Last summer, I had the somber experience of attending the funeral of a friend who passed away far too young as a result of prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer: A Silent Killer of Men
This last summer, I had the somber experience of attending the funeral of a friend who passed away far too young. He was only 64. Taking the life of this intelligent, warm, faithful father of two boys, and loyal husband to his only wife of over 30 years, was prostate cancer.
“Rich” (as I’ll refer to him) was initially diagnosed with this silent killer of men in his early 40s, which is the age-range most medical professionals tell males to begin annual (or even bi-annual) prostate exams. I’m 41 and I’m due for my next screening soon. Men, do not procrastinate with your prostate!
Statistics from the National Cancer Institute, reported in 2008, reveal 510 new prostate cancer diagnoses every single day—resulting in 78 deaths per day. For men, those are scary numbers. In light of these statistics, I feel it’s safe to assume men need to take this condition seriously. The encouraging news is that if detected early, prostate cancer enjoys a 90% cure rate. For men, those are great numbers!
The bottom line (pardon the pun) is this. With early detection, a healthy diet, and eliminating other risk factors such as smoking and excessive alcohol intake, prostate cancer can be conquered. I encourage all my fellow men to take heed.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: Commonly known as BPH
Common statistics reveal that by age 50, the majority of men typically begin developing some symptoms associated with BPH. Aside from prostate cancer, BPH is defined as a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate. If you talk to most medical professionals; esp. those specializing in men’s health issues, they will tell you that a huge misconception exists between prostate cancer and BPH. The fact is this: the presence of BPH (according to known research) does not increase the chances of developing prostate cancer. Most certainly, though, if you are experiencing any BPH symptoms, you should always have them checked out by a qualified medical professional. A short list of these symptoms includes:
- Difficulty in urinating
- Weak flow during urinating
- A feeling of not feeling empty after urinating
- A sudden and often uncontrollable urge to urinate
- Frequent urination
- Waking at night to urinate (nocturia)
The actual causes of BPH have yet to be discovered but there are known studies and research that has led to a few potential causes. The number one reason BPH develops is age. The prostate gland during its lifespan goes through two stages of growth. Stage one occurs at puberty as young men begin to mature sexually, while stage two takes place after the age of 25. This second stage, brought on by a reactivation of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) continues for the remainder of a man’s life and is a likely cause for BPH. This reactivation of DHT is the result of decreasing testosterone levels in men as age progresses.
Whatever the cause may be, the symptoms of BPH are uncomfortable and inconvenient. There is, however, a ray of hope shining in the form of an all-natural prostate treatment known as beta sitosterol.
Beta Sitosterol: Highly Effective Against BPH
Research has shown this powerful plant extract to be highly-effective in its ability to not only improve the symptoms of BPH, such as weak urinary flow, frequent urination, a feeling of not being empty, and urgency but possibly reduce the risk of prostate cancer as well.
Highly Effective BPH Treatment
Whenever talk of a seemingly successful treatment for BPH (or any other condition for that matter) arises, it’s the proof and validity of the research and subsequent results that eventually hold weight. And not surprisingly to many people, beta sitosterol is proving its effectiveness; esp. when compared to other often-promoted prostate supplements such as Saw Palmetto and Nettle Root. In fact, beta sitosterol has been found to be over 3,000 (yes, 3,000) times more effective in reducing BPH symptoms than the afore-mentioned products.
Here are some documented, multi-study results.
In prostate studies, the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) is a well-accepted standard for calculating results. The IPSS scale is a number from 0-35 that takes into account all prostate symptoms (including quality of life) and weighs them for an overall score. And similar to golf, lower scores are better.
According to a 1993, double-blind, double-placebo European study, beta sitosterol supplementation among a group of 200 men for 6 months lowered the IPSS score by 7.4 points; which was 3.5 times greater when compared to the placebo.
Also included in this study, beta stosterol was proven to increase maximum urinary flow rate (QMAX) by 35% and reduce post-voided residual urine (PVR) by 54%. – Now to me, those are substantial findings; findings that should raise serious consideration of the strength and validity of beta sitosterol as an effective treatment for BPH.
Beta Sitosterol and Prostate Cancer
Aside from its powerful benefits for controlling BPH, beta sitosterol has been documented in highly respected studies, i.e., (Fortschitte Med., vol. 98) to inhibit the growth of prostate tumors while reducing the prostaglandins known to support tumor growth.
Although not yet completely proven to defeat prostate cancer, beta sitosterol has been found to combat the growth of prostate cancer cells by up to 25% while also increasing the programmed death cell rate (those cells most susceptible to malignancy) at a rate four times that of other supplements. Incredible!
Many of the findings regarding beta sitosterol are solid and convincing, but there is still a lot of research to be done. What we do know, however, is that beta sitosterol may very well be the next great advancement in BPH treatment and prostate cancer prevention and curtailment. I would suggest you do your own research and conclude for yourself.
Don't be silently led away.
- (Kirby RS, Christmas TJ. Benign Prostate Hyperplasia. London, England: Mosby-Year Book Europe Limited; 1993) Zahradnit, et al, in Fortschritte Med., vol. 98, p. 69-72 (1980)
- Beta-Sitosterol activates the sphingomyelin cycle and induces apoptosis in LNCaP human prostate cancer cells. Author: von Holtz RL; Fink CS; Awad AB Address: Department of Physical Therapy, Exercise, and Nutrition Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo 14214-3000, USA Source: Nutr Cancer, 32(1):8-12 1998
- Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of beta-sitosterol in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Beta-sitosterol Study Group. Author: Berges RR; Windeler J; Trampisch HJ; Senge T Address: Department of Urology, Ruhr-University, Bochum, Germany. Source: Lancet, 345(8964):1529-32 1995 Jun 17
- A multicentric, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of beta-sitosterol (phytosterol) for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. German BPH-Phyto Study group. Author: Klippel KF; Hiltl DM; Schipp B Address: Department of Urology, Allgemeines Krankenhaus Celle, Academic Hospital, Germany. Source: Br J Urol, 80(3):427-32 1997 Sep
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Isabel Rojas on January 11, 2018:
My husband was seen by the urologist a month ago and diagnosed him with prostatic cancer. He didn't give him any treatment, arwing that it was nothing to worry about.
He just want to take blood tests in three months. I am very confused, and very worry about my husband's health.
RobCharles1 on November 05, 2016:
My urologist is very opposed to supplements that have not undergone rigorous clinical trials… because you don’t know what’s really in them. I have BPH and he just put me on Alpharise health. It helps to get a better flow. It is important to be aware of our prostate health and be checking on it often! it is something important
Rob Jundt (author) from Midwest USA on May 26, 2012:
Richard,since I am not a researcher it would be hard to answer your question. What I do know from reading a lot of studies regarding BPH and sterols, all of the data remains positive.
Richard on May 23, 2012:
These studies with beta sitosterol..how much was taken to improve the prostate??
Rob Jundt (author) from Midwest USA on May 22, 2010:
Bob: Thanks for adding to the conversation.
Bob Woolmer on May 21, 2010:
Phytosterols are natural components of many vegetables and grains. Preliminary scientific research suggests that plant phytosterols may Enhance to support cholesterol wellness when consumed as part of a low cholesterol dietary program.
Prostate recommendations on March 29, 2010:
just want to add that IPSS score can be easily checked online - http://ayurstate.posterous.com/online-ipss-prostat...
thefount from North Central Louisiana on July 02, 2009:
Thank you for writing this hub. I really like God's natural cures! I didn't see anything here on side effects of Beta Sitosterol, were there any?
Peter from Australia on May 02, 2009:
Rob, very interesting info, being in the age bracket I have test done every year. Sofar sogood. I lost a brother in law last year after a long battle with PC. I would not wish what he went through on anybody.
We must work at making more of us guys aware that they should have tests.
Colin on March 09, 2009:
This is excellent,
David on February 12, 2009:
Rob, Thank you for your excellent overiew of prostate problems and the benefits to be derived from Beta-Sitosterol. I have lost a kidney to cancer, experienced two skin melanoma and was diagnosed with aggressive (gleeson score 0f 9) prostate cancer early in 2006. As a consequence I avidly research the subject though with a primary focus on natural healing.
The statistics show quite clearly that conventional medicine has little, if any, advantage over natural therapies, particularly in terms of longevity. Moreover, modern treatments, such as chemo, radiology and hormone therapy simply poison the body and destroy the immune system.
Yet another major concern is misdiagnosis such as one I had in 2000. I was given 12 months to live with lung and liver cancer after refusing surgery to remove my right lung. I just didn't believe the diagnosis. Thankfully, time proved me right and the urologist and the thoracic surgeon wrong.
Similarly, for my prostate cancer I have refused all medical options offered to me, preferring instead, to treat myself with alternative medicines based on my own research and the experiences of others who have already tread the same path.
Yes, I most certainly agree with you Rob that all men over 40 years of age MUST have regular check ups for prostate problems but would caution against being scared into rapid action when questionable results arise. Every diagnosis should be checked and cross checked using second and even third professional opinion. Moreover, if treatment is required, either for BPH or cancer, then the profound benefits of alternative treatments should be considered along with conventional treatments.
It can be the difference between living a happy, near normal life, compared to one where ones greatly dibilitated body is saturated with chemicals and its cellular structure and immune system damaged beyond repair.
Just a few thoughts in passing.
Madison Parker from California on January 25, 2009:
Prostrate cancer is a very scary thing. When my late father-in-law was diagnosed, he got immediate treatment but it was the beginning of the end for him because he wasn't any longer the "virile" man he once was and for him, he would rather have been dead. I know treatment has improved so much since then, and thank you for putting this out there so than men will be checked; it is so important.