Nowadays, there’s a supplement for everything from unclogging your “toxic” fecal matter to “naturally” enhancing your sex life. Some are recognized as fleeting wellness fads that have little, if any, benefits, while others appear to be fairly respected — often despite a lack of evidence. One that seems to fall into the latter category is Prostate Ultra — a trending supplement that allegedly combats the root cause of benign prostate enlargement.
An enlarged prostate is common among men — particularly those over the age of 50 — but it’s usually not a serious threat to their health. It mostly affects how you pee, as the prostate growth can place pressure on the bladder and urethra (this might mean you find it difficult to start peeing, feel the need to go more frequently or struggle to fully empty your bladder). Scientists don’t know why someone’s prostate might suddenly become bigger — but Prostate Ultra claims it can shrink it back down when it does.
So, what’s in Prostate Ultra? According to Inter Press Service, there are at least 13 ingredients, but only four really matter: beni imo, pumpkin seed oil, zinc and saw palmetto. The rest, the publication nebulously assumes, “must be supporting components to the overall success of Prostate Ultra.” These supporting components include — but are not limited to — extracts of stinging and dwarf nettle, flower pollen, tomato and rosemary, as well as gelatin, sunflower oil and beeswax.
As for the ingredients that do matter, beni imo is a type of purple sweet potato that contains lots of beta-sitosterol — a “plant sterol” that, according to WebMD, may help to reduce cholesterol levels and, vitally, swelling in the prostate. Pumpkin seed oil allegedly promotes urinary health and heart health, and per Healthline, when combined with palmetto oil (from saw palmetto) — which is said to lower the amount of pressure on the tubes that carry urine in men — is said to improve the flow of pee in men with enlarged prostates. (There is, however, conflicting research on saw palmetto specifically, with some experts saying there’s “zero evidence it actually works” in reducing prostate size.)
Finally, zinc is a good all-arounder, helping you build your immune system and recover from wounds quicker. It’s also said to fight infection and inflammation at the same time, which is why it’s a good additional mineral for prostate enlargement. It’s worth noting that none of this is officially clinically proven.
Nevertheless, it all sounds good so far — but, when put together, what do these ingredients do? Theoretically, they work to shrink your prostate back to the walnut size it should be, and improve your ability to pee normally. Plus, according to East Bay Times, Prostate Ultra — specifically the saw palmetto and beni imo in it — also “deals with high cortisol levels,” which are colloquially known as “stress hormones.” High cortisol levels can increase estrogen levels in men, which encourages the prostate to enlarge. So, by keeping cortisol — and therefore estrogen — low, the prostate shouldn’t grow. But if it has, the main ingredients in Prostate Ultra can, per the likes of WebMD and Healthline, shrink it.
The main questions here are: Are they actually as effective as they purport to be, and do you really need them? According to Prostate Cancer U.K., “studies suggest [herbal remedies like Prostate Ultra] are unlikely to improve symptoms of a large prostate,” adding that “we need more research before herbal remedies can be recommended as a treatment.” At roughly $50 for a bottle, it’s also a fairly expensive investment for something that may or may not work.
Having said that, there’s no evidence of negative side effects, and the active ingredients in Prostate Ultra do seem to have some anecdotal benefits — so, if you’ve got a spare $50, it might be worth a try (in conjunction with proper medical advice, obviously). And if that’s too expensive or you’re not willing to take the gamble, well, I’m sure there’s a supplement for that, too.