Prostate Health and Supplements: Know the Facts

Prostate Health and Supplements – Which supplements help prostrate health and improve it? Read more to find out all you need to know to maintain your prostate health!

Prostate cancer is among the frequently diagnosed cancer type in males across the globe.

But there are many prostate issues that can be life-threatening. As the prostate gland is known to increase in size as we age, it’s common for people older than 50 to have some kind of prostate problem.

Yet, even the symptom of prostate problems that are not cancerous like pain in the urination or ejaculation can have a significant impact on your quality of life.

The advertisements for supplements often claim to improve prostate health or to alleviate symptoms caused by prostate problems However, you might be wondering whether these supplements are efficient.

This article examines the safety and effectiveness of several ingredients that are commonly used in prostate supplements.

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Prostate health

Prostates are a tiny gland that’s size is walnut. It is situated beneath the bladder. It runs around the upper part of the urethra. Its main purpose is to create the majority of the fluids that make up semen.

Three primary conditions can manifest in the prostate. These include:

Chronic or acute prostatitis. It is characterised by the inflammation on the prostate. In certain instances it is due to an infection with bacteria and other times, the reason for the problem is unclear.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). This benign enlargement of the prostate is often a cause to symptoms of the urinary tract that are less severe. It’s among the most prevalent conditions among older men.

Prostate cancer. This type of cancer is found within the prostate. It’s the fourth most common cause of death among men around the world.

While the beginning stage of prostate cancer can be unnoticeable, prostate issues tend to be caused by discomfort, like:

Urination painstakingly painful

Urination is a frequent desire.

awake during the course of the night, to urinate

painful ejaculation

erectile dysfunction

Pain in the hips, lower back or pelvic area

Supplements can’t solve or treat prostate-related problems. Many claim that they reduce or prevent symptoms that are associated with prostate problems typically through decreasing inflammation.

SUMMARY

The prostate gland is wrapped around the urethra to help produce semen. Prostatitis BPH Prostatitis, as well as prostate cancer, are some of the frequent prostate problems and can lead to symptoms of urinary tract infections.

Common supplement ingredients

Overall, evidence to support the efficacy of supplements for prostate health is insufficient.

But, limited research suggests that certain ingredients can aid in reducing some of the unpleasant symptoms that are associated with prostate issues.

While certain ingredients could to improve your comfort but others could be harmful or even damaging for prostate health. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with a medical professional before taking supplements for prostate health.

Saw palmetto

Saw palmetto (Serenoa Repens) is among the most popular ingredients used for prostate supplements. It’s a palm species that is native to Southeastern United States.

In particular, saw palmetto’s extracts and berries are utilized to alleviate urinary tract issues that are associated with BPH. Although the precise mechanism behind this is not known, it is believed that the anti-inflammatory properties of saw palmetto could play a role.

One study conducted on 165 males suffering from BPH discovered the consumption of 160 mg extracts from saw palmetto four times a day for 12 weeks dramatically increased prostate symptoms scores and urinary flow rate and scores of quality of life.

Similar to this, two studies from the past showed improvements in the symptoms of urinary tract in men who took saw palmetto daily for 3 to 6 months.

While it is promising, research into the efficacy of saw palmetto to treat signs related to BPH on humans remains sporadic. Furthermore, research findings regarding the effectiveness of saw palmetto in treating BPH symptoms are mixed.

In a review of 17 studies, which lasted 472 weeks Saw palmetto was shown to be ineffective in reducing symptoms of urinary tract infection than the placebo.

In addition, since doses differ greatly from study to study and studies, the most effective dose for individuals suffering from BPH is not clear.

Be aware that the majority of studies focus on people who have been diagnosed with BPH or other prostate problems It’s not clear if supplements can help reduce urinary tract issues related to prostate in healthy adults.

Saw palmetto extracts have also been suggested to prevent prostate cancer. A few studies from test-tubes as well as animal studies suggests that the use of saw palmetto can help prevent the growth and spread of prostate cancer cells.

However these effects of protection have not been proven in humans.

In the end, more research is required to prove the potential benefits and the proper dosage of saw palmetto extract for prostate health.

Additionally, even though it is generally believed as safe palmetto might not be tolerated by certain individuals. The most frequently reported side effects are nausea, headache, dizziness constipation, headache, and an allergic reactions.

Beta-sitosterol

Beta-sitosterol can be found in a variety of plant compound that is part of an entire class of compounds known as phytosterols. Plant-based phytosterols are natural steroids, which have been associated with a variety of health benefits, like reduced cholesterol.

Beta-sitosterol is a particular type, and has been proven to possess an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property.

Saw palmetto is also a component beta-sitosterol has been investigated for its ability to decrease inflammation that can be associated in urinary tract manifestations of BPH and may also help prevent prostate cancer.

Although a few test-tube and animal studies have proven beta-sitosterol has potential anticancer properties however, more research is required for humans.

A review study of the intake of phytosterols in our diet including beta-sitosterol, as well as cancer risk showed that general intake of phytosterols was related to a lower risk of developing cancer.

It’s not clear if phytosterol supplements will offer the same benefit.

For its involvement in BPH there was a study that in the 91 men who had symptoms of BPH assessed the impact of saw palmetto oil that was enriched with beta-sitosterol versus saw palmetto oil as it is.

The study found that the oil that was enriched proved to be significantly more effective in decreasing severe urinary tract issues over a period of 12 weeks, when compared with the saw palmetto oil by itself or as the placebo.

In spite of promising results, more research is needed to determine the efficacy and dosage of beta-sitosterol in prostate health.

Flower pollen extracts

Chronic prostatitis is a painful illness which causes irritation on the prostate. Most commonly seen in males who are younger than 50, this condition is usually associated with pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction and painful ejaculation and urination.

Although anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen are commonly utilized to treat the pain and inflammation There has been an increase in interest in flower extracts of pollen as a healthy alternative to drugs.

A study of 65 individuals with chronic prostatitis discovered that daily consumption of capsules with 1 gram of extracts from pollen as well as a variety of B vitamins for three months significantly reduced the chronic prostatitis symptoms score.

In addition the group of people who ate pollen was found to have smaller levels of interleukin 8 (IL-8) which is a indicator of inflammation, which has been proven to be more prevalent in patients suffering from chronic prostatitis.

A similar review of 10 studies found that extracts of flower pollen significantly improved the quality of life, as well as the symptom score in patients with chronic prostatitis diagnosed.

Particularly the most widely used pollen extract mix utilized in the clinical tests was Graminex which is a blend consisting of standardized extracts from Ryegrass pollen (Secal cereal) and Corn pollen (Zea mays), and Timothy pollen (Phleum pratense).

The review also concluded that extracts of flower pollen to be completely safe and without any adverse effects reported.

Pygeum

A natural extract of the bark from the African cherries (Prunus africana) Pygeum is yet another commonly used ingredient in prostate supplements.

Studies in human and test tubes have proven that pygeum extract can decrease inflammation that is associated with prostatitis, and also protect against proliferation of cancerous cells.

A previous study focused on the benefits of pygeum supplements in improving symptoms related to BPH as compared to placebo.

The study revealed that the use of pygeum supplements greatly increased the flow of urine. Furthermore, people who were taking Pygeum were two times more likely to experience improvements in their overall symptoms.

It’s important to note that the studies that were included within the study were comparatively small and brief. The studies also only evaluated Pygeum against a placebo which leaves it unclear as to what its efficacy is in comparison to conventional medical treatments for BPH.

While the research into the effectiveness of pygeum supplementation is limited however, it seems to be safe and has minimal known side effects.

The root of the nettle

Nettle (Urtica dioica) root is a flowering plant frequently used in alternative therapies to ease inflammation and pain.

It’s been proven to be a source of several phytochemicals that possess potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits. It’s often found in supplements that treat urinary tract infections and bladder infections.

A few studies on human and animal animals have suggested that it might aid in reducing symptoms of the lower urinary tract that are related to BPH.

An older study of 6 months of 558 men who had symptoms of BPH discovered that taking nettle extract of 120 mg root extract 3 times a day greatly improved symptoms of lower urinary tract, when compared to a placebo.

Furthermore, animal and test tube studies have indicated that nettle root might provide anti-cancer benefits. But, there is no evidence currently is available to prove its effectiveness to prevent prostate cancer in humans.

Despite promising results, the majority research into nettle root extract for prostate health is sporadic and outdated. Further studies of a larger scale are required to determine its effectiveness to alleviate symptoms of BPH and its impact on prostate cancer.

Oil from pumpkin seeds

Because of its high levels of anti-inflammatory substances The pumpkin seed oil is a popular ingredient in prostate supplements.

Through decreasing inflammation, pumpkin seeds oil may help alleviate urinary tract issues that are associated with BPH and chronic prostatitis that is not caused by bacteria.

In one study, 60 men suffering from BPH eating 500 mg of oil-free hydroethanolic extract of pumpkin seeds equivalent to 350 mg native oil extracted from pumpkin seeds which is equivalent to 10 grams of seeds from pumpkinsignificantly reduced symptoms over 12 weeks.

Particularly, the extract of pumpkin seeds has been found to decrease the International Prostate Symptom Scores by about 30% on average..

Yet, research into the efficacy and the optimal dose from pumpkin seed oil to treat prostate problems is usually very limited.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is vital nutrient needed to support a variety of vital functions in your body, such as bone health and immune function.

Numerous studies of observation have identified a link between lower level of vitamin D and a higher chance of developing prostate cancer.

However, the research into the possibility that vitamin D supplements will help fight prostate cancer isn’t conclusive. Indeed, one study has found an increase in the chance of developing prostate cancer in people with high amounts of vitamin D.

While vitamin D supplements can be beneficial for men deficient with vitamin D or have low levels taking supplements with large doses is not suggested for prostate health.

Zinc

Zinc is a vital mineral that plays an essential role in cell growth as well as DNA repair. It was also discovered to be found in large quantities inside prostate cells.

Incredibly, research has revealed that the concentration of zinc within the prostate gland is substantially decreased in prostate cancer. In turn, there’s ongoing research about the role zinc plays in preventing or slowing down the progression in prostate cancer.

Although some studies have found that consuming a lot of zinc is linked to a lower chance of developing advanced prostate cancer However, other studies have shown it associated with an increased chance for developing cancer of the prostate.

In the end, the research on zinc’s role in the development of developing prostate cancer isn’t conclusive. So the zinc supplements should not be ordered by a medical professional it is not recommended to improve prostate health.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is yet another vital vitamin that is commonly present within prostate supplement.

Certain studies from earlier times have suggested that the antioxidant capabilities of vitamin E could protect against prostate cancer. However newer studies have connected vitamin E supplements to an increase in probability of prostate cancer.

The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) was a huge study where 35,533 males were randomly assigned to one of four treatments 200 mg of selenium every each day and 400IU vitamin E daily 400 IU of vitamin E, plus 200 mg of selenium a day and a placebo.

After the study, males who took vitamin E supplements alone were at risk of a significant, 17% higher chance in developing prostate cancer during the course of seven years.

Although research into the possible connection with Vitamin E and cancer of the prostate is ongoing vitamin E supplements are not advised to lower the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Men should not take supplements with vitamin E unless they are advised to take it by their physician.

Selenium

Selenium is a different mineral that has caused some debate about its safety and effectiveness prostate health.

In two major reviews that examined selenium levels, higher levels found in our bodies were linked with a lower chance of developing prostate cancer, especially in former and current smokers.

A study that included 459 men revealed that supplementing selenium after being diagnosed with prostate cancer was linked with a higher chance of death from prostate cancer.

Another study has raised concerns regarding the use of selenium supplements, as the daily intake with 200 mg of selenium has been found to increase the chance to develop prostate cancer in those who have high selenium levels prior to taking supplements.

However, it’s important to remember that selenium supplements haven’t been discovered to have a significant impact — either positive or negative on the risk of prostate cancer in people with low selenium levels.

In the end, more research is required on the safety and effectiveness of selenium supplements, specifically for those with high levels of selenium at baseline as well as those who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Other ingredients that are common

Other than the ingredients that are listed above, a variety of other ingredients included in prostate supplements include:

Lycopene. Studies have revealed that there is a weak connection between intake of dietary lycopene in tomatoes and a lower chance of developing prostate cancer. However, further studies are needed to prove this connection between lycopene supplements and prostate cancer.

Pomegranate extract. Animal and test-tube studies have shown that pomegranate extract could reduce the growth and spread in prostate cancer cell growth. Yet, studies on humans haven’t found any significant improvement in the progression of cancer.

Extracts of green tea. Consuming a lot of green tea has been associated with an increased chance of developing prostate cancer. In addition, the components in green tea could possess anti-cancer properties. However, more definitive studies are needed.

Soy isoflavones. The few observational and animal studies have revealed that isoflavones from soy are protective against prostate cancer. However, others have not observed any evidence of a significant impact. Further studies of high-quality on humans are required.

While it’s possible to acquire these ingredients from whole food items in your diet however, further research is required to determine if taking them as supplements can be beneficial and have an effective impact on the health of your prostate.

SUMMARY

Many of the ingredients that are commonly used in prostate supplements can aid in easing urinary tract issues that are associated with prostate issues however, some ingredients may not be effective or dangerous. In the end, more research is required.

It’s the bottom line

A variety of prostate supplements are available to support prostate health.

Although some substances may alleviate symptoms of the urinary tract caused by prostate issues The studies regarding their effectiveness are generally weak.

Additionally, since certain supplements might contain ingredients such as zinc or vitamin E, that could pose a risk for prostate health. It’s vital to take note of the ingredients that are in the products you’re purchasing.

When purchasing supplements, ensure that you purchase products from a trusted firm. To ensure accuracy and quality make sure to choose products that are third-party approved by organizations such as NSF International or United States Pharmacopeia (USP).

Additionally, since supplements can’t help or treat prostate problems it is essential to discuss any concerns regarding your prostate health with your physician. Particularly, any indications of prostate cancer must be discussed with your doctor whenever possible.

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By Michael Caine

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