If you're a man, and you live long enough, you will almost certainly develope benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Ninety percent of all men show signs of such prostatic enlargement by the age of 80. Symptoms include difficulty in starting urination, a diminished force of urinary stream, a sensation of fullness in the bladdar after urination, and the need to urinate many times at night. Ultimately, the obstruction can become so severe that urination is impossible.
The most common treatment for BPH is surgery that removes most of the prostate gland. Although this surgery is fairly safe, it is traumatic. The drugs Cardura, Flomax, Hytrin, and Proscar can relieve symptoms of BPH. In addition, Proscar has been shown to shrink the prostate and cut by half the need for surgery.

Pricipal Natural Treatments
Men who suspect they may suffer from BPH should make sure to see a physician to rule out prostate cancer. After this has been done, many natural options are available that have good scientific backing. Indeed, it's hard to think of another condition for which so many natural therapies have been shown effective.

Saw Palmetto: A well -documented alternative to prostate medications.
Dosages: The standard dosage of saw palmetto is 160 mg twice daily of an extract standardized to contain 85 to 95% fatty acids and sterols. It can also be taken in one daily dose of 320 mg. Taking more than this dose will not give you better results. Note: Make sure to get a full medical checkup to rule out prostate cancer before you self-treat with saw palmetto. Furthermore, all men over the age of 50 should also continue regular prostate checkups with their physicians.

Pygeum: Another well-documented natural choice.
Dosage: The proper dosage of pygeum is 50 to 100 mg twice daily of an extract standardized to contain 14% triterpenes and 0.5% n-docosanol. It is often sold at a slightly lower dose in combination with saw palmetto.

Nettle Root
Dosage: According to Germany's Commission E, the proper dosage of nettle root is 4 to 6 g daily of the whole root or a proportional dose of concentrated extract.
Sitosterol (from Hypoxis rooperi)
Dosage: The proper dosage of sitosterols should supply 60 to 130 mg daily of beta-sitosterol. Full effects may take 6 months to develope.

Grass Pollen
A special extract of grass pollen is widely used in Europe for the treatment of BPH. Although a couple of double-blind and other types of studies have found it to be effective, the total evidence is weaker than that for the treatments just described.Grass pollen extract is just begining to become widely available in the United States. 

Other Natural Treatments
There are other treatments often recommended for BPH, but they lack any real scientific evidence. Pumpkin seeds are approved for use in BPH by Germany's Commission E. The mineral zic is also commonly recommended in both Europe and the United States as a treatment for prostate disease, as is flaxseed oil.

The information contained in this web site is strictly intended for educational purposes. It is not intended for use as a diagnostic tool, prescription or as a medical advice. Consult your physician for professional advice.
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