Prostate health with herbs, supplements, and vitamins, role of food and diet
Natural and alternative therapy for enlargement

July 18 2018 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It makes a fluid that mixes with sperm and other fluids during ejaculation. These fluids help nourish and transport sperm. A normal prostate gland is about the size of a walnut.
   Many effective pharmaceutical medicines are available to improve symptoms of prostate enlargement. However, there are also natural therapies, including the use of time-tested herbal products. Some of the commonly used herbs include saw palmetto, pygeum, stinging nettle, and rye pollen. Some plant extracts that have also been studied include beta sitosterol, genistein, daidzein, quercetin, rosaminic acid, and lycopene. A combination of several herbs in a prostate formula has been combined to offer maximal herbal prostate support.

Food, diet and BPH
The types of food we consume influence inflammation and the growth of the prostate gland. I suggest men reduce their intake of sugar, hard fats, junk food, and to be reasonable with the amount of meat or cheese consumed. Foods that could be of benefit include fish, omega-3 fatty acids, foods with fiber, and vegetables.

To reduce the size of the prostate gland I suggest to eat less and to lose weight. This alone could help shrink the gland and improve symptoms of BPH. You could go on a strict caloric restricted diet for a few weeks to see if this helps.

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This natural prostate formula has Saw Palmetto, Pygeum, Stinging Nettle, Quercetin, and Key Ingredients for support of normal prostate size

This prostate formula is carefully formulated with important herbs and nutrients to provide optimal prostate health. Clinical research has been conducted with some of the potent herbs in Prostate Power Rx. This formula has been designed to support: Normal prostate size and Cellular support against oxidants and harmful substances.

I suggest exercising more during the day and being more active since that leads to deeper sleep and less frequent awakenings to go to the bathroom.

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Supplement Facts
Saw palmetto extract (standardized to contain 45% fatty acids - serenoa repens fruit)
Stinging nettle 4:1 extract (urtica diocia root)
synergizes with finasteride in rodents to reduce the wet prostate weight, which may be androgen independent. Reduction of rat prostate weight by combined quercetin - finasteride treatment is associated with cell cycle deregulation. J Endocrinology. 2004.
Rosemary 4:1 extract - 100 mg (Rosemarinus officinales leaf)
Beta sitosterol phytosterol
Pygeum 4:1 bark extract (Pygeum Africanum)
Daidzein (standardized to contain 40% isoflavones)
(treatment with the isoflavones daidzein and genistein, the estrogen-like compounds found in soy, block prostate growth in rats)
Genistein (standardized to contain 40% isoflavones)
. Genistein tissue levels are greater in men with small-volume prostate enlargement compared with those with large-volume prostate enlargement.
Lycopene (Lycoperscion escatatum fruit)
is a carotenoid that gives tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables their red color.

Testimonial sent to us by email
Thanks Physician Formulas and Ray Sahelian, M.D. For about nine months I had mixed results using another prostate product that contained Beta-Sitosterol, 600 mg plus a number of minerals such as, zinc, copper, manganese, etc. etc.. I replaced the aforementioned prostate supplement with your prostate product and within two to three weeks I experienced a truly significant improvement in my condition. Now after about six weeks of use I am a very happy camper. I now only get up during the night ,one or two times as opposed to three, four and sometimes five times. Also, during the day I have very much more control over my need to find a men's room. I highly recommend Prostate Power RX. JB, Hollister, California.

Practical tips for a healthier prostate
Besides herbs and mainstream medications, there are also some basic behavioral changes that can combat symptoms. Among them are: reducing fluid intake (especially at night a few hours before bed); limiting alcohol and caffeine, and avoiding them after about 3 p.m.; and not passing up a chance to use the bathroom, even when your bladder doesn't feel full. One way to reduce the worsening of this condition is to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Taking long walks, runs, biking, and playing sports can make you feel tired at night allowing for a deeper sleep which will reduce your urge to get up and visit the bathroom.
Weight loss can help reduce symptoms of BPH.

Additional supplements that may benefit men with enlarged prostate
Melatonin treatment is associated with a significant improvement in nocturia related symptoms. J Urology. 2004.

Chaste berry contains components that inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis in human prostate epithelial cell lines. The extract may be useful for the prevention and/or treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Planta Med. 2005. Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology, University of Basel, Schonbeinstrasse Basel, Switzerland.

Chrysin has been tested in rodents.

Curcumin, as found in turmeric plant.

Phytother Res. 2016. Anti-Proliferation Effects of Garlic (Allium sativum) on the Progression of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of garlic to prove its suppressing effects on BPH. Garlic administration decreased relative prostate weight ratio, suppressed mRNA expression level of AR, DHT serum levels, and the growth of prostatic tissue in BPH-induced rats. Results suggest that garlic may have suppressing effects on BPH and it has great potential to be developed as a treatment for BPH.

Journal of Natural Products. 2015. Effects of Resveratrol on Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia by the Regulation of Inflammatory and Apoptotic Proteins. Resveratrol produced an antiproliferative effect by regulating the expression levels of proteins involved in inflammation and apoptosis during BPH.

Are reishi mushroom extract and willow herb helpful for an enlarged prostate gland?
    I have not seen enough human research to know for certain.

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Prostate enlargement, BPH
As a man ages, it is common for the prostate gland to enlarge. Doctors call this condition of enlarged prostate "benign prostatic hyperplasia" or BPH. As the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding, causing the prostate gland to press inward against the urethra like a clamp on a garden hose, narrowing the space for urine to pass. In addition, the bladder wall becomes thicker and irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination. Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself. Urine remains in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with an enlarged prostate. A doctor can tell an enlarged prostate during a finger prostate exam.

Results from multiple preclinical and clinical studies indicate that several modifiable, age-related metabolic aberrations (metabolic syndrome, obesity, high cholesterol or triglyceride leves, diabetes) are important determinants in both the development and the progression of BPH.

Symptoms of BPH
The symptoms of an enlarged prostate vary, but the most common ones involve changes or problems with urination, such as

Men who have symptoms of prostate obstruction are more likely to develop chronic kidney disease.

Prostate enlargement cause, why it happens
This may be due to genetics and diet. Hormone changes as we get older also influences the growth of the prostate gland. Prostate gland development requires the conversion of testosterone into DHT with the help of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. As aging occurs, the amount of DHT in the prostate gland remains high, even through the circulating testosterone level drops which could lead to an enlarged prostate gland. Prostate enlargement is not inevitable as men get older, but a significant majority of older men will have it.
   The prostate has only one function, namely to secrete fluid containing substances that are needed for reproduction. This requires an extremely high concentration of androgens in the tissues. Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) seems to be related to the long-term exposure of the prostate to the strong androgen 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and, possibly, to estrogens.
Prostatitis is a general term for inflammation of the prostate gland that could cause enlargement.

Treating gum disease may help reduce symptoms of prostate inflammation, which can make urination difficult. Previous research has shown a link between gum disease and prostate inflammation -- called prostatitis.

Prostate specific antigen test - PSA, is it useful?
There is controversy regarding the use of the PSA test. It has not been proved that older men would benefit from getting a prostate specific antigen test since prostate cancer is such a slow growing tumor. A prostate exam using a finger can give a strong clue of a potential cancer when done by an experienced doctor.
   The standard PSA test produces many false positives and false negatives meaning some men who think they do not have cancer actually do, while others may undergo uncomfortable biopsies only to learn there is no tumor after all.

For many men, a routine PSA blood test has become an annual ritual. Now the developer of the test says it can't be relied on for this purpose, and has led to overly zealous treatment of men with prostate enlargement. Dr. Thomas A. Stamey at Stanford University first reported in 1987 that levels of PSA in the blood could be used as a marker of prostate cancer. "What we didn't know in the early years is that benign growth of the prostate is the most common cause of a PSA level between 1 and 10 ng/mL," Stamey notes in a university press release. Standard units of measurement of PSA are nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) of blood. Stamey's group found that the average size and invasiveness of prostate cancers have been dropping over the past two decades, to the point that the cancers being discovered may not be clinically meaningful.

Do you know if any of supplements have an affect on PSA readings
   We still are waiting for good studies on the relationship between saw palmetto, herbs and PSA and we don't have enough information to know for sure.

Prostate medicine and drugs
Several drugs are currently used as prostate medicine, the most commonly used is Proscar (finasteride) for prostate enlargement.  Avodart - Dutasteride manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline; Dutas - Generic Dutasteride manufactured by Dr. Reddy's; Fincar - Generic Proscar manufactured by Cipla; Flomax - Tamsulosin Hydrochloride manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim; Proscar - Finasteride (5mg) manufactured by Merck;  Calutide - Generic Casodex manufactured by Cipla; Cytomid - Generic Flutamide manufactured by Cipla.

I read frequently that supplements that increase testosterone can result in unwanted prostate growth. If male testosterone levels naturally decline with age, why does supplementing to bring these levels up to their former values cause ill effects and make an enlarged prostate worse? Why don't 18 year old males have giant prostates?
   Good question. It's difficult to know exactly what's going on in prostate tissue and how testosterone, in different age groups, has an effect. But, it may be that the biochemical system within prostate tissue is quite able to handle high androgen levels in the youth but is not able to handle these high androgen levels too well as the person gets older thus leading to prostate enlargement.

My husband is 60 years old and he is currently treated with Adovart for benign prostate enlargement. When he started the therapy (to improve urinary flow etc) the prostate size was slightly above the highest normal range and 3 months later it reduced by 30%. For the past 3 years his erectile function gradually worsened (he was not able to sustain it all the time or for a long period of time) but with the use of Adovart he experienced a dramatic decrease of libido and sexual activity with no erections at all. Of course this is a vicious cycle that led to depression and anxiety. He has no heart problems, increased blood pressure, diabetes etc.
   Please see the web page on impotence.

I came across a product called Prostate Miracle. It claims that it is 3,000 times more potent than saw palmetto. Prostate Miracle is claimed to be 95% effective for prostate enlargement and is a natural, highly effective treatment for BPH. What is your opinion? They also say Prostate Miracle is an excellent pre-emptive measure to prevent prostate cancer from developing.
   We have not tested Prostate Miracle and we therefore don't know if it works. The company promoting it is clearly violating FDA rules which say that a supplement cannot claim to treat a medical condition. The claims are so blatant that the integrity of this company cannot be trusted. We are not sure how the number 3,000 has been determined. Apparently Prostate Miracle has 300 mg of beta sitosterol, which can be easily purchased by itself. Long term risks and benefits of beta sitosterol supplement use are not known. Since the company selling this product has not shown that it prevents prostate cancer (it would take at least a 20 year study to find this out), they certainly have lost total credibility.