Monday, 29 July 2013

Phytotherapy of benign prostate syndrome and prostate cancer: better than placebo

Phytotherapy of benign prostate syndrome and prostate cancer: better than placebo.
Urologe A. 2012 Dec;51(12):1674-82
Authors: Wehrberger C, Dreikorn K, Schmitz-Dräger BJ, Oelke M, Madersbacher S
In some countries plant extracts have belonged to the most popular drugs for the treatment of the benign prostatic syndrome (BPS) for decades; however, only few of the large number of published studies meet the criteria of the WHO benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) consensus conference. The few placebo-controlled long-term (study period >6 months) studies suggest a positive effect of some extracts (saw palmetto fruit, β-sitosterol, urtica, rye grass and a saw palmetto/urtica combination) on lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), urinary flow rate, post-void residual volume but effects on prostate volume or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) were only inconsistently demonstrable.
To date no study has proven an effect on disease progression, such as acute urinary retention or need for surgical interventions. Due to the controversial data various extraction techniques and compositions of various products, neither American, European, British nor German BPH guidelines recommend plant extracts for the indication BPS although some placebo-controlled trials provided encouraging data. Further prospective studies according to WHO standards are required to determine the role of plant extracts for the management of BPS. For the indication of prostate cancer (PCa) plant extracts have been evaluated for disease prevention and management of several tumor stages but none of these studies have provided convincing evidence that plant extracts are superior to placebo and none of the Pica guidelines have recommended their use.Based on current knowledge plant extracts can never supplement evidence-based PCa management and should be used only in addition to the standard treatment. There is no scientific evidence for the use of dietary supplementation with high doses of vitamins or selenium-containing products.
PMID: 23160605 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]