Prostate health is a common health concern for both middle-aged and elderly men. Hormonal changes can cause enlargement and inflammation of the prostate gland, resulting in uncomfortable urinary symptoms. Studies support the use of natural ingredients such as saw palmetto, pygeum, nettle root, zinc, and lycopene for supporting prostate health. Saw palmetto, pygeum, and pumpkin seeds contain beta-sitosterol, a healthy fat that has been shown in clinical studies to support urinary flow in men.
In fact in one of the largest placebo-controlled, double-blind studies, pygeum administered at a dosage of 100 mg per day for 60 days improved urinary maximum flow by 17.2 percent, increased voided volume by 12 percent, decreased residual volume by 24.5 percent, decreased nocturia by 31 percent, decreased daytime frequency by 19.4 percent, and resulted in overall improvement of 50 percent. Sixty-five percent of the subjects reported an improvement in this study as compared to 31 percent in the placebo group.
In another double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 110 benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) patients, 160 mg twice per day of a standardized saw palmetto extract significantly improved nocturia, dysuria, post-voiding residual urine, and flow rate. Yet another double-blind clinical study showed urinary symptoms and flow rates were significantly improved in 42.9 percent of patients taking a saw palmetto extract, versus 15.4 percent of patients given placebo.
A combination of nettle and saw palmetto was found to be just as effective as finasteride (Proscar®) in improving symptoms of BPH in a 48-week, double-blind trial, with fewer and milder adverse effects in the herbal group than the drug group.