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Serenoa Repens, Lycopene and Selenium: A Triple Therapeutic Approach to Manage Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

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Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a major health concern that is likely to have an increasing impact in line with the gradual aging of the population. BPH is characterized by smooth muscle and epithelial proliferation primarily within the prostatic transition zone that can cause a variety of problems for patients, the most frequent are the lower urinary tract symptoms. BPH is thought to involve in disruption of dihydrotestosterone (DHT)-supported homeostasis between cell proliferation and cell death, and, as a result, proliferative processes predominate and apoptotic processes are inhibited. Phytotherapeutic supplements, mainly based on Saw Palmetto-derived Serenoa Repens (SeR), are numerous and used frequently. Serenoa Repens reduces inflammation and decreases in vivo the androgenic support to prostatic cell growth. Furthermore, SeR stimulates the apoptotic machinery; however, data supporting efficacy is limited, making treatment recommendations difficult. Besides SeR, selenium (Se), an essential trace element mainly functioning through selenoproteins and able to promote an optimal antioxidant/oxidant balance, and lycopene (Ly), a dietary carotenoid synthesized by plants, fruits, and microorganisms with a strong antioxidant activity, has been shown to exert beneficial effects in prostate disease. SeR is frequently associated with Ly and Se, in order to increase its therapeutic activity in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It has been shown that the Ly-Se-SeR association has a greater and enhanced antiinflammatory activity that might be of particular interest in the treatment of BPH. The Ly-Se-SeR association is also more effective than SeR alone in reducing prostate weight and hyperplasia, in augmenting the pro-apoptotic Bax and caspase-9 and blunting the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 mRNA. In addition, Ly-Se-SeR more efficiently suppresses the EGF and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) expressions in hyperplastic prostates. Therefore, SeR particularly when combined with Se and Ly may have a greater potential for the management of benign prostate hyperplasia.
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Keywords: Apoptosis; BPH; cytokines

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-04-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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