Quick Answer: Best Prostate Supplements

  1. Beta-Sitosterol
  2. Pumpkin Seed (Cucurbita pepo)
  3. African plum extract (Pygeum africanum)
  4. Ryegrass
  5. Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
  6. Zinc
  7. Pomegranate
  8. Vitamin D
  9. Lycopene
  10. Melatonin
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There’s a funny saying that goes – getting older is just one body part after another saying,  “you think that’s bad? watch this!!!“.

Aging hampers the functioning of internal organs, which can make day-to-day activities difficult.

The prostate is one such organ, which grows larger with age, loses its functioning, and becomes prone to various disorders.

However, things need not be that bad. Having a brief picture of the condition, its symptoms and causes, and the treatment options available can help the patients deal with the condition more effectively.

The function of Prostate Gland

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland, which serves as a part of the male reproductive system.

It is located right below the bladder and in front of the rectum. A normal and healthy prostate weighs up to 50g.

Key functions of prostate gland include the production of semen’s fluid part, blocking urination during ejaculation via sphincter muscle contraction, and testosterone metabolism.[1]

Disorders Associated with the Prostate Gland

Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH): It is a non-cancerous progressive health condition wherein prostate gland is enlarged via cellular hyperplasia.

Due to prostate’s tendency to exert pressure on the urethra, the urinary and sexual functions are hampered.

An increased concentration of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the prostate gland is the prime cause of BPH.

Prostatitis: It is a prostate condition that involves inflammation and swelling of the gland and the tissues that surround it.

Prostatitis is sometimes caused by a bacterial infection. [2] Oxidative stress could also cause prostatitis. [3]

Prostate Cancer: It is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Prostate cancer grows slowly and is usually confined to the gland itself.

However, in rare cases, these cancerous tumors can be aggressive and metastatic.

The exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown. Oxidative stress in the prostate tissue may lead to prostate cancer. [4] [5] A few studies link BPH to increased risks of prostate cancer.[6]

All three prostatic disorders are more prevalent in men who are above 50 years old. Also, all these disorders show common symptoms:

  • Delayed and incomplete urination
  • Increased urination frequency
  • Blood in urine and semen
  • Pain and burning sensation during urination
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Inability to pass urine
  • Frequent pain in the lower back, hips, rectal region, and upper thighs

Treatment Options for Prostatic Disorders

Prostate cancer has multiple treatment options depending on the severity or the stage of cancer. In case of a localized tumor, surgery is performed to remove the gland.

If it has already begun to spread, there are options like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, androgen deprivation therapy, etc.

For BPH, medications, surgery, and supplements [7] are the treatment options.

Medications and supplements shrink the prostate gland, relieve BPH symptoms, protect the prostate tissues against oxidative stress, and improve the overall prostate functioning.

Best Prostate Supplements

Prostate supplements use multiple mechanisms to improve prostate health.

These supplements block the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, relax the smooth muscles of the prostate gland [8], reduce the inflammation in the prostate tissue and lastly, nourish them.

Most of the supplements discussed here are helpful in easing the symptoms of BPH and reducing the inflammation and the risk of prostate cancer.

Beta-Sitosterol

Beta-sitosterol is present in many plants. It helps in reducing the symptoms of BPH. However, it does not help in reducing the size of the prostate gland.

Benefit Confidence: High

Mechanism: It blocks the activity of aromatase and 5-alpha-reductase enzymes and regulates the levels of DHT in the prostate gland.

Its anti-inflammatory activity helps in bringing down the inflammation, pain, and swelling in prostate tissues.

Clinical Evidence: BPH patients who consumed 60mg beta-sitosterol for six months showed significant improvement in BPH symptoms than the control group subjects.

However, there was no reduction in the prostate volume. [9]

Another study reported that BPH patients treated with 130mg of beta-sitosterol daily for six weeks had increased peak urinary flow rate, reduced urine residue, and improved quality of life. [10]

Recommended Intake: Take 60 – 120mg of beta-sitosterol a day depending upon the severity of BPH symptoms.

Precautions: Taking beta-sitosterol along with ezetimibe and pravastatin reduces the absorption of beta-sitosterol.

Overdose of beta-sitosterol is reported to cause erectile dysfunction and sitosterolemia – an inherited fat storage disorder.

Pumpkin Seed (Cucurbita pepo)

Pumpkin seed extract may help in reducing the severity of BPH. It eases the urine flow and reduces the urine residue in the bladder post urination.

Benefit Confidence: High

Mechanism: Pumpkin seeds are rich in beta-sitosterol and zinc, which are studied to be responsible for the alleviation of BPH symptoms and restoration of normal prostate functions, respectively.

Clinical Evidence: In a randomized, double-blind study, the researchers found that consumption of pumpkin seeds and sabal serrulata in combination improved the urinary flow and reduced residual urine, and frequency of urination. [11]

Studies conducted in recent years have confirmed that pumpkin seed extract/oil effectively improves LUTS and BPH symptoms without any serious adverse effects. [12] [13] [14]

Recommended Intake: Take 10g of pumpkin seed extract every day.

Precautions: Pumpkin seeds are rich in fibers; consuming more than the recommended intake may cause GI disturbances.

African plum extract (Pygeum africanum)

Pygeum is one of the best prostate supplements. It not only helps in addressing the symptoms of BPH but also helps in reversing the condition, to an extent.

It also improves the quality of life in older individuals with prostate problems. [15]

Pygeum’s anti-inflammatory properties may help in the treatment of prostatitis too.

Benefit Confidence: High

Mechanism: Beta-sitosterol is one of pygeum’s active constituents. Pygeum acts as a DHT blocker. [16]

It exhibits strong anti-inflammatory properties, which aid in reducing prostate inflammation and the swelling associated with it.

It also alters the bladder functions and eases the BPH symptoms. [17]

Beta-sitosterol exhibits antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic properties against prostate tumor cells. [18] [19]

Clinical Evidence: A study has found that consuming 100mg of pygeum extract daily improved IPSS (International Prostate Symptom Score), Qmax (maximum urinary flow rate), and the quality of life in BPH patients. [20]

A meta-analytical study carried out in 2002 reported that pygeum was effective in reducing BPH symptoms like nocturia and residual urine volume, and increasing the urine output. [21] [22]

In an in vitro study conducted on the prostate cells taken from BPH patients, it was observed that pygeum treatment had pro-apoptotic and antiproliferative effects on the prostate fibroblasts and myofibroblasts. [23] [24]

Recommended Intake: Take 100mg of pygeum extract daily.

Precautions: Pygeum is well-tolerated. However, it may cause a few adverse effects like nausea, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea.

Ryegrass

Ryegrass helps in reducing the key BPH symptoms such as frequent urination, nocturia, constant urge to urinate, dribbling, decreased urine flow rate, and painful urination.

Ryegrass aids in treating prostate inflammation and reducing the pain associated with prostatic disorders.

Benefit Confidence: High

Mechanism: Ryegrass exhibits anti-inflammatory properties; it blocks the synthesis of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, and thereby reduces the swelling and pain in the prostate gland. [25]

Clinical Evidence: A study in 2000 reported that consumption of ryegrass extract helped in improving the multiple urological symptoms along with frequent nighttime urination. [26]

A randomized, double-blind study conducted on patients with chronic prostatitis concluded that ryegrass supplementation improved the prostatitis symptoms, reduced pain and lastly, improved the quality of life in 12 weeks. [27]

In a study carried out in 2015, it was found that ryegrass supplementation readily improved the lower urinary tract symptoms, and addressed sexual dysfunction in patients suffering from prostatic disorders. [28]

Recommended Intake: Take 63mg of ryegrass pollen extract twice daily.

Precautions: Ryegrass is well-tolerated. However, patients have reported side effects such as nausea, GI disturbances, and constipation with ryegrass.

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Stinging nettle is reported to possess both prostate-shrinking and anti-tumor effects. [29] According to the studies, nettle helps in improving the BPH symptoms, with regular usage.

However, more clinical data is required to substantiate these claims.

Benefit Confidence: Moderate

Mechanism: Stinging nettle exhibits strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which help in suppressing the free radical activity in the prostate tissue and reducing the inflammation.

Stinging nettle increases the urine output and reduces the uneasiness experienced during urination.

Clinical Evidence: A randomized study conducted in 2005 reported that stinging nettle supplementation improved the symptoms of BPH, along with the reduction in the prostate size. [30]

Taking 600mg of stinging nettle for eight weeks was found to relieve the clinical symptoms of BPH when compared to the placebo. [31]

Recommended Intake: Take 360mg of stinging nettle root extract every day.

Precautions: Stinging nettle is reported to interact with anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, and CNS suppressant drugs.

Zinc

Zinc deficiency in serum and prostate tissues is reported to cause BPH and prostate cancer.[32] Restoring the zinc levels may help in improving prostate health.

Benefit Confidence: Moderate

Mechanism: Zinc blocks the activity of 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, which converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. [33]

It also blocks prolactin, which is responsible for the testosterone uptake by the prostate gland. [34]

Clinical Evidence: Clinical trials have reported that reduced ability of the body to retain the intracellular zinc could play an important role in prostate cancer development in men.[35] [36]

A study in 2007 reported that supplementation of zinc as a coadjuvant therapy could help in addressing zinc-deficient conditions such as prostatitis and prostate cancer. [37]

Taking 220mg of zinc sulfate daily for 12 weeks helped patients in the effective management of chronic prostatitis. [38]

Recommended Intake: Take 20 – 50mg elemental zinc every day or as directed by the physician.

Precautions: Increased intake of zinc is reported to aggravate the symptoms of BPH, and also elevate the risk of prostate cancer. [39]

Therefore, patients are advised not to exceed the recommended dosage.

Pomegranate

Pomegranate’s anti-cancer properties came into light in recent years.

Exclusive studies conducted on pomegranate have shown that it may help in inhibiting cell proliferation and inducing cell death in prostate cancer cells. [40]

It is also found to be safe and well-tolerated among the patients.

Benefit Confidence: Low

Mechanism: Pomegranate helps in delaying the progression of prostate cancer by increasing the PSA doubling time.

Ellagitannins and anthocyanins, present in pomegranate, exhibit strong antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic properties against the tumor cells. [41]

Clinical Evidence: In 2006, a study conducted on men with rising PSA levels found that consumption of eight ounces of pome juice daily increased the mean PSA doubling time from a mean of 15 months to 54 months. [42]

In vitro studies have found that pomegranate treatment suppresses the androgen-synthesizing enzymes and androgen receptors.

This inhibitory effect positively impacts prostate health. [43]

Recommended Intake: Take 200-300ml pomegranate juice every day or take two capsules of 500mg pomegranate extract daily.

Precautions: Being rich in phytoestrogens, pomegranate may increase the estrogen levels in the body.

Pomegranate interacts with antihypertensive drugs, blood thinners, medications metabolized by liver and rosuvastatin.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D supplementation may help in reducing the enlargement of the prostate gland, and thereby support the alleviation of BPH symptoms.

Vitamin D may also delay the progression of prostate cancer.

Benefit Confidence: Low

Mechanism: Vitamin D modulates cell growth and cell proliferation processes; through this, it prevents abnormal cell growth in the prostate gland and reduces the prostate volume. [44]

Clinical Evidence: A study in 2013 reported that supplementation of 6000 IU/day vitamin D analogs resulted in reduced prostate volume in BPH patients.

Vitamin D was also observed to inhibit cell proliferation in the prostate gland. [45] [46]

Another study in 2017 also reported on vitamin D’s inverse association with the overall prostate volume and prostate enlargement without any side effects. [47]

Several studies have reported on vitamin D’s anti-cancer properties. [48]

Recommended Intake: Take 400 IU – 2000 IU of vitamin D3 daily or as directed by the physician.

Precautions: Studies carried out on vitamin D have reported ambiguous results. According to a few trials, vitamin D elevates the risk of prostate cancer. [49]

Therefore, it is safer to discuss with a health professional before using vitamin D for prostate health.

Lycopene

Lycopene possesses antioxidant properties that are helpful in controlling inflammation and reducing the risk of prostate cancer.

Benefit Confidence: Low

Mechanism: Lycopene decreases the serum PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels [50] and protects the cells against DNA damage and reduces cancer risk. [51] [52]

Clinical Evidence: Multiple studies conducted on prostate cancer patients, BPH patients, and tumor-induced rats have found that lycopene reduces the PSA levels significantly. [53] [54]

Recommended Intake: Take 15mg of lycopene daily for three weeks.

Precautions: Studies conducted on lycopene have shown mixed results. Therefore, it is suggested that patients consult a health professional before using lycopene as a prostate supplement.

Melatonin

Melatonin blocks the nutrient supply to the tumor cells and thereby hinders their growth. It also prevents oxidative-DNA damage and reduces the risk of prostate cancer.

In cancer patients, melatonin may help in delaying the cancer progression.

Benefit Confidence: Low

Mechanism: Melatonin reduces the intracellular oxidative stress in the prostate cells and prevents tumor formation.

Studies also show that melatonin stimulates the formation of immune cells [55] that attack the tumor cells. [56]

Melatonin modulates the angiogenesis process in prostate tumors.[57]

Clinical Evidence: Studies have reported that individuals with higher levels of 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate, a melatonin metabolite, in their urine samples had lesser chances of developing advanced prostate cancer. [58]

Melatonin stabilizes prostate cancer disease and may help in delaying its progression. [59]

Recommended Intake: Take 3-5mg of melatonin 30 – 60 minutes before bed.

Precautions: Melatonin interacts with immunosuppressants, anti-diabetic medicine, caffeine, CNS depressants, sedatives, and anti-hypertensive drugs.

Inadvisable Supplements

Saw Palmetto: Saw palmetto is one of the most hyped prostate supplements, and it is also one of the most controversial ones.

Various scientific studies have shown that saw palmetto does not have an effect on the PSA levels. [60]

It doesn’t reduce the symptoms of BPH or shrink the prostate gland, [61] [62] and lastly, doesn’t control tumor growth too.[63]

Vitamin E: There is no sufficient evidence on vitamin E being effective in the treatment of prostatic disorders. Therefore, it can be skipped.

Soy: Not much evidence is available on soy’s ability to alleviate BPH symptoms in humans.

Quercetin: Quercetin decreases DHT levels; but, this is yet to be proved in humans. It is too early to use quercetin to address BPH symptoms.

Multivitamin supplements: In a few cases, multivitamins serve as a substrate for tumor cells and become responsible for their growth and proliferation.

Therefore, it is safer to avoid multivitamin supplements for prostate cancer.

Selenium: Higher selenium levels are linked with aggressive prostate cancer. Therefore, patients are advised to consult a health professional before using selenium supplements for prostate support. [64]

Green tea extract: Studies have shown that green tea does not have any effect on cancer development and progression. [65]

Green tea supplementation may also worsen BPH symptoms due to its diuretic properties.

Frequently Asked Questions

I use Beta-Sitosterol for my Prostate. Should it be taken with or Without Food?

For maximum benefits, you should take beta-sitosterol 30 minutes before the meals.

Can Prostate Supplements be taken along with other Medications?

A few supplements mentioned here, interact with medications and those interactions are mentioned below each supplement accordingly.

Patients are advised to consult a health professional before taking prostate supplements along with other prescription drugs.

Does Lycopene help in Improving Prostate Health?

Lycopene is one of the strongest antioxidants, and it is known to protect the internal organs against oxidative damage.

However, studies conducted on lycopene’s prostate benefits have shown mixed results. [66] It can be used along with clinically-proven ingredients.

Can Beta-Sitosterol cause Erectile Dysfunction or Low Libido? Are there any other Side Effects?

Beta-sitosterol supplements are mostly well-tolerated. Rarely, however, these supplements are reported to cause erectile dysfunction, reduced sex-drive, etc.

Other side effects associated with beta-sitosterol consumption include nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation.

Can Prostate Supplements Reverse Prostate Damage?

Yes, scientific studies have proven that supplements like pumpkin seed extract, ryegrass, and zinc may reverse the prostate enlargement and restore the gland’s functions.

However, these prostate supplements are not to be considered as the sole treatment for prostate-related disorders.

What is the Importance of Food Choices in Restoring Prostate Health?

Your food habits play a pivotal role in improving your prostate health. Carefully choosing the foods that control the production of dihydrotestosterone from testosterone, is the key to the healthy functioning of the prostate gland.

Scientific studies have shown that consuming meat, caffeine, alcohol, sodium, and dairy products increase the risk of prostate enlargement and cancer.

On the other hand, consuming foods like salmon, tomatoes, berries, nuts, citrus fruits, onions, and garlic are studied to improve prostate health.

What can I do to ease the symptoms of BPH along with Prostate Supplements?

You must know that anything you do should contribute to the inhibition of DHT overproduction. Below are the few things that will help in alleviating BPH symptoms:

  • Quitting smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Limiting fluid intake in the evening
  • Trying to empty the bladder completely while urinating
  • Practicing kegel exercises to improve bladder control

Final Words

Prostatic disorders hamper the urinary and sexual functions right from the beginning. Usually, patients with prostatic disorders try to hide their conditions or just pop pain killers.

You should know that there are far more serious consequences associated with prostate inflammation and enlargement.

This is where having a working knowledge of supplements can help you.

Incorporating clinically proven supplements to your daily routine may help you prevent prostatic disorders.

Prostate supplements may also help in reducing the severity and delaying the progression of various prostatic disorders

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