###Pygeum for BPH and Natural hair loss(*Nocturia urgency U.leaking and retention)
An Extract from This Native African Tree Reduces Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
By Nina Flanagan
The African cherry tree, pygeum africanum, is an evergreen found at higher elevations across Africa. Its medicinal use dates to the 1700s, when tribes in southern Africa taught early explorers how to use the tree’s bark to treat bladder discomfort.1 Pygeum extract has been used in Europe to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia since the 1960s, and is currently the most commonly used therapeutic for this condition in France.2
Benign prostatic hyperplasia affects approximately 50% of men aged 51-60, and up to 90% of men over the age of 80. This condition causes the prostate gland to enlarge, constricting the urethra and making it difficult for the bladder to empty. Symptoms include reduced urine stream, frequent urination (especially at night), urinary urgency, leaking, and urinary retention. Severe benign prostatic hyperplasia can have serious long-term health effects, such as urinary tract infection, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones, pain during sexual intercourse, and incontinence. Therapies to treat this condition include pharmaceutical drugs such as Proscar®, Hytrin®, and Flomax®, as well as non-surgical and surgical options. However, all of these remedies have associated side effects. Clinical studies suggest that pygeum bark extract is effective in reducing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, with few side effects.3,4
Benign prostatic hyperplasia’s cause is not fully known or understood. One theory is that the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone via the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase contributes to prostate enlargement.5 In addition, as men age, they often experience an increase in levels of estrogen relative to testosterone, indicating that estrogen may be involved in the development of this condition. In one study, extracts of pygeum and nettle root partially blocked the action of two enzymes, aromatase and 5-alpha-reductase, that are involved in the production of estrogen and dihydrotestosterone, respectively. Pygeum showed much higher efficacy at lower doses than did nettle root, but the combination of both herbs was significantly more effective than either alone in blocking the aromatase enzyme.6
@How Does Pygeum Work?
Pygeum bark contains numerous beneficial constituents, including phytosterols such as beta-sitosterols, which exhibit anti-inflammatory action by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins in the prostate. Other pygeum components in-clude ferulic esters, which reduce levels of prolactin (a hormone that promotes testosterone uptake in the prostate gland), and pentacyclic triterpenes, which inhibit an enzyme involved in inflammation and help reduce edema. Scientists believe that these phytochemicals work together to help counteract the structural and biochemical changes associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.1,7
Pygeum may help to prevent the overgrowth of prostate cells that can contribute to benign prostatic hyperplasia. Research suggests that pygeum may do this by inhibiting basic fibroblast growth factor, a signaling biochemical involved in the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia.8 In a laboratory study, pygeum extract demonstrated an anti-proliferative effect on prostate cells derived from rats, which was in part mediated by inhibition of basic fibroblast growth factor.9
Section through the human prostate gland. The prostate consists of glandular tissue embedded in a matrix of fibromuscular cells (orange and black).
*Enlargement of the prostate gland can obstruct bladder emptying, which can lead to cellular and functional changes in the bladder tissue. Studies of rabbits suggest that pre-treatment with pygeum helps to protect the bladder from developing contractile and biochemical dysfunctions induced by partial bladder outlet obstruction, possibly by protecting the bladder from ischemic injury.10,11 The investigators suggest that pygeum may work in both rabbits and humans to protect the bladder’s smooth muscle against cellular damage induced by obstructed flow.10
*Reducing BPH Symptoms
Clinical trials suggest that pygeum can safely and effectively help to reduce the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In a multicenter trial in Europe, 85 men with mild to moderate benign prostatic hyperplasia were given 50 mg of pygeum twice daily for two months. The study participants demonstrated a 40% decrease in the International Prostate Symptom Score, a subjective assessment of the severity of symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
* Furthermore, the pygeum-supplemented men reported a 32% decrease in frequency of nocturnal urination (nocturia) and a 31% improvement in quality of life. After the supplementation with pygeum ended, the patients were followed for one additional month.
*The benefits derived from the pygeum therapy continued even during this period without treatment, indicating a lasting therapeutic effect.12
In a larger placebo-controlled, double-blind study, 263 men received either 100 mg of pygeum or placebo daily for 60 days. The pygeum group demonstrated a 17.2% improvement in urinary flow, a 24.5% decrease in residual bladder volume, a 31% decrease in nocturia, and a 19.4% decrease in daytime urinary frequency. Overall, 66% of the pygeum group reported improvement, compared to only 31% of the placebo group.13
*According to two separate literature reviews, pygeum extract demonstrates statistically significant benefits for benign prostatic hyperplasia. The more recent review, conducted in 2000, analyzed studies dating from 1966 to 2000. In 18 randomized trials involving 1,562 men, pygeum provided significant improvement in combined outcome of urological symptoms and flow measures. Furthermore, men taking pygeum reported twice as much improvement in overall symptoms.3 An earlier literature review published in 1995 examined 12 clinical, placebo-controlled, double-blind studies, in which 358 patients received pygeum and 359 received placebo. Again, those consuming pygeum demonstrated statistically significant benefits compared to those receiving placebo.4
*Light micrograph of a section through a normal human prostate gland, which surrounds the top of the urethra.
@Additional Benefits of Pygeum
Pygeum has also been used to treat inflammation of the prostate, or prostatitis. Prostatitis can occur due to infectious or non-infectious causes, and may cause symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency, or pain. In a clinical trial, 47 patients with chronic prostatitis received 100 mg of pygeum daily for five to seven weeks. Eighty-nine percent reported a complete remission of symptoms.4
In another study, men with sexual dysfunction due to either benign prostatic hyperplasia or chronic prostatitis received pygeum extract (200 mg daily for 60 days) either alone or with anti-biotics. The men receiving pygeum bark extract experienced improved sexual function, even though there were no significant differences between hormone levels or nocturnal penile rigidity before and after therapy. Based on their findings, the researchers believe that pygeum may be beneficial to patients with sexual or reproductive dysfunction.14
@HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN PYGEUM RESEARCH
A large Phase III clinical study headed by Dr. J. Curtis Nickel, professor of urology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, will compare pygeum (Pygeum africanum), saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), and Flomax® (tamsulosin) to placebo in managing benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Patients will be randomly assigned to one of the three treatments or placebo and followed for four years. The study’s goal is to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and side effects of the two herbal treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia compared to Flomax® and placebo. Patient recruitment has not yet begun. Men interested in participating in the study at one of several US centers can learn more by visiting http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/ NCT00097136?order=1.
@Safety and Dosage
Clinical trials conducted to date suggest that pygeum may greatly benefit men with benign prostatic hyperplasia through its ability to decrease nocturnal urinary frequency, lessen urinary urgency, inhibit prostate cell proliferation, improve patient quality of life, and reduce residual urine volume in the bladder. Furthermore, the data suggest that pygeum is safe and well tolerated.
Most studies report no significant adverse effects of pygeum, though there have been rare instances of gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain. A clinical study reported a satisfactory safety profile after 174 men used 100 mg of pygeum extract once daily for 12 months. The same study demonstrated that adjusting the pygeum dose to 50 mg taken twice daily yielded similar efficacy as measured by quality of life, maximum flow rate, and International Prostate Symptom Score.15 Pygeum extract has no known interactions with drugs, herbs, or dietary supplements. The recommended dosage of pygeum extract is 100-200 mg per day.
1. Simons AJ, Dawson IK, Dugunba B, Tchoundjeu Z. Passing problems: prostate and prunus. HerbalGram.1998;43:49-53.
2. Isaacs JT. Importance of the natural history of benign prostatic hyperplasia in the evaluation of pharmacologic intervention. Prostate Suppl. 1990;31-7.
3. Ishani A, MacDonald R, Nelson D, Rutks I, Wilt TJ. Pygeum africanum for the treatment of patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia: a systematic review and quantitative meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2000 Dec 1;109(8):654-64.
4. Andro MC, Riffaud JP. Pygeum africanun extract for treatment of patients with BPH: a review of 25 years of published experience. Curr Ther Res. 1995;56:796-817.
5. Bartsch G, Rittmaster RS, Klocker H. Dihydrotestosterone and the role of 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors in benign prostatic hyperplasia. Urologe A. 2002 Sep;41(5):412-24.
6. Hartmann RW, Mark M, Soldati F. Inhibition of 5-alpha-reductase and aromatase by PHL-0081, a combination of PY102 (Pygeum africanum) and UR102 (Urtica dioica) extracts. Phytomedicine. 1996;3(2):121-8.
7. Bassi P, Artibani W, De L, V, Zattoni F, Lembo A. Standardized extract of Pygeum africanum in the treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy. Controlled clinical study versus placebo. Minerva Urol Nefrol. 1987 Jan;39(1):45-50.
8. Anon. Pygeum africanum (Prunus africanus) (African plum tree). Monograph. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Feb;7(1):71-4.
9. Yablonsky F, Nicolas V, Riffaud JP, Bellamy F. Antiproliferative effect of Pygeum africanum extract on rat prostatic fibroblasts. J Urol. 1997 Jun;157(6):2381-7.
10. Levin RM, Whitbeck C, Horan P, Bellamy F. Low-dose tadenan protects the rabbit bladder from bilateral ischemia/reperfusion-induced contractile dysfunction. Phytomedicine. 2005 Jan;12(1-2):17-24.
11. Levin RM, Das AK, Haugaard N, et al. Beneficial effects of Tadenan therapy after two weeks of partial obstruction in the rabbit. Neurourol Urodyn. 1997;16(6):583-99.
12. Breza J, Dzurny O, Borowka A, et al. Efficacy and acceptability of tadenan (Pygeum africanum extract) in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): a multicentre trial in central Europe. Curr Med Res Opin. 1998;14(3):127-39.
13. Barlet A, Albrecht J, Aubert A, et al. Efficacy of Pygeum africanum extract in the treatment of micturitional disorders due to benign prostatic hyperplasia. Evaluation of objective and subjective parameters. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 1990 Nov 23;102(22):667-73.
14. Carani C, Salvioli V, Scuteri A, et al. Urological and sexual evaluation of treatment of benign prostatic disease using Pygeum africanum at high doses. Arch Ital Urol Nefrol Androl. 1991 Sep;63(3):341-5.
15. Chatelain C, Autet W, Brackman F. Comparison of once and twice daily dosage forms of Pygeum africanum extract in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia: a randomized, double-blind study, with long-term open label extension. Urology. 1999 Sep;54(3):473-8.
, also known as pigeum, African plum, African prune, alumty, iluo, kirah, natal tree, Pigeum africanum, is a large evergreen tree found in central and southern Africa. It generally grows at altitudes of 3000 feet or higher. Pygeum is becoming endangered due to the demand for its bark. The extracts from its bark contain several compounds have been used for many years to treat BPH. In common with saw palmetto and nettle root, Pygeum is believed to inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha reductase which converts testosterone to follicle-damaging DHT. Despite a lack of clinical evidence of any positive impact on hair loss, Pygeum can be found in a number of natural hair loss remedies.
The assumed ability of Pygeum africanum to block conversion of testosterone to DHT has lead to its inclusion in natural and herbal hair loss remedies. However, Pygeum africanum in isolation has never been evaluated in clinical hair loss studies. This lack of clinical evidence does not automatically imply that it is ineffective in treating hair loss. Due to Pygeum’s low health risk profile, it can be used safely by those patients who are, for whatever reason, seeking an alternative to the medicinal DHT inhibitors, such as finasteride.
Health benefits of Pygeum africanum
The extract from Pygeum bark is used in herbal medications to relieve symptoms caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or prostate enlargement. Although the mechanism of its action is unknown, it is assumed that Pygeum could inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is the main cause of BPH and is also believed to be the primary factor responsible for male and female pattern baldness. In one clinical study, the effects of Pygeum africanum on BPH were examined in conjunction with nettle root extract (another DHT blocking agent) and it was concluded that combining these two herbs increased their effectiveness.
Pygeum bark has been used in herbal medicine in Europe since the 1700s. Traditionally, the bark of the tree was gathered and powdered and made into a tea which was taken for genito-urinary complaints. Pygeum has also shown promise in preventing or reducing the symptoms of prostate cancer and chronic prostatis.
Some additional traditional uses of Pygeum include use as an aphrodisiac, and as a remedy for fever, impotence, kidney disease, malaria, partial bladder outlet obstruction, urinary tract infections, inflammation, malaria, prostatic adenoma, and psychosis.
One of the key active compounds in Pygeum, oleanolic acid, may also stimulate an immune response that can prevent development of malignancy in those with benign prostate enlargement (Chung Kuo Yao Li Hsueh Pao. 1989;10(4):381-84).
The powdered bark is made into pills, capsules or a liquid extract. The common daily dose range for Pygeum is 50 to 200 mg. However, doses as high as 500 mg per day have been taken. The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 12% phytosterols per dose. 100mg of the standardized extract can be taken 1-2 times a day.
Side effects of Pygeum africanum
Side effects of Pygeum may sometimes occur and can include stomach discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, dizziness, or visual disturbances. One clinical study reported a good safety profiles after 12 months of using 100 mg Pygeum daily in 174 subjects. In animal studies it was found that 500 times the therapeutic dose of Pygeum had no adverse effects, and amounts equivalent to 50 times the therapeutic dose had no effect on fertility. In vivo and in vitro studies indicated no carcinogenic effects.
Pregnant women should not take Pygeum due to the lack of scientific evidence about its safety. Pygeum has not been proven safe for use by children. Pygeum may cause an increase of the benefits to the prostate from prescription drugs or other herbal supplements aimed at reducing it. For this reason care should be taken when adding Pygeum to any regimen for BPH or other prostate condition.
###What is Pumpkin Seed Oil?
The oil produced from the pumpkin seeds is reputed for it extraordinary wealth of vitamins A, E, C and K. Fresh oil contains more than 60% unsaturated fatty acids. It also contains proteins and a number of ingredients which will bring you vitality.
What makes the Styrian pumpkin so special compared to a regular Jack o'Lantern? This variety of pumpkin seed oil is loaded with A, B1, B2, B6, C, D, E, and K, and an assortment of other minerals including magnesium, iron and calcium.
In addition to all those vitamins, it also contains somewhere between 60 to 90 percent unsaturated fats, is rich in vegetable protein and has both omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids in a 3- to-1 ratio. It also contains 45 to 60 percent linoleic acid.
For those of us watching our health, pumpkin seed oil has all the right ingredients to relieve muscle fatigue and stimulate muscle growth, boost metabolic rate, and maintain weight loss.
From a medical standpoint however, the real health benefit is how the oil seems to prevent urinary and prostate problems, maintain the body's cholesterol levels, and ease the symptoms of arthritis.
@Skin Benefits: Antioxidant properties
It appears that the biggest skin benefits of pumpkin seed oil are that it possesses very high levels of the natural antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Pumpkin seed oil is especially high in the gamma-tocopherol form of Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant.
Aside from the high levels of Vitamin E found in pumpkin, there is also a high level of oil content (as high as 50%). The four fatty acids which comprise 98% of pumpkin seed oil are palmitic, stearic, linoleic, and oleic acids.
works to promote natural oil regeneration. Oil is an important component for the skin to retain its protective barrier. With too little oil, the skin will crack and bleed; opening it to a greater risk of infection and disease.
acts primarily as a lubricant. It allows the skin to retain the proper moisture balance vital for good health (and good looks).
is an essential fatty acid, which means our bodies don뭪 manufacture it, and so we must ingest it in our diets. Linoleic acid is one step for the manufacture of prostaglandins, which decrease inflammation in the body. Linoleic acid helps maintain smooth skin, and will help repair flaky, itchy, or rough skin.
is the final fatty acid found in pumpkin seed oil. It works to replenish and maintain skin뭩 moisture and lubrication. It is an Omega 9 acid and has similar health benefits (both general and to the skin) as the more well-known Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids.
@Other Major Benefits:
*Benign Prostate Symptoms:
Pumpkin seed oil is always combined with saw palmetto to reduce symptoms of BPH. It alone has also been used to reduce BPH's symptoms. Pumpkin seed oil extracts standardized for fatty acid content have been used in BPH studies. Men suffered from BPH usually take 160 mg three times a day with meal.
Curcurbitin in pumpkin seeds has shown anti-parasitic activity in vi-vitro. Chinese scientists used pumpkin seeds to treat acute schistosomiasis and tapeworm infestations.
L-tryptophan in pumpkin seeds are suggested to help remedy depression.
In Thailand, people use pumpkin seeds to prevent kidney stone. Pumpkin seeds appear to slow down the stone formation in the urine.
**Anti-Oxidant Activities and Cardiac Related Conditions:
Pumpkin seeds have long been used for health benefits and the seed oils of pumpkin may also contain many active beneficial components. The active beneficial components may protect important biological molecules from oxidative stress. Pumpkin seed oil is a rich source of antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Administration of pumpkin seed oil to rats suffered from arthritis was found to improve the signs of arthritis such as paw oedema.
Administration of pumpkin seed oil together with simvastatin to high cholesterol-fed rabbits, for three weeks caused a significant reduction of the aortic contractile response to norepinephrine and to normalize the most adverse effects observed during hypercholesterolemia.
A study suggested that pumpkin seed oil might enhance the blood pressure lowering effect of calcium antagonist felodipine or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE-inhibitor), captopril.
Pumpkin seed protein isolate has shown benefits on the liver health in an animal study. The administration of pumpkin seed protein isolates after carbon tetrachloride intoxication resulted in significantly reduced activity levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LD), alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP).