Acai Berry For Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Acai Berry For Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Benign prostatic hyper..what?!?
Don't let the term intimidate you. It is a common occurrence and has been a constant cause of dilemma for the aging male population. Benign prostatic hyperplasia, otherwise known as BPH or nodular hyperplasia refers to a condition in which the prostate gland enlarges with age. It is non-malignant in nature, but can cause difficulties in urination by blocking the urine outflow. Surgical intervention may be required to achieve relief from an enlarged prostate.

What Is Prostate Gland?

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland found in males, weighing approximately 20 gms, located beneath the urinary bladder, in front of the rectum, and surrounding the urethra (the tube where urine passes through). It is mostly made up of glandular tissues that secrete the alkaline milky fluid which forms part of the seminal fluid. It enables the sperm to survive the acidic environment of the vaginal canal. The rest of the gland is comprised of smooth muscles which aid in the ejaculation process.

What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?

It is often associated with aging, in men past 50 years old. Benign means that it is a non-cancerous form of growth. Hyperplasia, on the other hand, is a medical term that denotes the proliferation of cells in a tissue or organ, which may result to an overall increase in size of the affected organ.

In benign prostatic hyperplasia, the linings of the glandular structures increase in number. This gives rise to the formation of round mass (nodule) in the area of the prostate very near the urethra. When it becomes large enough, the nodule can compress the passageway of the urine, making it a challenge to void

What Causes BPH?

The exact reason why BPH occurs is still not well-understood, but the male hormone testosterone is believed to play a major factor.

As a man ages, the level of active testosterone in the blood drops, leaving a higher proportion of estrogen. The higher amount estrogen within the prostate could be responsible for the activity of substances that promote cell growth.

A derivative of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is likewise thought to be a culprit. It is produced from testosterone in the prostate through the enzyme 5α- reductase. Although the levels of testosterone decrease with advancing age, DHT levels are maintained. DHT is more potent than testosterone in promoting prostate growth.

Why Should I Be Concerned?

While prostate enlargement is common as age advances and may leave no disturbing symptoms for some, it is a cause of worry when it becomes large enough to impinge on the surrounding urethra.

Not only will it block the passage of urine, but can cause complications to adjacent organs as well. When the urine couldn't pass through, it is retained in the urinary bladder where the constant large urine volume contributes to the formation of cystitis, or irritation of the bladder wall. Incontinence, stone formation and kidney damage due to the outflow obstruction may ensue.

How Do I Know If I Have BPH?

Symptoms that will clue you in whether or not you have BPH, are the following:

  • More frequent urination, with the need to get up several times at night to pee
  • There is urge to urinate, but only small drops of urine come out
  • Having to strain to start the urination
  • Feeling of being unable to fully empty the bladder
  • Dribbling after voiding
  • Weak urine stream

What Can I Do To Prevent the Progression of BPH?

Before your prostate reaches a gigantic size, and you being left with no other choice but to go under the knife, take control of your health starting with natural remedies.

Keeping a low cholesterol diet appears to help. It is believed that saturated, animal fats affect hormone levels which in turn, aggravate prostate problems.

Go easy on alcoholic drinks, especially beer. One of the hormones associated with prostatic enlargement is increased with the consumption of these beverages.

Avoid heavy starches, sweets and salty food, as these irritate the prostate.

How May Acai Berry Help Relieve Prostate Enlargement?

When choosing food supplements, go for the ones which are healthy sources of phytosterols. These are compounds extracted from plants that provide beneficial effects to the body. Acai berry, the indigenous fruit from Brazil, has been found to be rich in phytosterols. Sterols are presently being used to relieve symptoms related to prostate enlargement. Acai berry is in the same family of Saw Palmetto, a common herbal treatment for prostate disorders.

A study reveals that an ethanol extract of acai berry fruit peel inhibited testosterone 5-alpha reductase. In patients with an enlarged prostate, the difficulty of urination was prevented by the administration of 2 tablets per day for 1 month.

The dark purple skin of acai berry contains anthocyanins, which offer strong anti-oxidant properties ten times more potent than those from grapes. Antioxidants get rid of the body's toxins and show promising results in shrinking the enlarged prostate.

In prostate enlargement, it is important to avoid getting constipated, as this may cause additional pressure to the prostate. The high dietary fiber content of acai will aid in the regular movement of bowels, preventing constipation. By preventing constipation, further complications to the prostate are lessened.

Are All Acai Equal?

So the benefits of acai on prostate enlargement makes you want to grab the next bottle of acai that you see. But how do you know it's the right acai you are picking up?

There are two preparations of acai berry - the juice and the capsule (freeze-dried) form. The juice form uses other ingredients to improve its taste, using only a few percentage of acai berry in the finished product. It needs preservatives to prolong its shelf life. The preservatives may do you more harm than good. The capsule form, on the other hand, uses 100% acai berry without additives and preservatives.

When acai berry has to be exported from other countries, it needs to be irradiated, as required by the law, to prevent bringing in pests, and to kill harmful microorganisms. The radiation to the food that you eat may be passed on to your body, putting you at risk for carcinogens. In the solid state of acai berry, only the dried husk is transported for processing, which does not have to undergo radiation.

If getting the the most from acai berry is what you're after, and you want to avoid the unnecessary risks and expenses from the added ingredients and harmful processes done, the capsule form is clearly your better option.

 

Source References

  • "Structure of the Adult Prostate From a Clinician’s Standpoint." Clinical Anatomy 13 (2000): Wiley Interscience.
  • "Basic Principals: Prostate Anatomy | Www.urologymatch.com." Urology Match | Web. 14 June 2010.
  • "Incidence and prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia in primary care--the Triumph project". Eur. Urol. 42 (4): 323–8.
  • "Dietary patterns, supplement use, and the risk of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia: results from the prostate cancer prevention trial". Am. J. Epidemiol. 167 (8): 925–34.
  • "Vasectomy and Cancer Risk". National Cancer Institute. 2003-06-24.

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