In the world of nutritional supplements there are some products which have extremely specific purposes. Pygeum Africanum is one of the supplements whose focus is very narrow: middle-aged men. The supplement is an extract that comes from the bark of an African tree known scientifically as prunus africana.
The tree's more common name is Red Stinkwood, due to its rather odoriferous nature. Pygeum africanum is more or less a byproduct of the timber industry in Africa. In countries like Madagascar, trees are harvested in order to make tools, furniture, and construction materials. Since the bark is not necessary for these uses it is sold to supplement makers who use it to create their pygeum africanum extract.
It is important to note that the high demand for this tree's bark has caused some instances of poachers debarking trees in the wild. This can cause permanent damage to the wood and render the tree useless for manufacturing purposes. To combat this problem, the governments of several African nations are allowing harvesting of the trees only by permit and encouraging the cultivation of the trees for medicinal purposes.
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Pygeum Africanum and BPH There are two primary uses for this substance as a nutritional supplement. The first is in treating or preventing benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as BPH. This is a condition in which the male prostate gland becomes enlarged, resulting in frequent and weak ... more
There are two primary uses for this substance as a nutritional supplement. The first is in treating or preventing benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as BPH. This is a condition in which the male prostate gland becomes enlarged, resulting in frequent and weak urination. BPH is commonly a precursor to prostate cancer.
By using this supplement to relieve the symptoms of enlargement of the the prostate gland, it can help men avoid some of the discomfort of this condition. However, WebMD does state that pygeum africanum has not been proven to reduce the size of the prostate or prevent cancer.
Pygeum africanum also seems to have a positive effect on male hair loss. It is believed that pygeum africanum prevents the body from transforming testosterone into DHT. DHT is thought to be the culprit in both baldness and prostate enlargement. Interestingly enough, DHT even causes baldness in women. Pygeum africanum has shown some initial success in restoring the body's ability to grow hair naturally.
There are other lesser known uses of pygeum africanum including boosting energy levels, increasing sexual arousal and performance, and increasing mental alertness. A limited number of studies have been undertaken regarding these uses but none have returned conclusive results. It seems that most of these additional uses show success only on an anecdotal basis.
The three most documented side effects attached to using pygeum africanum as an oral supplement are nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. If these side effects are minimal, users should be fine in continuing their use of this supplement. If side effects continue or increase in severity, users should immediately discontinue taking pygeum africanum and contact their doctors. In women this can be a sign of serious complications.
Although pygeum africanum does show promise as a treatment for enlarged prostate, it is by no means a treatment for prostate cancer. In fact, because of some of this substance's properties it can be dangerous if taken by someone suffering from prostate cancer. BPH patients who have even the slightest inclination they may be developing prostate cancer should not take this supplement under any conditions. Those already taking it should immediately inform their doctors.
Because pygeum africanum is used as an unregulated nutritional supplement rather than a medication there are no standard dosages for its use. However, two studies conducted by French researchers resulted in a suggestion of 100mg, taken once daily. Subjects were given pygeum africanum in a single 100mg dose as well as two 50 mg doses at separate points during the day.
Researchers noted that efficacy was greater when taking the single dosage. However, there are no specific dosage guidelines, combined with the reality that overdosing can cause serious medical problems. This means that you should never take this supplement without first consulting your doctor!
As a hair loss product, users should be okay after an initial consultation with their doctors. But used as a treatment for a BPH, it should be taken only under the continual supervision of a physician. Remember, this supplement is not regulated by the FDA.
As with all nutritional supplements, pygeum africanum is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific ailments. Users who choose to take this as a supplement do so at their own risk without any guarantees of its efficacy. Be careful to follow all the instructions printed on product packaging to ensure your safety.
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|Nausea And/Or Diarrhea|
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|Male Hair Loss|
|Preventing Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia|