Saw palmetto extract--The Saw palmetto in Comprehensive Prostate Formula is standardized to contain 85 to 90% fatty acids, which are the active ingredients in the Saw palmetto berry that promote prostate health. Three tablets supplies 320 mg, the daily dose used for prostate therapy in clinical studies.1
Pygeum extract--Pygeum is an evergreen tree native to the high plateaus of southern Africa. Pygeum bark contains phytosterols, beta sitosterol and other sitosterols, natural sterols that have been shown to normalize the prostate.2 Clinical trials establish 100 mg per as a highly effective dose of Pygeum extract, especially in combination with Nettle root.3
Nettle root extract--Nettle, also known as "Stinging Nettle," grows wild in forests and fields throughout North America and Europe. Nettle root has been researched in European studies and shown to benefit the prostate and urinary tract. While the specific active ingredients in Nettle for prostate support have not been positively identified, Nettle's effect on the prostate may stem from its content of polysaccharides and isolectin.4 300 mg per day is a clinically effective dose of Nettle root extract.3
Amino acids--The combination of L-alanine, glutamic acid and glycine were first used for prostate support in 1958. Two medical doctors administered the amino acids to allergy patients who reported improvement in urinary function.5
Lycopene--Tomatoes are rich in carotenes, natural pigments responsible for the rich variety of colors in fruits and vegetables. Lycopene gives the tomato fruit its red color. Recent research suggests that lycopene may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.6 (These findings, however, are strictly preliminary and await confirmation through further research.)
Minerals--The human prostate contains a high concentration of zinc, which is known to be a key mineral for prostate health.7 Selenium, an essential trace mineral, may play a role in cancer risk reduction.8,9 Recent work by Harvard University researchers showed that men with the highest levels of selenium were less likely to develop prostate cancer than those with the lowest selenium levels. Copper is added to balance zinc. When supplementing with zinc, it is advised to take a small amount of additional copper to prevent copper deficiency.
For example, in a large open trial, 505 men took 320 mg of Saw palmetto extract daily for three months.1 The results were evaluated with various measurements such as the International Prostate Symptom Score, the quality of life score, urinary flow rates, residual urinary volume, and prostate size. After 45 days these parameters improved significantly. After 90 days of treatment nearly ninety percent of both the doctors and patients regarded Saw palmetto extract as effective as therapy for the prostate.
The changes in prostate health that accompany middle age are related to the hormone DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, a metabolite of testosterone. DHT levels rise, and DHT binds to prostate cells, accelerating growth of prostate tissue. Saw palmetto extract has been shown to inhibit 5 alpha-reductase, an enzyme that controls conversion of testosterone to DHT.14 Experimental evidence suggests Saw palmetto extract blocks the binding of DHT to prostate cells.15 The fatty acids and sterols in Saw palmetto are believed to be responsible for these actions.14,16 These include oleic acid, lauric acid, campasterol, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol and others. Clinical studies have used extracts containing 85 to 90 percent fatty acids and sterols.
Like Saw palmetto, Pygeum contains natural sterols and fatty acids.2 Although the mechanisms for its effect have not been clearly established, animal experiments suggest Pygeum may work by inhibiting prostate cell proliferation and reducing inflammation.17,18 In several European trials, Pygeum has successfully improved urinary function. In a large double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 263 men were given 100 mg of Pygeum extract a day for 60 days. Urination improved in 66 percent of the men taking Pygeum, compared with 31 percent on placebo, based on subjective and objective tests.19
Nettle Root Extract
Nettles are approved by the German Commission E as effective for relieving inflammation in the urinary tract.20 As far back as 1950, German investigators have observed favorable effects on the prostate with the use of Nettle root. These initial findings have been confirmed through case studies, as well as double-blind studies, published mainly in German medical journals. In a recent double blind study published in the journal Clinical Therapeutics, 134 men took a combination of Nettle root extract and Pygeum extract over a period of 56 days.3 Urination was significantly improved.
L-Alanine, Glutamic Acid and Glycine
As noted above, Drs. Feinblatt and Gant discovered that a combination of the amino acids L-alanine, glutamic acid and glycine has a positive effect on prostate-related urinary function.5 A controlled study of 45 men was conducted to follow up on these initial observations.21 The majority of subjects experienced complete or partial relief in urinary complaints such as nighttime urination and urgency.