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
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.
A well -documented alternative to prostate medications.
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.
Another well-documented natural choice.
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.
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.
(from Hypoxis rooperi)
The proper dosage of sitosterols should supply 60 to
130 mg daily of beta-sitosterol. Full effects may take 6 months
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.