In the previous articles, we covered the risk and prevention factors for prostate problems, as well as the symptoms of inflammation or cancer. It is well known that there are dietary supplements which have ample scientific evidence for prevention or treatment for quite some time. While it’s always important to consult your doctor if you have any symptoms, these supplements can help put the odds in your favor. Let us reiterate the main symptoms of inflammation of the prostate:
- Intermittent pain or urination
- Frequent urination
- Urgent or sudden need to urinate (urgent urination)
- Sexual problems (ex.: pain on ejaculation or erectile problem)
- Heaviness in the rectum (feeling of needing to have a bowel movement)
If you have any doubts, it is of course important to consult your doctor quickly, who will refer you to a urologist if necessary. These symptoms are also similar to those of prostate cancer.
The anti-inflammatory that comes to us from the Native Americans
In some countries in Europe, these supplements are used as the first line of treatment. This is therefore the first solution offered before resorting to medication. Saw palmetto fruits, which are used to produce these supplements, were even on the medication list in the United States until 1950.
The use of saw palmetto for prostate problems dates back to the 15th century (and possibly earlier). Saw palmetto, as the name suggests, is a small palm of the species Serenoa repens. It is the only such species. These fruits are rich in unique lipids which have anti-inflammatory effects specifically on the prostate. The Native Americans of the Florida Peninsula, known as the Seminoles, consumed these fruits for various health benefits. Note that saw palmetto fruits are not something that is appealing to the taste. They give a feel and a taste similar to that of soap.
This is a good example, where supplements allow the appropriate doses of natural molecules to be taken from a plant, where the consumption of which is not agreeable. Some supplements are therefore developed because the beneficial molecules, often unique to certain plants, are not available in other types of food. Supplements also make it possible to take them in the appropriate doses to achieve the intended benefits.
The prostate and hair
As mentioned, inflammation of the prostate shares a mechanism of action with hair loss in men. It is an enzyme, 5α-reductase, which converts testosterone into androstanolone also called dihydrotestosterone or DTH. Androstanolone is believed to be a major factor in hair loss (androgenetic baldness), but also in inflammation of the prostate. The molecule kills the follicles and therefore causes hair loss. 5α-reductase is produced in the prostate, testes, hair follicles, and the adrenal gland.
Saw palmetto extracts are a competitive and non-selective inhibitor of the two isoforms of 5α-reductase, blocking the production of androstanolone and decreasing its binding capacity to androgen receptors by almost 50%. This inhibits the activity of this enzyme and increases the activity of 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, an enzyme that converts androstanolone to its weaker metabolite, androstanediol. There might also be other mechanisms involved.
For hair loss, as with inflammation of the prostate, there are other influencing factors such as physical condition, stress levels, diet, medication, or vitamin deficiency.
A recent study
Evron et al., (2020) conducted a systematic review of the scientific literature related to natural products for hair loss. The study observed more specifically the use of saw palmetto extracts in humans, because there appeared to be a sharp increase in the use for this application. 9 clinical studies were selected for analysis and the conclusions are very interesting:
- 60% improvement in hair quality in general,
- 27% increase in total hair count,
- Increased hair density in 83.3% of patients, and
- Stabilization of progression in 52%.
It should be noted in passing that among the advantages, in comparison with 5α-reductase inhibitor drugs, the use of saw palmetto extracts would present much fewer side effects.
The most complete product
Other supplements could also help reduce inflammation of the prostate such as selenium and lycopene which are presently accumulating a large amount of scientific evidence. There is only one product on the market that can give you saw palmetto, lycopene, selenium and the powerful antioxidants of olive polyphenols (from the exclusive Provitol® Complex): Vitoli® Prostate.
It can be used for in treatment or prevention and can be taken at the same time as the usual medication (N.B., it is always important to consult your pharmacist). Here are the health claims permitted by Health Canada for Vitoli® Prostate (sold for prostate health):
- Helps maintain healthy prostate.
- Used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve urological symptoms associated with mild to moderate benign prostatic hyperplasia.
- Provides antioxidants.
The testimonials come from men who wrote to us thanking us and we asked them for the right to use them, mentioning their full name, age and region so that they can be identified. These are therefore real testimonials:
- I finally decided to take Vitoli Prostate. I had some fear of being fooled, but no, on the contrary, it’s great. I continue to take it with my medication and it works. I would say there has been an improvement by 90% after one month. Thank you Vitoli. Michel Gingras, 64 years old, Saint-Jérôme.
- Two years ago, my family doctor gave me blood tests and he confirmed that my PSA level for the prostate was high. I got up several times at night to go urinate. He prescribed me Flomax which I took for 3 months and I told him that I was dripping a little. On my way to the pharmacy to buy a bottle of Vitoli for the joints, I see that Vitoli is selling a product for the prostate. I bought it and over the past 2 years my PSA level has returned to normal. I will have another blood test in the spring of 2021 and will discuss it with my doctor depending on the results, as I have not yet mentioned to him that I am taking Vitoli Prostate. Jean-Marie Audet, 67 years old, St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu.
Other suggested articles
- Prostate Cancer: 5 Things You Should Know
- Stress and Anxiety; a Complete Formula
- Rediscover Deep, Restful Sleep!
- The Longevity Diet (Book by Prof. Valter Longo): Article 2 of 2
- Cimino et al, 2014. Oxidative stress and body composition in prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia patients. Anticancer Res. 2014 Sep;34(9):5051-6.
- Crowe-White KM, Phillips TA, Ellis AC. Lycopene and cognitive function. J Nutr Sci. 2019;8:e20. Published 2019 May 29.
- Evron E, Juhasz M, Babadjouni A, Mesinkovska NA, 2020. Natural Hair Supplement: Friend or Foe? Saw Palmetto, a Systematic Review in Alopecia. Skin Appendage Disord. 2020 Nov;6(6):329-337.
- Grabowska M , Wawrzyniak D , Rolle K , et al. Let food be your medicine: nutraceutical properties of lycopene. Food Funct. 2019;10(6):3090‐3102.
- Hackshaw-McGeagh LE, Perry RE, Leach VA, Qandil S, Jeffreys M, Martin RM, Lane JA. 2015. A systematic review of dietary, nutritional, and physical activity interventions for the prevention of prostate cancer progression and mortality. Cancer Causes Control. 2015 Nov;26(11):1521-50. Review.
- Morgia et al, 2013. Effects of Serenoa repens, selenium and lycopene (Profluss®) on chronic inflammation associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia: results of “FLOG” (Flogosis and Profluss in Prostatic and Genital Disease), a multicentre Italian study. Int Braz J Urol. 2013 Mar-Apr;39(2):214-21.
- Li et Xu, 2014. Meta-analysis of the association between dietary lycopene intake and ovarian cancer risk in postmenopausal women. Scientific Report. 2014. 4 : 4885.
- Petyaev IM. Lycopene Deficiency in Ageing and Cardiovascular Disease. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016;2016:3218605.
- Russo et al, 2016. Serenoa repens, selenium and lycopene to manage lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2016 Dec;15(12):1661-1670.
- Samarinas et al, 2020. The Clinical Impact of Hexanic Extract of Serenoa repens in Men with Prostatic Inflammation: A Post Hoc Analysis of a Randomized Biopsy Study. J Clin Med. 2020 Mar 30;9(4):957.
- Wilt T, Ishani A, Mac Donald R. Serenoa repens for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002;(3):CD001423. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001423. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(2):CD001423. PMID: 12137626.