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Can this spice support your prostate health?

Turmeric may be the latest superfood, but there’s some solid science behind its potential for prostate health.

One in three British men over the age of 50 have urinary problems, such as needing to pee more often, and an enlarged prostate is the most common cause behind these symptoms.1

There are several lifestyle changes you can make to improve your prostate health, but one of the most promising may be adding turmeric to your diet.

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What is an enlarged prostate?

Don’t panic – an enlarged prostate does not mean you have prostate cancer. It simply means an increase in the size of your prostate gland. This is called benign prostatic enlargement (BPE) or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).2 It’s not known what causes it, but hormonal changes as you age may be to blame. Being overweight or having diabetes also increases your risk of prostate problems.3 If you have an enlarged prostate, you may notice symptoms including:4
  • waking up in the night to pee
  • needing to pee more often
  • not feeling like you’ve emptied your bladder properly
  • difficulty starting or stopping when you pee

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How can turmeric help?

Turmeric is the bright yellow spice used in curries, but it is curcumin – the active compound in turmeric – that is now being gaining scientific attention, mainly for its anti-inflammatory properties.5

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Curcumin and BPH

A pilot study published in Italy’s Panminerva Medica in 2012 followed 33 patients with BPH given curcumin supplements for six months. Researchers found these men had fewer symptoms, improved urine stream and better quality of life than those in the control group.6 According to researchers from the Seoul National University College of Medicine, curcumin may also help the body naturally reduce the effect of certain compounds that lead to prostate enlargement.7 Still not convinced? A 2015 study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine concluded that curcumin both hindered the development of BPH and could be considered a ‘functional food’ to help relieve the symptoms of BPH.8
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
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Sources

1. Prostate Cancer UK. Prostate information – enlarged prostate. Available from: https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/further-help/enlarged-prostate
2. As Source 1
3. As Source 1
4. NHS Choices. Prostate problems. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-problems/
5. Medical News Today. What are the health benefits of turmeric? Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318405.php
6. Ledda A, et al. Meriva®, a lecithinized curcumin delivery system, in the control of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a pilot, product evaluation registry study. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23241931
7. Kim HJ, et al. Pathogenic role of HIF-1α in prostate hyperplasia in the presence of chronic inflammation. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22986049
8. Su Kang K, et al. Inhibitory effect of curcumin on testosterone induced benign prostatic hyperplasia rat model. Available from: https://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-015-0825-y

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