Some supplements target your prostate, and many of these formulas might be able to reduce your risk of developing certain conditions. Prostate problems can prevent proper urination, impact the libido, and more.
Prostate supplements regularly make use of a number of popular prostate-boosting natural ingredients and superfoods. Saw palmetto is the most popular prostate supplement ingredient, for example, because some evidence shows that it might relieve inflammation and other prostate ailments.
From saw palmetto to other supplements and ingredients, we’re evaluating the best prostate supplements of 2020. Our focus is on finding the best and most science-backed prostate supplements anyone can buy today from Amazon and other major retailers. Use our guide to help you start your research into the best prostate supplements on the market.
Ranking the Top 20 Best Prostate Supplements in 2020
Here’s how our editorial team ranked the best prostate supplements of 2020. You should know that this product ranking list is subjective, and our opinions might not express your own preferences and priorities when it comes to prostate health and prostate supplements. These products are ranked in no particular order.
- 1 Ranking the Top 20 Best Prostate Supplements in 2020
- 1.1 Prostate 911
- 1.2 VitalFlow Prostate Support
- 1.3 VigRX Prostate Support
- 1.4 NOW Supplements Clinical Strength Prostate Health
- 1.5 Havasu Nutrition Saw Palmetto Extra Strength
- 1.6 Life Extension Ultra Natural Prostate
- 1.7 Real Health The Prostate Formula
- 1.8 New Vitality Super Beta Prostate
- 1.9 New Chapter Supercritical Prostate 5LX
- 1.10 TruNature Prostate Plus Health Complex
- 1.11 Zahler ProstAid+
- 1.12 Nature’s Life Prostate Maintain 600 Plus
- 1.13 ProstaGenix
- 1.14 GNC Mega Men Prostate & Virility
- 1.15 LES Labs Prostate Health
- 1.16 Force Factor Prostate
- 1.17 DrFormulas Super Prostate Supplement
- 1.18 Irwin Naturals Prosta-Strong
- 1.19 Doctor’s Best Comprehensive Prostate Formula
- 1.20 The Vitamin Shoppe Saw Palmetto Standardized Extract
- 2 How We Ranked the Best Men's Prostate Health Products
- 3 Who Should Take a Prostate Supplement?
- 4 Benefits of Prostate Supplements
- 5 Prostate Supplement Dosage
- 6 Side Effects of Prostate Supplements
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions About Prostate Supplements
- 7.1 Q: How do prostate supplements work?
- 7.2 Q: What’s in a prostate supplement?
- 7.3 Q: Can you take a prostate supplement for hair loss?
- 7.4 Q: Can prostate supplements raise testosterone?
- 7.5 Q: Can prostate supplements reduce your risk of prostate cancer?
- 7.6 Q: What is BPH?
- 7.7 Q: When do prostate problems start?
- 7.8 Q: Do prostate problems cause frequent urination?
- 7.9 Q: What are the symptoms of BPH?
- 7.10 Q: Do prostate supplements really work?
- 7.11 Q: What does saw palmetto extract do?
- 7.12 Q: How much saw palmetto extract should you take?
- 7.13 Q: Does zinc impact prostate health?
- 7.14 Q: Do pumpkin seeds help the prostate?
- 7.15 Q: How common is prostate cancer?
- 7.16 Q: How do I prevent prostate cancer?
- 7.17 Q: What are symptoms of prostate cancer?
- 7.18 Q: How big is the prostate?
- 7.19 Q: Where is the prostate located?
- 7.20 Q: What is a gland?
- 7.21 Q: What does the prostate gland do?
- 7.22 Q: Can prostate problems occur in men in their 30s?
- 7.23 Q: Does an enlarged prostate mean prostate cancer?
- 7.24 Q: What can go wrong with your prostate?
- 7.25 Q: Is prostate inflammation (prostatitis) caused by bacteria?
- 7.26 Q: How does a doctor detect an enlarged prostate?
- 7.27 Q: When should you seek treatment for BPH?
- 7.28 Q: What are the long term risks of BPH?
- 8 Final Thoughts
Prostate 911 by Phytage Labs is a men's health formula that supports urinary health and healthy prostate function made with all natural ingredients in fully-optimized dosages. Prostate 911 offers a synergistic blend of maximum strength herbal ingredients led by saw palmetto berries, pygeum, uva ursi, pumpkin seed, nettle root, shiitake/reishi/maitake mushroom extracts, broccoli leaf, cat's claw bark, green tea leaf, graviola, red raspberry and plant sterol complex. It also adds in vitamins and minerals in the form of vitamin E and vitamin B6, as well as zinc, copper and selenium.
While Phytage Labs Prostate 911 has never undergone clinical studies, the individual ingredients found in the men's prostate formula have been shown to add a 350%+ improvement in treating symptoms of all kinds in aging men. From reducing irritation and boosting comfort, to helping sleep, energy and even improving men's sexual performance and drive, Prostate is at the top of the charts when it comes to a researched formula, proven effectiveness and company transparency that gives super-antioxidants for men's health aid.
Price: $69 for 1 month supply, as low as $39.95 if ordering bulk pricing discount
VitalFlow Prostate Support
VitalFlow Prostate support is a very popular men's health supplement that is trending in 2020 due to its compelling story and doctor-formulated ingredients list. Designed to be used in conjunction with a simple 60-second trick at breakfast to save the prostate's function and utility, VitalFlow's robust ingredients help reduce urination frequency, cutting down on trips to the bathroom by reducing inflammation and bladder issues naturally.
The urinary support blend from VitalFlow is made to address an enlarged prostate and enlarged urethra that can have dramatic influences on hyperactive bladder problems and infections. Using a five step process of a) fast penetration stage, b) massive DHT built-up flushing, c) blood purification stage, d) sex-drive activator and e) stream rejuvenation, VitalFlow aims to strengthen the bladder, maintain normal prostate size and decrease nightly urination to add restore deep sleep benefits too.
Price: $69 per 1 month supply, as low as $49 with bulk purchase options available
VigRX Prostate Support
VigRX is a supplement that supports the needs of the prostate to keep this area of the body healthy age the use ages. It can only be purchased online, through consumers have their choice of up to a six-month supply at checkout. Millions of men have suffered through prostate disease and prostate-related issues through time, which becomes more common with age. These issues can make incontinence a constant concern, as men struggle to prevent leakage and to maintain a healthy stream while urinating. In fact, this problem can become so intense that the sufferer is unable to even sleep through the night without constant trips to the bathroom.
To help with this concern, VigRX can be taken daily to get support from natural ingredients like saw palmetto, stinging nettle, and pygeum. All of these substances have been linked to improved urine flow and better sleep at night, as well as an increase ability to actually empty the bladder fully. VigRX can only be found on the official website, which has several different packages to cater to the short-term and long-term needs of users.
VigRX is meant for any man over age 50 that wants to improve their prostate health and have greater control over their bladder. The formula is not a replacement for medication, though it improves the overall climate in the body. This formula comes with a 67-day return policy. Consumers that continue to struggle with these issues should speak with a doctor as soon as possible.
Price: $49.95 per 1 month supply, as low as $34.99 for bulk price option discount
NOW Supplements Clinical Strength Prostate Health
NOW Foods makes a popular prostate supplement called Clinical Strength Prostate Health. The supplement claims to support your prostate with saw palmetto, beta sitosterol, and lycopene, all of which are popular ingredients found in many other prostate supplements on this list.
With 180 softgels (60 servings) in each bottle, NOW’s Prostate Health supplement isn’t the cheapest on this list. However, it provides strong, science-backed ingredients from a reputable company that has been family owned and operated in the United States since 1968.
Price: $32 (60 Servings)
Havasu Nutrition Saw Palmetto Extra Strength
Havasu Nutrition has risen in popularity in recent months, fuelled by high-quality supplements with strong ingredients and competitive prices. The Havasu Nutrition Saw Palmetto supplement is no exception. The supplement contains 500mg of a saw palmetto blend in each capsule, including saw palmetto berry powder and saw palmetto berry extract with 45% fatty acids.
Havasu Nutrition claims their supplement supports DHT blocking and hair loss prevention. There are 100 servings (100 capsules) in each bottle, with a bottle priced at just $19, making this one of the most value-packed prostate supplements on our list.
It’s also the current #1 best seller in Amazon’s saw palmetto supplement category. And, with 3,800+ reviews and an average rating of 4.4/5, the Havasu Nutrition Saw Palmetto Extra Strength supplement is one of the top-rated supplements on our list.
Price: $19 (100 Servings)
Life Extension Ultra Natural Prostate
Life Extension describes their Ultra Natural Prostate supplement as “comprehensive support for aging prostate glands”. Priced at $21 for 30 servings, it’s not the cheapest supplement on this list. However, it contains more ingredients than many competing supplements.
Each two softgel serving contains 320mg of saw palmetto extract, 240mg of stinging and dwarf nettle extract, 200mg of pumpkin oil seed, 180mg of beta-sitosterol, and a handful of other ingredients that could support prostate health. If you believe that herbal extracts can reduce symptoms of prostate problems, then Life Extension’s Ultra Natural Prostate may be the right supplement for you.
Price: $21 (30 Servings)
Real Health The Prostate Formula
Real Health’s The Prostate Formula claims to support normal prostate function, reduce urinary urges, and work as a complete prostate supplement. To achieve these benefits, The Prostate Formula contains a blend of herbs, vitamins, amino acids, and zinc.
Key ingredients in The Prostate Formula include whole herb extract, pumpkin seed, lycopene, resveratrol, and selenium. The supplement transparently lists all dosages and ingredients, making it easy to see how The Prostate Formula compares with other supplements. In addition to featuring a wide range of ingredients, The Prostate Formula contains strong dosages, including 320mg of saw palmetto extract, 270mg of ginger root powder, and 100% of your Daily Value of zinc in each three tablet serving.
Price: $26 (90 Servings)
New Vitality Super Beta Prostate
New Vitality’s Super Beta Prostate is a nutritional supplement that claims to support healthy prostate function. Key ingredients include 250mg of beta-sitosterol and 20mcg of vitamin D3 (100% of your Daily Value). There’s also significant amounts of boron, silica, copper, zinc, selenium, and other nutrients.
New Vitality claims that by taking two caplets daily (one in the morning and one at night), you can reduce the urge to urinate and achieve better bladder emptying, among other prostate-related benefits. At $30 for 30 servings, New Vitality’s Super Beta Prostate is one of the priciest options on this list, which is surprising because the doses are comparable with many mid-range prostate supplements.
Price: $30 (30 Servings)
New Chapter Supercritical Prostate 5LX
New Chapter’s Supercritical Prostate 5LX is a holistic prostate support supplement that claims to support normal urine flow and prostate health. Key ingredients include saw palmetto extract, selenium, pumpkin seed oil, and nettle.
New Chapter lists all dosage and ingredient information on the label, making it easy to compare Supercritical Prostate 5LX with competing formulas. Each serving contains 320mg of saw palmetto extract, similar to most other prostate supplements listed here. It’s available from Amazon in 60, 120, and 180 capsule packages.
Price: $38 (60 Servings)
TruNature Prostate Plus Health Complex
TruNature’s Prostate Plus Health Complex uses zinc, lycopene, and pumpkin seed to address prostate issues. Each bottle contains 250 softgels (250 servings), with 320mg of saw palmetto extract, 320mg of pumpkin seed oil, and 300mcg of lycopene in each serving. There’s also 100% of your Daily Value of zinc and 79% of your DV of selenium, making this one of the most-value-packed supplements on this list.
TruNature’s Prostate Plus Health Complex also contains an ingredient we don’t see in all other formulas: cranberry. There’s 50mg of Cran-Max cranberry extract in each softgel. At this price-per-serving, you won’t find better value or dosages.
Price: $41 (250 Servings)
Zahler’s ProstAid+ is a prostate health supplement for men that claims to support urinary health and support prostate health and function. Key ingredients include pine trunk, Norway spruce, selenium, and lycopene.
Each two softgel serving contains 100% of your Daily Value of zinc, 364% of your DV of selenium, and 100mg of pine trunk sterols, among other ingredients. Unlike virtually very other prostate supplement here, ProstAid+ does not contain saw palmetto extract, focusing instead on vitamins and minerals.
Price: $25 (30 Servings)
Nature’s Life Prostate Maintain 600 Plus
Nature’s Life Prostate Maintain 600 Plus is a nutritional supplement that claims to use traditional herbs and nutrients to support prostate health. Each bottle contains 250 vegetarian capsules with L-glutamic acid, L-alanine, glycine, saw palmetto, pumpkin seed, pygeum bark (from the African plum tree), and other herbal and plant extracts.
With 125 servings in each bottle, Nature’s Life Prostate Maintain 600 Plus is one of the most value-packed prostate supplements on this list. It also contains 50% of your DV of copper, 100% of your DV of zinc, and 25% of your DV of vitamin B6.
Price: $25 (125 Servings)
ProstaGenix is heavily marketed online and on TV as a treatment for multiple prostate issues. The supplement’s manufacturer makes a big deal out of the fact that it was “featured on Larry King” in a “famous investigation”, for example. In reality, it appears the company just paid Larry King to advertise the supplement on his show.
Awkward marketing aside, ProstaGenix claims to be “the ultimate multiphase prostate formula that every man should take”. Key ingredients include vitamin D3, zinc, selenium, copper, and chromium (ProstaGenix contains 100% of your DV of each ingredient). The formula also includes 1,050mg of BetaRexin, 300mg of a polyphenol support matrix, and 10mg of silicon, among other ingredients.
Overall, ProstaGenix has similar ingredients to any other formula on this list, although it’s priced significantly higher at $44 for 30 servings (90 capsules).
Price: $44 (30 Servings)
GNC Mega Men Prostate & Virility
GNC makes a popular prostate supplement called Prostate & Virility. It’s sold online through Amazon and through any GNC store. The supplement contains vitamin D3, saw palmetto, pygeum, and lycopene to support prostate health.
GNC claims their Mega Men supplement is clinically studied and supports sexual health, colon health, prostate health, and your immune system. The supplement also uses timed release capsules to release vital nutrients gradually instead of all at once. There are 90 caplets (30 servings) in each bottle of Mega Men.
Price: $19 (30 Servings)
LES Labs Prostate Health
LES Labs Prostate Health is a nutritional supplement that uses saw palmetto, nettle root, and pygeum to address bladder discomfort, urinary tract health, and other issues. The supplement comes with a 60 day money back guarantee.
Each single capsule serving contains 100% of your DV of zinc, 250mg of saw palmetto extract, 75mg of pygeum extract, and 75mg of beta-sitosterol, among other ingredients. Those are lower dosages than most other prostate supplements listed here, although LES Labs still seems to use proven ingredients. It also has ingredients we don’t see in other formulas, including 25mg of turmeric root extract to act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Price: $30 (60 Servings)
Force Factor Prostate
Force Factor’s Prostate claims to use an “exclusive flow enhancement complex” made from African plum tree extract (pygeum extract) to address prostate problems and urinary issues. Priced at $22 for 30 servings, the supplement claims to offer round-the-clock support to men with prostate issues.
Force Factor Prostate contains 100% of your DV of zinc, 145% of your DV of selenium, 333% of your DV of copper, 130% of your DV of manganese, and 178% of your DV of molybdenum. There’s also 322mg of a “Prostate Size Support Matrix” and 475mg of the “Flow Enhancement Complex” in each two softgel capsule serving.
Price: $22 (30 Servings)
DrFormulas Super Prostate Supplement
DrFormulas makes a prostate supplement creatively called Super Prostate Supplement. The formula contains pumpkin seed, beta-sitosterol, and other nutrients to support prostate health. Each bottle contains 90 capsules (30 servings). The formula has strong doses per serving, including 356mg of saw palmetto extract, 320mg of pumpkin seed oil, and 450mg of a phytosterol complex, among other ingredients.
DrFormulas lists all ingredients and dosages on its packaging, making it easy to compare Super Prostate Supplement to scientific studies and competing formulas.
Price: $20 (30 Servings)
Irwin Naturals Prosta-Strong
Irwin Naturals Prosta-Strong is a prostate and urinary flow supplement that uses saw palmetto, lycopene, and pumpkin seed extract to support prostate health. The formula combines herbs, essential nutrients, and “superfoods” like saw palmetto berries and pumpkin seeds.
Irwin Naturals claims that by taking their Prosta-Strong supplement daily, you can support the prostate gland, flood your body with antioxidants, and give your body the omega-3 fatty acids it needs to maintain good function.
Irwin Naturals also makes a “Prosta-Strong Red”, which uses the same base formula but adds ingredients to boost nitric oxide and improve blood flow. It’s a popular dual-action supplement sold through Amazon.
Price: $40 (45 Servings)
Doctor’s Best Comprehensive Prostate Formula
Doctor’s Best has a prostate supplement called Comprehensive Prostate Formula available with 120 or 240 capsules. The formula claims to promote optimal prostate health and wellness using ingredients like selenium.
Each four capsule serving of Comprehensive Prostate Formula contains 800mg of CardioAid plant sterols, 640mg of saw palmetto extract, and 250% of your DV of vitamin D3, along with high doses of many other nutrients and herbs. At this price, you’re unlikely to find stronger dosages.
Price: $18 (30 Servings)
The Vitamin Shoppe Saw Palmetto Standardized Extract
The Vitamin Shoppe’s prostate supplement is a no-nonsense formula with one active ingredient: saw palmetto extract. There’s 160mg of saw palmetto extract in each single softgel serving, which is about half the dose of other prostate supplements here (they typically contain 320mg per serving).
Each bottle of the supplement contains 300 softgels (300 servings), making this one of the most budget-friendly options on this list. If you prefer straight saw palmetto extract with no added ingredients, then The Vitamin Shoppe’s Saw Palmetto Standardized Extract may be the right choice for you.
Price: $35 (300 Servings)
How We Ranked the Best Men's Prostate Health Products
All prostate supplements make similar promises: they all claim to support prostate health in various ways. To separate good and bad supplements, we used the following factors:
Ingredients: Some prostate supplements contain dozens of ingredients, including proven and unproven ingredients. Other supplements contain more proven ingredients, including beta-sitosterol, pygeum, rye grass, and saw palmetto extract.
Dosage: Some supplements contained the right ingredients but the wrong dosages. A typical saw palmetto extract contains about 320mg of saw palmetto per serving.
Active Ingredient Concentration: Two prostate supplements might contain the same ingredients and dosages – but have vastly different effects. We analyzed the concentration of active ingredients in the formula.
Advertised Health Benefits: Most supplements are careful with advertising health benefits. They simply claim to “support prostate function”, for example. Other supplements are bolder, claiming to boost prostate health or treat certain conditions. Supplements cannot claim to treat or prevent a disease, and we preferred supplements with honest health benefits advertised.
Price & Value: Some people want to buy the cheapest prostate supplements. Others want a high-end supplement. Most people want a mid-range supplement that offers good value and efficacy at a reasonable price. We featured a range of supplements to accommodate all budgets.
Manufacturer Reputation: Some manufacturers have been making supplements since the 1960s. Other manufacturers are brand new. We weren’t biased based on age, but we did emphasize manufacturers with a strong reputation for quality over those with minimal reputation.
Transparency: We prefer supplements with transparent dosage and ingredient labeling. It allows us to compare supplements to clinical trials and to competing supplements. Most prostate supplements above listed all ingredients and dosages on the label, although some used proprietary formulas to obfuscate certain information.
Who Should Take a Prostate Supplement?
Men concerned about their prostate health may take a prostate supplement.
A man’s prostate gets larger with age. It’s called benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH. It’s usually not a serious or life-threatening condition, although it can lead to problems with urinating – like frequent urination and improper bladder emptying. BPH is particularly common in men age 50 and older.
Most men have no significant symptoms of BPH, or they have symptoms that don’t bother them. Some men with BPH, however, deliver more serious symptoms that impact quality of life. They might need to get up several times throughout the night to urinate, for example, leaving them tired and groggy the next day. Frequent urination can impact movies, sports games, and other activities where it’s difficult to find a restroom.
Symptoms of BPH can be similar to symptoms of prostate cancer, which is why it’s important to see a doctor for more serious symptoms.
Some men take drugs to manage prostate issues. Others take supplements. Generally, you should see a doctor before taking anything to treat prostate issues. It could be the first sign of a more serious prostate issue – like prostate cancer. No prostate supplement in the world treats prostate cancer.
Some men take a prostate supplement because they believe they’re at a higher risk of prostate cancer or other prostate conditions. There may be a family history of prostate issues, for example, or certain lifestyle factors that increase the risk.
Other men take a prostate supplement for sexual health reasons. Saw palmetto is a popular natural testosterone support ingredient. The prostate is closely tied to sexual health, and many prostate supplements can support sexual health and virility – especially in older men.
Some people even take prostate supplements to prevent hair loss. Saw palmetto extract has been linked to DHT blocking, for example, and could prevent hair loss.
Others take prostate supplements because they’ve noticed early symptoms of prostate issues. If you have to urinate frequently, for example, or need to get up and pee regularly in the middle of the night, then you might consider taking a prostate supplement.
Prostate supplement ingredients like saw palmetto extract have also been shown to raise low sperm counts in certain studies.
Other studies have linked saw palmetto extract to relief from migraines, pelvic pain, and other issues.
We’ll talk more about the science of prostate supplements below.
Benefits of Prostate Supplements
Prostate supplements contain several ingredients that purportedly support prostate health. Some of these ingredients are backed by significant scientific evidence, while others have limited proof they work as advertised.
Many prostate supplements use saw palmetto extract as their active ingredient. As WebMD explains, “saw palmetto is commonly used in Europe and the United States as a treatment for enlarged prostate”.
Some studies have reinforced the idea that saw palmetto extract can reduce prostate size and reduce symptoms of prostate issues, although other studies have been less positive.
Most studies on saw palmetto extract use a dosage of 320mg per day, split into two equal dosages. You take one dose in the morning and a second dose in the evening to support prostate health. Some saw palmetto extract supplements are tinctures (like liquid formulas) while others are capsules.
There are no food sources of saw palmetto. You can only get saw palmetto through a saw palmetto supplement.
One study involving 85 men over age 45 found that treatment with 160mg of saw palmetto twice daily reduced lower urinary tract symptoms, increased urine flow, and improved overall quality of life after six months. The prostate supplements above all contains a similar dose (320mg per serving).
A 2012 Cochrane review of 32 randomized controlled trials involving 5,666 men with BPH found that saw palmetto extract provided no significant improvement in urinary flow measures or prostate size in men with lower urinary trac symptoms consistent with BPH. Researchers in this study analyzed some of the best evidence to date on saw palmetto extract and found little evidence supporting its advertised benefits.
A 2011 double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial involving 369 older men found similarly disappointing results. Researchers gave men up to three times the standard daily dose of saw palmetto extract (320mg) and found no reduction in urinary symptoms associated with BPH more than a placebo.
This 2014 randomized trial of 225 men with BPH compared popular prostate supplement ingredients like saw palmetto, lycopene, and selenium. Researchers concluded that a combination of saw palmetto, lycopene, selenium, and tamsulosin is more effective than single therapies in improving International Prostate Symptom Score and increasing maximum urinary flow rate. Researchers found that after six months of treatment, this combination therapy significantly improved symptom scores. After 6 to 12 months, researchers noticed continued significant improvements.
A 2018 phase IV, non-inferiority, open-label clinical trial of 404 participants found that treatment with saw palmetto, selenium, and lycopene was equal to 5mg of tadalafil for improving International Prostate Symptom Score and maximum urinary flow rate in men with symptoms of BPH. In other words, the combination of saw palmetto, selenium, and lycopene was equally as effective as a traditional BPH drug.
Studies also found that saw palmetto was well-tolerated by most users. Common reported side effects included upset stomach and digestive discomfort. There were no reported interactions with medications.
Some people take saw palmetto for other benefits. Saw palmetto could be used to balance hormone levels and prevent hair loss, for example.
One review study found that saw palmetto extract blocked the activity of 5-alpha reductase (5α-R), the enzyme that converts testosterone into a hair loss hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Saw palmetto also reduced the uptake of DHT in hair follicles, blocking hair loss in two ways.
Some studies have found that saw palmetto actually improves hair growth. In this study, 60% of men with male pattern baldness between ages 23 and 64 improved hair growth after taking saw palmetto extract. A similar study found that 62 adults applying saw palmetto topically (directly to the scalp and hair) increased hair density by 35%.
Saw palmetto also contains antioxidants like epicatechin and methyl gallate. Antioxidants reduce oxidation and inflammation throughout the body, protecting against chronic disease. Some research has shown that saw palmetto has anti-inflammatory properties, which could make it an effective treatment for certain conditions. There’s limited research showing anti-inflammatory benefits in humans. However, this study in obese rats with BPH found that saw palmetto extract decreased inflammation and improved antioxidant status.
Many prostate supplements also contain beta-sitosterol, a natural chemical linked to various health benefits. Phytosterols are found in all plant foods. Today, you can buy beta-sitosterol supplements that flood your body with a large amount of phytosterols, which could be linked with health benefits.
The University of Michigan explains that beta-sitosterol “is said to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of some cancers” while also relieving symptoms of BPH, although they caution that “how beta-sitosterol works is not known”.
Researchers reviewed available evidence on beta-sitosterol and found that men taking it had fewer symptoms than men taking a placebo, suggesting that beta-sitosterol might work as advertised to combat prostate issues.
Research has also shown that beta-sitosterol could reduce cholesterol levels. Some studies have also shown a link between beta-sitosterol and a reduced risk of cancer. However, more research needs to be done.
Many prostate supplements contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, watermelons, grapefruit and other red or pink fruits. In fact, lycopene gives these foods their characteristic color.
Studies have linked lycopene with certain health benefits. Lycopene is an antioxidant in the carotenoid family. Like other antioxidants, it protects your body from free radical damage and oxidation, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases. This study published in Nutrients in 2014 found that lycopene’s antioxidant properties kept free radicals in balance. Other studies on lycopene have shown it can protect against certain types of cancer, promote heart health, and protect against sunburn, among other benefits.
Many prostate supplements above contain 100% of your recommended Daily Value (DV) of zinc. Can zinc really impact prostate health? Evidence is mixed.
One review study published in 2005 found that 80mg of zinc per day did not significantly increase the risk of prostate cancer in most patients. A follow-up report from Harvard Health in 2006 found that “moderate amounts of supplementary zinc don’t appear to influence the risk of prostate cancer one way or the other, but the prolonged use of large doses may do more harm than good”.
Why the focus on zinc? The concentration of zinc in the prostate is higher than that of any other soft tissue in the body. Zinc is a crucial component required for DNA synthesis, immune function, and antioxidant activity. It’s clear that zinc has some effect on the prostate – although more research needs to be done to determine whether the effect is positive or negative.
Many prostate supplements also contain vitamin D3. Some studies have shown that vitamin D3 can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. One study involving 132 men with a mean age of 65.5 years found that vitamin D3 led to a significant reduction of prostate cancer.
Meanwhile, a review study in 2018 analyzed available evidence on vitamin D and prostate cancer and concluded that “Vitamin D signaling is a plausible target for the treatment of established cancers”.
African plum tree extract (Pygeum africanum) is another popular prostate supplement ingredient. Studies have shown that pygeum could reduce your risk of BPH and prostate cancer. In this review study in 2002, researchers analyzed all available evidence on the substance, checking 18 randomized controlled trials involving 1562 men. Based on all of this evidence, researchers concluded that, “A standardized preparation of Pygeum africanum may be a useful treatment option for men with lower urinary symptoms consistent with benign prostatic hyperplasia.”
Finally, many of the prostate supplements above contain pumpkin seed. There’s evidence that pumpkin seeds impact prostate health – mostly because they’re rich in zinc. This study published in 2015 gave 1,431 men between ages 50 and 80 either 500mg of pumpkin seed extract or a placebo. Researchers found that there was a “clinically relevant reduction” in International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) symptoms compared with a placebo.
Prostate Supplement Dosage
Prostate supplements contain different ingredients, so there’s no fixed recommended dosage for prostate supplements. We recommend following the recommended serving size on your prostate supplement.
Most studies on saw palmetto have used dosages of 160mg twice per day (320mg total). Some of the best-rated prostate supplements above use an identical dose.
Studies on pumpkin seed typically use a dose of around 500mg per day.
The recommended daily value (DV) of zinc is 15mg, although some supplements use a slightly lower daily value.
Overall, the ingredients in prostate supplements vary widely in terms of quality, purity, potency, and concentration of active compounds, which is why it’s important to follow the recommended dosage instructions on the label.
Side Effects of Prostate Supplements
Prostate supplements contain ingredients that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS). As long as you follow the recommended dosage, it’s unlikely you will experience any side effects from prostate supplements.
In this 2012 review of 32 saw palmetto extract studies involving 5,666 men, researchers noticed no major reports of side effects. Some men reported mild side effects like digestive discomfort.
There’s evidence that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take saw palmetto, as it could impact hormone levels.
Similarly, anyone following hormone replacement therapy or taking hormonal contraceptives may not want to take saw palmetto extract. There’s limited research analyzing the hormone-altering effects of saw palmetto on those following alternative hormone treatments.
Finally, there’s some evidence that saw palmetto interferes with blood thinners like warfarin, increasing the risk of bleeding.
Beta-sitosterol is generally recognized as safe, and studies have found few symptoms linked to beta-sitosterol.
Other ingredients in prostate supplements, including pumpkin seeds, vitamin D, zinc, and others have few reported side effects when used by healthy adults at normal, recommended dosages.
You should talk to your doctor before taking any supplement – including a prostate supplement.
Frequently Asked Questions About Prostate Supplements
The prostate supplement industry has been the target of a number of misinformation campaigns throughout its history. This section will work to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about prostate supplements.
Q: How do prostate supplements work?
A: Prostate supplements work in various ways to support prostate health. Some supplements help maintain good hormone levels, for example, which is associated with normal prostate function. Others flood your body with antioxidants, reducing inflammation throughout the body. Read the label on your prostate supplement to figure out how it works.
Q: What’s in a prostate supplement?
A: Prostate supplements contain vitamins, minerals, herbs, plant extracts, and other compounds linked with various health benefits. Ingredient lists can vary widely across the prostate supplement market, so be sure to check the ingredients on each product you choose to try to verify its formula.
Q: Can you take a prostate supplement for hair loss?
A: Some people take prostate supplements for hair loss. Saw palmetto extract has shown some evidence it can treat hair loss in certain patients (taken both orally and topically). However, the scientific community is still debating whether or not prostate supplements like saw palmetto extract actually help to improve hair presence.
Q: Can prostate supplements raise testosterone?
A: There’s some evidence that prostate supplements raise testosterone. Ingredients like zinc, for example, play a crucial role in the body’s production of testosterone, and men with zinc deficiency tend to have low levels of testosterone. Some natural testosterone boosters also contain saw palmetto extract and other ingredients.
Q: Can prostate supplements reduce your risk of prostate cancer?
A: Supplements cannot claim to treat or prevent any disease. There’s some evidence that certain ingredients in prostate supplements could reduce the risk, although more research needs to be done to make any definitive claims. Generally, we recommend that anyone who is at-risk for prostate cancer should contact their doctor.
Q: What is BPH?
A: BPH is Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, a condition where a man’s prostate becomes larger with age. This prostate enlargement can cause urinary problems, erectile dysfunction, and more.
Q: When do prostate problems start?
A: Prostate problems primarily affect men age 50 and older. However, younger consumers can easily develop prostate problems as well, so supplements for prostate health can help nearly anyone.
Q: Do prostate problems cause frequent urination?
A: Yes. An enlarged prostate can affect urination. It makes it difficult to fully empty the bladder, for example, which might cause you to urinate more frequently than you normally would. We advise that you contact your doctor if you experience frequent urination as a result of enlarged prostate.
Q: What are the symptoms of BPH?
A: Symptoms of BPH (an enlarged prostate) include painful urination, weak urine streams, an urgent need to pee, frequent urination, and more. If you experience frequent urination problems, it might be necessary to contact a physician for more information. You might be suffering from BPH.
Q: Do prostate supplements really work?
A: There’s some evidence that the ingredients in prostate supplements work as advertised, although few prostate supplements have been individually verified to work.
Q: What does saw palmetto extract do?
A: Saw palmetto extract has shown some evidence of impacting prostate function, although its mechanisms are not fully understood. Saw palmetto extract may help manage normal hormone levels. It may also flood your body with antioxidants, creating an anti-inflammatory effect.
Q: How much saw palmetto extract should you take?
A: The typical saw palmetto extract dosage is 160mg per serving, taken twice per day (320mg per day total). Dosage requirements may vary, however, so consult the information found on your product's label.
Q: Does zinc impact prostate health?
A: There’s some evidence that zinc impacts prostate health. No other soft tissue in your body has a higher concentration of zinc than the prostate. However, more research is necessary before we can definitively conclude that zinc is an effective solution for any serious prostate problem.
Q: Do pumpkin seeds help the prostate?
A: There’s some evidence that pumpkin seeds help the prostate because they’re rich in zinc, although more research is needed.
Q: How common is prostate cancer?
A: Approximately 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Men of African descent are a higher risk, with approximately 1 in 7 affected by prostate cancer.
Q: How do I prevent prostate cancer?
A: Doctors recommend losing weight, limiting fat from red meat and dairy products, and eating more fish to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. You should also avoid smoking and alcohol, emphasize healthy fats, and seek treatment for stress, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and depression. All of these things can reduce the risk of prostate cancer and improve survivability after getting prostate cancer.
Q: What are symptoms of prostate cancer?
A: Symptoms of prostate cancer or other prostate issues can include a painful or burning sensation during urination or ejaculation, frequent urination – especially at night, difficulty stopping or starting urination, sudden erectile dysfunction, and blood in urine or semen.
Q: How big is the prostate?
A: The prostate is about the size of a walnut, although it can swell significantly if you have one of several prostate conditions.
Q: Where is the prostate located?
A: The prostate lies below the bladder (which stores urine) and surrounds the urethra (which carries urine from the bladder). When the prostate is inflamed, it can put pressure on the urethra and create problems with the urinary process for men.
Q: What is a gland?
A: There are two medical definitions for a gland. Some glands, like the prostate gland, are a group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. Other glands, like the lymph gland are a group of cells that removes materials from circulation.
Q: What does the prostate gland do?
A: The prostate gland makes fluid that nourishes sperm. It also squeezes fluid into the urethra as sperm move through during sexual climax. This fluid energizes the sperm and makes the vaginal canal less acidic. The prostate has other functions, although scientists do not know all of the prostate functions.
Q: Can prostate problems occur in men in their 30s?
A: Prostate problems are common in men 50 years of age and older. BPH usually begins in a man’s 30s, although symptoms become noticeable after age 50.
Q: Does an enlarged prostate mean prostate cancer?
A: An enlarged prostate cancer (like BPH) is completely benign. It’s not a precursor to prostate cancer. There are other prostate problems, including acute and chronic prostatitis, that have nothing to do with cancer.
Q: What can go wrong with your prostate?
A: Three main conditions can affect your prostate: prostate enlargement, inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis), and prostate cancer. The third is the most serious and requires immediate medical attention, but all three conditions can have severe implications on your quality of life.
Q: Is prostate inflammation (prostatitis) caused by bacteria?
A: Yes, prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) is an acute bacterial infection of the prostate caused by the same bacteria that cause bladder infections (like E. coli). This infection may be acquired as a sexually transmitted disease, although it can also spread to the prostate via the bloodstream.
Q: How does a doctor detect an enlarged prostate?
A: A doctor detects an enlarged prostate via a rectal exam. The doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum and feels the part of the prostate next to the rectum, giving the doctor a general feel on the size and condition of the gland. The medical term for this check up is a digital rectal examination (DRE).
Q: When should you seek treatment for BPH?
A: You should seek treatment for your enlarged prostate (BPH) if it’s affecting your quality of life, like if you’re losing sleep because you need to wake up multiple times a night to urinate. Consider speaking with your doctor or a urologist. Additionally, if you experience any symptoms of prostate cancer, immediately contact a physician.
Q: What are the long term risks of BPH?
A: If left untreated, BPH can progress and cause medical problems. When the bladder does not empty completely, it increases the risk of developing urinary tract infections. It may also increase the risk of bladder stones, incontinence, and other issues. In rare cases, BPH leads to kidney or bladder damage.
Prostate supplements target prostate issues using herbs, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. There’s some evidence supporting ingredients like saw palmetto extract and zinc, although some herbal extracts may not be as effective.
Whether experiencing prostate issues, seeking to improve testosterone levels, or searching for other prostate benefits, a prostate supplement may be the right choice for you.