If you noticed increased urgency and frequency in your peeing pattern, you are not alone.
For men, these bladder problems are triggered by a condition called benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)… sometimes referred to as an enlarged prostate.
And if you haven’t started to experience symptoms of BPH yet, chances are you will at some point in life.
Mild symptoms often begin to occur for many men in their 40’s, and by age 80, nearly all men in the United States will suffer an enlarged prostate.
Signs of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)… also known as an Enlarged Prostate:
- Frequent or/or urgent urination
- Unable to completely empty the bladder
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Weak urine flow (dribble)
- Weaker erections/erectile dysfunction
- Waking up more than once to use bathroom
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is the non-cancerous growth of the prostate gland.
It is not life threatening.
However, as the prostate gets larger, it begins to squeeze or constrict the urethra (the tube urine flows out of), making peeing more difficult.
Worse, as the prostate continues to grow, urinary problems become more severe, and may lead to the usage of adult diapers or pads, and even surgery.
To relieve urinary symptoms, doctors may prescribe drugs like alpha blockers or finasteride.
But prescription medication often come with side effects that can result in erectile dysfunction, dizziness and headaches.
For men looking for natural remedies to control and relieve the symptoms of BPH, there a variety of alternatives that offer little to no risk of side effects.
Clinical research has validated the prostate supporting potential of various herbs, nutrients, vitamins and other natural ingredients, much are commonly used today with various degrees of success.
Treating BPH with supplements
Certain BHP supplements have a track record of success when it comes to relieving urinary symptoms- and making the prostate healthier.
For instance, saw palmetto is a known prostate remedy with a long history of usage.
Some doctors and urologists even recommend saw palmetto supplement to patients as the first option of treatment.
And for good reason.
According to numerous trials and studies, saw palmetto has been proven to improve urine flow, reduce urgency, and enhance overall quality of life.
The American Family Physicians Journal even reports “Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of saw palmetto in reducing symptoms associated with BPH—benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Even a University of Chicago found that men who took saw palmetto had “significant” improvement in urinary tract symptoms.
Best part is since many clinical studies have shown that saw palmetto is safe to use, without side effects.
Another prostate supplement staple is Beta-Sitosterol.
Some researchers argue that “beta-sitosterol” could be the most effective of prostate supplements.
That’s because multiple double blind placebo studies show that beta-sitosterol helps reduce prostate symptoms.
For instance, Studies in the Journal of American Medical Association report:
Beta-sitosterol “improves urologic symptoms and (urine) flow measures”.
Exactly what is beta-sitosterol?
It’s a compound found in many plant-based foods and are one of the reasons why plants and vegetables are so healthy.
You’ve probably heard that the world’s healthiest plants are packed with phytosterols.
Well, beta-sitosterol is a BIG component of those powerful plant nutrients.
Scientists have known about beta-sitosterol for a long time.
It’s SO undeniably healthy, they use it to help support healthy cholesterol too.
Saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol are just two of a handful of supplements that have been backed up by scientific studies.
There are many more which will discuss later in this article.
However, not all supplements can be trusted.
Some supplements are based on questionable results that are exaggerated by its manufacturer to increase sales.
Unlike drugs, supplements do not need to bypass the scrutiny of the FDA to be marketed and sold to the public.
That means that the quality of the active ingredients may be subpar quality, and sometimes may not even contain the stated ingredients on the label.
Eating your way to a smaller prostate: Foods with prostate shrinking potential
Aristotle was famously quoted saying “Let thy food be medicine!”
Modern research shows that he is not far from the truth.
Studies show that diet can play a major role when it comes to protecting against an enlarged prostate and reversing urinary symptoms.
Amongst the most effective are foods that can block or reduce an enzyme in your body called 5-alpha reductase.
5-alpha reductase is what turns testosterone into DHT.
DHT is short for Dihydrotestosterone.
And at high levels, DHT increases the size of your prostate.
Moreover, DHT is also the root cause of male pattern baldness too.
So by lowering your body’s DHT, not only can keep your prostate at a healthy size, you can also slow down or prevent male pattern baldness.
Below are a few foods that are proven 5-alpha reductase blockers.
Hence are able to reduce DHT and reverse prostate symptoms:
- Brazil nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Green tea
1. Pygeum Africanum
Pygeum africanum is an extract from the African prune tree available as a dietary supplement.
It is one of several popular herbal recommendations for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Left untreated, BPH can lead to obstructions and irritation in the lower urinary tract.
A 1998 study looked at this treatment option that people had used for more than 30 years.
The finding was that Pygeum could reduce the symptoms of BPH.
More recent research confirms these findings when used along with lifestyle changes such as diet modification and exercise.
2. Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto is an extract of the small Serenoa palm tree.
And studies show conclusively that saw palmetto could be an effective remedy at soothing the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
That’s because while saw palmetto helps protect your testosterone levels, it also helps to relax the muscle surrounding your bladder, so you can pee more freely.
The clinical studies done on saw palmetto are so promising, that many urologists even recommend it as a treatment to patients, especially because saw palmetto has no known side effects.
3. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is frequently used in herbal medicine, partly because it is rich in antioxidants and nutrients such as amino acids.
In addition, research shows that it can help control the lower urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH, such as difficulty urinating, and without side effects.
4. Green Tea
Green tea is one of the most recognized herbal beverages around.
Studies for decades have been singing the praises of the antioxidant-rich tea.
Several studies indicate it may also reduce men’s prostate cancer risk.
Not only that, a 2017 paper published in Life Sciences found significant evidence that it also inhibits cell growth, which can lead to BPH.
The use of zinc as a treatment for prostate problems has been an ongoing debate.
A 2020 study found that men over 50 who develop prostate cancer can be zinc deficient.
One study found that men with an enlarged prostate reduced their size by 61 percent by taking zinc.
The prostate gland accumulates zinc at a much higher rate than other body tissues, and there is evidence that it may help prevent cancer.
6 -Glutamic Acid
L-Glutamic Acid is the most abundant amino acid in the body, and is involved in more metabolic processes than any other amino acid.
Like all amino acids, it’s a building block of protein, and proteins are used to build muscle, organ and all body tissue… including prostate tissue.
L-Glutamic Acid is also known to help support the immune system.
Especially when any part of your body is stressed (as is the case when your prostate is inflamed and swollen).
Cranberries are superfoods well known for their health benefits.
You can add the improvement of symptoms associated with BPH to that list.
A study published by Cambridge University Press found that 70 percent of its 42 participants, ranging from 45 to 70 in age, saw improvement with cranberry juice.
They experienced lower urinary tract benefits, including improved streams and fewer bathroom visits at night.
In addition, cranberry juice is rich in phytonutrients, which are good for bladder health.
Beta-sitosterol is probably one of the less recognizable nutrients on the list. It is a plant’s version of cholesterol and is found in nuts, seeds, and legumes.
The research indicates that beta-sitosterol may help reduce inflammation restricting urine flow in men with BPH.
Saw palmetto is rich in beta-sitosterol.
Beta-sitosterol doesn’t reduce the size of the prostate, however, it is an effective remedy for the symptoms of the condition.
Lycopene is a nutrient found in bright red foods like tomatoes and strawberries.
Its antioxidant properties may help reduce the risks of certain forms of cancer, including the prostate.
Antioxidants like lycopene help combat damage from free radicals linked to chronic diseases and cancer.
A 2016 study found that men who ate tomato sauce twice a week were 30 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer.
Lycopene has also been shown to inhibit the growth of human prostate cells.
That would be beneficial to someone with an enlarged prostate, especially if they have an increased risk of cancer.
Foods rich in lycopene include tomatoes, watermelon, and apricots.
You enhance the effect when you eat them with a food high in healthy fat such as avocados or nuts.
10. Vitamin C
Like lycopene, vitamin C is an antioxidant that acts on free radicals.
At least one study found it would help alleviate the symptoms of BPH.
The evidence is somewhat limited, though. Still, vitamin C is beneficial in many ways and might help the prostate.
More studies are necessary to prove or disprove its benefits to prostate health.
11. Rye Grass Pollen
Rye grass pollen is extracted from ryegrass and timothy or meadow cat’s tail.
It can help reduce the symptoms of BPH by relaxing the muscle of the urethra and making urinating easier.
A 1998 study looked at its benefit in the treatment of BPH. Researchers found that the cernilton in the rye grass pollen was the active agent.
It’s rich in prostate-soothing stigmasterol (a potent phytosterol like beta-sitosterol) plus anti-inflammatory quercetin.
That’s why it has proven so effective for prostate issues including painful prostate inflammation.
Cernilton even includes compounds shown to prevent abnormal prostate cell growth — so we’re talking about relief and protection for lifelong prostate health
Taking it helped improve the flow measures of the men in the study, especially at night when trips to the bathroom were affecting their quality of sleep.
12. Pumpkin Seed Oil Extract
Pumpkin seed oil extract may be one of nature’s most perfects foods- rich in healthy omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids plus phytosterols and vitamins E and K. The result?
Pumpkin seed oil extract is often taken as a dietary supplement for enlarged prostate.
A 2009 study found it to be a safe and effective treatment for an enlarged prostate—helping patients improve their urine flow and lowering PSA (serum prostate specific antigen)- an indicator of prostate cancer.
Pumpkin seed oil extract is also known to can slow down and even prevent the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, the most common cause of prostate enlargement.
Quercetin is an antioxidant found in the natural pigments of fruits, vegetables, and grains.
When nutritionists talk about eating the rainbow, this is why.
Pigments contain nutrients that can help lower your risk of chronic illness.
Quercetin may also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Inflammation can occur in certain forms of cancer and chronic disease.
It is a common issue with those suffering from nonbacterial prostatitis or inflammation of the prostate not involving an infection.
These flavonoids possess cell-stabilizing properties that have a regulatory effect on the immune cells.
Research shows it also has an immunosuppressive effect on certain types of cells.
There is evidence that quercetin also has anticancer properties, which may mean it decreases a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer and inhibit tumor growth.
Selenium is an essential mineral, which means it is something your body needs, but you must get it through diet.
You can get selenium from a supplement or in foods such as eggs, nuts, and chicken breast.
The recommended daily allowance of this mineral for men is 55 micrograms.
The benefits of selenium are too numerous to mention, but researchers are very interested in its potential to reduce cancer risk.
A 2019 study found that it may help lower prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
High levels of PSA are a marker for cancer of the prostate.
They can also indicate inflammation causing prostate enlargement.
The results are somewhat inconclusive, but the studies continue.
What is clear is the body needs selenium for many reasons, including heart health.
Men taking it may also see prostate benefits, as well.
Astaxanthin is a natural compound found in algae and certain fish.
It’s known as a carotenoid, a natural factor that gives food a bright orange and red color.
Astaxanthin is an ultra-potent antioxidant.
It’s 65 times more powerful than vitamin C…and 550 times stronger than vitamin E.
It builds a protective barrier around your cells, keeping them safe from free radical attack.
Especially for the prostate, where it guards DNA from damage.
It also combats an enzyme in your body known to cause dangerous prostate growth.
Astaxanthin reduces dangerous prostate growth!
This ultra-powerful antioxidant is 550x more potent than vitamin E.
Astaxanthin guards male health by blocking an enzyme called 5alpha-reductase, which can cause an aggressive form of testosterone in your body to enlarge your prostate.
Astaxanthin has been shown to block 98% of 5alpha-reductase!
Astaxanthin reduced dangerous prostate growth!
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)… also commonly referred to as an enlarged prostate, affects most men as we age.
However, that doesn’t mean we have to become a victim of it.
While many turn to drugs and prescription medicine, and in some instances, surgery, to alleviate its urinary symptoms, research have proven that natural remedies can play a role in helping to regulate the health of the prostate.
The upside to using natural prostate remedies is that it can help treat prostate enlargement safely, and without side effects.
Using natural prostate remedies are most effective in combination of a healthy, active lifestyle that includes proper dieting, nutrition and exercise.