As men age, the prostate gland can become enlarged, which is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia. Symptoms of this condition commonly surface at age 50, and while this is a noncancerous ailment, it can make urination difficult and increase the need to urinate, according to the University of Maryland. There are over-the-counter supplements that will suppress this condition from forming as well as supporting the natural function of the prostate.
The saw palmetto herb is a common treatment for prostate problems, mainly for benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, according to the University of Maryland. Several studies suggest that supplementation with saw palmetto can actually promote prostate shrinking, which will help relieve urination difficulties that are commonly associated with BPH. The New England Journal of Medicine stated saw palmetto was not a viable source for treating BPH. This herb contains several active ingredients, which include flavonoids, fatty acids and plant sterols. The anti-inflammation properties of this herb are polysaccharides, which are also responsible for supporting healthy function of the immune system, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. This herb is available for purchase in capsule and tablet form as well as in liquid extracts. The liquid extract form has not undergone scientific studies, so its effectiveness for treating the prostate is unknown. The University of Maryland recommends the consumption of saw palmetto capsules over liquid extracts and teas. Adult men should consume 160 milligrams of saw palmetto two times per day with 8 ounces of water. Make sure that the supplement contains at least 85 percent sterols and fatty acids.
Lycopene is a compound in tomatoes. According to the University of Michigan Health System, lycopene has been shown to reduce cancer cells within test tubes. While lycopene can be used to help prevent all cancers, it is an effective treatment for prostate cancer prevention and prostate health. The University of Michigan states that a Harvard University study found that supplementing with pure lycopene, not tomato products, enhanced the lycopene stores within the body. Consuming at least 6.5 milligrams of lycopene per day was found to raise lycopene levels to help protect the body from prostate cancer, according to the University of Michigan Health System. While there are no known side effects or drug interactions with this supplement, speak with your doctor prior to starting a supplementation routine, especially if you are taking other medications.
References and ResourcesUniversity of Maryland - Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
University of Maryland - Saw Palmetto
University of Michigan - Lycopene
ResourcesUniversity of Michigan - Prostate Cancer
Herbs for Prostate Health