B P H TREATMENTS.
Strictly speaking any product from corn plasters to a bottle of whisky can be prescribed, so items listed below are those you would generally buy from your health food shop or pharmacy without a doctors prescription.
The shelves of every health-food shop groan under the weight of countless prostate treatments. The press and direct mail will bring further similar products to your attention. Just what does a man with a prostate condition do when faced with such choice ? Initially he will have been to his medic and had a diagnosis. Now faced with a long wait for an operation, or put on watchful waiting, he decides to try to alleviate his current symptoms.
We suggest a 3 months rolling test program. Select a product and use it for 3 full months, then move on to another and so on, making notes on the results, are night time visits less ? is the flow better ? It is no good being in a hurry, the condition has probably been building up for 10 years or more so there is no way that any product can reverse it in 30 days. In fact be suspicious of any product which claims to reverse your condition 'overnight'. At the end of a year you may find that brand 'X' helps the flow and 'Y' the night time visits, so maybe you need to take both.
On the other hand you may find that none help at all and you need to visit your GP again and go for Alpha-blockers, Avodart or Proscar. I would remind you that if you are over 60 (in the UK) alpha-blockers, Avodart and Proscar will cost you nothing. A rolling test program can make a hole in a modest budget, so you need to balance the cost saving against the side effects of the prescription products mentioned above..
It is pretty certain that if you check with the contents of the majority of the products on offer most will contain saw palmetto. The problem is that there appears to be no overall standard by which you can compare one brand with another. Broad guidelines however are to stick with products labelled saw palmetto extract. This is the extracted oil from the berries, as opposed to the the ground-up berry possibly after the oil has been extracted which makes for a weak potency. Heavily promoted packs in magazines etc. are not necessarily better, they may contain a low potency saw palmetto and therefore are cheap to manufacture, but they have very big advertising budgets. Similarly very low costed packs may not have enough saw palmetto in them to make any difference to your prostate.
Clinical work has been done on beta-sitosterol, the active constituent of saw palmetto. The medical magazine 'Lancet' report indicated that it had a positive effect on prostate tissue. That and long term herbalist use, plus the use of the equivalent homeopathic titrations, means you can be certain that saw palmetto is not a 'snake oil mans' product. Adverse effects appear to be almost nil, with only occasional advice re constipation. You will find that most of the packs available are combination products in that they contain other herbs or vitamins which the manufacturer feels could enhance the basic saw palmetto, a shot gun approach if you like.
Other constituents used are cornsilk, karva, willow herb and GAG(Glycine, Alanine, Glutamic).
The PHA have a made a comparison of a range of saw palmetto products, the results are in Newsletter issue 1/98.
Antiglan .. Saw palmetto extract, kava, equisetum, hydrangea.
Formula 600 Plus for men .. Saw palmetto powder, GAG, pygeum, zinc & pumpkin powder.
Prostabrit (Cernilton) .. Extract from rye grass pollen.
Prostaflorum .. Willow herb, saw palmetto, Juniper berries.
Prostasan .. Tincture containing saw palmetto, echinacea, solidago, & populas tremula.
Prosta Minus .. Saw palmetto extract.
Saw Palmetto Complex (Prostex)..Saw palmetto extract, GAG, zinc, vitamins.
Potenzia.. A combination product. Saw palmetto, pumpkin seed, tomato extract, nettle leaf, pygeum africanum extract. etc.
Protat .. Cornsilk and Kava liquid, the bottle says "for bladder discomfort".
Sabalin .. Saw palmetto extract
Serenoa-C .. Saw palmetto, and a broad band of vitamins.
Beta-sitosterol.. Phytosterols, the main consituent being beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol appears to be the active ingredient in most of the treatments listed above. Extracted and sold under different labels it is many hundreds of times stronger than the basic saw palmetto base contained in most listed products.
We have over the years conducted trials with our PHA members. These are not clinically sound ie no placebo, not randomised etc. However we have from the results some basic indications which would allow you to start with those capsules which we feel have a better chance of making some impact on your BPH problem. Not everyone has benefited from every product listed below.
Beta-sitosterol.. This appeared to have a greater effect on a larger number of members when we tested it in 2000.
Potenzia .. This remains a low costed way into alternative treatments. If it works for you excellent.
Prostabrit . . This rye grass pollen extract has had a multitude of clinical trials. The clinical trials are worth reading as they show that this pollen extract is a truely amazing product.
Some of these products can be obtained from
There are not many prescription drugs for BPH. They fall into two groups.:-
One:- Alpha-blockers, which in general relax the muscle tissue of the prostate and bladder sphincter area and thus allow for a better urine flow;
Two:- DHT inhibitors which over time claim to slow down or reverse the benign growth.
It is possible for your alpha blocker tablet dose to be started off at a low amount and then increased over a period of time; this allows your body to adjust slowly. It would be wise to avoid driving or any hazardous tasks until your body is used to the tablets and you feel confident. Some patients can experience side effects such as tiredness, headaches, & dizziness, but these should wear off after a short period. Most alpha blockers will also lower blood pressure if it is raised, which can help if you already suffer from high blood pressure. Flomax is one alpha-blocker which claims to target the prostate and not to lower blood pressure.
WARNING:- Antispasmodics are used to treat irritation and spasm of the bladder; which in turn produce frequency of urination, urgency and incontinence. Antispasmodics should not be used if the prostate gland is enlarged. They work by lowering the pressure in the bladder which increases the amount of urine it can hold.
Hypovase (Contains Prazosin)
Hytrin (Contains Terazosin)
Prostabrit (Cernilton) .. Extract from rye grass pollen. And, oh yes, it is prescribed by some urologists and GP's.