Prostate Dietary Supplements: Common Ingredients, Study of Their Benefits, and Our Picks


The prostate is an important component of the male reproductive system and also plays a significant role in the urinary system. As men age, the risk of developing prostate-related diseases such as prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) greatly increases. This article introduces the ingredients of common prostate supplements on the market and relevant scientific research.

Prostate problems are common in middle-aged men

The prostate is a gland located below the bladder, surrounding the upper part of the urethra. It produces most of the fluid in semen. The prostate can primarily experience three conditions, including:

1. Acute or chronic prostatitis

The prevalence of prostate infection and inflammation is estimated to be between 11% and 16%. It can cause pain and, in severe cases, lead to sexual dysfunction and urinary problems. Some patients may also experience symptoms such as fatigue and depression. Prostatitis is the most common reason for urology visits in men under 50 years old, and middle-aged men are at higher risk for this condition. Nonbacterial prostatitis is the most common type, which may be triggered by stress and irregular sexual activity. Bacterial prostatitis, on the other hand, can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or even sexually transmitted infections.

2. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

Also known as “prostate enlargement,” BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) is a non-cancerous condition characterized by the enlargement of the prostate, often leading to lower urinary tract symptoms. As men age, the prostate can become inflamed or enlarged, causing compression of the urethra and making urination difficult. BPH is caused by hormonal changes, zinc deficiency, and vascular aging. It is closely related to age, typically appearing around the age of 40 and affecting up to 90% of men over 70. Family history, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and erectile dysfunction may increase the risk of BPH.

3. Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is a cancer that develops in the prostate gland and is the fourth leading cause of male death worldwide. In the United States, prostate cancer is the third leading cause of male death, following lung cancer and colorectal cancer. Approximately 1 in every 39 men dies from prostate cancer. Factors such as race, geographic location, family history, and genetic changes may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. Additionally, diet, smoking, and sexually transmitted infections can also impact the development of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer has a long latency period, and early stages may be asymptomatic. Many men develop the disease in their 20s or 30s, and symptoms worsen with age, peaking between 75 and 80 years old. Common symptoms of prostate diseases include:

  • Weak urine flow
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Pain in the lower back, hips, or pelvic area
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

Supplements cannot cure or resolve prostate-related problems. However, many supplements claim to help prevent or alleviate symptoms associated with prostate issues.

Are prostate supplements effective?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive conclusion regarding this question. Studies suggest that some prostate supplements may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer, while others focus on promoting prevention of other prostate diseases.

Among the various ingredients, saw palmetto, beta-sitosterol, and pygeum have received relatively extensive research. However, the FDA has not approved these ingredients as therapeutic drugs.

  • Saw palmetto extract is derived from a shrub-like palm tree native to the United States. It has been studied for its potential to reduce prostate enlargement.
  • Beta-sitosterol has been suggested to have potential benefits in alleviating symptoms associated with prostate cancer.
  • Based on limited human studies, Pygeum has shown promise in reducing inflammation related to prostatitis and inhibiting cancer cell growth.

However, although the ingredients used in prostate supplements aim to support prostate health, the research findings are often inconsistent. Special attention should be given to selenium and vitamin E—despite manufacturers promoting their efficacy in promoting prostate health, a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2011 reached the opposite conclusion: vitamin E may actually increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. [1]

Please remember that dietary supplements cannot cure or treat prostate inflammation, BPH, or prostate cancer. If you notice any potential symptoms of prostate infection or cancer, it is essential to consult with a doctor.

PalmettoGuard: Prostate Health and Overall Wellness Supplement

Life Extension, established in 1980, is a well-established health and nutrition company that manufactures and sells a variety of products for health management and disease prevention. PalmettoGuard is their prostate product line, and as the name suggests, all the products in this line contain Saw Palmetto extract. PalmettoGuard offers three formulations: Ultra Prostate Formula (comprehensive formula), Saw Palmetto & Beta-Sitosterol, and Saw Palmetto, Nettle Root & Beta-Sitosterol.

Ultra Prostate Formula is the best-selling among the three, containing over ten ingredients. However, we found that research on some of the ingredients is limited, and it also includes two patented blend ingredients, making it harder to determine their specific effects.

Our recommended formulation is Saw Palmetto, Nettle Root, and Beta-Sitosterol, which contains five active ingredients: Saw Palmetto, beta-sitosterol, nettle root extract, boron, and rosemary extract. Research on the first three ingredients is relatively more extensive and up-to-date. Although boron does not have research indicating direct preventive or therapeutic effects on prostate diseases, observational studies have shown an inverse relationship between boron intake and the risk of prostate cancer. Rosemary, besides being a natural preservative, has been suggested to possess certain anti-tumor properties.

*60 softgels; price at the time of writing; discounts available for subscription

1. Ingredient List

IngredientsAmount Per Serving
Saw Palmetto Extract160 mg
Beta-Sitosterol45 mg
Nettle Extract (root)120 mg
Boron1.5 mg
Rosemary Extract (leaf)400 mcg

2. Key Benefits

  • Supports male prostate health
  • Helps maintain normal urinary tract health
  • Promotes healthy hormone metabolism
  • Nettle root extract provides additional support for prostate and urinary tract health

3. How to Use

Take 2 softgels daily, once in the morning and once in the evening, or as directed by a healthcare professional.

PalmettoGuard products are non-GMO, gluten-free certified, and each batch of the product has an analysis certificate (COA*). The products are manufactured in NSF-certified cGMP facilities. However, it’s important to note that this supplement is not suitable for vegetarians.

Fun fact: What is a COA?

COA stands for Certificate of Analysis, an official document provided by supplement manufacturers or suppliers. This document verifies and confirms the quality and contents of the product. The specific contents of a COA may vary, but it typically includes information about the product composition, concentration of active ingredients, the presence of any impurities or contaminants, test results for each specification, information about the person responsible for the testing and their signature, and may also include details regarding the testing methods and compliance with applicable regulations and standards. The certificate serves several purposes:

  1. Provides assurance that the product contains the listed ingredients and does not contain harmful substances or contaminants.
  2. Demonstrates that the product meets the quality standards set by regulatory agencies such as the FDA.
  3. Enhances transparency and traceability of the product for consumers and other stakeholders.

When purchasing dietary supplements, especially from new or lesser-known suppliers, it is important to request a COA.

4. Scientific Research

Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto is one of the most common ingredients in prostate health supplements. In specific applications, Saw Palmetto berry extract is often used to alleviate urinary symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The exact mechanism of action is not clear, but it is widely believed that Saw Palmetto’s anti-inflammatory effects play an important role. Studies suggest that Saw Palmetto may reduce the number of estrogen and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) receptors. DHT is a hormone that may be involved in prostate growth.

Saw Palmetto
Image: Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society
  • A study involving 165 patients with BPH found that taking 160 mg of Saw Palmetto extract capsules four times a day for 12 weeks significantly improved prostate symptom scores, urine flow rates, and quality of life scores. [2] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →
  • Another early study found that men who took Saw Palmetto supplements for 3-6 months experienced improvements in urinary symptoms associated with BPH. [3] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →

However, the research results on the effectiveness of Saw Palmetto for BPH symptoms are inconsistent.

  • A 2012 study involving over 5,600 participants suggested no significant difference between Saw Palmetto and placebo in treating BPH symptoms. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health subsequently reiterated similar findings. [4] Trusted Website NCBI, US National Center for Biotechnology Information, is a trusted source of biotechnology and biomedicine information. Open the link →

It may take at least 4-6 weeks to see beneficial results from Saw Palmetto. Also, most studies have focused on individuals diagnosed with BPH or other prostate issues, and it is currently unclear whether dietary supplements can prevent urinary symptoms related to the prostate in healthy adults.

  • In vitro studies have shown that Saw Palmetto may help inhibit the proliferation and growth of prostate cancer cells, but this protective effect has not been confirmed in humans. [5] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →

Generally, Saw Palmetto is considered safe, but some individuals may experience adverse reactions. Common side effects include headache, dizziness, nausea, constipation, and allergic reactions.


Nettle root



Probiotics Prostate+: Supplement for Prostatitis and Gut Health

The unique feature of Garden of Life’s Dr. Formulated Probiotics Prostate+ is that it contains beneficial ingredients for both gut health and prostatitis: probiotics and cranberry extract.

Probiotics are beneficial gut bacteria that have been shown to be associated with various health benefits, including supporting the immune system and promoting digestive health. Imbalance of bacteria in the gut is considered another potential risk factor for prostatitis and prostate cancer. Cranberry extract contains an antioxidant called proanthocyanidins (PACs), most well-known for its application in treating urinary tract infections. Research suggests that cranberry also has health benefits in alleviating symptoms of prostatitis and potentially resisting prostate cancer.

*60 capsules; price at the time of writing

This supplement is gluten-free, non-GMO verified, and tested by NSF, a third-party testing organization. It is not suitable for vegans.

1. Ingredient List

IngredientsAmount per Serving
Probiotic Blend164 mg
Cranberry Extract500 mg
Organic Prebiotic Fiber Blend440 mg

2. Key Benefits

  • Supports lower urinary tract and normal urine flow, as well as prostate health
  • Promotes balanced digestion and a healthy immune system

3. How to Use

Adults are recommended to take 2 capsules daily, either on an empty stomach or with a meal. Capsules can be opened, and the contents can be taken directly with water or juice. This product is not intended for children.

4. Scientific Research


Probiotics, as beneficial microorganisms, are widely used to improve overall health. They can promote gut health and enhance the immune system by reducing the quantity of harmful bacteria. Some research suggests that probiotics may also have benefits for prostate health.

  • A study published in the International Urology and Nephrology journal found that taking probiotics can reduce bacterial load of Escherichia coli and Enterococcus species in urine, promoting prostate health and helping to prevent prostate swelling—one of the symptoms of prostatitis—and further prostate issues. [13] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →

The regulation of gut microbiota by probiotics and its influence on the immune system may have a positive impact on prostate health. However, the current research is not conclusive on how probiotics can be utilized to regulate chronic inflammation for preventing or treating prostate cancer.


NOW Foods Beta-Sitosterol: Supplement for BPH

According to WebMD, taking 60-130 mg of beta-sitosterol daily, divided into multiple doses, helps improve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Beta-sitosterol is a common ingredient found in prostate supplements, although the doses are generally not high. If you’re looking for a supplement that specifically focuses on beta-sitosterol, NOW Foods Beta-Sitosterol is a good choice. This supplement was originally designed to support cardiovascular health but has a simple ingredient profile.

*90 capsules; price at the time of writing

Each serving of 2 capsules contains 400 mg of beta-sitosterol, which has been shown to potentially reduce urinary symptoms associated with BPH and inhibit cancer cell growth. In addition to beta-sitosterol, NOW Foods Beta-Sitosterol also contains fish oil, which has also been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory properties. Preliminary research suggests a potential association between omega-3 in fish oil and reduced prostate cancer mortality, but more studies are needed. [17] Trusted Website NCBI, US National Center for Biotechnology Information, is a trusted source of biotechnology and biomedicine information. Open the link →

NOW Foods is a well-established family-owned health product company founded in 1968, headquartered in Illinois, USA. The brand offers thousands of high-quality and affordable products, all manufactured in CGMP registered facilities and certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent safety and quality testing company. However, a drawback is that this supplement has not undergone third-party purity and potency testing and is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

1. Ingredient List

IngredientsAmount per Serving
CardioAid®-S Plant Sterol Esters1,000 mg
(including Beta-Sitosterol 400 mg)
Fish Oil120 mg

2. Key Benefits

Beta-sitosterol may reduce urinary symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and help inhibit cancer cell growth.

3. How to Use

Take 2 capsules twice daily with meals. For adults only.

Beta-sitosterol is generally considered safe for most individuals. It has been safely used at doses as high as 20 grams per day for up to 3 months, and records exist of its use at lower doses of 130 milligrams per day for up to 18 months. It may cause some minor side effects such as nausea, indigestion, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.

Pygeum & Saw Palmetto: Supplement for Prostatitis and BPH

NOW Foods’ Pygeum and Saw Palmetto contains extracts of Saw Palmetto, African Pygeum, and Pumpkin Seed Oil. Limited in vitro and human studies suggest that African Pygeum extract may have potential benefits in treating prostatitis and protecting against cancer cell invasion. The combination of Saw Palmetto and Pumpkin Seed Oil has also been studied and shown to significantly alleviate BPH-related symptoms within 6 months. The drawbacks are the same as the previous product, as it has not undergone third-party purity and potency testing and is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

*120 softgels; price at the time of writing

1. Ingredient List

IngredientsAmount per Serving
Saw Palmetto Extract160 mg
African Pygeum Extract50 mg
Pumpkin Seed Oil Extract1,500 mg

2. Key Benefits

  • Supports healthy prostate function
  • Promotes healthy urinary function

3. Scientific Research


Scientific name: Prunus africana. African Pygeum bark extract is a common herbal ingredient in prostate health supplements. Limited in vitro and human studies suggest that African Pygeum extract may help alleviate inflammation associated with prostatitis and inhibit cancer cell growth.

African Pygeum
Image: Marco Schmidt / Wikipedia
  • A systematic review and meta-analysis of 18 studies compared the effects of African Pygeum extract to placebo on improving symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The study found that African Pygeum extract significantly improved urine flow measures. Additionally, men taking African Pygeum reported more than twice the likelihood of overall symptom improvement compared to the placebo group. [18] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →

However, it is worth noting that these studies had small sample sizes and relatively short study durations. Moreover, they only compared African Pygeum to placebo, and its effectiveness compared to standard medical interventions for BPH treatment is unclear.

Although research on African Pygeum extract is limited, it appears to be generally safe with minimal reported side effects.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

ProstateMD: Urinary and Prostate Health Supplement

Prostate Support by ProstateMD is a specialized supplement specifically designed to improve male prostate health. Its main feature is its potential to regulate urinary timing and reduce the frequency of nighttime urination. This efficacy has been positively reviewed by users on the brand’s official website, with nearly 5,000 customer reviews and an average rating of 4.6/5.0. Many reviews praise the product for improving their urinary frequency and sexual life.

The main active ingredients include Saw Palmetto, pumpkin seed oil, African Pygeum (bark), and tomato lycopene extract. The product is free from dairy, nuts, wheat, GMOs, and shellfish.

*30 capsules; price at the time of writing; discounts available with subscription

According to the manufacturer’s publicly available information, ProstateMD’s Saw Palmetto is a patented ingredient called USPlus®, which has been third-party tested to have higher nutrient content compared to regular Saw Palmetto extracts. USPlus® Saw Palmetto extract contains three times the amount of beta-carotene, ten times the amount of lutein, and 29 times the amount of zeaxanthin compared to standard Saw Palmetto extracts. The ingredients in ProstateMD have undergone clinical research supporting prostate, bladder, and urinary tract health.

The manufacturer, 1MD Nutrition, is a well-known health and nutritional supplement company founded in 2013. They are committed to providing high-quality, science-driven health products. The company offers a range of products targeting various health concerns, including heart health, bone health, digestive issues, joint health, and more. Prostate MD is one of their flagship products. All of their products are manufactured in the USA following strict quality standards, using all-natural organic ingredients without artificial additives. All ingredients undergo rigorous testing to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

1. Ingredient List

Copper (as Amino Acid Chelate and Sodium Copper Chlorophyllin)2 mg
Boron2 mg
USPlus Saw Palmetto Extract320 mg
Pumpkin Seed Oil Extract160 mg
African Pygeum Extract100 mg
Lycopene15 mg
Lutein6 mg
Monterey Pine Bark Extract45 mg
Nettle Leaf Extract45 mg
Sunflower Lecithin45 mg
Safflower Seed Oil24 mg

2. Key Benefits

  • Promotes prostate health
  • Supports urinary tract function
  • Supports prostate cell function
  • Helps maintain normal urinary frequency

3. How to Use

Adults are advised to take 1 capsule daily or as directed by a healthcare professional.

Possible side effects may include congestion and bleeding (which may occur in the nose, stomach, or gastrointestinal mucosa), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and others. These side effects are mainly associated with Saw Palmetto extract.

4. Scientific Research

Lycopene is an antioxidant that may help protect cells from damage. It is found in foods such as tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, apricots, rosehips, and guava. Lycopene is commonly used for treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, and many other conditions. Studies have found that lycopene may slightly reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.

  • A study conducted in 2014 tracked 50,182 men over a long-term period, collecting information on their dietary habits and health to investigate the relationship between lycopene and the risk of prostate cancer. The study found that consuming foods rich in lycopene, such as tomatoes, effectively reduced the risk of prostate cancer. [21] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →
  • Another study from 2008 used a randomized controlled trial design with a sample of 40 men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Half of the participants received 15 mg of lycopene daily, while the control group did not receive any lycopene. The study found that patients receiving lycopene treatment had a significantly slower progression of the disease, suggesting a therapeutic effect of lycopene on BPH. [22] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →
  • In a study conducted in the UK in 2019 with 46,000 men, it was found that those who consumed at least 10 mg of lycopene daily had an 18% reduced risk of developing prostate cancer. Researchers concluded that lycopene has a significant protective effect on prostate health. [23] Trusted Website PubMed is a data base from US National Institutes of Health. It’s a trusted source of health and medical information. Open the link →
23 references

[1]. Caroline M. Vitamin E and Prostate Cancer: Research Focus Turns to Biologic Mechanisms. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2011.

[2]. Xiao-bing J, et al. Efficacy and safety of Saw Palmetto Extract Capsules in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2015.

[3]. G S Gerber, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of saw palmetto in men with lower urinary tract symptoms. Urology. 2001.

[4]. James T, et al. Serenoa repens for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012.

[5]. W H Goldmann, et al. Saw palmetto berry extract inhibits cell growth and Cox-2 expression in prostatic cancer cells. Cell Biol Int. 2001.

[6]. Lu J, et al. The Protective Effect of Dietary Phytosterols on Cancer Risk: A Systematic Meta-Analysis. J Oncol. 2019.

[7]. H. V. Sudeep, et al. A double blind, placebo-controlled randomized comparative study on the efficacy of phytosterol-enriched and conventional saw palmetto oil in mitigating benign prostate hyperplasia and androgen deficiency. BMC Urol. 2020.

[8]. Dorota K, et al. Urtica spp.: Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary Properties. Molecules. 2018.

[9]. Mohammad R Safarinejad. Urtica dioica for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. J Herb Pharmacother. 2005.

[10]. L Konrad. Antiproliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells by a stinging nettle root (Urtica dioica) extract. Planta Med. 2000.

[11]. Muezzinoglu T, et al. Prevalence of prostate cancer in high boron-exposed population: a community-based study. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011.

[12]. Jessy M, et al. Anticancer Effects of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) Extract and Rosemary Extract Polyphenols. Nutrients. 2016.

[13]. Karen S Sfanos, et al. Prostate cancer and inflammation: the evidence. Histopathology. 2012.

[14]. A Vidlar, et al. The effectiveness of dried cranberries ( Vaccinium macrocarpon) in men with lower urinary tract symptoms. Br J Nutr. 2010.

[15]. B Déziel, et al. American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) extract affects human prostate cancer cell growth via cell cycle arrest by modulating expression of cell cycle regulators. Food Funct. 2012.

[16]. A Bonetta, et al. Enteric-coated, highly standardized cranberry extract reduces risk of UTIs and urinary symptoms during radiotherapy for prostate carcinoma. Cancer Manag Res. 2012.

[17]. M Aucoin, et al. Fish-Derived Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review. Integr Cancer Ther. 2017.

[18]. T Wilt, et al. Pygeum africanum for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002.

[19]. M Leibbrand, et al. Effects of an Oil-Free Hydroethanolic Pumpkin Seed Extract on Symptom Frequency and Severity in Men with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: A Pilot Study in Humans. J Med Food. 2019.

[20]. H Hong, et al. Effects of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil in Korean men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. Nutr Res Pract. 2009.

[21]. K Zu, et al. Dietary lycopene, angiogenesis, and prostate cancer: a prospective study in the prostate-specific antigen era. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014.

[22]. S Schwarz, et al. Lycopene inhibits disease progression in patients with benign prostate hyperplasia. J Nutr. 2008.

[23]. J L Rowles 3rd, et al. Processed and raw tomato consumption and risk of prostate cancer: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2018.

Angela Liu

Love reading, love running, love binge-watching shows, love vegetarian food.

Disclosure: We are an Amazon Associate. Some links on this website are affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission or receive a referral fee when you sign up or make a purchase through those links.

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