Ask the Pharmacist: Powerful strategies for men with enlarged prostate

Suzy Cohen
Hormone imbalances can lead to prostate enlargement.

The uncomfortable symptoms may occur at any age, and hormone imbalances can lead to prostate enlargement. The condition is abbreviated as BPH which stands for benign prostatic enlargement.

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Unfortunately, we’re seeing BPH and prostatitis occur younger and younger like for men in their 30s. The associated problems with prostate dysfunction include frequent nighttime urination which can disrupt sleep, urgency, painful urination and lower pelvic or rectal pain.

Testosterone or “T” is a hormone that both men and women make, and it’s broken down by two different pathways. That’s the most important part, however the break-down of testosterone is most important. A urine test can check for the metabolites and answer that question. It’s called the “Dutch Complete test” and you can ask your doctor about it or visit my website to purchase it directly, since I’m a provider.

Testosterone or “T” is produced in both men and women and is considered the libido hormone. 

T either breaks down the 5 alpha reductase or the 5 beta reductase pathway.

If it goes down the 5 alpha pathway, it turns into a potent androgen called DHT (short for dihydrotestosterone). So, you know, DHT is the type of testosterone that, in excess, is associated with male pattern baldness and BPH. In a woman, DHT is associated with PCOS, a painful condition of ovarian cysts.

Controlling the production of DHT is very important because you don’t want too much T breaking down the 5 alpha pathway. It’s androgenic. Right now, I’d like to share the 5 powerful strategies that may help you. Ask your doctor what’s right for you: 


Quercetin gives color to fruits and vegetables and supplements of this can help with prostate size and pain levels. 

Pumpkin seed oil

You can buy this as a dietary supplement (soft gel) or as an actual cold-pressed oil to use on salads and cook with. Eating pumpkin seeds are another way to garner the benefits.


Taking about 100 to 200 mcg per day could be useful.

Vitamin D

About 2500 to 5000 IU per day might be of value. There is some research to show that vitamin D levels are important for prostate health, and that it can help shrink the prostate for some men.

Saw palmetto based supplements

There are a plethora of supplements available at health food stores that have saw palmetto in them, including NOW’s brand of Prostate Support or New Chapter’s blend of Prostate 5LX. These are multi-tasking formulas which you can review for yourself or find one that feels right for you.

Taking ibuprofen or applying a hot pack can help with mild pain. It goes without saying that if you have these types of prostate-related symptoms you should see a qualified professional for a complete work-up. There are many other considerations that I can share with you in my longer version of this article.

If you sign up for my newsletter, I will send it to you by email. For example, other considerations include levels of thyroid, thyroid antibodies, insulin, leptin, zinc, blood sugar and prolactin. A head injury can cause BPH by affecting pituitary hormones.

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Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit