Which natural remedies can help with prostate problems?
The prostate is a walnut sized gland that surrounds the first part of the tube that takes urine from the bladder to the outside (the urethra). After about the age of 50, the prostate gland can enlarge, usually as a result of a condition called benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). Common symptoms associated with this condition include poor urinary stream, frequent urination, the feeling of not being able to empty the bladder fully and the need to get up at night to pass water.
While BPH is the most common cause of prostatic enlargement, the prostate gland can be a site of more serious health conditions too. For this reason, men exhibiting symptoms of an enlarged prostate are best advised to seek medical advice in the first instance.
Certain healthy fats in the diet - essential fatty acids found in foods such as nuts and seeds - do seem to be important for prostate health. Another nutrient that is believed to contribute to prostate health is the mineral zinc.
Another popular natural remedy for BPH is the herb Saw palmetto (Serenoa reopens). At least some of this herb's actions on the body seem to be mediated through the hormone testosterone; a hormone that some scientists believe is an important factor in BPH development.
Studies suggest that is as effective a treatment as the Saw palmetto is as effective as the most commonly prescribed drug for BPH known as finasteride (Proscar).