Prostate remedies - Saw palmetto, Pumpkin seed, Zinc, L-Alanine, L-Glutamine

 
 
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SAW PALMETTO

History
Saw Palmetto has been used for centuries as a remedy for problems such as BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and many other conditions by Native Americans.

Early settlers in the US respected Saw Palmetto so much for its healing powers that they would feed it to their horses and mules to treat urinary problems. In the 1950's Saw Palmetto became popular in Europe and has been used by many people ever since.

Humans have been eating the fruit from the Saw Palmetto tree for centuries. It is believed that the aborigines from Florida ate the fruits as part of their stable diet, although its taste is thought to be pungent. Indian medicine men were known to keep Saw Palmetto to treat inflammation of the prostate, low libido and impotence.

Origin
Saw Palmetto is a small palm tree which grows in the coastal areas of southeast America, Africa, and southern Europe. This small palm tree produces small berries which hold its qualities for helping the health of the prostate. Saw Palmetto's botanical name is Serenoa Repens, also known as Sabal or Permixon.

Uses
It was used traditionally to treat symptoms such as impotence, inflammation of the prostate, to help urinary problems in animals and humans, to help women's health, and as a general tonic for good health. Saw Palmetto was also used as an appetite stimulant.

Today Saw Palmetto is used mainly for the treatment of BPH (enlargement of the prostate gland) and is one of the leading products for men's health. Saw Palmetto is also sometimes used as a natural breast enlargement product, as well as been used to help stop hair loss, and encourage hair re-growth.

Research
A consumer report study showed that more than a third of men who suffered from prostate problems had tried Saw Palmetto as a remedy. Anther study showed that Saw Palmetto was one of the top ten herbal remedies sold in Europe with sales of $140 million in 1999.

Clinical studies in 2000 showed that the participants taking the Saw Palmetto had reduced symptoms of BPH compared to the placebo group in the trial. This study said there was significant scientific evidence to show this.

It is not completely known how Saw palmetto works, and what the exact ingredient is that holds its benefits. Some studies have suggested that it may inhibit the cells that cause inflammation in the prostate.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a review of clinical trials that tested Saw palmetto against placebo pills. This review suggested that Saw Palmetto was defiantly favoured compared to the placebo. It showed that Saw Palmetto had the ability to relieve symptoms such as reducing night time trips to the bathroom, and increasing the urine flow.

One study was conducted between Saw Palmetto and a drug used to treat BPH called Finasteride. Finasteride showed a 30 per cent reduction in symptoms, and Saw Palmetto showed a 25 per cent reduction in symptoms. Although Saw Palmetto was slightly lower, it showed no side effects, where as the drug did.

Is it safe?
There have been few side effects reported in men taking Saw Palmetto, but ones that have been reported are stomach upset, and diarrhoea.

Anyone already taking any sort of medication should consult their doctor before taking Saw Palmetto, as it may react with some drugs.

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PUMPKIN SEED

History
There are references to pumpkins originating from Central America, dating back as far as 5500 B.C. The name pumpkin actually means 'large melon' originating from the Greek word pepon. Pumpkins were used in many foods by Native Americans and also when dried out as floor mats for their homes.

Pumpkins were also thought to have been used by pilgrims and Indians for thanks giving dinners too. They have also been associated with Halloween for many years, as Jack O Lantern was rumoured to have carried one around with a lantern inside when he was not allowed into heaven or hell, and was left in the dark for eternity to roam.

Origin
Pumpkin seeds are also known as pepitas, and are dark flat seeds that are found within the Pumpkin. Some seeds have a yellow-white shell, but not all pumpkins produce these seeds with shells.

The seeds can be eaten on their own or within many dishes, and are full of flavour and very nutritious. Pumpkins come from a family of plants called cucurbits, which are closely related to cucumbers, squash, and melons. Pumpkins grow underground on vines that are sprouted from the seeds and posses yellow flowers when growing.

Uses
Pumpkin seeds have been used to help the regular support of the immune system, lower cholesterol levels, and to help keep the prostate healthy. Pumpkin seeds have a high Zinc content, and could help with a condition called Acrodermatitis enteropathica, which is a rare disorder which stops the body's ability to absorb Zinc.

BPH can also be helped by pumpkin seeds. They are often used in conjunction with Saw Palmetto as the zinc free fatty acid in the seeds is suggested to work well in conjunction with Saw Palmetto.

Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan, and for this reason they have been used to help treat depression in some people. Pumpkin seeds can also when eaten regularly could help to reduce the risk of kidney stones. They have also had effects against tapeworms, and other parasites which can make you ill.

Research
In double blind placebo trials pumpkin seeds have been used with Saw Palmetto and have shown significant effects at treating BPH. Other clinical trials have also shown that pumpkin seeds extract can improve the function of the bladder and urethra.

Other research has shown that pumpkin seeds compounds are effective at treating depression in some people. They contain L-tryptophan which can be beneficial in helping to relieve depression.

Other trials in Thailand have shown that extracts from pumpkin seeds can be beneficial in helping to prevent kidney stones developing. They appear to reduce the substance that actually produces kidney stones, helping to stop them forming.

Is it safe?
Pumpkin seeds have been known to occasionally cause stomach upsets in some people, but no other side effects have been noted. They have been deemed safe and have no evidence to say that pregnant and breast feeding women should avoid eating them. It is unknown whether pumpkin seeds can react with drugs or other medications so if you're concerned you should consult your doctor about it before taking them.

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ZINC

History
Zinc was originally used to make brass, and its compounds were used to treat wounds and sore eyes. It is an essential trace element which is deficient in some people, mostly in third world countries.

It can be found in eggs, meats, nuts and grains, and is sometimes given to malnourished children in India and Bangladesh to reduce diarrhoeal disease.

Zinc as a metal has been mined in over 50 countries including, Australia, Canada, China, and Peru which are the leading manufacturers. Zinc has a number of uses from a micronutrient for humans and animals to a construction material.

Origin
Zinc is found in some foods such as meats, nuts, eggs, and grains. As a metal Zinc was used in China to make brass before it was recognised as a distinct element. It was also used in India and other countries before Europe rediscovered it in 1746. It has been known for many years that Zinc is an essential mineral to keep the body healthy.

Zinc is found for health benefits mainly through food, and for metal benefits from mining in countries such as the U.S.A.

Uses
Zinc can be used for many things but in a health perspective Zinc is extremely important for the body. Zinc is important for biological functions such as resisting disease, physical growth, taste and smell, diabetes, digestion, reproduction, and wound healing. All the cells in your body need Zinc to function properly and to multiply.

Zinc has been used to help treat prostate problems such as BPH. The prostate gland contains high levels of Zinc, and a deficiency in Zinc can cause drops in testosterone levels.

It is believed that around 33% of people are deficient in Zinc, which could be due to a number of reasons such as malnourishment. These deficiencies can have severe effects which is why it's important to keep enough Zinc in your body.

Zinc has also been known to help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as Zinc helps to suppress the free radicals which attack the retina, helping to reduce the risk of the disease, and help those already with the disease. Zinc has also been used to help treat the common cold, and help keep the immune system healthy.

Research
Clinical trials have shown that Zinc can help to shrink the prostate gland when it is enlarged due to BPH. Zinc is involved in keeping the hormones healthy, and therefore may have some effect on testosterone.

Other studies have shown that Zinc helps to stop Estrogens (which increases in elderly men) inhibiting the hydroxylation of testosterone, which also stops the absorption of Zinc. Zinc helps to inhibit this activity helping to keep a normal and healthy prostate.

Scientific research has shown that the prostate gland contains high levels of Zinc, which possess antibacterial qualities, which play an essential role in the natural defence against the male urinary tract infection. So when Zinc levels are decreased infections are more likely to occur.

Studies have shown that not only can Zinc reduce the size of the prostate but it can also help to stop most of the symptoms that are caused by BPH, with no or little side effects unlike the common drugs used to treat BPH.

Is it safe?
Zinc can stop the body absorbing copper, so if taken in large amounts, you should be aware you may need to take copper supplementation too.

Zinc is safe to take and has had very little reported side effects; the ones reported symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and a metallic taste in the mouth. It is safe to take 15mg per day for women who are breastfeeding and pregnant.

Zinc has sometimes been associated with anaemia so anyone that has a low iron intake should consult their doctor before taking Zinc.

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L-ALANINE

History
L-Alanine is an amino acid which the body uses as a building block of protein. It is an organic amino acid which helps to keep the body in good health. It is used by the body to draw energy from your blood sugar within the body.

L-Alanine has been used by body builders to build their muscles, and obese people as it helps break down fat, and also sometimes by people with diabetes as it can help to reduce the need to intake insulin. It has also been used to help keep the prostate healthy in men.

Origin
L-Alanine is an amino acid naturally found in the body. It is manufactured in the liver, and contained in the muscle tissues until the liver or muscles need energy when it converts into glucose and is burnt off.

It can also be found in food supplements usually in an amino acid tablet or powder, and used for many different conditions and uses. It has been used quite often as an ingredient in some prostate supplements, for conditions such as BPH.

L-Alanine can be found in some food products which contain proteins such as yoghurts, cheese, meat and avocados.

Uses
L-Alanine is an important source of energy for the muscle tissues, and central nervous system. It helps the immune system by producing more antibodies, and helping to break down the sugars.

L-Alanine is quite often used in combination with other products to help prostate problems such as BPH, and to keep the general health of the prostate.

L-Alanine is used by the body to help build protein. It works in a way that uses your glucose within your body. This use of Glucose often helps to burn away fat as the body is using the fat for energy, so L-Alanine is sometimes used to lose weight.

L-Alanine is also quite widely used by body builders as it helps them to build protein which helps to build the muscles, and it also burns off the fat so the muscles can build up.

Other uses for health benefits of L-Alanine include the use of it to help people with diabetes. L-Alanine can help to reduce the need for insulin in some people, as it is closely connected with the glucose levels in our body, and uses the glucose for energy, therefore reducing the amount of glucose in the body.

Research
Several studies have shown that L-Alanine can help to support a healthy urine flow which can help men suffering from prostate problems especially with BPH. When used in conjunction with pumpkin seeds, saw palmetto, zinc, and L-Glutamine this amino acid works very well at keeping the prostate healthy.

Studies have also suggested that L-Alanine can help to strengthen the prostate gland, and help support its health. Research also shows that L-Alanine can help to stabilize blood sugar levels, and might be beneficial to people with diabetes.

Other clinical trials have shown that L-Alanine actually helps to produce energy as well as using the glucose within the body to use for energy which burns of fat.

Is it safe?
There have been no reported side effects of L-Alanine, but as it is an amino acid then it is possible to overdose on it. People with certain conditions such as diabetes, and obesity should consult their doctor before taking L-Alanine as a supplement.

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L-GLUTAMINE

History
L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. It is present in the muscles, and is important for the body as it plays various roles in keeping it healthy. L-Glutamine is important in helping to stop muscle tissue breakdown in the body, boosting the immune system, and is the link between muscle development, stamina and strength.

L-Glutamine has been involved in many trials and has shown to be beneficial for many conditions, as it has the ability to help almost every part of the body in some form.

Origin
L-Glutamine is found in the skeletal structure, the muscle tissues, and almost everywhere else in the body, but especially in high doses within the intestines. It is found in all living life forms, which means it can be found in some foods such as meat and fish, but not in high amounts.

L-Glutamine apart from being found in the body is also found in supplements where it is used for many different purposes, both on its own and mixed with other ingredients.

Uses
L-Glutamine has been used for many different purposes to help health. This amino acid is important in keeping the immune system strong, which can help with prostate conditions such as BPH. When this amino acid is working in conjunction with other herbs and nutrients to help the prostate it is possible it could help conditions such as BPH.

L-Glutamine has also been used to help people lose weight, and by body builders as part of a routine supplement to help build muscle. It has also been used to help in surgical procedures, to help speed up the healing process, and help to give extra protection against infections and bacteria.

Research
There have been several studies that show L-Glutamine's ability to help boost the body's immune system, to help conditions such as BPH, and especially helping in the healing of injuries and surgical procedures.

L-Glutamine has shown in studies to significantly reduce the length of hospital stays in bone marrow transplant patients, and also in people suffering from colon and rectal cancer.

There have also been studies which have suggested that L-Glutamine can actually help to curb alcohol cravings. A group of people suffering from alcoholism took L-Glutamine for a period of time, and their alcohol consumption was significantly reduced compared to before.

Is it safe?
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking L-Glutamine as a supplement unless prescribed by their doctor or physician. Some side affects have been reported such as constipation and bloating, but these are rare.

L-Glutamine can react with some drugs and medication so you should consult your doctor if you are taking any medication before taking L-Glutamine supplements.

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DISCLAIMER:

This information (and any accompanying material) provided is not intended to replace the attention or advice of a physician or other health care professionals. Anyone wishing to embark on any dietary, drug, exercise, or other lifestyle change intended to prevent or treat a specific disease or condition, or for people who are pregnant should first consult and seek clearance from a qualified health care professionals. The information provided on this site is as accurate as possible. We not accept responsibilities or liability for any inaccuracies.
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