(Natural News) Men suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) don’t just experience an excessively large prostate. They’re also prone to health problems like urinary leakage or urinary tract infections (UTIs). Thankfully, a study has determined that garlic (Allium sativum) may be used to prevent BPH.
The study, published in Phytotherapy Research, was conducted by researchers who assessed the effectiveness of garlic on rat models.
What is benign prostatic hyperplasia?
BPH is a non-cancerous urologic disease that usually affects men older than age 50. The condition affects the prostate, a walnut-shaped gland that is part of the male reproductive system. This gland wraps around the urethra, the tube that urine flows out of. The prostate adds fluid to semen that carries sperm. When a patient develops BPH, the gland can clamp down on the urethra and restrict the flow of urine from the bladder.
BPH is linked to symptoms such as:
- Difficulty in voiding (or emptying the bladder)
- Frequent urination
- Urinary leakage
While there are conventional treatments for the BPH, most of them are linked to negative side effects.
Because of these side effects, the search goes on for a natural and effective cure for prostate gland enlargement. Researchers are looking into the development of herbal medicines that can be used safely for the long-term to inhibit the progress of the condition.
Earlier research has confirmed garlic’s anti?hyperlipidemic, anti?inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties. But to date, no study has been conducted to see if garlic can be used to treat prostate enlargement. (Related: Things You Should Know About Garlic – Health Benefits, DIY, Recipes, Tips and Tricks.)
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In the study, researchers tested garlic to determine its suppressing effects on rat models with induced BPH. The study findings showed that garlic administration helped reduce relative prostate weight ratio. Garlic also helped inhibit the mRNA expression level of AR, DHT serum levels, and the growth of prostatic tissue in the rats with BPH.
Additionally, garlic administration decreased the levels of two inflammatory proteins in prostatic tissue: inducible nitric oxide synthases (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX?2).
The scientists also reported the garlic-induced accumulation of death?inducing signal complex and activation of 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). They also observed a decrease in levels of anti?apoptotic proteins, such as B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl?2), B-cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl?xL), and survivin, during the course of the study.
According to the researchers, garlic can potentially be used to develop natural remedies that can effectively prevent prostate gland enlargement in male patients.
Natural remedies for BPH
Below are some natural cures that can help ease some of the symptoms of BPH.
- Pygeum – Pygeum is derived from the bark of the African plum tree. In traditional medicine, it is used to cure urinary problems. It is commonly used in Europe to treat the symptoms of BPH. Pygeum’s minor side effects include headaches and an upset stomach.
- Ryegrass pollen extract – Rye grass pollen extract is made from three types of grass pollen: corn, rye, and timothy. A review of herbal studies, which was published in the journal BJU International, revealed that in one study, men who were taking rye grass pollen extract reported an improvement in their nighttime symptoms of getting up to urinate, unlike those who were taking a placebo.
- Saw palmetto – This herbal remedy comes from the fruit of a type of palm tree. Traditionally used in alternative medicine to relieve urinary symptoms, saw palmetto can also be used to cure an enlarged prostate. While saw palmetto is safe to use, it is associated with minor side effects like an upset stomach and headaches.
- Stinging nettle – The common European stinging nettle has hairs on its leaves that can cause “a sharp jolt of intense pain.” Nettle root can help improve some BPH symptoms. Stinging nettle can be used together with other natural BPH treatments, like pygeum or saw palmetto.
You can read more articles about research on natural cures for benign prostatic hyperplasia at Research.news.