The botanicals/herbs in Prostana have a long history of use in various cultures. They were/are used most commonly to improve urinary tract symptoms caused by prostate hypertrophy/hyperplasia. That is, the prostate tends to enlarge as men age, which can lead to urinary tract symptoms.
Throughout the world, cultures have learned to use herbs as tonics, and these differed depending on the region. In the context of prostate health, multiple botanicals have been used and they are included in Prostana.
The fact that various botanicals demonstrate clinical benefits in prostate health for the inflamed modern man is strong support for their use. However, we should not forget that botanicals/herbs were historically taken by active native people who ate properly – the people were not sedentary, spending most of their time indoors, and they were NOT chronically inflamed by pizza, fast food, and desserts – this is a hint for us in modern societies. If we want botanicals to be most helpful, we need to adopt an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.
Research on nutrients in Prostana
Vitamin E, selenium, and zinc
A recent prostate cancer prevention study involved 4 groups of almost 9000 men and looked at monotherapies with placebo, selenium, vitamin E and selenium/vitamin E. The conclusion was that there was no preventive effect against prostate cancer after approximately 5 years (1). While the monotherapy application would not likely be protective, we were not given adequate information for “flamed-up” subjects. In other words, would less “flamed” subjects have better outcomes compared those how were more “flamed-up”?
In contrast, an 8-year study examined the prostate cancer preventing ability of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, and zinc (2). It was determined that among men with normal prostate-specific antigen (PSA), there was a marked statistically significant reduction in the rate of prostate cancer for men receiving the supplements, however, in men with elevated PSA at baseline, the supplementation was associated with an increased incidence of prostate cancer of borderline statistical significance (2).
This outcome in the second study suggests that “flamed-up” people do worse with certain supplements, such as the traditional antioxidants used in this study. We should not be surprised at this outcome. Regarding zinc, low prostate levels have been established as a marker in prostate cancer (3).
Pumpkin seed oil
Pumpkin seed oil has been used historically as a remedy for urination problems caused by the prostate. Supplementation with pumpkin seed oil in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) has led to clinical improvements (4). Experimental studies using animal models of BPH demonstrated that the mechanism involves the beneficial modulation of testosterone (5-7).
As with pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto has also been used historically as a remedy for urination problems caused by the prostate and it is currently the mostly commonly used botanical for prostate health. The earliest recorded use was in the 15th century BC in Egypt. And Native Americans use saw palmetto to treat genitourinary conditions.
Outcome studies show mixed results, so you may hear that supplementation is not effective; however, we must again ask – how “flamed up” are the subjects who were supplemented?” In general, most studies support the historical use of saw palmetto for supporting prostate health (8), and we are told that there are no known drug interactions (9). Saw palmetto is thought to influence several functions beneficial to the prostate, including inflammation reduction, modulation of testosterone, and inhibition of gland cell growth (8,9).
The typical recommendation is to take 320 mg per day. Prostana contains 300 mg in addition to multiple other ingredients, making Prostana one of the best products on the market.
The root of the stinging nettle has a long history of use to improve prostate health. Studies have examined nettle as a single supplement and in combination with saw palmetto (10,11). In both cases, a beneficial effect lower urinary tract symptoms have been demonstrated, with improvement in obstructive and irritative symptoms, and this occured in patients with moderate and severe symtoms (11). Nettle has slightly reduced the size of a hypertophic prostate in one study (10).
The mechanism of action appears to be related to the modulation of growth factors, which can reduces the hyperplasia process. There is also evidence of an anti-inflammatory effect (12).
Pygeum africanum is extracted from the bark of an evergreen tree that is native to the mountain regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and the island of Madagascar. It has been used historically by locals to treat urinary problems. It was discovered by a European explorer in the 1860s and has been used for over 30 years as a common botanical by Europeans for urinary problems related to the prostate.
Research with pygeum has demonstrated a positive effect in prostate health (13). An important discovery relates success with pygeum to the inhibition of androgen receptors involved in prostate growth (14).
Of the 100 mg of phytosterols in Prostana, 44 mg are β-sitosterol. Many of the botanicals that are beneficial for the prostate contain β-sitosterol including pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto, nettle, pygeum, and soy.
Phytosterols are plant sterols and are the counterparts of cholesterol in animal products. They have a structure similar to that of cholesterol but with some modifications. They have anti-inflammatory benefits when consumed by humans.
Supplementation with sitosterols at 60 mg/day for 6 months has been shown to improve the clinical symptoms of prostatic hyperplasia in humans (15). A Cochrane review found that beta-sitosterol treatments were well tolerated and improved urinary symptoms and urinary flow measures in men with mild to moderate BPH (16). Earlier, multicenter studies in Europe, have reported excellent reduction of urinary symptoms and urinary flow where the authors suggested β-sitosterol interacted with hormone receptors of the prostate, though on a much weaker scale, to encourage relief (17).
Green tea extract
Green tea contains bioflavonoids known as catechins, which provide multiple antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. As a consequence, researchers suggest that the incidence of prostate cancer is less in Asian countries where green tea is consumed (18).
Lycopene is a carotenoid that is derived mainly from tomatoes. In population studies, regular intake of lycopene and high blood levels of the carotenoid have been repeatedly associated with a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer. Anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-proliferative mechanisms appear to be at work (19).
There is 30 mg of licopene in Prostana and supplementing with as little as 15 mg per day has demonstrated beneficial effects for prostate health by reducing progression of hyperplasia. However, individuals with a BMI over 30 rendered licopene supplementation less effective (20).
Unless you are heavily muscled, try to get your BMI to 25 or below.