Prostate disorders do not only affect the elderly male. Research show that they are much more common in middle-aged individuals than was previously thought. In fact, studies show that over half of men in their forties and fifties have an enlarged prostate. In the older age group, one quarter of 50-year-olds have some cancerous cells in their prostate, although most will not develop any significant problems.
This website describes how to use natural prostate supplements to maintain good prostate health. This is an approach worth trying, because it seems that supplements can deal with problems such as benign enlargement rather effectively. But first, we need to consider why problems arise.
At about the age of fifty, the prostate may naturally start to enlarge – this can cause restriction of the urinary tract, and sometimes it can produce virtually complete obstruction of the urethra, which interferes with the normal flow of urine. This condition is known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
It brings on symptoms of urinary hesitancy, painful urination, frequent urination, urinary retention (not getting it all out) and an increased risk of urinary tract infections. Studies have shown that by age 50 years, 50% of men have histologic evidence of BPH, and at age 70 years, the proportion rises to 75%. Other problems with prostate health can include an inflammatory infection called prostatitis and prostate cancer, the most frequent male malignancy. Clearly it’s desirable for men to use a prostate supplement as a remedy for BPH, provided of course such products are effective and safe.
One of these is Saw Palmetto, a natural product isolated from the berries of a palm tree common to the coastal region of Florida. Another effective cure is pygeum, an indigenous African remedy taken from tree bark. Medical studies indicate that both these compounds may be able to treat BPH and prostatitis, and inhibit prostate enlargement. Let’s look at this in more detail.
Herbal remedies have long been used in Europe to treat these problems. The best known is Saw Palmetto. However, in America, these compounds must be labelled as dietary supplements because the FDA does not permit retailers to advertise them as medical treatments. So we are talking about Prostate Health Supplements in this article.
But even though these compounds are described as prostate supplements, dietary supplements or food supplements, they are actually powerful medications, much more than mere “folk remedies”, and they have been used by men for generations to treat prostate problems. (Indeed, Saw Palmetto was used by the first nation peoples for generations.)
These supplements can be as powerful as the drugs prescribed by doctors working in conventional medicine, and they are certainly just as safe – if not safer.
Saw Palmetto comes from the berries of a small palm tree native to the south east coast of the United States. It reduces prostate enlargement by inhibiting the production of the hormone which stimulates prostate growth (dihydrotestosterone or DHT).
There have been many studies on Saw Palmetto, and its effectiveness and safety seem to be well proven. Indeed, there is some evidence to suggest this supplement actually works better in treating prostate enlargement than the drug Proscar, which is probably the most commonly prescribed conventional medication. Saw Palmetto has been shown to be effective in almost 9 out of 10 men after only 4 to 6 weeks of tretament. By comparison, Proscar works in fewer than 5 men in 10 – and that after as long as 12 months! And the major side-effect of Proscar is to reduce potency, so it’s very much a double edged sword. In these circumstances many men have chosen to take Saw Palmetto.
Believe me, I checked this out – so you don’t have to! And I would never take any supplements that I didn’t trust. I regard www.consumerlab.com as one of the best sources of information on herbal products. I actually bought their report on prostate supplements to see what they have to say about Saw Palmetto.
I discovered Consumer Lab have checked a wide range of suppliers’ Saw Palmetto pills for quality, as well as assessing the scientific research that supports the use of Saw Palmetto.
In summary, they say: “Perhaps one of the best approaches to using saw palmetto is that practiced in Europe, where saw palmetto is often the first course of therapy in men with mild to moderate symptoms, particularly due to the lack of side effects of saw palmetto relative to other therapies. If patients do not have effective relief, then stronger medical therapies or surgery is recommended. Men should check with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis before using saw palmetto or beta-sitosterol, particularly as the typical symptoms of enlarged prostate may signal other, more serious conditions that require prompt treatment. Neither is a treatment for prostate cancer.”
Another indigenous herb is Pygeum, derived from the bark of an African tree, and also proven in controlled studies to be an effective prostate supplement against benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH.
A third natural supplement, albeit less well-known, is a well-known and popular European product called Cernilton, which is derived from rye pollen.