Monday, 2 December 2013

Mangosteen’s Antioxidants May Help Fight Enlarged Prostate


Dubbed as one of the most common problems of older men, the enlargement of the prostate can be very troubling for most men. Though this condition is not exactly a fatal one, it causes problems in urination because the enlarged prostate presses on the urethra, thereby narrowing the passageway of urine. In the medical jargon, this condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and the prostate enlargement usually begins when men reach the age of 40.

What causes an enlarged prostate?

Unfortunately, the underlying cause as to why the prostate enlarges is unknown. As a man ages, the number of cells in his prostate also increases, thereby contributing to the growth of the prostate. Factors that are said to be involved in prostate enlargement include hormones (both male and female) and growth factors.

Some researches suggest that because of the depletion of testosterone as a man ages, the level of his estrogen increases. Estrogen enhances cell growth, which is why it contributes to the enlargement of the prostate.

Another possible reason why men’s prostate glands enlarge as they grow older is because of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a growth substance found in testosterone. Even though a man’s testosterone decreases through age, DHT levels remain high, which is the reason why DHT continues to enhance cell growth. In fact, studies show that those men who do not produce DHT do not develop BPH later on in life.

What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate?

Basically, all the symptoms of BPH have something to do with urination, since the enlarged prostate obstructs the passageway of urine. One of the most common symptoms is a weak stream when urinating, often interrupted. There is also difficulty in urination due to the obstruction in the urethra. After urinating, one will notice that there is a dribbling or leaking of the urine, and there will always be the urge to urinate, as if one was not able to empty the bladder fully. Because of the urge, a person with an enlarged prostate urinates frequently, especially during the night. In rare cases, blood may be found in the urine.

Complications can also arise because of the urinary retention in the bladder. Because the bladder cannot empty completely, the urine that is retained in the bladder can be a good breeding ground for bacteria, thereby predisposing the affected person to urinary tract infection, bladder stones, damage to the bladder or the kidneys, and even urinary incontinence.

How can an enlarged prostate be treated?

Since BPH is a condition that naturally comes with age, those people who manifest mild symptoms are not usually treated. Instead, they are just advised to urinate when they feel the urge to do so. Also, make sure that the bladder is completely emptied so as not to develop urinary retention and the complications that stem out of it.

However, there are situations that necessitate the physician’s intervention, especially if the symptoms are becoming more pronounced. Usually, physicians first observe for further changes before they prescribe any sort of treatment. For many men, their symptoms usually subside even without treatment. But for men who experience moderate symptoms, it is important for them to start taking their prescription medicines as advised by their doctors.

There are two types of drugs that are being used for treatment of prostate enlargement. The first ones are alpha-blockers, which basically relieve the symptoms but not treat the cause. They cause the prostate muscles to relax, thereby alleviating the discomfort caused by an enlarged prostate. Examples of alpha-blockers include doxazosin, terazosin, prazosin, and alfuzosin– pretty easy to remember, as they all end in –zosin.

Other commonly prescribed medications are finasteride and dutasteride, which act in shrinking the prostate. Again, this will relieve symptoms associated with urination.

These two types of drugs are usually given for men who only suffer from moderate enlargement of the prostate. They can be given in combination for better results.

How about those who suffer from severe cases of prostate enlargement? These men can undergo surgery, one of which is called the transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). This is the most commonly done procedure for men with enlarged prostates. This is a minimally invasive procedure, considering that there is no incision made. Instead, a small instrument used for scraping the core of the prostate is inserted through the urethra. The outcome of this surgery is a reduction of pressure on the urethra, thereby relieving the symptoms. For a more invasive procedure, there is the transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP).

Because of the technology today, several newer and more technologically-advanced treatments have been developed that only require anesthesia and sedation and can be done in an outgoing basis. Examples are interstitial laser coagulation, transurethral microwave thermotherapy, and transurethral needle ablation of the prostate. With regard to all these procedures, it is still best to ask the advice of your doctor.

The role of mangosteen in the treatment of prostate enlargement

Like many of the benefits of mangosteen, its ability to fight prostate enlargement can be credited to the xanthones that the fruit contains. Aside from being antibacterial, xanthones also possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help people with enlarged prostates cope with their disease.

The antibacterial ability of xanthones can help fight off the diseases that can be caused by urinary retention, since the latter is a big possibility due to the inability of urine to pass through the narrowed urethra. Moreover, the size of the prostate gland can be reduced because of the anti-inflammatory properties of xanthones in mangosteen. This is very important since the enlarged prostate is the root of many complications that can possibly arise if not treated.

Of all the forms of mangosteen, the powder form is preferred over everything else since it contains the highest concentration of mangosteen. If you compare it to its juice form, you will see that the juice form contains additives that not only reduce the nutritional content of the mangosteen supplement, but may also bring adverse effects to the body since they are not natural. Therefore, the most natural and most concentrated form would have to be the powder form. Consuming mangosteen and mangosteen supplements is the safest and most cost-efficient way in fighting prostate enlargement.

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