Concentrated extracts from P Africanum were studied for their efficacy in treating BPH.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Urological Symptoms (CAMUS), is a new study that could be useful in recommending alternative therapies.
This trial aims to determine if the phytotherapies repens or Pygeum Africanum can delay or stop the progression of BPH.
The randomized, double-blind and actively controlled efficacy trial, which began in 2005, has already enrolled 2,860 participants.
For four years, patients have been seen at the clinic once a month. At clinic visits, the following assessments have been done:
- Physical examination
- Digital rectal exam
- Medical follow up
- Vital signs
- PSA and uroflow measurement
- Questionnaires regarding prostate health, adverse events and medications.
The CAMUS trial will provide a solid comparison between some phytotherapies, placebo, and the currently recommended prescription-treatment drug class.
Beta-sitosterol is an organic molecule found in plants that, either taken alone or in combination with other plant sterols, lowers cholesterol levels in the blood.
BPH symptoms and urine flow have been reported to improve in men who take beta-sitosterol, a chemical present in many edible plants.
Men with BPH have been reported to benefit from beta-sitosterol prostate health supplement, a chemical found in many edible plants. For six months, 200 men with BPH were given 20 mg of beta-sitosterol three times a day or a placebo in a double-blind experiment.
who received beta-sitosterol experienced a considerable improvement in urine flow and symptoms, but men who received the placebo had no change. Another double-blind research employing 130 mg of beta-sitosterol per day produced similar beneficial outcomes.
4. Rye Pollen Extract
Rye grass is a type of grass. Medicine is made from pollen from rye grass. In Western Europe, Japan, Korea, and Argentina, a medicine derived from rye grass pollen extract (Cernilton) is a registered pharmaceutical product.
Prostate disorders such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostate discomfort, and continuous swelling of the prostate are routinely treated using rye grass pollen prostate health supplements.
By interacting with specific chemicals, compounds present in rye grass pollen reduce swelling (inflammation). Prostate cancer cells may be slowed by these substances as well.
Taking rye grass pollen extract (Cernilton) appears to help with symptoms of an enlarged prostate, however studies on whether it truly reduces prostate size is inconsistent.
It’s unclear whether rye grass pollen extract is as effective as prescription medications like finasteride (Proscar) or alpha-blockers. Pygeum and Paraprost, a Japanese prostate treatment containing L-glutamic acid, L-alanine, and aminoacetic acid, appear to work about as well as rye grass pollen.
5. Pumpkin Seed Oil
Both pumpkin seed oil and a combination of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil, according to a 2014 study, may help with the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil prostate health supplements were found to be safe and effective alternate treatments for BPH, according to the researchers.
Pumpkin seed oil was reported to inhibit certain forms of prostate development in a previous study. The rats in the study were given testosterone and the alpha-blocker medication Prazosin. Although the reason for this is unknown, testosterone is thought to play a role in the development of BPH.
6. Stinging Nettle
For hundreds of years, stinging nettle has been used to treat sore muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. Many people now use it to treat urinary issues in the early stages of prostate enlargement (called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH).
In Europe, stinging nettle root is commonly used to treat BPH. Reduced urine flow, incomplete bladder emptying, post-urination dribbling, and the persistent urge to urinate may be relieved by stinging nettle in combination with other herbs (particularly saw palmetto), according to human studies.
According to some research, stinging nettle is as effective as finasteride (a common BPH drug) at slowing the growth of specific prostate cells. Unlike finasteride, however, the herb has no effect on prostate size.
Scientists are baffled as to why nettle root prostate health supplement helps to alleviate symptoms. It could be because it includes substances that impact hormones (such as testosterone and estrogen), or it could be because it directly affects prostate cells. Working with a doctor to treat BPH is critical, as is getting a good diagnosis to rule out prostate cancer.
4 Other Important Nutrients For Prostate Health
Healthy weight is essential for your overall health and your prostate’s health. Fiber may help you lose weight because it gives you a feeling of fullness, slows fat absorption and prevents constipation. A diet high in fiber from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and legumes may help reduce your BPH risk.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in cold-water fish, such as salmon, trout and herring, flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of BPH. One study showed men who ate cold-water fish three or four times per week had a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce blood pressure, lower triglycerides and improve cardiovascular health.
Omega-3 prostate health supplements provide anticancer properties that are beneficial for prostate health.
Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, and has been linked to cancer prevention. Although more research is required to determine if lycopene has any effect on prostate cancer, the general consensus is that it is beneficial. Watermelon, tomatoes, pink grapefruits, apricots and papaya are all good sources of lycopene. The cooking process in tomatoes releases lycopene, which increases your ability to absorb it.
High levels of vitamin C in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale and brussels sprouts may help reduce the risk of an enlarged prostate. Although more research is needed to determine whether vitamin C supplements can be used to prevent or combat prostate cancer, the National Cancer Institute says that people who consume cruciferous vegetables rich in vitamin C have a lower chance of developing it.
4 Things To Avoid With BPH
Some foods and dietary supplements can have positive effects on prostate health. However, it is important to limit intake of some items or avoid them altogether. These are just a few examples where nutrients are more important than others.
Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wines, is also available as a supplement. Some people believe that drinking more alcohol is better, but in reality, it could increase the risk of many types of cancer. Low alcohol intake is best for prostate health. A limit of 1 glass of wine per day or 1 drink per day is recommended.
While a single low-dose multivitamin may provide some protection against BPH, high-dose multivitamins can be dangerous and even worsen the disease.
Selenium and Vitamin E
Have you heard about the SELECT Study? The findings of the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial were widely publicized.
They examined the use Vitamin E and selenium in prostate cancer patients. Preliminary research suggested that this combination may actually lower the risk of developing prostate cancer.
In SELECT, which was published in the Journal of the American Medicine Association 2011 found that Vitamin E supplement users had a 17% higher chance of developing prostate cancer than those who received placebo. Researchers used SELECT survey data in 2014 to determine that men at high risk for developing prostate cancer had no benefit from taking Vitamin E or selenium.
The researchers also found that high levels of selenium in patients who entered the study raised their risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer by 91 per cent when they received additional selenium supplements.
Zinc has been suggested as a way to boost the immune system and improve prostate health. Low levels of zinc in the prostate or seminal liquid are common among chronic prostatitis patients.
Supplementation with zinc through diet doesn’t increase the prostate’s zinc levels. High doses of supplemental Zinc have been shown to cause abnormal immune system changes.
This can lead to increased prostate enlargement and infection, as well as increased risk for aggressive prostate cancer. A multivitamin containing 20 mg of zinc per day is sufficient.
Alternative medicines are not subject to clinical trials and don’t need to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This is one of the greatest concerns. There is very little information available on what these supplements do to our bodies. Remember that herbal remedies as well as supplements can interact with each other and with any medications you may be on. Supplements can affect the effectiveness of some medications or cause side effects.
These alternative therapies don’t work miracles. Some men may experience side effects or benefits that are positive for treating prostate disease. You shouldn’t be surprised if there are no changes. Talk to your urologist before you try prostate health supplements discussed here. You can count on him to provide the support and guidance you need in managing, treating, and preventing prostate problems.
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