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Q:

Why does the prostate swell?

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This is due to age-related hormonal changes. Blood level testosterone declines, while levels of other hormones such as prolactin increases. The ultimate result is an increase in the male sex hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the prostate. An enzyme, 5-alpha reductase, converts testosterone to DHT which in turn causes BPH by stimulating the growth of prostate tissues. While drugs and surgery may become necessary for men with severe BPH, others manage BPH with herbs alone, such as saw palmetto and pumpkin seed. Studies have shown that saw palmetto relieves BPH symptoms. European researchers compared saw palmetto extract against finasteride. The researchers gave 1,098 participants either the herb (160mg twice a day) or the drug (5mg a day) for 26 weeks. After this duration, both treatments showed about the same kind of effectiveness. Finasteride decreased BPH symptoms by about 39 per cent, while saw palmetto decreased it by 37 per cent. Urine flow improved 30 per cent in those taking ... more
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