Search Term: " Hyperplasia "
What Herbs Support A Healthy Prostate
Prostate health is vital for any male's well-being. Keeping your prostrate free from complications is a result of good hygiene, proper diet and most importantly, living a healthy lifestyle. The bad news is that some of the prostate complications such as prostate cancer can cause death. The good news is that there are better remedies to prevent that from happening, reduce the effects of these complications and lastly, do away with them completely.
From pharmaceutical pills to natural supplements, there are more than enough remedies for prostate complications in the market. However, if you are looking for something safe to use, then it is always advisable to choose natural supplements, herbs or anything that is safe from toxic chemicals. In our case, we will be dealing with herbs that support prostate health.
What Herbs Support A Healthy Prostate?
In summary, keeping your prostate healthy means improved urination flow and more. It also means, creating a barrier between your prostrate and several diseases such as prostate cancer. The herbs mentioned above are among the best and the safest ones to use.
Learn about the prostate
June 13, 2014 09:25 PM
The human prostate is a walnut-sized gland that is located between the bladder and the penis. It is just in front of the rectum with the urethra running through the center from the bladder to the penis, letting out urine off the body. The prostate gland secretes fluid that is useful in nourishment and protection of sperms. The prostrate squeezes this fluid into the urethra during ejaculation and it comes out with sperms as semen.
However, the prostate is faced by some conditions that lead to its dysfunctions. Some of the main conditions are.
This is one of the major cancers affecting men and it kills one in every thirty-five men. Some of the treatments used to treat it are, chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and hormone therapy.
This is inflammation of the prostate, which is caused by infection. It is usually treated with antibiotics.
This usually affects older men above the age of fifty. Its signs are difficulty in urinating that increases with age. It can be treated through medication or surgery. This usually affects older men above the age of fifty. Its signs are difficulty in urinating that increases with age. It can be treated through medication or surgery.
It is of much importance to keep the prostate healthy due to its major functions. The general function of the prostate is to secrete a slightly alkaline fluid that is white in color constituting 50-70% of the semen volume together with spermatozoa and seminal fluid. The prostatic fluid is expelled in the first ejaculate fractions together with most of the spermatozoa. Maintaining good health of the prostate for example by taking foods rich in lycopene mainly found in tomatoes lower the risk of developing prostate cancer.
The pygeum africanum is made from the bark of the African palm tree while the saw palmetto is made from ripe berries of the plant serenoa repens. They are both used for the treatment of benign prostatic Hyperplasia. Pygeum may reduce symptoms such as nighttime urination, urinary frequency and residual urine volume. But despite that the pygeum is also proposed for prostatitis, impotence and male infertility. This makes it better than saw palmetto. Saw palmetto has mineral selenium and vitamin E while pygeum africanum has zinc.
glycine: a healthy amino acid
November 15, 2012 07:56 AM
For those who have heard about glycine and wonder about its health benefits, they should first of all know that it's a proteinogenic amino acid with its name being a combination from the words glycogen and glucose. This is not an essential amino acid for the body, because it can be obtained from other sources.
Many studies have been performed around glycine and the results show that it can be easily used in order to reduce the psychotic symptoms associated with schizophrenia and at the same time it can also be used to reduce symptoms that are associated with BPH or benign prostatic Hyperplasia.
It seems that glycine also has many benefits in nutrition and they are as following:
Glycine is similar with many other amino acids and one of those similarities is in the fact that it has a great importance for the nervous system, more specifically in what regards understanding and memory. Due to the fact that glycine work as a neurotransmitter, it has been successfully used in many treatments for hyperactivity, epilepsy and bipolar depression. Not only that, but it also supplies the human body with creatine which is vital for having healthy developing muscles.
More to that, it also helps with maintaining a healthy prostate and with healing damaged skin. On the other hand, it seems that its uses are much broader and deeper, down to even helping out the body with detoxifying the liver and eventually helping with the calcium absorption process.
Where is it found?
People can easily get glycine from foods like seeds, soya, gelatin, dairy and fish products, but also meat. In some cases, it's used as a sweetener and also in food supplements and protein drinks. Lastly, unless the individual needs this amino acid specifically, there is no need to actually get it, as the body can produce it unless for some reason the body mechanism that produces it is blocked. Then supplementation is essential to good health and wellness.
Can Saw Palmetto Out Perform Synthetic Treatments For Enlarge Prostate?
October 03, 2011 02:53 PM
Saw palmetto is a tree type of plant which is scientifically known as Serenoa repens. It is abundantly found along the coast of southeastern part of USA. This plant bears flowers which comes in yellow and produces fruits which are berry - like and reddish black in color. Saw palmetto supplements are extracted from the plant’s berries. The berries are rich in fatty acids and phytosterols. Saw Palmetto berry extracts are made by drying the berry and mixing it with a solvent like hexane and ethanol.
Since the ancient times, Saw Palmetto has been long used as an edible food and an herbal plant. The most common use of this herb is for the improvement of benign prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH. This illness usually results to problems with urination and sexual activity. The enlarged prostate may obstruct the flow of urine making urination difficult and even painful for some. It can also affect the individual’s sexual activity because the prostate is the gland responsible for producing seminal fluid which is a component of the male ejaculate.
The mechanism of action of this herb in improving the condition of benign prostatic Hyperplasia is that it inhibits the action of the enzyme called 5 – alpha – reductase which is involved in the abnormal growth of the prostate gland. Another theory on its action in relation to benign prostatic Hyperplasia is that it can effectively interfere with the chemical substance called dihydrytestosterone. One of the reasons of prostate enlargement is that there is increased amount of the hormone testosterone that binds to androgen receptor sites. Saw Palmetto extracts have been found to bind with androgen receptor sites and act as a phytoestrogen. Therefore, if the receptor sites are already filled up, testosterone hormones will not be able to attach to these receptor sites and provide an effect to the body. Hence, if testosterone is minimized, enlargement of the prostate gland will also be controlled.
Benign prostatic Hyperplasia is a serious health condition. Several prescribed medications are available to treat this illness. Indeed, saw palmetto extracts may be helpful but this supplement must not be used as a substitute for your prescribed medications. It may have similar actions with BPH drugs such as Finasteride but its potency is different. Clinical studies have also revealed that saw palmetto supplements do not directly decrease the size of the prostate gland but the lining inside the gland. It thins the inside layer of the gland thus minimizing pressure that rests on the urine tubes or urethra.
Saw palmetto is generally safe. However, since it can cause significant changes inside the body, it is important that you should talk to your doctor first before using this supplement, most especially when you already have BPH. You have to consult your doctor and discuss with him or her about your current health status, past medical history, familial health history and other medications taken whether prescribed or not. Dosage of the supplement is also best determined by your doctor. This will greatly help in the avoidance of untoward effects and unnecessary negative interactions with the other drugs you are taking.
Can Lycopene Help with Prostate Problems
May 09, 2011 11:14 AM
Lycopene and The Prostate.
Lycopene is an organic compound often associated with tomatoes. It is almost always touted to prevent prostate cancer, though the scientific community has not come to a conclusion yet. Scientists are nevertheless positive that it is good for the prostate, for it displays antiproliferative effects on prostate cells. Laboratory studies are very promising as it appears to inhibitory effect on tumor growth.
Prostate health has long been tied to consumptions of foods rich in lycopene. It is a carotenoid that is bright red in color, and as such can easily be obtained from brightly colored plant products, such as watermelon, papaya, pink guava, and apricots in addition to tomatoes. Like other carotenoids, it displays antioxidant properties. In fact, it is the most efficient scavenger of singlet oxygen of all antioxidants that are classified as carotenoids.
Reverses Oxidative Damage
There have been numerous studies on lycopene in the past few decades, and many of them have noted its antioxidant potential. It has become common knowledge that lycopene is good for the prostate, but not all people know that the prostate gland is its primary storage in the human body. Indeed lycopene interferes with the health of cells and tissues that make up the prostate gland.
One study that tracked down malignant prostate tissues prior to scheduled surgical removal studied the effects of regular intake of lycopene. It was documented and published that lycopene concentrations in the prostate doubled and the oxidative damage to DNA in prostate tissues decreased, suggesting a dose-related efficiency in the prevention of cellular damage brought on by free radicals and other reactive oxygen species.
Induces Apoptotic Death
High consumptions of lycopene appear to directly counteract with cancer cells and tumor growth, not only in the prostate gland, but also in the lungs, breasts, ovaries, stomach, and cervix. It has also been tied to other disorders of the prostate, such as prostatitis and benign prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH. It has been noted to slow down cell proliferation that leads to the enlargement of the prostate.
More imporatantly, lycopene seems capable of inducing the cellular process called apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in prostate tissues, most notably in carcinoma regions. This is also evidenced by a significant decrease in prostate-specific antigen in the blood, the reason why lycopene has gained the attention of researchers for prostate health, spurring a number of studies in recent years.
Maintains Prostate Health
Lycopene levels in the human body are largely dependent on dietary intake. As a general rule, the higher the intake of lycopene is, the healthier the prostate becomes. First, it neutralizes reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen and free radicals. It also inhibits the multiplication of prostate cells, effectively preventing benign prostatic Hyperplasia, which is believed to afflict up to 80 percent of the male population. For those suffering from prostate enlargement, it slows the progression of the disease.
If you are, 40 years old or more you should consider taking lycopene as a preventative daily!
October 04, 2010 03:30 PM
Saw Palmetto Health benefitsSaw Palmetto has been used traditionally to treat a number of ailments, particularly in the medicine of Native Americans and Central Americans. It is specifically the fruit or berries of the plant that is used and its historical uses have included treating female infertility, menstrual pains and lactation problems. In men it has been used to reduce enlarged prostate glands and it is also used in the treatment of whooping cough, laryngitis and as an expectorant.
Present-day saw palmetto benefits are generally focused on the treatment of benign prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as an 'enlarged prostate, characterized by the development of large nodules in the area of the prostate around the urethra. This causes the urethra to be compressed, and the flow of urine to be partially blocked - in fact sometimes complete blockage occurs.
Saw palmetto benefits in this respect are believed to lie in relaxation of the smooth muscle tissue and enable improvement in the passing of urination. Native American medicine men used to carry a medicine bag of saw palmetto with them to treat these and related conditions.
Have you had your Saw Palmetto Berry Extract Today?
Saw Palmetto For Prostate Function
September 10, 2010 04:29 PM
What Are Saw Palmetto Berries Good For?There is plenty of evidence supporting the use of saw palmetto in the treatment of BPH (benign prostate Hyperplasia), commonly referred to as an enlarged prostate. This is a common condition in men older than 50 and even younger, and a large number of studies have been carried out on its treatment. Saw palmetto has figured in many of these with a good degree of success.
Although it is widely used in Europe for treating BPH, saw palmetto berry is not sold in the USA for that purpose since the FDA does not permit anything but prescription medicaments to be recommended for the condition. Nevertheless, it is available over the counter as a herbal remedy for male pattern hair loss and other conditions, and is widely used by men suffering prostate problems or trying to avoid them.
Where Can I Buy Saw Palmetto Berries?
Prostate Health - Clinical Strength
May 28, 2010 01:50 PM
Clinical Strength Prostate Health
Medical professionals, health experts, and researchers now concur that approximately one in three men over thirty will face some form of prostate challenge during their lifetime. One of the most frequently encountered is BPH, or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. This common, non-cancerous condition occurs in aging males as a result of normalized shifts in hormonal production. While the exact cause of BPH continues to intrigue the research community, findings from ongoing studies have indicated that it may be linked to excess free testosterone reaching the prostate gland in high concentrations, or possibly excess production of DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, a natural testosterone metabolite. Current research is looking at possible estrogenic causes, as well. While the volume of men affected by BPH is indeed concerning, hope for supporting optimal prostate function, once only within view of the health horizon, is now a very real and accessible alternative option.
The constant evolution of nutraceutical science has explored many ways in which to support the physiology and function of a healthy prostate gland. Keeping in mind that natural products are not intended to treat or cure BPH, well-conducted studies have showcased the ability of several nutritionals in providing support for normal prostate health. The most recognized is Saw Palmetto; a popular, effective natural extract which needs no formal introduction to health enthusiasts or supplement-savvy retailers. Others, too, appear to help sustain normal prostate function. These include Pumpkin Seed Oil, Lycopene, Stinging Nettle, Quercetin, Phytosterols, and numerous others. The results of these findings, coupled with growing consumer interest in natural alternatives, have come together in our newest addition to NOW’s line of male support products.
Clinical Strength Prostate Health is a science-inspired formula developed to deliver the pinnacle of nutritional support for healthy prostate function.* Each 3 softgel serving supplies 320 mg of Saw Palmetto Berry extract (min. 85% fatty acids), along with Pumpkin Seed Oil, Zinc, Selenium, Natural trans-Resveratrol, Vitamin D-3 and other potent synergists. 850 mg of Phytosterols, including eta-Sitosterol, is represented, as well as standardized extracts from Nettle Root, Turmeric, Green Tea, Pomegranate, and Flax Seed Lignans. This novel arrangement of thoroughly researched compounds makes Clinical Strength Prostate Health the last natural prostate support formula* male enthusiasts will ever need. As with every NOW® product, we formulate using only the best raw materials, under the most exacting quality standards, offered at prices that yield high margins and even happier customers.
September 11, 2009 09:19 AM
The pygeum plant is a tall evergreen tree that is part of the family Rosaceae. It is found in central and southern Africa. The bark has been medicinally used for thousands of years. Traditional African healers have used the bark of this plant to treat bladder and urination disorders. Particularly, it has been used for symptoms associated with benign prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), which is an enlarged prostate. The bark has been historically powdered and used to make a tea. This was taken by mouth for BPH. The pygeum tree is endangered due to the demand for its bark to create pygeum extract. In the majority of trials that have been conducted since the 1970s, findings reported improvements in BPH symptoms. These symptoms included the frequency of nighttime urination, urine flow rate, and left over urine volume. This research has led to some credibility to the common use of this herb for BPH. The herb is less commonly used in the United States, as prescription drugs and the saw palmetto herb are more commonly used.
Pygeum is an herbal remedy. It contains extracts from the bark of Prunus Africana. The herb is used to alleviate some of the discomfort that is caused by inflammation in those patients who are suffering from benign prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Small, short, randomized studies taking place in the United Kingdom have concluded that this herb provided moderate relief of some of the symptoms of BPH. Commonly, pygeum is partnered with saw palmetto. It is often found in herbal combinations that are intended to be used for the prostate gland. Pygeum was used by natives of tropical South Africa in order to treat uterine disorders and prostate problem in combination with milk or palm oil. This herb comes from the bark of an African evergreen tree.
Pygeum contains compounds that are specifically known for their ability to reduce inflammation of the prostate due to their lipophilic effects. A lot of European physicians prescribe pygeum for BPH. This can cause urination problems. Not only is used to treat existing prostate problems, but it is also a preventative measure for promoting prostate health.
Also, there is evidence that pygeum can help counteract problems of male infertility and impotence. Pygeum promotes health in the underlying condition of the prostate. Because of this, pygeum can promote sexual health and function as a by-product. It is also boosts energy and fights fatigue. Also, pygeum is known to improve the composition of semen. It should be noted that this herb has the potential to cause stomach irritation.
The bark of the pygeum plant is used to provide anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and hormonal properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are fatty acids. Primarily, pygeum is extremely beneficial in treating prostatitis, prostate enlargement, prostate problems, and urination problems. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with poor circulation, lack of energy, fatigue, and impotence. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen.
For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by pygeum, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 03, 2009 12:53 PM
Saw palmetto was used by Native American tribes in the South for sore eyes. The dried root was used to lower high blood pressure, and the crushed root was applied to sore breasts in women. An early American botanist, John Lloyd, noticed that animals eating the berries were fat and healthy. From 1910 to 1916, saw palmetto was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. It was also listed in the National Formulary from 1926 to 1950 as a diuretic, sedative, expectorant, and an analgesic recommended for neuralgia. This herb has also been known in folk history as an aphrodisiac and sexual stimulant. Saw palmetto was used to treat urination problems, inflammation of the bladder, and prostate enlargement.
This herb has been used to treat conditions of the genitourinary system. Saw palmetto is also used as an antiseptic, for excessive mucus in the head and sinuses, and for both male and female reproductive organs. This herb is known for its ability to help with male health. However, it also helps with thyroid function, regulating development of the reproductive system, stimulating glandular function, removing excess mucus accumulation in the sinuses, and for colds, sore throat, whooping cough, bronchitis, and asthma. The berries of the saw palmetto plant are useful for improving digestion, increasing weight, and building strength. This herb has even been reported for its ability to increase the size of breast in women of child-bearing age. Often, this herb is found in herbal combinations for diabetes, thyroid function, digestion, nutrition, female reproductive problems, and prostate difficulties.
Studies have determined that saw palmetto has diuretic properties. It is also very effective in treating an enlarged prostate and other prostate disorders. Great deals of men suffer from prostate problems which have an effect on sexual function and obstruct the bladder. Research published in the Animals of Urology studied a group of men with enlarged prostate glands. The group that was taking saw palmetto increased their urine flow rate by fifty percent. The herb also reduced the number of times they got up at night to urinate by forty-five percent. On the other hand, the group taking the placebo had a response increase of nine percent. Studies on laboratory animals have found that the hexane extract found in saw palmetto contain anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory activity. One study found that saw palmetto produces better results over a three-month period to treat benign prostatic Hyperplasia than the common drug prescribed for this condition.
The fruit of the saw palmetto plant is used to provide alterative, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, and sedative properties. The primary nutrient found in this herb is vitamin A. Primarily, saw palmetto is extremely beneficial in treating gastric disorders, glandular problems, hormone imbalance, impotence, indigestion, prostate problems, and reproductive organs. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, asthma, Bright’s disease, bronchitis, colds, diabetes, frigidity, infertility, kidney disorders, lung congestion, excessive mucus, nerve pain, neuralgia, obesity, sore throat, and urinary problems. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by saw palmetto, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Saw palmetto is available in capsule, tablet, and softgel forms at your local or internet health food store. always purchase name brands like Solaray and Source Naturals to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
L-Alanine Non Essential Amino Acid
January 05, 2009 04:31 PM
L-Alanine is one of 20 amino acids that are used by the body to manufacture the proteins essential for life. Each protein possesses specific biological properties that are imparted by the sequence of amino acids it contains. Proteins control the chemistry that takes place within the cells of our body, and comprise all of the enzymes that catalyze the body's biochemistry.
Amino acids are also the building blocks of DNA that determines the genetic make-up of individuals, and that also provides recipes or templates for the production of proteins from amino acid sequences. There is a different DNA template for every protein required by the body that determines which of the 20 amino acids are needed, and in what order they are to be combined with one another to manufacture the desired protein.
10 of these 20 amino acids can be synthesized by your body's biochemistry, the other 10 being essential parts of your diet. If you fail to include just of these 10, then your body will break down its proteins until it has obtained a sufficient supply of that amino acids for its needs. That involves muscle and other tissue degradation, and is one of the symptoms of malnutrition. Amino acids are not stored, and a daily supply is essential to avoid these symptoms.
L-Alanine is one of the ten that the body can manufacture, and used by the body to help build protein and also to enable the body to make use of glucose to generate energy. It does so as part of what is known as the glucose-alanine cycle. During anaerobic exercise, such as in weightlifting and sustained running, muscles produce lactate and also alanine.
The alanine is passed on to the liver where it is converted to energy via its conversion to glucose. This is not a particularly efficient means of creating energy because a byproduct of the process is urea, the removal of which in turn requires energy. However, it serves its purpose as an energy source once the liver is depleted of glycogen. In fact that is the major use to which alanine appears to be put by the body: the conversion of glucose to energy.
The way the glucose-alanine cycle works is that a process known as transamination produces glutamate from the amino groups of amino acids that are degraded during exercise. Glutamate is then converted to pyruvate by means of the enzyme alanine aminotransferase, with the production of alanine and alpha-ketoglutarate. This is a reversible reaction, and after the alanine has been carried by the bloodstream to the liver, the reaction reverses with the regeneration of pyruvate that undergoes gluconeogenesis (generation of glucose).
The result of this is glucose that returns to the muscle tissue to provide more energy. The glutamate is broken down to the ammonium ion in the mitochondria, which in turn enters the urea cycle with the production of urea.
In a nutshell, then, the glucose-alanine cycle removes glutamate and pyruvate from muscle tissue to the liver where glucose is generated from the pyruvate and returned to the muscle. Since gluconeogenesis involves the expenditure of energy, and this occurs in the liver rather than in the muscle, all the energy in the muscle can be used for muscle contraction.
L-Alanine possesses other properties, among them the ability to help maintain the health of the prostate. A study of benign prostatic Hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) indicated that treatment with L-alanine, glutamic acid and glycine over a period of three months reduced the symptoms. However, make sure that you consult your physician before using alanine in this way. This is not because there are any known adverse side effects, because there are not, but because it I always wise to so with any supplement taken with a view to treating any medical condition.
A less obvious application derives from the fact that it forms a stable free radical when deaminated. Deamination can be initiated by radiation, and so the concentration of this free radical can be measured to ensure that the correct dose of radiation is being given in dosimetric radiotherapy. It is not always easy to control the dose accurately, and this property of alanine allows it to monitored and to ensure that it is neither too low to have the desired effect, nor dangerously high.
Although it is a non-essential amino acid, and can be produced by the body, a dietary supply or supplement is advantageous if extra energy is required. Good dietary sources of L-alanine include meats, seafood, eggs, nuts, beans, seeds, brewer's yeast, corn and legumes among others. Supplements are also available, and useful for body-builders, weightlifters and others involved in anaerobic exercise. Due to the glucose-alanine cycle, it can possibly provide energy when lactate build-up would otherwise lead to muscle cramps.
Those for whom a supplement could be useful are athletes and others who are trying to build muscle and stamina, or reduce their body fat and also the obese and overweight for the same reason. There is also evidence that a combination of the amino acids alanine, glycine and arginine can help to reduce arterial plaque from oxidized low density lipoproteins, and can also help to reduce high blood pressure.
Deficiencies are rare, although groups that do not eat meat should be careful to eat foods with a good alanine content. There are no known side effects of a deficiency since the body will generate what is needed for normal purposes, and while the supplement appears to have no side effects, it is advisable that pregnant and lactating women should first seek medical advice. The same applies if you suffer from hypertension or diabetes. High doses of alanine might also affect those with kidney or liver disease.
Although the benefits of supplementation of L-alanine might not be immediately obvious, the results and the science indicate that it is effective in making better use of blood glucose in that the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) created in the muscle tissue is allowed to be expended on muscle contraction while the glucose-alanine cycle provides the energy needed for gluconeogenesis.
Is Saw Palmetto's Safe?
July 15, 2008 06:58 PM
Saw palmetto, a small palm tree which is found in Florida and South Carolina, produces berries which contain many beneficial compounds. Florida is the biggest producer of saw palmetto. Small patches of this herb can be found from the southeast coastline of South Carolina and southeastern Georgia to southern Mississippi. But it does not grow naturally in Texas, Mexico, or the Caribbean. It grows in every Florida County, but much of its production is found in South Florida.
Supplements that contain saw palmetto are extremely effective in treatment of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), one of the most common health conditions in older men, with half of all men aged 40-60 and more than 90 percent of men over 80 having BPH. BPH is caused by the conversion of estrogen to a very potent form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Saw palmetto berry extract has been found to relive the symptoms of BPH by furthering the production of DHT. With the use of saw palmetto extract, it has been found that most men achieve some relief of symptoms within the first 30 days.
Additionally, saw palmetto is an herb that is commonly used to treat benign prostate enlargement, is rich in phytosterols, especially beta-sitosterol. Also, saw palmetto is very effective for excess testosterone, as it promotes testosterone excretion. Native Americans use the fruit for food, but it is also used in the treatment of a variety of urinary and reproductive system problems. Similarly, the Mayans drank it as a tonic, while the Seminoles used the berries both as an expectorant and as an antiseptic.
Recent concerns over the safety of saw palmetto supplements for prostate health have emerged and may be unfounded. A new study reported that there were no adverse effects from the supplementation of saw palmetto. The randomized clinical trial, Saw palmetto for Treatment of Enlarged Prostates (STEP) study, recruited two hundred and twenty-five men, all of which had moderate-to-severe symptoms of benign prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Each of these men was assigned to receive either 320 milligrams per day of a saw palmetto supplement or a placebo.
This study lasted one year. After the study, researchers concluded that there were no significant differences between the groups when it came to suffering from at least one serious adverse event. 5.4 percent of men in the saw palmetto group had one serious adverse event as compared to 9.7 percent in the placebo group. There were also no significant differences that were observed when it came to non-serious symptomatic adverse events, as 34.8 percent of men in the saw palmetto group experienced such an event, compared to 30.1 percent in the placebo group.
The study was welcomed by Daniel Fabricant, PhD., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the industry association of the Natural Products Association. Dr. Fabricant said that he agreed with the authors of the study and that the results are reassuring, saying that he believe the study supports the viewpoint that those people with experience in botanicals have held for an extended amount of time in that when they are used responsibly and the amounts and concentrations are supported by clinical literature, botanicals are extremely safe and effective.
June 28, 2008 11:46 AM
Phytosterols are the group of naturally occurring plant compounds which have two significant health benefits. First of all, phytosterols reduce blood levels of total cholesterol and the “bad” LDL cholesterol. Second, which is particularly good for men, phytosterols can reduce symptoms of benign enlarged prostate. These naturally occurring plant compounds are added to many common cholesterol-reducing foods, but can also be taken as capsules. Even though the word phytosterol may sound a little like steroid, phytosterols do not have any hormonal activity. Phytosterols are known by a large variety of names such as plant sterols, free sterols, and sterol esters. A related group of compounds, which are called stanols, are gathered from trees, not from plants.
Phytosterols chemically consist of beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. The structure of phytosterols is similar to that of cholesterol, but is poorly absorbed. Because of these traits, phytosterols function as cholesterol blockers by reducing the absorption of cholesterol from food and re-absorption of cholesterol from the intestine, which ultimately leads to lower levels of blood fats. Actually, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration now allows companies to claim that phytosterols-containing products are able to lower the risk of heart disease. Phytosterols can also be found in a large variety of plant foods, which includes fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, grains, and cooking oils. Additionally, saw palmetto, which is an herb that is commonly used to treat benign prostate enlargement, is rich in phytosterols, especially beta-sitosterol.
Many studies have been done that show the abilities of phytosterols supplements to reduce cholesterol levels significantly. One study conducted at East Tennessee State University, researched both sterol esters and placebos on the same group of sixteen people. The results showed a five percent decrease in total cholesterol and four percent decrease in LDL cholesterol after taking a modest dose of sterol esters for four weeks. Additionally, triglyceride levels decreased by nine percent while HDL cholesterol increased by four percent. Another study in which 2.6 grams of phytosterols were taken daily for 12 weeks resulted in a decrease of 3.5 percent in total cholesterol and 5 percent in LDL cholesterol. Due to this, it is suggested that those wishing to supplement in order to improve cholesterol levels should take 1.3 to 3 grams of sterol esters daily.
Several other studies have found that supplements of beta-sitosterol can significantly reduce urinary symptoms of benign prostatic Hyperplasia, which commonly affects men ages 50 and older. The benefits can be long term to those men who continue taking supplements of about 200 mg of beta-sitosterol three times daily.
For those people with moderately elevated cholesterol, phytosterols can be an ideal natural alternative to drugs. Even those people who are already taking cholesterol-lowering drugs can benefit by phytosterols ability to further enhance the benefits of medications. In order to lower cholesterol, it also helps to reduce the intake of hydrogenated vegetable oils and refined sugars and starches, along with increasing physical activity. Dosages between 1.3 and 3 grams daily are likely to reduce cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels. The higher dosage is linked to greater reductions in cholesterol. Take phytosterols capsules along with food, for best results.
Butcher's Broom Extract
May 02, 2008 11:04 AM
Butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is a member of the lily family, and looks a bit like a holly bush with barbed evergreen leaves and bright red berries in the fall. At one time they were collected, tied together and sold to butchers as brooms to sweep out their shops.
The stiff leaves were particularly suitable for cleaning out offal and other waste products from butchered animals and also for scrubbing butcher’s blocks. It was also used as a deterrent to rodents with their eyes on the meat! Alternative names are sweet broom, kneeholy and Jew’s myrtle, so named because it was used during the Feast of the Tabernacles as one of the ‘four species’ used in the lulav.
The herb was commonly used in Ancient Greece and Rome, the Greeks using it to reduce swellings of various kinds and the Romans using it to treat varicose veins. It has the same uses today, only the mechanisms are understood better. It has been used for centuries in the Mediterranean area for the treatment of inflammations and problems with the circulation, and the Romans used to mash up the leaves and berries to add to wine, and they also used the roots and rhizome as a medicine by soaking them in wine. Today, it is illegal to use holly as a decoration in Italy, so butcher’s broom is used instead.
All parts of the plant are used, including the rhizome, and although it is used as a diuretic, and to control a loss of blood pressure experience by some people on standing up, it is its effect on blood vessels where its main medical benefits lie. Butcher’s Broom can strengthen certain portions of blood vessels, and change the flexibility properties of the cell walls.
The result of this is that the vessels are tightened up, which helps to maintain the flow of blood throughout the body, but also renders the cell walls less likely to leak or crack under stress. The result is a reduction in blood leakage from stretched and weakened blood vessels such as those that result in hemorrhoids, and also of conditions caused by weakened valves in the veins such as varicose veins and spider veins.
The blood pressure in the veins is very weak since they are so far away from the heart, the blood having passed through the arteries, through the capillaries and into the veins on its way back to the heart before being pumped to the lungs. When the valves become weakened, particularly in the large veins in the leg, there is little to prevent the blood from coming under the influence of gravity and pooling back down the vein, causing distention and occasional ruptures.
A ruptured varicose vein can be very serious and cause significant blood loss. Weakened valves can also lead to the formation of blood clots, which is itself a very serious condition that eventually blocks the heart or causes a stroke. Not only can butcher’s broom strengthen the vein walls and prevent leakage, and also enable them to more easily resist the pressure that can cause them to rupture, but it can also be used to break down blood clots. In fact the herb is used in many European hospitals to prevent the formation of blood clots after surgery.
The active ingredients in the rhizome are saponins that contain the aglycones ruscogenin and neuroscogenin and the associated spirostanol and furostanol glycosides. The receptors that cause vasocontraction are known as adrenoreceptors, these receptors can be selectively stimulated by butcher’s broom extract to tighten the veins and improve the return of blood. When introduced intravenously, butcher’s broom was noted to constrict venules (small veins that feed the main veins but not arterioles (the small arteries than feed the capillaries). Hence blood vessels can be selectively treated, and the effect on isolated blood vessels was enhanced by heating. Many supplements include calcium that helps to strengthen the blood vessel walls.
It is possible, therefore, to target the blood vessels that require constrictive treatment in order that they are strong enough to return blood to the heart rather than leak or distend. However, that is not the only health benefit that butcher’s broom provides. It can also be used as a diuretic. It is not a strong diuretic, but is used to relief the swelling of bruises and PMS, the reason given being that since leakage from the blood vessels is lessened, then more fluid is available to pass through the kidneys. There might be other reasons.
It is also use for the treatment of ortho static hypotension, the reduction in blood pressure that some people experience. It is believed that butcher’s broom can control this condition without increasing blood pressure, as most other remedies do, and which is almost as undesirable as the condition they are treating.
There are few problems associated with the herb, although few studies have been carried out its use by pregnant women. Although the one test that was carried indicated no effect, it would be wise for pregnant or nursing women not to use it until further studies have been carried out. Due to its effect in tightening blood vessels, its use is not recommended by anybody suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension). Many hypertension treatments are designed to render the blood vessels more elastic rather than constrict them.
In one very small study of pregnant women who used a topical cream containing butcher's broom, no side effects were seen for either the mother or the baby. However, very little information is available on how oral butcher's broom might affect a developing fetus, an infant, or a small child. Therefore, its use is not recommended during pregnancy, while breast-feeding, or during early childhood.
Because it tightens blood vessels, butcher's broom may worsen high blood pressure or benign prostate Hyperplasia (BPH). Individuals with either of these conditions should not use any form of butcher's broom without first consulting a doctor. The known side effects have already been stated, and they are fairly mild, but few studies have been made on the herb other than in Europe, and the side effects have not been fully explored. It is unlikely; however, that there are any as yet unknown serious side effects since butcher’s broom has been used now for a long time, particularly in Europe.
The term ‘ruscogenin’ is used for the collective mixture of active saponins in butcher’s broom, and many of the supplements are formulated to include from 5 to 15 mg of these. However, check the label, since standardization is not yet required in the USA, and in theory a preparation can include much more or much less ruscogenin. It is frequently supplied with other active ingredients, such as vitamin C or calcium, and perhaps even horse chestnut that affect blood vessels in a similar way. Always follow the instructions on the package, since these are designed for the specific strength of supplement you are using.
An Ancient Herb And Its Application In Prostate Health
December 02, 2007 05:55 PM
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer as well as the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among American men. A prostate specific antigen (PSA) test has been shown to detect prostate cancer in its earliest stages. Even though cancer screenings are very important they are just one health concern when it comes to the prostate. As men get older, the prostate may become a source for many other problems that can, but not necessarily always, include cancer. Since the symptoms of some prostate conditions often mimic cancer, many men who learn they have a problem often immediately assume the worst. Therefore, it is important to understand the prostate and how potential changes might affect your health. Additionally, it is good to know what natural supplements you can take to ensure your prostate ages healthfully.
The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland found only in men just below the bladder and around the urethra, which functions as part of the male reproductive system. Throughout life the prostate continues to grow larger, but only after it becomes too large do problems begin to occur. The most common problem for men under fifty is prostatitis (inflamed prostate). This can cause a burning feeling during urination as well as frequent urination. It may be a sign that your body is fighting an infection, which can usually be treated with the use of an antibiotic. Nonbacterial prostatitis, on the other hand, does not respond to antibiotics and requires other forms of treatment. Men over fifty suffer most frequently from prostate enlargement or benign prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Although older men are more at risk for prostate cancer, BPH is much more common. This issue occurs when the prostate becomes so enlarged that it squeezes the urethra, causing problems in urination, urinary tract infections, and in worse case scenarios kidney damage. However, prostate cancer will affect one out of ever six men over the course of their lifetimes, making it the most serious prostate problem, causing 27,00 deaths this year alone.
Prostate problems such as BPH are usually treated with prescription drugs, which often lead to unpleasant side effects such as mild dizziness, sleep problems, decreased sex drive, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and fainting. For those people who don’t want to experience these side effects, there is a natural safe alternative available: saw palmetto. Saw palmetto is the best known of prostate-supportive herbs coming from palm tree berries. However, it does not work for all men or those with extreme cases of BPH. The prostate gland also needs zinc, which is hard to find in a typical diet. By adding zinc supplements to your daily regimen, you can easily stabilize hormones and possibly prevent prostate problems.
A great natural solution that comes risk-free and can help with a large range of prostate health issues is epilobium, which contains properties that have supported prostate health for centuries. Epilobium is a small willow herb used in traditional medicine for the treatment of prostate disorders and valued for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Because traditional use and modern research have proven that epilobium may help with BPH and prostatitis and has shown promising results for inhibiting cancer cell growth, it’s a great choice for prostate health.
Supplements to Fight Prostate Cancer
July 29, 2007 11:41 AM
Prostate Cancer and Nutritional Supplements
Years of research have discovered that the foods a man chooses to eat (or doesn’t eat) can have a profound impact on the health of his prostate gland. Because of this close nutritional link, prostate cancer may be the most preventable type of cancer (after smoking-related lung cancers).
Recently, there has been an incredible amount of research and investigation of prostate cancer. Many of these studies have explored the use of certain nutrients to prevent and actually treat prostate cancer. These nutrients, calcium D-glucarate selenium, broccoli, green tea, maitake, and lycopene are powerful prostate cancer fighters. All are available as nutritional supplements that men can take every day as an important part of a healthy diet.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss prostate cancer and how men can actually prevent it with the use of these six nutrients. Plus, if men already have prostate cancer, these nutrients can be an important part of their treatment regimen in fighting their disease.
Q. What does the prostate gland do?
A. The prostate is a gland in a man’s reproductive system. It makes and stores seminal fluid, the milky fluid that nourishes sperm. This fluid is released to form part of the semen. The prostate is about the size of a walnut and it is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate actually wraps around the upper part of the urethra, the tube that empties urine from the bladder through the penis.
Q. What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
A. Early prostate cancer often does not cause any symptoms. However, many symptoms of prostate cancer are also symptoms of other problems with the prostate, such as an infection or benign prostatic Hyperplasia, a prostate enlargement associated with age-related changes.
A man who has any of these symptoms should see his health care practitioner for evaluation:
-A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
-Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
-Inability to urinate
-Painful or burning urination
-Difficulty in having an erection
-Blood in urine or semen
-Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
Q. Are certain men more prone to get prostate cancer?
A. Age is the biggest risk factor: most prostate cancers occur in men over 65 years of age. A man’s risk for developing prostate cancer is higher if his father or brother has had the disease. African-Americans are at higher risk for the disease. Mechanics, farmers, sheet metal workers, and workers exposed to cadmium have also had high rates of prostate cancer.
Q. How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
A. A man who has any of these risk factors may want to ask his health care professional whether to begin screening for prostate cancer (even though he does not have any symptoms), what tests to have, and how often to have them.
The usual prostate tests include: Digital rectal exam: the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels the prostate through the rectal wall to check for hard or lumpy areas.
Blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA): a lab measures the levels of PSA in a blood sample. The level of PSA may rise in men who have prostate cancer, benign prostatic Hyperplasia (a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland), or an infection in the prostate.
These tests will only determine if there is a problem with a man’s prostate gland. They cannot determine if the problem is cancer. Only a biopsy of a sample of prostate tissue can reveal the presence of actual prostate cancer.
Q. What nutrients help prevent or treat prostate cancer?
A. The prostate health nutrients, calcium D-glucarate, selenium, broccoli, green tea, maitake, and lycopene, each work in unique ways. Some help men’s bodies’ work more effectively some keep cancer cells from growing, while others actually kill prostate cancer cells. Let’s discuss each nutrient and how it works.
It is a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe. There are also “natural” toxins that are produced in our bodies. Excess hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, can cause cancer when they are no longer needed. Cancer causing chemicals not only initiate cancer, but exposure to them can also cause existing cancers to grow bigger, stronger, and more deadly.
Our bodies do a fairly good job of eliminating some of these toxins before they can cause us harm. In the liver, the toxin is bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool. However, yet another chemical, an enzyme called glucoronidase, can break this bond between the toxin and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released back into our bodies, capable of causing us harm once more. The longer the toxins and excess hormones are in our bodies, the greater the chances they can make us seriously sick. Scientists have discovered that increased glucuronidase activity in the body is strongly associated with prostate cancer.
Fortunately, scientists have also discovered that a natural substance found in foods, calcium D-glucarate, can greatly reduce the activity of glucuronidase. Calcium D-glucarate helps our bodies keep the harmful toxins and chemicals bound to glucuronic acid. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase. CDG has been shown in many experimental studies to significantly stop prostate cancer growth. Studies have shown that by taking calcium D-glucarate, our bodies and get rid of the toxic chemicals and excess hormones that might stimulate cancer formation.
Selenium is an essential trace mineral fund in the soil. Both plant foods like oatmeal and meats that we eat, such as chicken and beef, contain selenium. How much selenium, however, is difficult to determine. This is because the amount of selenium in soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium in the plant foods that are grown in that soil. Animals, too, will have varying levels of selenium in their muscle, depending on the amount of selenium in their feed. The actual selenium level in the grasses and grains that make up animal feed reflect the amount of the selenium in the soil where they grew.
A major antioxidant, selenium slows down aging, keeps our skin supple, and helps prevent dandruff. Selenium also keeps our blood vessels healthy and protects us from heart disease. However, some of selenium’s most powerful effects are on the prostate gland.
In a recent study, researchers recruited 974 men to take part in a large clinical trial to determine if selenium could prevent cancer. Half of the men were given selenium supplements and half were given a placebo. Researchers, who did know which group got the placebo, watched and recorded the men’s progress. The researchers were amazed to learn that selenium cut the rate of prostate cancer by 63%!
The results of this study were so impressive that it has led to many other studies of selenium and prostate cancer. In fact, researchers at the
Scientists have observed over for a long period of time, that men who eat lots of broccoli have a lower risk of getting prostate cancer. It seems that sulforaphane, a compound abundant in broccoli, is the secret ingredient responsible for this connection. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body, called phase 2 enzymes, which deactivate cancer-causing chemicals. In lab experiments, prostate cancer cells that were exposed to sulforaphane, the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent.
There is a potent plant substance in green tea that is a very effective killer of prostate cancer cells. A recent study tested four common components of green tea and determined that one of these compounds, epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, has a special affinity for prostate cancer cells. Scientists discovered that EGCG can stop the growth of prostate cancer dead in its tracks. The chemical structure of EGCG is very similar to substances in red wine and cruciferous vegetables, known cancer killers.
For many years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction.
A recent study at
Some of the most exciting nutritional news in relation to prostate health involves lycopene. This carotenoid is found primarily in tomatoes, and men who eat lots of cooked tomatoes have very low rates of prostate cancer. Because promising preliminary reports demonstrate that lycopene can actually kill prostate cancer cells, there has been an explosion of lycopene and prostate cancer studies.
In one of these studies, 32 prostate cancer patients ate a pasta meal covered with three-fourths cup of tomato sauce every day for three weeks. Results showed their PSA levels dropped two points. Even signs of DNA damage dropped sharply. The ability of lycopene to drop these levels in just three weeks has impressed researchers and scientists worldwide.
Q. Do I have to take each nutrient separately?
A. While you can purchase each one of these nutrients and take them separately, all of these nutrients are available in prostate health formulas. Make sure the formula you buy contains calcium d-glucarate, lycopene, and selenium, broccoli standardized to contain a minimum of 125 mcg sulforaphane, green tea, and maitake mushroom extract. Standardized ingredients provide consistently effective nutrients.
Q. What else can men do to prevent prostate cancer?
A. Adopting a healthy diet, including eating 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, eating several servings of whole grain cereals and bread, and reducing red meat consumption to 2 or 3 servings per week has been shown to reduce the risk of all kinds of cancer. In addition, the recent lycopene studies suggest that a diet that regularly includes tomato-based foods may help protect men from prostate cancer.
Men 50 years and older should have a digital rectal exam (DRE) and PSA test each year. African-Americans and those at higher risk should begin at age 40. Talk with your health care professional to determine how frequently the test should be done.
This year doctors expect to find 180,000 new cases of prostate cancer is the
More cancers are caught early and new treatments might help make it possible for men to live long and healthy lives following their diagnosis. By taking a few simple steps, men diagnosed with prostate cancer can take charge of their lives and overcome much of the fear and anxiety that accompany a cancer diagnosis.
Growing Older, Feeling Better
March 28, 2007 02:15 PM
Growing Older, Feeling Better
Not long ago, when a man turned sixty-five, he became officially old – the best years of his life far behind him. The milestone meant his working days were done and if he was lucky, he might get four or five years to spend as he wished before illness and infirmity set in. It was simply expected and accepted that the older a man got, the sicker he got.
Well, not anymore. Today, a man age 65 is just as likely to be found hiking in the hills, running in a marathon, or even dancing in the streets than rocking in that proverbial front porch rocker. Because it’s becoming more and more evident that the older a man gets, the healthier that man has been.
Eating healthy, exercising, and kicking harmful habits (like smoking) can add years to a man’s life. Aging research is proving over and over again, that we can prevent and delay heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease – the major causes of disability and death in men over 50.
Now, it’s very true that good clean living from early on is preferable to sixty five years of bad habits and five years of good. But it’s also true that it’s never too late for men to make changes and vow to take better care of themselves. And one of the easiest and most effective ways men can improve their health is the addition of high quality nutritional supplements.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’ll talk about specific dietary supplements that have been scientifically shown to improve the health of men over fifty, prevent the diseases that often strike at this crucial time in men’s lives, and actually slow the aging process.
Q. I just turned 50 and I’d like to begin taking nutritional supplements, but they seem so confusing. Where should I begin?
A. Many men feel the same way. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of nutritional supplements on health food store shelves. Figuring out which supplements provide the best health benefits for a 50+ man can be overwhelming.
The best foundation supplement is a high quality multivitamin. Research is repeatedly finding that even very healthy men who take daily multivitamins can significantly improve their health. In fact, an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recommends that all adult Americans take a vitamin supplement. Look for solid doses of vitamin supplement. Look for sol doses of vitamins and especially minerals. Multivitamins designed to be taken once a day are often woefully deficient in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The only mineral a man should avoid is supplemental iron. Iron should only be in formulas for women prior to menopause. Men over 50 get all the iron they need from food and too much iron can cause health problems.
Look for men’s multivitamins that contain lycopene in the formula. Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red. The redder the tomato, the more lycopene is present. Numerous studies have shown that when men have high lycopene levels in their blood, they have a much lower risk of heart disease, age-related macular degeneration (a leading cause of vision loss) and prostate cancer.
Other important considerations are antioxidant blends, especially fruit- and tea-derived extracts; ginseng for energy and stamina; and digestive enzymes to aid in absorption and compensate for age-related decreased enzyme levels.
In fact, years of research has shown the foods a man chooses to eat (or not to eat) can have a profound impact on the health of his prostate gland. Because of this close nutritional link, prostate cancer may be the most preventable type of non-smoking related cancers.
Q. Aside from taking a quality multivitamin for general health, what nutritional supplements prevent and treat prostate cancer?
A. Six vital and all-natural nutrients can prevent prostate cancer from developing and even help fight the disease.
When men are exposed to excess levels of hormones, their risk of prostate cancer increases. A natural substance found in fruits and vegetables called calcium D-glucarate (or CDG), helps men’s built-in detoxification systems get rid of these harmful excess hormones.
This antioxidant has powerful effects on the prostate gland. In a recent study, researchers recruited 974 men to take part in a large clinical trial to determine if selenium could prevent cancer. The researchers found that selenium cut the rate of prostate cancer by 63%!
Green tea is the most widely consumed liquid in the world, after water. Men in
For many years, maitake mushrooms, or dancing mushrooms, have been linked to good health in those who eat them. That’s because maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction. A recent study showed that maitake D-fraction destroyed 95% of human prostate cancer cells in lab experiments.
Promising preliminary reports demonstrate that lycopene can actually kill prostate cancer cells, so there has been an explosion of lycopene and prostate cancer research.
Q. What exactly happens to men’s hormones as they get older?
A. Just as women experience significant hormonal changes as they age, so do men. In fact, the term andropause has been used to describe men’s mid-life changes. Similar to menopause in women (where the decline of estrogen causes a myriad of symptoms), andropause in men signals the slow decline of testosterone, the chief sex hormone in men. While estrogen levels decline faster and more abruptly in women than testosterone levels do in men, testosterone decline can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms. These include abdominal weight gain, hair loss, reduced energy and sex drive, heart disease, and prostate enlargement. Whether a man labels these age-related changes as andropause or just the consequences of aging, most men will unfortunately experience some or all of them as their birthdays mount.
Q. So, is there a supplement that can give me the hormone level of a 20 year old?
A. Sadly, no, at least not yet! But there is a nutrient that can help the testosterone in a man over fifty “behave” more like a younger man’s testosterone.
A study that took place at the
The secret of DIM’s prostate cancer prevention is its ability to metabolize estrogen. While estrogen is generally thought of as a “female” hormone, a precise ratio of testosterone-to-estrogen is needed to maintain a man’s healthy sexual response, effective sexual function (erection of the penis and intercourse), strong bones and muscles, viable sperm, and a well-functioning prostate gland. As men enter their fifties, this ratio begins to change.
When men take DIM, however, their estrogen metabolism improves, testosterone metabolism accelerates, and the unwanted conversion of testosterone into estrogen is eliminated. This results in higher testosterone levels, similar to those seen in young men. As a result, DIM may speed weight loss, reduce prostate gland enlargement (benign prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH), and help men over 50 feel stronger and leaner.
Some supplements on the market today contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a precursor to DIM. However, I3C is unstable and requires activation in the stomach to be converted into DIM. This means I3C must be taken at a much higher amount and can undergo unpredictable and undesirable chemical reactions in your stomach and colon. DIM is by far the preferred supplement.
Q. What is saw palmetto? Does it reduce symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)?
A. Yes it does and very effectively too. Saw palmetto is a small palm tree native to
The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It wraps around the upper part of the urethra and its primary job is the production and storage of semen, the milky fluid that nourishes sperm. BPH is one of the most common health conditions in older men. Half of all men aged 40-60 and more than 90 percent in men over 80 have BPH. BPH causes the prostate gland to enlarge, putting pressure on the urethra.
Men have trouble starting or maintaining a stream of urine, find they can’t completely empty their bladders, and have to urinate frequently, even during the night. They may also have episodes of uncontrollable dribbling or complete loss of urine. BPH is caused by the conversion of estrogen to a very potent form of testosterone called, dihydrotestosterone (or DHT). When prostate cells are exposed to DHT, they multiply in number and get much larger.
BPH rarely improves. It most often remains the same for years or gets gradually worse. The need to continually urinate, interrupted sleep, dribbling, and loss of urine can significantly interfere with a man’s quality of life. Prescription medications that have been developed to treat BPH are only partially effective. And surgical removal of the prostate gland may result in even more persistent urinary incontinence and the inability to achieve an erection (ED).
However, saw palmetto berry extract relieves the symptoms of BPH by inhibiting the production of DHT. And, in study after study after study, saw palmetto caused none of the side effects that happen with prostate surgery or medications.
Q. There seem to be plenty of ads for supplements that claim they make men into Sexual Superheroes. Is there an “honest” nutritional supplement to help me sexually?
A. That’s a very good observation. And yes, there are honest nutritional supplements for men’s sexual health.
Sexual intimacy is an important, complex, and lifelong need. It makes us feel better physically and mentally and adds to our sense of security, belonging, and self-esteem. But just like other changes that happen to men as they get older, men’s sexual response most often changes, too. Declining testosterone levels, changes in blood flow to the penis, certain medications that older men are prescribed, and the presence of diabetes or heart disease can all affect men’s ability to engage in sexual activity.
When men have a chronic inability in obtaining and/or maintaining an erection, it’s called erectile dysfunction (ED). While ED is not an inevitable part of getting older, it does occur more frequently as men age. About 5% of 40-year-old men have ED, but more than 23% of 65-year-old men have difficulty maintaining erections.
The development of prescription medication Viagra (sildenafil citrate) has revolutionized ED treatment. When a man is sexually stimulated, Viagra helps the penis fill with enough blood to cause an erection.
Like all medicines, Viagra can cause some side effects, including headache, flushing of the face, and upset stomach. But because Viagra is a prescription medication, it requires a visit to a licensed healthcare practitioner. For many men, telling anyone (even a professional) that they are having trouble getting or keeping an erection is simply too embarrassing. Viagra is also fairly expensive and many older men do not have prescription drug health insurance.
These reasons may explain that while an estimated 30 million men in the United States – 10% of the male population – experience chronic ED, as few as 5% of men with chronic ED seek treatment.
Not every man can take Viagra, either. Men who use nitrate drugs, often used to control chest pain (also known as angina), must not take Viagra. This combination can cause their blood pressure to drop to an unsafe or life-threatening level. Men with serious liver and kidney problems who take Viagra must be monitored closely for possible serious side effects.
The good news is there is a nutritional supplement that’s formulated with vitamins, herbs, and glandular products that targets male sexual organs. The formula contains vitamin E, liver fractions, wheat germ, beta-sitosterol, and herbal extracts of muira puama, Mexican damiana, saw palmetto, cola nut, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and men’s testicles, adrenal glands, and pituitary glands need high levels of this fat-soluble vitamin for proper functioning. Extracts of Muira puama, Mexican damiana, and cola nut have been studied for their beneficial effects on male hormones.
Study of ginkgo in sexual response came about when a patient in a nursing home who was taking the herb for memory enhancement noted that his erections were improved. Since then, study of ginkgo has shown it helps blood flow to the penis. Sexual response research in one ginkgo study showed that 76% of men taking ginkgo experienced improved sexual desire, erections, and orgasms.
While other nutritional supplements sold to improve sexual stamina often make outrageous claims, reputable manufacturers rely on science and results to sell their products.
An important note
Most often sexual problems are simply part of the aging process. They can also be signs of serious health problems. If the use of nutritional supplements for two months does not improve your erections, you do need to see your healthcare practitioner. Almost all practitioners understand how difficult this problem is for men to discuss and are experienced in getting the information as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
No man has the power to stop the passage of time. But every man has the power to make aging more healthy and less harmful. Research conducted on men who live to be 100 and beyond, has determined that those who reach extreme old age do so by avoiding ill health, rather than by enduring it. As I like to remind my patients, “Age is not determined by years, but by function.” And it’s never too late for men to detour around the major illnesses of getting older. With good nutrition, healthy habits, and high quality nutritional supplements, the best years of a man’s life can absolutely and positively be those he spends in his 70s, 80s and even his 90s.
Comprehensive Prostate Formula-the Clinical Studies
October 13, 2005 04:32 PM
Helps maintain a healthy prostate gland.
Supports normal urinary function.
Comprehensive Prostate Formula-the Clinical Studies
Saw palmetto extract is one of the world's leading herbal products for prostate support. Widely-cited clinical studies conducted over the last fifteen years suggest Saw palmetto extract can produce major improvements in prostate-related urinary function. In clinical studies, Saw palmetto extract has produced measurable improvements in urinary functions and prostate size. Quality of life scores have also improved. The results with Saw palmetto extract have been duplicated in open trials and controlled, double-blind studies.11,12,13 For example, in a large open trial, 505 men took 320 mg of Saw palmetto extract daily for three months.1 The results were evaluated with various measurements such as the International Prostate Symptom Score, the quality of life score, urinary flow rates, residual urinary volume, and prostate size. After 45 days these parameters improved significantly. After 90 days of treatment nearly ninety percent of both the doctors and patients regarded Saw palmetto extract as effective as therapy for the prostate.
The changes in prostate health that accompany middle age are related to the hormone DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, a metabolite of testosterone. DHT levels rise, and DHT binds to prostate cells, accelerating growth of prostate tissue. Saw palmetto extract has been shown to inhibit 5 alpha-reductase, an enzyme that controls conversion of testosterone to DHT.14 Experimental evidence suggests Saw palmetto extract blocks the binding of DHT to prostate cells.15 The fatty acids and sterols in Saw palmetto are believed to be responsible for these actions.14,16 These include oleic acid, lauric acid, campasterol, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol and others. Clinical studies have used extracts containing 85 to 90 percent fatty acids and sterols.
Like Saw palmetto, Pygeum contains natural sterols and fatty acids.2 Although the mechanisms for its effect have not been clearly established, animal experiments suggest Pygeum may work by inhibiting prostate cell proliferation and reducing inflammation.17,18 In several European trials, Pygeum has successfully improved urinary function. In a large double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 263 men were given 100 mg of Pygeum extract a day for 60 days. Urination improved in 66 percent of the men taking Pygeum, compared with 31 percent on placebo, based on subjective and objective tests.19
Nettles are approved by the German Commission E as effective for relieving inflammation in the urinary tract.20 As far back as 1950, German investigators have observed favorable effects on the prostate with the use of Nettle root. These initial findings have been confirmed through case studies, as well as double-blind studies, published mainly in German medical journals. In a recent double blind study published in the journal Clinical Therapeutics, 134 men took a combination of Nettle root extract and Pygeum extract over a period of 56 days.3 Urination was significantly improved.
As noted above, Drs. Feinblatt and Gant discovered that a combination of the amino acids L-alanine, glutamic acid and glycine has a positive effect on prostate-related urinary function.5 A controlled study of 45 men was conducted to follow up on these initial observations.21 The majority of subjects experienced complete or partial relief in urinary complaints such as nighttime urination and urgency.
2. Lawrence Review of Natural Products. Pygeum. Jan 1998. Facts and Comparisons, St. Louis, MO.
3. Combined extracts of Urtica dioica and Pygeum africanum in the treatment of benign prostatic Hyperplasia: double-blind comparison of two doses Clinical Therapeutics 1993; 15(6):1011-19.
4. Wagner, H., Willer, F., Samtleben, R., Boos, G. Search for the antiprostatic principle of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) roots Phytomedicine 1994; 1:213-224.
5. Feinblatt, H.M., Gant, J.D. Palliative treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy. Journal of the Maine Medical Association, March 1958:99-124.
6. Giovanni, E., et. al. Intake of carotenoids and retinol in relation to risk of prostate cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995;87(23):1767-76.
7. Wallace, A.M., Grant, J.K. Effect of zinc on androgen metabolism in the human hyperplastic prostate. Biochemical Society Transactions 1975; 3(3):540-42
8. Badmaev, V., Majeed, M., Passwater, R. Selenium: A quest for better understanding. Alternative Therapies 1996; 2(4):59-67.
9. Fouhad, M.T. Selenium and cancer, chromium and diabetes: two trace elements that have merits as dietary supplements in human nutrition. Journal of Applied Nutrition 1979:31(1&2):14-17.
10. Vescovi, P.P., et. al. Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) decreases opoids-induced hyperprolactinemia. Horm. metabol. Res. 1985; 17:46-47.
11. Tasca, A., et. al. Treatment of obstructive symptomatology caused by prostatic adenoma with an extract of Serenoa repens. Double-blind clinical study vs. placebo. Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 1985; 37:87-91.
12. Champault, G., Bonnard, A.M., Cauquil, J., Patel, J.C. Medical treatment of prostatic adenoma. A controlled test of PA 109 vs. placebo in 110 patients. Ann. Urol. 1984; 18(6):407-410.
13. Crimi, A., Russo, A. The use of Serenoa repens extract in the treatment of functional disturbances caused by prostate hypertrophy. Med. Praxis 1983; 4:47-51.
14. NiederprŸm, H.J., Schweikert. H.U., ZŠnker, K.S. Testosterone 5 alpha-reductase inhibition by free fatty acids from Sabal serrulata fruits. Phytomedicine 1994; 1:127-133.
15. Sultan, C., et. al. Inhibition of androgen metabolism and binding of liposterolic extract of Serenoa repens B in human foreskin fibroblasts. J. Steroid Biochem. 1984; 20(1):515-519.
16. Weissner, H., et. al. Effects of the Sabal serrulata extract IDS 9 and its subfractions on 5 alpha-reductase activity in human benign prostatic Hyperplasia. The Prostate 1996;28:300-06.
17. Yablonsky, F. Nicolas, V., Riffaud, J.P., Bellamy, F. Antiproliferative effect of Pygeum africanum on rat prostatic fibroblasts. J. of Urology 1997; 157:2381-87.
18. Marconi, M. et. al. Anti-inflammatory action of Pygeum extract in the rat. Farmaci. & Terapia. 1986; 3:135.
19. Barlet, A, et. al. Efficacy of Pygeum africanum extract in the treatment of micturational disorders due to benign prostatic Hyperplasia. Evaluation of objective and subjective parameters. A multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial. Wien. Klin. Wocheschr. 1990; 22:667-73.
20. The Complete German Commission E Monographs. 1998, Blumenthal, M., ed., (p.216) Austin, TX: American Botanical Council.
21. Damrau, F. Benign prostatic hypertrophy: amino acid therapy for symptomatic relief. American Journal of Geriatrics 1962; 10:426-30.
Omega Man - For Men Interested in Optimal Health
August 12, 2005 11:10 AM
For Men Interested in Optimal Health, Vitality and Staying Young
Scientists have discovered the key that unlocks the door to a longer life, healthy weight, optimal athletic performance, and overall well-being. That key is composed of essential fats, called omega-3 fatty acids. You need these fats to balance the effects of the male hormone testosterone. Found in flax, pumpkin seeds, and other plants, omega-3 fats are essential to well-being, vitality, and optimal fitness; yet most men are deficient in the omega-3s.
The low-fat and nonfat fads of the 1980s and 1990s taught nutrition experts a lot about the importance of omega-3 fats. As food manufacturers created one nonfat product after another, a strange thing happened- men got fatter and heart disease rates jumped.
Since then, experts at research institutions including Harvard and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have linked nonfat diets with depression, heart disease, weight gain, and poor physical performance.
We now know that all fats are not created equal. Although some fats are indeed bad for our health, other fats are essential to overall health, vitality, and well-being. Most men, however, over consume the wrong fats- those found in processed foods and animal products- and do not consume enough of the right fats. To make matters worse, the good omega-3s are dwindling from the food supply. Food processing has stripped this important fat from our foods, making supplementation necessary.
Thankfully, Omega Man from Barlean’s Organic Oils, a new whole food concentrate for men, will help reduce the risk of some of the most deadly and common men’s health problems. All men will benefit from Omega Man. Its blend of essential fats from flax, Styrian pumpkin seeds, and other sources complement one another, providing the optimal mix of the right types of fats, which promises to promote health and vitality no matter what your age.
From the athletic pursuits of your early twenties to the health concerns of your fifties and beyond, Omega Man is an important part of a man’s healthy diet and will unlock the door to a new, more vibrant, healthier you.
Recently, we’ve begun to report on the importance of certain men’s power foods and nutrients. By putting optimal amounts of these into men’s diets, men can ensure greater health and longevity.
Super Health Blend
Omega Man’s unique blend of flax, pumpkin and other fatty acid sources is an optimal formula for men’s health and vitality.
Organic Flaxseed Oil
Barlean’s award-winning organic omega-3 and lignan-rich flaxseed oil makes up the base of this formula and provides the richest and best-absorbed source of omega-3 fatty acids available. Other popular sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, may contain contaminants such as mercury and industrial chemicals. Barlean’s flaxseed oil, on the other hand, comes from organic seeds grown in optimal conditions with no chemicals, pesticides, or other contaminants. You can feel safe knowing that all of Barlean’s flaxseed oil products, including Omega Man, are pure and fresh. They help you promote optimal health without polluting your body.
In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, Barlean’s lignan-rich flax oil is one of the world’s richest sources of lignans, important plant chemicals that act like hormones in the body. Lignans have been shown to bind to existing hormones in the body, bringing your hormones into the optimal balance needed for good health. Few men consume the amount of lignans needed to promote hormonal balance, making supplementation so important.
Lignans serve in the body to block two critical enzyme systems that serve to initiate prostate cancer and benign prostatic Hyperplasia. The first is aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to a powerful testosterone derivative that is five times more powerful than its precursor in promoting prostatic disease. The second is 5-alpha reductase, and enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. Despite popular belief, estrogen is much more powerful in provoking prostate disease than testosterone. In fact, the ratio of testosterone to estrogen begins to weigh in favor of estrogen in the aging male. As testosterone levels decline with age, estrogen levels appear to remain relatively stable. Compared to younger men, the ratio of estrogen to testosterone is up to 40 percent higher in older men.
Breakthrough research is implicating the imbalance between testosterone to estrogen as a primary cause of prostate disease. Flying in the face of past misconceptions, it would actually serve the aging male to increase testosterone at the expense of estrogen. It appears that this is exactly what lignans do in blocking the enzyme necessary for converting testosterone to estrogen. When the enzyme is blocked, testosterone is spared because it is not being converted to estrogen. In what you could visualize as a seesaw-like action, the ratio of testosterone to estrogen begins to move back in favor of testosterone.
The action of lignans in sparing testosterone may hold greater implications than the obvious. Lack or loss of sexual desire in men and women is oftentimes associated with low testosterone levels. By preserving testosterone, many men and women may be able to retain or regain their sexual vigor. In fact, agents that block the conversion of testosterone to estrogen have been showing to increase testosterone levels by as much as 10 percent. (Speaking of sexuality, the surgical treatment of choice for prostatic disease (prostectomy) is the leading cause of impotency in men over 50. This fact alone should be powerful motivation for men of all ages to consider a supplemental regime to include lignans to lower the incidence of prostate cancer and benign prostatic hypertrophy.)
The full significance of a “high-in-lignan” diet may be realized by the fact that lignans have been found isolated within prostatic fluids. Analytical work performed at a prominent cancer research center has indicated that the level of lignan in expressed prostatic fluid can be remarkable high, suggesting that it could well exercise a physiologic role within the gland. The glandular cells are certainly bathed in prostatic secretion for some considerable period, during which they could well influence cell biology. It has been established that the higher the intake of dietary lignans, the higher the physiologic lignan concentration in urine, blood plasma and prostatic secretions. The inference here is that the more dietary lignans that are ingested the more protection is offered in bathing the prostate gland in fluids high in protective lignans.
Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil
Barlean’s went to the edge of the earth to procure the seeds of a rare and unique pumpkin found only in the region of southeast Austria. It is reputed for its extraordinary wealth of vitamins A, C, E, and K and high levels of phytosterols, all important for reducing risk of enlarged prostate and in the fight again cancer and heart disease.
Nearly every part of your body, from your internal organs to your cell membranes to your brain, contains phospholipids. Phospholipid supplementation has been shown to promote heart, digestive, liver, and brain health. Omega Man contains the optimal amounts of phospholipids for your health.
Plant Phytosterol Complex
Omega man is a rich source of the plant phytosterols betasitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. If men have not begun to put phytosterols into their diet, then they’re missing out on an important natural food constituent that offers protection against toe most common cancers, that is an excellent remedy for enlarges prostate, and lowers cholesterol. Phytosterols are used widely in Europe to treat enlarge prostate (benign prostatic Hyperplasia) and are known to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by interfering with cholesterol absorption. Omega Man contains an optimal blend.
A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test can help detect prostate cancer, as well ...
July 27, 2005 02:13 PM
1. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test can help detect prostate cancer, as well as other prostate conditions.
A routine blood test, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test measures the level of a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. When the prostate gland enlarges, PSA levels can rise due to cancer or other medical conditions. However, a high PSA reading is not a cancer diagnosis. An elevated PSA level can point to common benign conditions such as prostatitis, inflammation of the prostate, or benign prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), enlargement of the prostate.
While the PSA blood test is currently the best tool for monitoring the status of prostate cancer, the test alone does not determine if a cancer is present. Many men with high PSA levels do not have cancer, while nearly 25% of men with a low PSA do have the disease. Studies indicate that it is even possible for patients with healthy PSA levels to have cancer that has spread to the bones. An abnormal PSA level should always be verified by repeating the test, and every PSA test should be accompanied by a digital rectal exam. If a nodule or abnormality is detected on the prostate, a biopsy can determine if cancer is present.
More Benefits of Natural Progesterone - PROGESTERONE AND CANCER
July 25, 2005 10:22 PM
More Benefits of Natural Progesterone
PROGESTERONE AND CANCER
The two types of cancer that are hormonally related include breast and uterine cancer due to the fact that the tissue which make up these areas are much more sensitive to hormone levels. It is a well known fact that an excess of estrogen can increase the risk of developing uterine cancer and certain types of estrogen have been linked to the formation of malignant breast tumors.25 Any woman who continually suffers from insufficient progesterone can also increase her chances of developing certain types of cancer. A prolonged lack of progesterone can cause uterine changes which eventually result in the impaired shedding of the uterine lining. When this occurs month after month, endometrial Hyperplasia can result, which is the abnormal thickening of the uterine lining. This buildup can lead to the development of uterine cancer. Progesterone can actually reduce the risk of developing uterine cancer which can develop from using estrogen therapy. 26 In addition, for women who have survived uterine cancer and have undergone hysterectomies, natural progesterone can be invaluable.
Because these women are advised to forgo hormonal treatments of any kind, they often suffer with osteoporosis or other symptoms typical of menopause. Taking natural progesterone poses no health risks and can help to prevent or treat these disorders. Concerning this group of women Dr. Lee writes:
These are the women for whom I first began using natural progesterone therapy. Not only did progesterone reverse their osteoporosis and, in many, it corrected their vaginal atrophy, but none, to my knowledge, have ever developed cancer of any sort . . . The evidence is overwhelming that natural progesterone is safe and only estradiol, estrone and the various synthetic estrogens and progestins are to be avoided to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.27
In the case of breast cancer, studies strongly suggest that this type of malignancy is more likely to occur in premenopausal women who have normal or high estrogen levels and low progesterone levels.28Women over 35 who continue to have periods but no longer ovulate and women who are taking synthetic estrogen without progesterone during and after menopause may find themselves in this higher risk group. One of the most interesting studies on progesterone was conducted at Johns Hopkins University in 1981, where physicians studied 1083 women for between 13 to 33 years in assessing the incidence of breast cancer. They found that those women who had a progesterone deficiency were over 5 times more at risk of developing breast cancer than those women who had adequate progesterone levels.29 Moreover, the study found that women who suffered from a lack of progesterone also had ten times more cancer-related death from all types of malignancies than those who did not.30 These statistics are dramatic, to say the least. Consider the following quote:
. . . the evidence is strong that unopposed estradiol and estrone [two forms of estrogen] are carcinogenic for the breasts, and both progesterone and estri-ol, the two major hormones throughout pregnancy, are protective against breast cancer. One is left to wonder why supplementation with these two beneficial and safe hormones are not the ones used routinely for women whenever hormone supplementation seems indicated . . . both hormones are available and are relatively inexpensive. Why have these two hormones been neglected by contemporary medical practice in favor of synthetic substitutes. 31
Saw Palmetto for treating prostate related problems.
May 13, 2005 06:09 PM
SAW PALMETTO BERRY EXTRACT INHIBITS CELL GROWTH AND COX-2 EXPRESSION IN PROSTATIC CANCER CELLS
Cell Biology International 2001, Vol. 25, No. 11, 1117–1124 doi:10.1006/cbir.2001.0779
"Formulations based on Saw Palmetto berry extract (Serenoa repens) (SPBE) have traditionally been used for treating prostate related problems, and clinical research has supported the application of SPBE in the fight against benign prostatic Hyperplasia BPH (Wilt et al., 1998; Plosker and Brogden, 1996; DiSilverio et al., 1998; McKinney, 1999; Lowe and Ku, 1996). The combination of this extract with other herbs has been shown to lower not only testosterone concentrations but also the concentration of prostatespecific antigens (DiPaola et al., 1998). Researchers have further demonstrated in animal studies that SPBE inhibits the binding of dihydrotestosterone DHT to its receptor (Carilla et al., 1984; Sultan et al., 1984) and blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT by inhibiting the activity of 5-- reductase. So far the mechanism of action is not known for this phytotherapy but it may include an anti-oestrogenic, anti-androgenic, anti-spasmolytic, or anti-inflammatory effect, or the inhibition of 5--reductase, since all of these activities have been documented for it in in vitro experiments (Stoner, 1996; Carraro et al., 1996). In the present study, we investigate the role of SPBE in prostate cancer by comparing the growth of prostatic cancer cell lines in the presence and absence of SPBE. The data presented here demonstrate that SPBE inhibits the growth of a normal prostatic derived cell line and two prostatic carcinoma cell lines. The results may suggest an ‘operating mechanism’ involving growth inhibition via alterations in the expression of Bcl-2 and prevention of prostate carcinoma development through the inhibition of expression of Cox-2. "
" [Note: The ‘mechanism of action’ of SPBE is reported to be its ability to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to DHT (Bayne et al., 1999; Iehle et al., 1995; Delos et al., 1994). SPBE also inhibits the binding of DHT to its receptors (Sultan et al., 1984; Carilla et al., 1984). Further, it has been suggested that too much DHT could cause prostate cells to divide at an abnormal rate leading to enlargement of the prostate gland. Other effects of SPBE are anti-inflammatory (Di Silverio et al., 1992) and anti-estrogenic (Di Silverio et al., 1992; Briley et al., 1983). In conclusion, SPBE is a well-tolerated drug that has an efficacy similar to Finasteride in improving symptoms in men with BPH (Plosker and Brogden, 1996; Gerber et al., 1998). An additional effect of SPBE is the inhibition of growth factor-induced proliferation of human prostate cell-cultures (Paubert-Braquet, 1998). This drug also induces a significant reduction in DHT and epidermal growth factor concentrations in human BPH following three months of treatment (Di Silverio, 1998). Amongst other effects suggested for how SPBE functions, is the inhibition of signal transduction through the prolectin receptor (Vacher et al., 1995)]."
Nutritional Support for Prostate Health
May 11, 2005 10:19 AM
Nutritional Support for Prostate HealthBy Steve Lankford
Prostate problems are perhaps the most common problem that men will experience. As men age their hormonal production and metabolism changes and these changes can contribute to the prostate difficulties that men experience. The two major prostate problems are enlargement of the prostate gland known as benign prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer. These two problems are unrelated except that they both affect the prostate gland and the scope of this article will focus on BPH.
The prostate gland is a small gland located under the bladder. It is shaped like a donut and surrounds the neck of the bladder and a small portion of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries the urine out of the body. When the prostate gland enlarges it can constrict the urethra and the flow of urine. This contributes to the variety of symptoms of BPH. BPH affects over half of all men aged 50 and older.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
BPH is related to the hormonal changes that men undergo as they age. Around age 40 men begin to produce more of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. 5-alpha-reductase converts the hormone testosterone into the less desirable hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is an important hormone and is not a problem until the levels begins to increase around mid-life. The increase in DHT results in BPH.
The symptoms of BPH include hypersensitivity of the bladder to even small amount of urine. This results in an increase of both urgency and frequency. Men will often experience frequent nighttime urination. The urine stream may become weaker and include dribbling when men are unable to completely void the bladder. Serious BPH can cause a complete blockage of urine flow.
Three stages of support
There are three stages at which you may want or need to deal with BPH. The first stage is preventive. At this stage there are no symptoms and one may do something at this stage when trying to provide benefit and support to avoid or minimize future involvement. The ideal time to begin preventive support is between the ages of 40 and 50.
The second stage is when there are emerging symptoms. This is when men first begin to experience the symptoms of BPH. The symptoms are mild and no too difficult to tolerate. This is also the best time to reverse the trend and provide effective nutritional therapy.
The third stage is when the symptoms have progressed to the difficult and serious level. It often progresses to this point when men ignore the symptoms and treatments. Often men have tried traditional medical approaches with little satisfaction or results. Even at this stage of BPH, nutritional support is usually very effective.
The challenge of creating an effective prostate support program begins with an assessment of your current status and then making an informed choice of support options.
The most successful natural approach to prostate health should involve a multiple approach that addresses the various systems in the body related to prostate health. The various nutrients that may be use can be taken separately or in combination. This approach can be beneficial both as a preventative approach as well therapeutic. You will generally have better results when you use a comprehensive approach.
The Comprehensive Approach to BPH
Prostate Support – Studies have show that dietary factors influence the overall health of the prostate. There are some nutrients that are found in higher amounts in the prostate. Nutrients such as zinc, lycopene and vitamin E provide prostate support.
Hormonal Regulation – Hormones have a direct role in prostate function. Plant extracts inhibit testosterone uptake by the prostate as well as limiting its conversion into DHT and subsequent binding to receptor sites within the prostate. Herbs such as saw palmetto, pygeum, nettle, red clover and soy provide this benefit.
Cellular Regeneration – Certain nutrients such as Swedish Flower Pollen, Quercetin and lycopene have demonstrated significant effects in maintaining proper prostate cell regeneration.
Bladder and Urinary Tract Health – The integrity and health of the bladder and urinary tract supports the normal flow of urine and prostate function. Three amino acids alanine, glutamic acid, and glycine as well as the herbs goldenseal, marshmallow root, uva ursi and pumpkin seed are all beneficial to the health of the urinary tract.
Soothing mechanisms – Certain plant compounds such as sterols and Swedish flower pollen as well as saw palmetto and pygeum and the bioflavonoid quercetin inhibit the metabolism of arachidonic acid. This influences prostaglandin synthesis, which is associated with prostate comfort.
Antioxidant Defense - The final area that we look at is how to reduce oxidative stress (free radical damage) that can trigger a host of destructive processes. Antioxidants play an important role in prostate function including protection of cell membranes.
Natural Is Better
How good are natural alternatives for prostate health? There have been many studies on natural alternatives showing that the proper herbs in the proper form are at least as effective as prescription drugs with fewer side effects. The most common drug for BPH is Proscar (finasteride). Some of the adverse side effects associated with finasteride are decreased libido and erectile dysfunction. Natural saw palmetto extract is free of these unwanted effects and is equally effective.
Choosing an Effective Product
The effectiveness of a nutritional product has to do with several factors. The bottom line is that the most effective product is the one that works best for you. Be prepared to try several products to find the best potency and combination.
There are many nutrients that provide prostate support. Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Amino Acids and Nutraceuticals are all helpful and the most comprehensive products will provide supports in multiple ways.
Vitamins – Vitamin D, Vitamin E
Minerals – Zinc, Selenium, Copper
Herbs – Saw Palmetto, Nettle Root, Marshmallow Root, Pygeum Bark, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Red Clover, Goldenseal Root, Gravel Root, Green Tea
Amino Acids – Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Glycine
Nutraceuticals – Soy Isoflavones, Quercetin, Swedish Flower Pollen, Phytosterols, Lycopene
The first nutrient and herb to consider is saw palmetto extract. It is the phytosterols in saw palmetto (and other herbs) that are responsible for the beneficial results. It is important to make sure that the product that you use has the therapeutically effective dose. If you don’t know the proper dosage and how to calculate the proper concentration it is very easy to purchase a low potency formula that is less likely to be effective.
In the clinical studies with saw palmetto extract, potencies of 320 mg. per day were used. However this only tell part of the story. The saw palmetto extract was composed of 85-95% sterols resulting in approximately 288 mg. (320 mg. times 90% equals 288 mg.) of sterols daily. Make sure your saw palmetto contains the correct amount of sterols.
This process of analyzing herbal extracts will apply to any standardized herbal product. You want to know whether the product you are purchasing has the right amount of the right compounds.
Search for the best products by trying different formulas. The proper nutrients taken consistently over time will provide long-lasting benefits. Stick with good companies with a history of providing quality nutritional products.
The information provided is nutritional only and is intended to help you develop a nutritional program that can support the functions of the body. The information provided is not intended as medical advice. For medical advice always consult your physician.