Prostate enlargement and you

Sarawak Tribune - Tuesday, 17 December 2002  - Outlook (Pg. 3)


Prostate gland and men

Heading for the bathroom too often at night? Feeling as though you couldn't completely empty your bladder? Sounds like you could do with a little help to put an end that miserable trips to the bathroom.

Most men are likely to ignore their prostate until it gives them trouble. The prostate gland, located just below the bladder, is approximately the size of a walnut. It wraps around the urethra (i.e. the canal that carries urine out of the bladder). It functions as an organ that produces seminal fluid, lubricates the urethra to prevent infection and to promote sperm flow.

Understanding Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?

BPH is a condition whereby the prostate gland cells multiply excessively, causing an overgrowth of prostate gland cells. In some cases, the prostate gland grows to the size of an orange.

Among others, age is a primary risk factor of BPH. This is because with aging, cells in the prostate gland are more likely to multiply, thereby increasing the size of the gland. In comparison, a man in his 30's has only a 10 percent chance of getting BPH while more than 90 percent of men over the age of 85 has BPH.

If left untreated, BPH can eventually squeeze the urethra, blocking the flow of urine. This obstruction can lead to uremia (blood in the urine) and the stagnant urine increase the risk of infection and kidney stones. Prolonged obstruction may lead to kidney damage.

BPH is characterised by the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty in starting to urinate
  • Increase urinary frequency
  • Frequent night time trips to the bathroom
  • Reduced force and volume of urination

Which treatment should you have?

The main treatment for BPH in the past has been a surgical procedure called TURF. This is a process whereby some of the prostate tissues are removed to increase the opening for the flow of urine. Unfortunately, surgery does not really decrease the size of the prostate. Prostate medications on the other hand, are costly and cause a variety of side effects, such as impotence, decreased libido, breast tenderness and enlargement and hyper sensitivity reactions, such as lip swelling or skin rashes.

BPH is not inevitable. In addition to dietary and lifestyle factors, specific herbs can help reduce the risk of developing an enlarged prostate.

Herbs work by:

  • Inhibiting the action of the enzyme that causes the conversion of testosterone (male hormone) to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is known to cause the growth of prostate cells, hence, enlargement.
  • Inhibiting the action of DHT.
  • Blocking the receptor to reduce prostate gland growth. - Regulating the tone of bladder smooth muscle.
  • Reducing inflammation that causes swelling and blockage of urethra.

Among all, the most widely used herb for BPH is Saw Palmetto.

Herbal approach to BPH

Saw Palmetto is a small palm tree native to the West Indies and the Atlantic Coast of North America. The berries of Saw Palmetto contain fruity-smelling oil, which is the portion of the fruit that is used medicinally. these lipid-soluble compounds of Saw Palmetto extract are the major pharmacological component contributing to the effectiveness of Saw Palmetto in the treatment of BPH.

Not all Saw palmetto are created equally

The breakthrough is the development of a standardised lipophilic extract of Saw Palmetto berries known as SABAL SELECT. Standardised lipophilic extract of Saw Palmetto means that the fat-soluble portion of the fruit is extracted and standardised to a strength that can be used medicinally. Standardisation of Saw Palmetto lipophilic (SABAL SELECT) extract is important for efficacy and consistency in treating BPH.

Standardised lipophilic extracts of Saw Palmetto berries are currently approved by both the French and German governments for the treatment of BPH.

Why combine Saw Palmetto and Pumpkin seed?

The unique combination of Saw Palmetto and Pumpkin seed oil provides and effective treatment against BPH. When combined, they work synergistically to prevent BPH and reduce prostate gland enlargement. And to be effective, both must be present in equal amount.

How much should I take?

It is recommended to consume 320 mg of oil extracts of Saw Palmetto (SABAL SELECT), and this is the dosage show- ing marked improvements in patients with BPH by most clinical studies. The oil extracts of Saw Palmetto can only be formulated into soft gelatin form and not in other forms (eg. tablets, hard-gelatin capsules). To achieve an equivalent of 320mg of the active oils of Saw Palmetto, a higher number of tablets or hard gelatin capsules is required. Why? The reason is obvious, there is hardly any fatty acids found in the dry powder form. In certain cases, 1800mg of Saw Palmetto powder extract is needed to show similar results. This is 5 times more than the soft gelatin capsules of Saw Palmetto. Think about it!

You don't have to be a victim of BPH anymore. Take steps now to protect yourself.