What is BPH?
BPH stands for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. What it means is that the prostate gland is enlarged and or inflamed but that it’s not cancerous. BPH affects a large proportion on men. In fact 85 per cent of men over 50 years of age have the problem to some degree. Aside from age there are other factors that can make a man more prone to suffering from BPH. Having an inflammatory condition, or metabolic syndrome, and being overweight, can all increase a man’s risk of having BPH.
How is quality of life affected?
BPH can be extremely painful, and it can seriously affect a man’s quality of life. The enlarged prostate gland often presses on the surrounding area, especially the urethra and bladder, making urination difficult and painful. Some patients need to urinate more frequently and have to get up several times in the night to empty the bladder. Other people can find it difficult to urinate and urine builds up in the bladder, causing abdominal pain. Urinary tract infections are more frequent in men with BPH and can lead to urinary stones as well as blood in the urine.
How do they decide how bad BPH is?
The IPSS (International Prostate Symptom Score) is a standard questionnaire that is used to assess how bad the BPH is, and how it affects a person’s quality of life. The patient answers a series of related to how often they have to urinate, pain and quality of life. See the IPSS questionnaire.
What research has been done using Bee Pollen?
Bee pollen is a traditional remedy for prostate problems. Bee pollen is believed to work through a combined anti-inflammatory effect and an anti-androgenic effect (reduces effects of testosterone). In a 1993 study, 90 patients were given pollen extract for 6 months and at the end of the study, 36% of patients were cured of their symptoms and 42% saw a reduction of their symptoms.
In 2006 another study was carried out using a different source of pollen. The study was more rigorous in that it was a double blind randomized placebo controlled study. Results showed that the treatment group had greater improvement compared to the placebo control group.
In July 2014 a lab based study was carried out using pollen from rape. Results showed that the pollen decreased prostate size and testosterone levels, as well as other related biochemical parameters, when compared to controls.
Why is Royal Jelly different?
In a new study published this week, scientists have being studying the benefits of Royal Jelly as a treatment for BPH. Royal Jelly is a substance that bees produce specifically for the queens in a hive. The queens grow much larger than the other bees and are the only females that are fertile. Traditionally royal jelly has been used to increase longevity and stamina, and as a booster of the immune system. Although evidence is lacking on the traditional uses, a 2011 study showed that royal jelly had the potential as a treatment for periodontal disease. In 2007 a study showed that royal jelly improved lipid metabolism in humans. An older study, in 2001 showed that royal jelly reduced fatigue after exercise.
What were the results of the new Royal Jelly Study?
In the study, 40 men were given 38mg of royal jelly per day for 3 months. Patients filled out the IPSS at the start of the study, after one month and at the end of the study. Levels of the Prostate Specific Antigen were also measured, as well as the size of the prostate, and the amount of urine left in the bladder after urinating, (post void residual, PVR). The results were compared to traditional herbal, and conventional treatments for BPH. At the end of the study, even though the Royal Jelly did not reduce the prostate volume, nor lower the PVR, it substantially reduced the levels of Prostate Specific antigen. The improvement in quality of life was as equal to that in studies using herbal medicine or conventional medicine, and there were no side effects for the Royal Jelly Treatment.
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