Prostate enlargement, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a common condition that affects a large number of men as they get older. The prostate gland, a small gland located beneath the bladder, can enlarge and press against the urethra, resulting in a variety of urinary symptoms. These symptoms can include difficulty starting urination, a weak urine stream, frequent urination, urgency, and nocturia, or the need to wake up in the middle of the night to urinate.
While BPH is not cancer and does not increase a man's risk of developing it, it can have a significant impact on a man's quality of life. Traditional BPH treatments may include medication, surgery, or minimally invasive procedures. Some men, however, prefer natural remedies to support their prostate health and relieve BPH symptoms.
One such natural remedy that has shown promising results for BPH symptoms is Pygeum bark, which is derived from the bark of the African cherry tree. Pygeum bark has been used for centuries to treat prostate problems by traditional healers in Africa, and modern research has identified compounds in the bark that may benefit prostate health. This article will look at the history, mechanism of action, and scientific evidence for the effectiveness of pygeum bark in supporting prostate health and lowering PSA levels.
Pygeum bark is derived from the African cherry tree (Prunus africana), which grows in central and southern Africa. Traditional healers have used it for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including prostate problems. Researchers began studying the bark's medicinal properties in the 1960s and discovered that it contains compounds that may benefit prostate health.
How it works
Pygeum bark contains a number of compounds that have been shown to benefit prostate health and alleviate BPH symptoms. Phytosterols, which are plant-based compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, are one of the primary active ingredients in pygeum bark.
Prostate enlargement is frequently caused by inflammation in the prostate gland, and phytosterols have been shown to help reduce inflammation in the prostate. This can help with BPH symptoms like frequent urination, urgency, and nocturia.
Pygeum bark has also been shown to suppress the production of certain enzymes that promote prostate growth. 5-alpha-reductase is one of these enzymes, which converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a hormone that promotes prostate growth, and inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase can help reduce prostate gland size and relieve BPH symptoms.
Pygeum bark may help improve urinary flow and reduce the need to urinate frequently in addition to reducing inflammation and inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase. This could be because it relaxes the smooth muscle tissue in the prostate and bladder neck, allowing urine to flow more freely.
While the precise mechanism of action of pygeum bark is unknown, the compounds in the bark appear to work together to support prostate health and alleviate BPH symptoms. Pygeum bark may provide a natural and effective option for those seeking relief from BPH symptoms by reducing inflammation, inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase, and improving urinary flow.
Studies and Results
Several clinical studies on the effectiveness of pygeum bark in supporting prostate health and reducing BPH symptoms have been conducted. A meta-analysis of 18 clinical trials published in 2013 found that pygeum bark significantly improved urinary symptoms associated with BPH, such as nocturia, incomplete bladder emptying, and weak urine flow.
Another study published in the Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy discovered that pygeum bark extract reduced PSA levels in men with BPH. PSA levels that are elevated are a common indicator of prostate issues, including cancer, and lowering PSA levels is an important goal in maintaining prostate health.
85 men with BPH were given pygeum bark extract or a placebo for 60 days in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the British Journal of Urology. The pygeum bark extract group experienced significant improvements in their urinary symptoms, including a 31% increase in urinary flow and a 19% decrease in residual urine volume.
Another study, published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, discovered that pygeum bark extract has antibacterial properties and may aid in the prevention of urinary tract infections, which are common in men with BPH.
Overall, the findings suggest that pygeum bark can effectively relieve BPH symptoms, lower PSA levels, and improve urinary flow. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms of action of pygeum bark and its potential side effects, these studies provide promising evidence for its use as a natural remedy for prostate health.
It is important to note that some studies have produced contradictory results, and the effectiveness of pygeum bark may vary depending on the preparation and dosage used. Before beginning use, as with any supplement or medication, consult with a healthcare provider.
Based on the studies conducted, a typical dosage of pygeum bark extract is 50-100 mg per day. However, it is important to follow the dosage instructions provided on the supplement label and to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
Pygeum bark has shown promise as a natural prostate health remedy. It has been shown to reduce PSA levels and improve urinary symptoms associated with prostate enlargement. Before starting use, as with any supplement, consult with a healthcare provider. With more research, pygeum bark may offer a safe and effective option for those looking for natural prostate health support.
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