what between prostate health and nutrition? – clinical evidence
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common disease of elderly men and a risk factor for developing Prostatic Cancer later in life. It affects 50% of men in their 50s with increasing prevalence up to 90% of men in their 80s and older. BPH clinically manifests itself with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS)
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common disease of elderly men and a risk factor for developing Prostatic Cancer later in life. It affects 50% of men in their 50s with increasing prevalence up to 90% of men in their 80s and older. BPH clinically manifests itself with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) that include urinary intermittency, frequency, straining, urgency, weak stream, incomplete emptying and nocturia. LUTS has a significant negative impact on quality of life and causes a great number of middle-aged to elderly men to seek treatment. Symptoms of the disease are assessed via the International Prostate Symptom Score questionnaire. Another frequently used marker for BPH and prostatic cancer is a protein produced by the prostate gland, prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
Although drug therapy (alpha-blockers, 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors) and surgery are effective treatment for patients with moderate to severe BPH, because of its long latency, BPH is a good target for prevention by herbal medicines such as lycopene. Lycopene, a carotenoid mainly consumed from tomatoes, is a promising nutritional component for the prevention of prostate cancer. In epidemiological studies, regular dietary intake of lycopene and high blood levels of the carotenoid have been repeatedly associated with a reduced risk of developing PCa. In a study that examined dietary risk factors for BPH, 4,770 men were followed over 7 years. Dietary intake of lycopene was associated with more than 20% redction in the risk for BPH. More over in in vitro studies have shown that lycopene inhibits progression of prostate tumor growth.
Finally the effect of lycopene supplementation in men diagnosed with BPH was tested. A total of 40 patients with histologically proven BPH free of PCa were randomized to receive either 15 mg/d of lycopene or placebo for 6 months. The plasma lycopene concentration increased in the group taking lycopene but other plasma carotenoids were not affected. Lycopene supplementation decreased PSA levels in men, whereas there was no change in the placebo group. In addition, there was a beneficial effect on the volume of the prostate gland in the lycopene treated vs the placebo. Symptoms of the disease, as assessed via the International Prostate Symptom Score questionnaire, were improved in both groups with a significantly greater effect in men taking lycopene supplements.
In conclusion, lycopene and other nutrients may inhibit progression of BPH
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