Beta-Sitosterol – The Latest Breakthrough In Prostate Health
Author: Michael Teplisky, M.D.
Source: Holistic Health
Male prostate problems have now reached epidemic proportions. Over 400,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in men each year – more cases than breast cancer in women. New cases (and corresponding death rates) are expected to increase annually. Already there are an estimated 40,000 deaths attributed to prostate cancer each year.
More Men Are Suffering
BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy), or prostate enlargement, is another increasing problem for aging men. Well over 30 million American men suffer from this problem.
Up until around the age of 40, a mans prostate tends to remain completely normal – about the size of a walnut. After age 40, the cells of the prostate gland begin to continuously multiply, leading to an increase in prostate size. This compresses the urethra – the flexible pipe that connects a mans bladder to the outside, which passes right through the middle of his prostate gland. As his urethra is compressed more and more, it causes various urinary problems: increased urinary urgency and frequency (getting up 3, 4 even 5 times during the night to urinate), a decrease in the urine stream, often feeling that his bladder is not completely empty at the end of the urination and hesitancy in urinating. Eventually, incontinence may result. In addition, most men also experience a decline in their sexual desire and performance.
As this process slowly develops, a man usually has no symptoms at all and is thus not aware of the seriousness of his condition. When the gland reaches a certain critical size, however; the symptoms then become quite obvious. Many experts believe that the increased frequency of prostate cancer is definitely related to greater incidence of BPH.
Fight Back with Natures Best!
By the age 50, nearly half of all men already have BPH. And by the age of 80, almost all men have it. As more and more men develop BPH, there is a definite trend toward an increasing incidence of prostate cancer. Many European physicians think that there is a relationship between these two conditions – thats why we aggressively treat BPH. Unfortunately, the methods used by most American doctors do not actually affect the process of prostate enlargement. All of their treatment methods, both surgical and pharmacological, are not directed toward restoring prostate health. The best that they can do is to try to help relieve the miserable symptoms.
For over 30 years, European doctors have effectively used natural substances that have been shown in medical studies to help improve the symptoms of prostate enlargement and may actually be able to reverse the process and shrink the prostate gland back to normal size!
Saw Palmetto has been shown in many studies to have successfully decreased the size of the prostate gland in over 60% of patients studied. Pygeum Africanum was even more successful – over 70% of patients experienced a reduction in the prostate size.
Beta Sitosterol: the Latest Breakthrough in Prostate Health!
Botanical herbs contain a number of useful substances that positively affect prostate health – phytonutrients, bioflavonoids, essential oils, minerals and, perhaps most importantly, Beta Sitosterol. Beta Sitosterol has a number of properties that make it uniquely suitable for improving the health of the prostate gland. Some studies have indicated that Beta Sitosterol alone may be helpful in combating prostate problems.
Beta Sitosterol inhibits the action of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone into DHT. DHT is one of the main contributing factors to BPH. The prostate of an older man has up to 4 times higher DHT concentration than that of a younger man. In addition, beta sitosterol also inhibits the enzyme aromatase, which facilitates the production of estradiol. Estradiol levels invariably increase with age. This is considered to be another important factor in the development of BPH.
Several studies have proven the benefits of beta sitosterol on prostate health. The Journal of the American Medical Association published a review of 31 years worth of studies, including 18 different international trials and involving 2,939 men. The evidence suggested that standardized amounts of beta sitosterol and saw palmetto extracts improves urologic symptoms and flow measures. French physician Dr. Champault, along with two of his colleagues, performed a classic, double blind study on 110 men, involving beta sitosterol. They concluded that beta sitosterol would appear to be a useful therapeutic tool in the treatment of BPH.
Other nutrients have been used to improve the health and function of the prostate gland – Zinc, Ginseng, Pumpkin Seed Extract and Lycopene are all very important in promoting prostate health.
Lycopene may Reduce the Risk of Prostate Cancer
Lycopene is a carotenoid similar to beta-carotene. Lycopene levels in the body tend to decline with age. This is unfortunate, as lycopene is a very powerful antioxidant – twice as effective as beta-carotene and 100 times more effective than vitamin E! Numerous studies have shown that daily intake of lycopene may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by up to 47%!