January 18, 2008

Natural Remedies for Prostate Enlargement

As men get into their late forties or fifties, their bodies become more susceptible to certain diseases and ill conditions, especially of the prostate gland. Part of the male reproductive system, the prostate is walnut-sized bulb of tissue located at the base of the bladder. After a man reaches the age of 45, the prostate gland becomes more vulnerable to prostate enlargement, also known as benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH).

The causes of BPH seem to lie in men’s diet, and a high-fat, high-sugar diet is thought to increase a man’s risk of developing BPH. Aside from making dietary changes, many men are also looking into natural remedies that would help to prevent or treat BPH and its symptoms, which include frequent urination at night, a constant urge to urinate, difficulty in starting to urinate, difficulty maintaining a steady stream of urine, and difficulty in completely emptying the bladder.

Saw palmetto has long been touted as a natural herbal remedy for prostate enlargement. Some studies have shown results in which saw palmetto apparently reduced gland swelling and improved symptoms over several weeks. But a more recent study published in 2006 has cast doubt on the previous studies’ results, with clinical tests showing that saw palmetto appears to have no better effect than a placebo. There are sure to be further studies, but in the meantime it is difficult to say whether saw palmetto can still be considered an effective herbal remedy for BPH.

Another natural remedy is pygeum bark extract, which comes from the plant Pygeum africanum, a species of evergreen found throughout the African continent. It has been popular in Europe, especially France, for treating prostate conditions in older men. In this case, clinical studies agree with traditional medicine, and show that pygeum bark extract is effective in improving symptoms of BPH. However, the pygeum plant has long been overharvested and is currently endangered, although conservation efforts are ongoing.

Stinging nettle roots are yet another natural remedy for BPH, and clinical studies have shown these to be effective in relieving prostate enlargement symptoms, although it does not appear to actually reduce gland swelling.

In the end, the best natural approach to BPH is to prevent it from occurring, by consuming a diet rich in nutrients that are known to have a preventative effect on prostate enlargement. Lycopene is especially effective, and it is found in tomatoes and tomato products (ketchup, tomato sauce, etc.), as well as in pink grapefruit, watermelon, and guava. Vitamins D and E are also considered beneficial in preventing BPH and prostate cancer. Daily consumption of pomegranate juice may also be helpful, as a 2006 study has shown that it slows the rate of progress of prostate cancer.

Do yourself a favor, learn the various ways of preventing prostate cancer. Check out my tips and articles at

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