August 23, 2019

Scientific Findings on Effect of Nettle on Men's Health


As men age, the cells of their prostate gland often overgrow that it is called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). The prostate gland swells and thus obstructs the bladder opening.

Prostate enlargement occurs in about 50% of the male population by the age of 60 years, and more than 90% of the men at age 80 years and older. These percentages of men affected are so high that the matter should be a public health concern. (1)

 

Stinging nettle has a number of health benefits, many of which involve supporting the health of the prostate. Stinging nettle may support proper urinary function while encouraging the reduction of prostate size. Stinging nettle provides this support by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, an androgen hormone that promotes benign prostate hyperplasia and other male issues associated with aging. (2)

 

The important fact is that these plants have the common substance, beta-sitosterol. The efficacy of beta-sitosterol as a therapy for BPH has been shown. (1)

 

IN 2013 a study was conducted to assess the efficacy of Stinging Nettle in patients with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and the results were published in Iran Red Crescent Medical Journal.  

In this randomized double-blind clinical trial, 100 BPH patients were bound to having certain criteria to be included in the study; for example, they had to be between 40 to 80 years with no specific complications such as acute urinary retention, renal infection or renal failure.

After the patients were examined by urologists and their cases of BPH were approved, they were included in the study. One group was given nettle and other group placebo (two capsules of 300mg each, 2 times a day) similarly and consistently for a period of 8 weeks. 71.2 percent had no family history, and 27.2 percent were smokers. After two months, patients were assessed in terms of clinical symptoms of BPH. The results from comparison of averages of AUA scale showed that significant difference in case group (the group on nettle) before and after using the medicine, but no statistically significant difference was observed in control group (the group on placebo). No side effects were reported by the patients in the end of the study. (3)

Also in 2000, a study was done to evaluate anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells by a stinging nettle root (Urtica dioica) extract. The results were published in Planta Medica.

In this study the activity of a 20 % methanolic extract of stinging nettle roots (Urtica dioica L., Urticaceae) on the proliferative activity of human prostatic epithelial (LNCaP) and stromal (hPCPs) cells was evaluated.

A concentration-dependent and significant anti-proliferative effect of the extract was observed only on LNCaP cells during 7 days, whereas stromal cell growth remained unaltered.

 

The inhibition was time-dependent with the maximum of growth reduction (30 %) at a concentration of 6 mg/ml on day 5 compared to the untreated control. On day 4 and 6, the reduction in proliferation of LNCaP cells showed the minimal effective dose at 9 mg/ml. No cytotoxic effect of ME-20 on cell proliferation was observed. The anti-proliferative effect of ME-20 of stinging nettle roots observed both in an in vivo model and in an in vitro system clearly indicates a biologically relevant effect of compounds present in the extract.

The results obtained with the in vivo BPH mouse model and the observations in the present study using an in vitro approach with prostate cancer and stromal cell lines clearly showed a specific reduction in the proliferation of the epithelial cells by the 20 % methanolic extract. Based on these observations, researchers conclude that the reduced prostate growth is partly due to a specific inhibition of epithelial cell proliferation. (4)

 

The consumption of stinging nettles for relief of enlarged prostate symptoms is endorsed in a study. That this traditional medical practice can be basically free, makes it an attractive recommendation. It is suggested that anyone taking medication for BPH without experiencing side effects, should continue their prescription medicines. Others should take their natural supplements for BPH. The leaves of the stinging nettles could be used as an additional natural supplement. (1)

 

 

 

 

 

1- V.Wong, K. (2016). Stinging Nettles for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Other Health Benefits. EC Nutrition 5.5 ,1228-1231. Retrieved from https://www.ecronicon.com/ecnu/pdf/ECNU-05-0000168.pdf

2- F.Group, E. (2014, 28 October). 7 Herbs for Men’s Sexual Health. Wake up world. Retrieved from https://wakeup-world.com/2014/10/28/7-herbs-for-mens-health/

3- Ghorbanibirgani, A.,  Khalili, A., & Zamani, L. (2013). The Efficacy of Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica) in Patients with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: A Randomized Double-Blind Study in 100 Patients. Iran Red Crescent Medical Journal, 15(1), 9–10. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3589769/

4- Konrad, L., Müller, H.H., Lenz, C., Laubinger, H., Aumüller, G., & Lichius, JJ. (2000). Antiproliferative Effect on Human Prostate Cancer Cells by a Stinging Nettle Root (Urtica dioica) Extract. Planta Medica, 66(1), 44-7. Retrieved from https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/s-2000-11117

 



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