Enlargement of the prostate occurs as a result of its inflammation and swelling with prostatitis or tissue proliferation with benign hyperplasia - prostate adenoma.
In all cases, the man feels discomfort, heaviness in the perineum, some kind of urination disorder, and often sexual problems.
An enlarged prostate negatively affects the quality of life and requires qualified treatment by a urologist.
In addition to classic medicinal substances that reduce the volume of the prostate, for example tamsulosin or doxazosin, natural medicines can be used for dysuric phenomena that complement and enhance the effect of treatment.
Natural remedies to reduce prostate volume
African plum (Prunus africana, Pygeum, African plum)
African plum peel extract contains a wide range of fatty acids, as well as beta-sitosterol, a substance with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the genitourinary tract.
Several independent studies have confirmed that taking 100-200 mg of the extract daily can significantly shrink the prostate with BPH.
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Saw palmetto extract has long been used in the treatment of adenomas. It is part of such well-known urological drugs. Limited research confirms that saw palmetto extract reduces dysuric symptoms in benign prostatic hyperplasia by interfering with testosterone biosynthesis.
Some scientists have found the opposite: saw palmetto does not affect bladder emptying any more than placebo. Urologists have different opinions on this issue.
For information: unlike our country and the CIS countries, where preparations based on saw palmetto oil and other similar products are recognized as medicines, in the USA saw palmetto extract is a dietary supplement.
Pseudostellaria, or false star (Radix Pseudostellariae, Zi-Shen, ZSP)
The medicinal plant pseudostellaria, more precisely pseudostellaria root, is an integral part of the ancient Chinese medicine Zi-Shen (ZSP). Its formula has been used in China since the 13th century, and recent research confirms the effectiveness of "zi-shen" for adenoma.
A unique product containing more than 100 biologically active substances is popular in the USA and is now being actively studied by local scientists.
Cernilton pollen extract
American nutritional supplement Cernilton is a pollen extract treated with enzymes with a special patented technology. Limited research conducted in the late 1990s and early 2000s suggested the effectiveness of Cernilton in the treatment of chronic prostatitis and adenomas. In particular, taking the extract promotes more complete emptying of the bladder and reduces the frequency of urges at night.
Despite its worldwide popularity, Cernilton has never been tested in large-scale clinical trials and therefore remains in humble status as a dietary supplement.
Babassu palm oil (Orbignya speciosa, babassu)
Babassu palm is a Brazilian plant that Aboriginal tribes have used for centuries to treat prostatitis and other urological diseases.
Babassu nut oil reduces testosterone production, and other parts of the nut contain substances with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Nettle (Urtica dioica, Nettle Extract)
Nettle leaf extract contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances that act synergistically with saw palmetto and African plum. American evidence-based medicine believes that nettle's effects on prostatitis and adenoma are insufficiently supported, and therefore the herb is used only as supplements.
Pumpkin seed oil (Cucurbita pepo, pumpkin seeds)
Pumpkin seeds are high in sterols, including beta-sitosterol, a plant analog of cholesterol. According to scientists, this substance improves urination and reduces the volume of residual urine in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
There are recommendations in the literature to use 10 grams of peeled pumpkin seeds per day for BPH symptoms. Pumpkin oil is produced in liquid form, capsules and candles.
Lycopene, or lycopene (Lycopene)
Lycopene is a natural remedy for adenoma and prostatitis, which is obtained from a large number of fruits and vegetables. In 2012, Dr. Giovanni Espinoza of New York University reported that this substance slows the progression of BPH and helps shrink the prostate.
Tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene available to most men. But papaya, watermelon, guava, carrots and apricots can be considered as alternative sources.
Dietary supplements with zinc
Lack of zinc increases the risk of adenomas, so urologists advise taking zinc sulfate (Zincteral) or food supplements with this "male" microelement. There is limited scientific evidence that daily zinc supplementation reduces prostate volume in chronic prostatitis and BPH.
Zinc can be found in chicken, seafood and various seeds and nuts.
Green tea extract (Camellia sinensis)
Green tea differs from black tea in its high content of antioxidants - catechins, which stimulate the immune system and, theoretically, suppress the inflammatory process. Moreover, studies show that catechins slow the development of prostate cancer in vitro.
However, it is important for older men to remember the caffeine contained in green tea. Due to its diuretic properties, caffeine worsens the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia in some patients.
Lifestyle during treatment of prostatitis and adenoma
Food supplements are good, but in the complex treatment of chronic prostatitis and BHP, your habits, proper lifestyle and diet play an invaluable role.
If the prostate is enlarged, urologists advise:
- Avoid drinking alcohol, including beer and soft drinks.
- Visit the toilet before leaving the house and going to bed to avoid embarrassing moments in public places and reduce the number of night awakenings.
- Empty your bladder thoroughly to reduce leakage after using the toilet.
- Apply a gentle massage to the urethra after urination to express the rest of the urine.
- Drink liquids in small portions during the day and do not get drunk 2 hours before going to bed.
- If necessary, use urological pads that prevent discomfort and unpleasant consequences due to wet underwear.
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle and move as much as possible.
- Avoid stress that increases urination.
- Drink at least 2 liters of fluid a day.
What causes an enlarged prostate?
If prostatitis can be caused by an infection, then adenoma in the vast majority of cases is an idiopathic disease, that is, without a specific cause. Urologists are still discovering what causes abnormal growth of prostate tissue. Unlike prostatitis, which affects "all ages, " BPH primarily affects men over the age of 40, and the incidence rises sharply with age.
Some foreign studies suggest that adenoma is caused by natural hormonal changes that occur in the male body during aging.
As we age, our hormone levels change dramatically – especially testosterone, estrogen and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is assumed that the imbalance of these hormones "confuses" the cells of the gland.
Risk factors for prostate hyperplasia:
- Older years
- The presence of diabetes mellitus
- Family history
- Overweight and obesity
- Coronary heart diseases
- East Asian roots
On average, by the age of 60, 50% of men suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia of varying degrees.
By the age of 85, prostate enlargement is observed in almost 90% of men.
Recommended food for adenoma and prostatitis
Treatment of prostatitis and BHP should be supplemented with proper nutrition. These male diseases are not a case where a handful of pills is enough. Successful treatment requires continuity and an integrated approach.
Recommended products for prostatitis and adenoma:
- Sources of fiber: whole grains, legumes, dark leafy greens
- Sources of antioxidants: bright vegetables and fruits of all rainbow colors ("rainbow plate")
- Sources of zinc: poultry, eggs, seafood, walnuts and pumpkin seeds
- Phytoestrogens: soy products, beans, chickpeas, alfalfa
- Omega-3 acids: salmon, nuts and seeds (chia, hemp)
Men with prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia should limit alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, carbonated drinks, refined carbohydrates and red meat.