Lycopene Stops BPH in its Tracks
Supplementation with the carotenoid lycopene slows the growth of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men, according to a recent report. Although a benign condition, BPH is considered a risk factor for the later development of prostate cancer. Scientists enrolled 40 cancer-free men with BPH and serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels greater than 4.0 mcg/L. The men were randomized to receive 15 mg lycopene or placebo daily for six months.
Men who received lycopene experienced decreased PSA levels, while the placebo group saw no change. Prostate enlargement occurred in the placebo group, but not in the lycopene group. Symptoms of BPH improved more in the lycopene group compared with placebo.
The research is the first controlled clinical study to report that lycopene inhibits the progression of BPH. Lycopene may work by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase and interleukin-6 signaling, and its antioxidant properties may help prevent cell proliferation and remolding the prostate.
Life Extension ~ May 2008
Schwartz S, Obermuller-Jevic UC, Hellmis E, Koch W, Jacobi G, Biesalski HK. Lycopene inhibits disease progression in patients with benign prostate hyperplasia. J Nurt. 2008 Jan;138(1);49-53.
Note: Lycopene is available in most health food stores.