Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lycopene Cures BPH Slowing It's Growth

Lycopene stops BPH in its tracks

A report published in the January, 2007 issue of the Journal of Nutrition revealed that supplementation with the carotenoid lycopene slowed the growth of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) in a small group of men. Benign prostatic hypertrophy is estimated to affect half of men in their 50s, increasing in prevalence to up to 90 percent of men age 80 and older. Although it is a benign condition, BPH is considered to be a risk factor for the later development of prostate cancer.

Hans-Konrad Biesalski of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart and his German colleagues enrolled 40 men with biopsy-confirmed BPH and a serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) concentration of greater than 4.0 micrograms per liter. The men were randomized to receive 15 milligrams lycopene per day or a placebo for six months. Prostate specific antigen was measured in blood samples drawn during screening, and after one, three, and six months. Insulin-like growth factor, testosterone and other factors were measured during the first and last clinic visits. Prostate volume was determined via digital rectal examination and prostate weight by trans-rectal ultrasonography.

After six months, men who received lycopene experienced a decrease in PSA levels, while those who received the placebo experienced no change. Prostate enlargement progressed in the placebo group and remained the same in those that received lycopene. Although both groups reported improved BPH symptoms following the trials, a greater effect was report by men who received lycopene.

The research is the first controlled clinical study, to the authors knowledge, to report the effects of lycopene in men with benign prostatic hypertrophy. They suggest inhibition of 5-alpha reductase and interleukin-6 signaling as possible mechanisms for lycopene, and add that its antioxidant property may be involved in the prevention of oxidative stress mediated cell proliferation and remodeling in the prostate.



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