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Lycopene for Enlarged Prostate

lycopene for enlarged prostate

 

 

 

Enlarged prostate is very common in older men. While conventional medications and surgeries are available to manage the symptoms of BPH, many people still try to find out natural treatment options to manage the issue in a more safe way. 


Lycopene has tremendous antioxidant properties that have been found highly beneficial in the prevention as well as management of BPH. in this article, we’ll discuss exactly what lycopene is and how it can help with an enlarged prostate. So, let’s read on. 


Table of contents 

  • What is an enlarged prostate? 
  • Symptoms of enlarged prostate 
  • Causes of enlarged prostate 
  • Risk factors 
  • Complications 
  • What is lycopene 
  • How lycopene can help with an enlarged prostate 
  • How to use lycopene
  • Precautions and side effects 
  • Final words 

What is an enlarged prostate? 

Enlarged prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign prostate enlargement (BPE), is an age-related common condition in which the prostate gland grows bigger in size and causes difficulty urination in men as they get older. Apart from blocking the flow of urine, it may also cause urinary tract, bladder, and kidney issues such as infections, bladder stones, and reduced kidney functions.   



Symptoms of enlarged prostate 

Symptoms may vary from person to person depending on the severity of the condition, but they often tend to gradually worsen with aging.


Symptoms and signs of an enlarged prostate may include: 


  • Frequent urination 
  • Nocturia or increased frequency at night 
  • Difficulty urination 
  • A weak urination stream with stops and starts 
  • Inability to properly empty the bladder 
  • Dribbling at the end of the urination 


Less common symptoms may include: 


  • Urine with blood  
  • Complete blockage of urination  
  • UTI or urinary tract infection 

 

Causes of enlarged prostate

The prostate gland sits just beneath the bladder. The tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the urethra passes through the middle of the prostate. When this gland enlarges, it starts to block urine flow.  


Risk factors 

Risk factors for enlarged prostate may include: 


  • Aging - most prostate gland enlargement cases have been reported to be 60 years and above by age. 
  • Lifestyle - while certain lifestyle choices such as regular exercise may reduce the risks of developing BPH, obesity may increase the risks. 
  • Chronic illnesses - research suggests that heart disease or diabetes may increase the risk of developing an enlarged prostate. 
  • Family history - people who have blood relatives such as fathers or brothers with a history of prostate issues are more likely to develop an enlarged prostate. 

Complications 

A number of complications are associated with an enlarged prostate ranging from moderate medical conditions to severe health threats. They may include: 


  • Acute urinary retention 
  • Kidney damage 
  • Bladder damage 
  • Bladder stones 
  • Urinary tract infections 

Though these complications aren’t common for all elders who have an enlarged prostate, kidney damage and acute urinary retention might be life-threatening issues that require immediate medical attention. 


What is lycopene? 

Lycopene is a plant-based organic red pigment known as carotenoid found in red vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, watermelons, carrots, and papaya. This phytonutrient is related to beta-carotene and has strong antioxidant properties. 


Lycopene has been found helpful to various health benefits ranging from promoting prostate health to preventing certain types of cancers.  


How lycopene can help with an enlarged prostate 

The antioxidant properties of lycopene have been found to be considerably beneficial in older men diagnosed with enlarged prostate or benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH. It’s also found as a promising therapeutic agent to lower the risks of developing prostate cancer (PCa). 


Several studies, including clinical trials and population studies, have been done to figure out its effects on prostate health. Experts have suggested that lycopene may help decrease prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, which is a major contributor in developing various prostate conditions including BPH, prostate inflammation, and even prostate cancer. 


Evidence suggests that lycopene plays a vital role to inhibit disease progression in people diagnosed with enlarged prostate or BPH. 


According to a 2008 review, supplementing lycopene to 40 patients with histologically proven benign prostate hyperplasia with a dose of 15 mg per day resulted in a significant reduction of serum prostate-specific antigen levels and the prostate didn’t enlarge further.   




How to use lycopene

Lycopene is majorly found in certain red vegetables and fruits, but immensely in tomato products such as tomato sauce, tomato juice, ketchup, and fresh tomatoes. 


Lycopene supplements are often recommended by natural medicine practitioners. Doses may vary depending on the conditions. In general, lycopene has most often been recommended in doses of 15 mg to 45 mg per day at least two hours before or after taking other medications. 


Check out with your healthcare specialist to determine what dose might be best for your specific condition. 


Precautions and side effects

Lycopene is considered safe for up to 6 months within recommended doses. A few rare cases of lycopene overdose have been reported with lycopenodermia, discoloration of the skin. Other side effects may include gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach irritation, gassiness, and bloating. But these aren’t common.   


Lycopene may interfere with the efficacy of certain medications such as blood pressure-lowering medications and blood thinners. It might lower the process of blood clotting and enhance the risk of bleeding. Therefore, if you’re going to have surgery, stop using lycopene at least two to three weeks before the surgery. 


Breastfeeding and pregnant women should consider speaking with their healthcare professionals so that they can analyze whether lycopene is suitable for their specific conditions. 


Like all supplements, it’s always best practice to consult with a qualified nutritionist or herbal medicine practitioner before taking lycopene supplements especially if you’re taking medications for any underlying health issues.   


Final words 

Lycopene is a potent antioxidant that has been found highly beneficial for prostate health. Studies have suggested that lycopene can inhibit the growth of the prostate gland in patients diagnosed with an enlarged prostate and reduce the risk of other prostate conditions such as prostate inflammation and prostate cancer. 


Lycopene shows a very few side effects including diarrhea, gassiness, bloating, and low blood pressure, and may interact with certain medications such as blood thinners and blood pressure medications, hence, it’s strongly recommended to consult with a certified natural medicine professional before using lycopene supplement especially if you’re taking any medications. 


Check out Vorst’s pure and natural Lycopene with Zinc and Selenium 30 mg capsule here. 

Also, check out Vorst’s OPC-8 Vegan Capsules that contain lycopene.  




Important resources: 

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18156403/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092544390500013X
  3. https://www.iomcworld.org/open-access/does-oral-lycopene-reduce-benign-prostate-enlargementhyperplasiabpebph-occrs-1000108.pdf
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia/symptoms-causes/syc-20370087
  5. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-554/lycopene
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lycopene
  7. https://www.healthline.com/health/enlarged-prostate-diet#salmon
  8. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/prostate-supplements-pdq#section/_3