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Prostate formulas help support normal urine flow and prostate size*

Attention men!  Are you over the age of 50?

— Do you have difficulty starting urination?

— Do you have a weak or slow urinary stream?  

— Do you get up frequently at night to urinate? 

— Do you feel the need or urgency to urinate more often? 

 

Prostate 101 from the Urology Care Foundation

Only men have a prostate. This walnut-shaped gland is part of the male reproductive system. The prostate sits under the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body.

The prostate's main job is to help make fluid for semen to help protect and energize the sperm. Semen protects the sperm so it can fertilize the egg and form a new life. The seminal vesicles, found next to the prostate, also add fluid to semen. If the prostate enlarges, pressure may be put on the urethra, acting like a partial clamp and causing a variety of urinary symptoms.

Most common prostate problems 

The most common prostate health problems are non-cancerous enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia - BPH), inflammatory disease (prostatitis) and prostate cancer. Half of all 50-year-old men have BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), and the prevalence of the condition increases with advancing age.

What are the symptoms?

A man with BPH has to urinate more often, especially at night and experiences less force and caliber while urinating, often dribbling. If the prostate enlarges too much, urination is difficult or impossible, and the risk of urinary tract infection and kidney damage increases. See your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms, and try a prostate support formula to keep your prostate healthy!

Can you support your prostate naturally? 

In many parts of Europe, herbal supplements are considered standard medical treatment for BPH. Although herbs for BPH are available without a prescription, men wishing to take them should be monitored by a physician. 

Look for prostate formulas with special nutrients and ingredients that have been used historically and clinically to support and nourish the prostate gland. They include saw palmetto extract, Graminex®, saw palmetto extract, stinging nettle, beta-sitosterol, pumpkin seed extract, lycopene, zinc and selenium.

 

Graminex® G63 Flower Pollen Extract 

Clinically studied Graminex Rye Flower Pollen Extract is used by millions of men worldwide. Evidence suggests that Graminex is well tolerated and improves overall urological symptoms, including nocturia (excessive urinating at night). In one study, sixty patients with outflow obstruction due to BPH were given pollen extract or placebo for 6 months. There was a statistically significant subjective improvement with pollen extract (69% of the patients) compared with placebo (30%). There was a significant decrease in residual urine in the patients treated with pollen extract.* Graminex® is a registered trademark of Graminex, LLC.

 

Beta-Sitosterol 

Beta-sitosterol, a compound found in many edible plants, has also been found to be helpful for men with BPH. In one double-blind trial, 200 men with BPH received 20 mg of beta-sitosterol three times a day or a placebo for six months. Men receiving beta-sitosterol had a significant improvement in urinary flow and an improvement in symptoms, whereas no change was reported in men receiving the placebo. Another double-blind study reported similarly positive results using 130 mg per day of beta-sitosterol.

 

Stinging Nettle Root Extract (4:1)

Nettle (Urtica dioica), also known as stinging nettle, is a rich source of beneficial phytonutrients such as chlorophyll, sterols, polyphenols, lignans, and gallic acid. Stinging nettle is a common ingredient in prostate formulas because clinical trials have shown it to influence the frequency of nighttime urination (fewer trips to the bathroom).*

A concentrated extract made from the roots of the nettle plant may increase urinary volume and the maximum flow rate of urine in men with early-stage BPH.1 It has been successfully combined with both saw palmetto and pygeum to treat BPH in double-blind trials.2 It has also been shown in a double-blind trial, when used by itself, to relieve symptoms of BPH and to improve disease severity.3

 

Saw Palmetto Berry Extract (45% fatty acids)

The fat-soluble (liposterolic) extract of the saw palmetto berry has become the leading natural treatment for BPH. This extract, when used regularly, has been shown to help keep symptoms in check.1,2

Saw palmetto appears to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to its more active form, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Saw palmetto also blocks DHT from binding in the prostate.3 Studies have used 320 mg per day of saw palmetto extract that is standardized to contain approximately 80 to 95% fatty acids.

A three-year preliminary study in Germany found that 160 mg of saw palmetto extract taken twice daily reduced nighttime urination in 73% of patients and improved urinary flow rates significantly.4 In a double-blind trial at various sites in Europe, 160 mg of saw palmetto extract taken twice per day treated BPH as effectively as finasteride without side effects, such as loss of libido.5

A one-year dose-comparison study found that 320 mg once per day was as effective as 160 mg twice per day in the treatment of BPH.6 A review of double-blind trials concluded that saw palmetto is effective for treatment of men with BPH and is just as effective as, with fewer side effects than, the drug finasteride.7 However, two double-blind trials have found saw palmetto to be ineffective as a treatment for BPH.8,9 The reason that different studies have had different results is not clear.

 

Pumpkin Seed Extract (4:1)

Pumpkin Seed Oil is a nutritional oil derived from a special variety of pumpkins. Pressed from green seeds, the oil is rich in essential fatty acids as well as vitamins and minerals. Pumpkin seed oil is valued for its naturally occurring plant sterol (phytosterol) content. It may support a healthy bladder and prostate function.*

Pumpkin seed oil has been used in combination with saw palmetto in two double-blind human studies to effectively reduce symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).1,2 Only one group of researchers has evaluated the effectiveness of pumpkin seed oil alone for BPH, but the results of their large preliminary trials have been favorable.3,4 Researchers have suggested the zinc, free fatty acid, or plant sterol content of pumpkin seeds may account for their benefit in men with BPH, but this has not been confirmed. Animal studies have shown that pumpkin seed extracts may improve the function of the bladder and urethra; this might partially account for BPH symptom relief.5  

 

Lycopene

Lycopene gives tomatoes its deep red color. It has the ability to promote cardiovascular and prostate health.* In a preliminary trial, supplementation with 4 mg of lycopene twice a day for one year reduced the incidence of prostate cancer in men with precancerous changes in their prostate glands. Long-term controlled studies are needed to confirm these promising initial reports.

 

Selenium

Selenium has been reported to have diverse anticancer actions.1, 2 Selenium inhibits cancer in animals.3 Low soil levels of selenium (probably associated with low dietary intake), have been associated with increased cancer incidence in humans.4 Blood levels of selenium have been reported to be low in patients with prostate cancer.5 In preliminary reports, people with the lowest blood levels of selenium had between 3.8 and 5.8 times the risk of dying from cancer compared with those who had the highest selenium levels.6,7

The strongest evidence supporting the anticancer effects of selenium supplementation comes from a double-blind trial of 1,312 Americans with a history of skin cancer who were treated with 200 mcg of yeast-based selenium per day or placebo for 4.5 years and then followed for an additional two years.8 Although no decrease in skin cancers occurred, a dramatic 50% reduction in overall cancer deaths and a 37% reduction in total cancer incidence were observed.

A statistically significant 63% decrease in prostate cancer incidence was reported.9 However, in a follow-up double-blind trial that included 35,533 healthy men, supplementing with 200 mcg per day of selenium for an average of 5.5 years had no effect on the incidence of prostate cancer.10 

In another trial, 5,141 men were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or a daily supplement containing 100 mcg of selenium, 120 mg of vitamin C, 30 IU of vitamin E, 6 mg of beta-carotene, and 20 mg of zinc for eight years. Among men with a normal PSA level at the start of the study, there was a statistically significant 48% reduction in the incidence of prostate cancer. Among men with an initially elevated PSA level, the supplemented group had an increased incidence of prostate cancer that was not statistically significant.11

 

Zinc

In the prostate gland, zinc serves as an important enzymatic cofactor. It also helps maintain prostate tissues. It does not help with urine flow, but is important to the overall health of the prostate.*

Prostatic secretions are known to contain a high concentration of zinc; that observation suggests that zinc plays a role in normal prostate function. In one preliminary study, 19 men with benign prostatic hyperplasia took 150 mg of zinc daily for two months, and then 50 to 100 mg daily. In 74% of the men, the prostate became smaller.1 Because this study did not include a control group, improvements may have been due to a placebo effect.

Zinc also reduced prostatic size in an animal study but only when given by local injection.Although the research supporting the use of zinc is weak, many doctors recommend its use. Because supplementing with large amounts of zinc (such as 30 mg per day or more) may potentially lead to copper deficiency, most doctors recommend taking 2 to 3 mg of copper per day along with zinc.

 

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