What is a Normal PSA Level by Age?

If you are a man, over the age of 50, you will probably have heard of the PSA test.

The PSA test is a valuable biomarker for the detection of prostate cancer, but its usefulness can be limited.

A high PSA level can cause much anxiety. But it is worth being aware that other factors such as age, prostatitis, and BPH has been shown to elevate PSA levels.

Therefore, a high PSA is not always caused by prostate cancer. Thus, it is important to make positive lifestyle changes to help improve your prostate health.

In this article will be discussing what causes PSA to spike, what you can do to lower PSA levels, and whether there is really such a thing as a ‘normal’ PSA range for men.

What is PSA screening?

PSA is a protease, a group of enzymes that break down proteins into smaller peptides or amino acids.

It is released by the prostate gland, promoting the movement of sperm. However, a small amount escapes into the bloodstream and can be used to monitor prostate activity.

Healthy men have low levels of serum PSA but they often elevate in the presence of prostate disorders, including:

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Clinical use in prostate cancer diagnosis

The measurement of serum PSA is commonly used for early detection of prostate cancer and monitoring of treatment response.

Further, in negative prostate biopsy for prostate cancer diagnosis, PSA test can determine the need for repeat biopsy. High PSA levels significantly link with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

However, serum PSA lacks clinical specificity as it can be elevated by noncancerous conditions.

The methods implemented most often include;

  • PSA velocity measures the extent of change in serum PSA over time. An increase of 0.75 ng/ml/y or more can associate with the presence of prostate cancer (Carter et al., 1992). Unfortunately, this approach is limited by time and multiple measurements.

  • PSA density measures PSA levels relative to the prostate volume. Studies show PSA density values greater than 0.10 strongly associate with prostate cancer (Nordström et al., 2018). However, reproducible calculation of prostate volume is a concern and may reduce the usefulness of this method.

  • Age-Specific PSA normal ranges use different age-specific cut-offs to interpret the results of PSA tests. However, negative biopsies can still occur even after adjusting for age, especially in men over 70 years of age (Catalona et al., 2000).

  • Percentage of free total PSA measures the ratio of the different forms of PSA. For instance, BPH associates with an elevated PSA level because BPH occurs predominantly in the inner portion of the prostate with higher PSA levels. In contrast, prostate cancer is commonly within the peripheral zone where pro-PSA is elevated.

What does a high PSA mean?

PSA levels can be affected by several factors and a rise in PSA may indicate:

  • prostate inflammation.

  • urinary infection.

  • prostate cancer.

  • recent ejaculation.

Alone, PSA levels are not good measures of prostate health. Your medical team will need to assess other risk factors. They may also perform a DRE (digital rectal exam) to make an accurate diagnosis.

Some of the factors that can cause your PSA levels to be high include;


PSA levels may increase with age and potential with age-associated BPH.


Enlarged prostate, common in older men, can increase the levels of total PSA. The effect of BPH on the bladder and urinary tract can cause inflammation infection (UTI), both of which can increase PSA levels.


Urinary tract infection may elevate your PSA levels.


Men under the age of 50 often develop prostatitis. Prostatitis-associated inflammation and prostate irritation can also increase PSA levels.

Recent ejaculation

Some men experience elevated PSA levels after ejaculation. This may persist for 24 hours.

Prostate injury and surgical procedures

An injury to the groin caused by an accident or surgical procedure may spike PSA levels. However, this can be excluded by performing a second PSA test. You should inform your doctor if you had a recent fall, impact or accident.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer often elevates your PSA levels, especially hormone-dependent prostate cancer.

However, digital rectal examination and prostate biopsy are required to make a diagnosis of prostate cancer. High PSA level likely links with prostate cancer if you have multiple known risk factors of prostate cancer.

Parathyroid hormone

This is a hormone that regulates calcium levels may raise PSA levels. Parathyroid hormone can promote prostate cancer growth, suggesting that its effect on PSA will likely relate to prostate cancer.

Does a high PSA indicate prostate cancer?

It is now established that prostate cancer causes elevated PSA levels in the blood. PSA is not a unique indicator of prostate cancer because PSA screening can be confounded by other prostate conditions.

Difficulty interpreting PSA test results increases by the common risk factors between several prostate conditions.

For instance, age does not only increase prostate cancer risk but BPH and urinary tract infection. Thus, patients may present with prostate cancer, BPH, and prostatitis simultaneously.

Both prostate cancer and BPH elevate PSA levels, while prostatitis and trauma may cause fluctuating PSA levels.

Often, levels of PSA gradually return to normal levels with immediate treatment of noncancerous prostate conditions.

What causes PSA levels to rise?

Physiologically, PSA is majorly localized in the prostate epithelial cells and the seminal fluid, but small amounts can enter the circulation.

Prostate cancer, BPH, or prostatitis cause a significant increase in blood PSA.

Prostate cancer cells can produce more PSA than healthy prostate epithelial cells.

Further, both prostate cancer and BPH increase prostate volume, which can lead to a size-dependent increase in serum PSA levels. These events promote the elevation and escape of PSA into the circulation.

What are “Normal” PSA levels by age?

The definition of physiological PSA levels remains an active debate. 2.5 ng/mL is safe. 2.6 to 4 ng/mL is safe in most men but talk with your doctor about other risk factors. 4.0 to 10.0 ng/mL is suspicious. Although this is not always the case. Men with high PSAs do not always have prostate cancer, while men with very low PSAs sometimes DO have prostate cancer. The prostate gland increases in size and produces more PSA as you get older.

Note that the American Urological Association recommends against routine PSA screening in men aged less than 54 years (Carter et al., 2013). If your PSA test result is high for your age or persistently increasing, a prostate biopsy may be recommended.

Your health care provider should consider conditions that can elevate PSA levels before recommending a prostate biopsy.

psa levels by age chart

Is there a safe PSA level?

With the numerous factors associated with PSA levels, it is difficult to determine a safe level confidently.

Some general guidelines are; 0 to 2.5 ng/ml as safe and values 4.0 ng/ml is suspicious that might require further investigations.

How to lower your PSA level

Though you cannot control all the risks factors of the discussed prostate conditions, regular physical activity, healthy diet, and natural supplements can help you maintain a healthy prostate and overall wellbeing.

Lifestyle factors also play a role in aggressive prostate cancer following a prostate cancer diagnosis.

Further, you can make positive choices to avoid the eventual radical prostate cancer treatment like such as radical prostatectomy.

Regular physical activity

Several lines of evidence suggest that regular exercise may reduce PSA levels in men. Weight gain links to the development of BPH, prostate cancer, and prostate inflammation.

Weight gain also increases the levels of estrogen, which links to poor prostate health (Prezioso et al., 2007).

Regular physical activity can help you maintain a healthy prostate and reduce the risk of prostate conditions.

Healthy diet

In addition to physical activity, lower daily calorie intake may help to reduce PSA levels. A low-fat diet rich in fruit and vegetables links to a healthy prostate.

Consume more plant-based antioxidants


Inflammation and oxidative stress play a central role in the development of several prostate conditions. Interestingly, tomatoes cooked in oil release lycopene a potent antioxidant.


Pomegranate juice/extract has proven useful in reducing the risk of several prostate conditions through its antioxidant compounds.

A phase II clinical trial involving patients with rising PSA showed, 8 oz of oral pomegranate juice significantly reduced PSA levels (Pantuck et al., 2005).

This positive effect is replicated when pomegranate extract is used in multicomponent food supplements (Paller et al., 2017).

Consider taking natural supplements

It may be challenging to get all your nutritional requirements from dietary sources.

You should talk to your doctor about using supplements to maintain healthy levels of essential nutrients. In addition to dietary sources, vitamin D (Posadzki et al., 2013) and omega-3 fatty acid supplements may help improve your prostate health.


Read our Guide to Prostate Supplements.

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Worried about your PSA levels?

If you have high PSA levels and want to learn how to naturally lower your PSA, book a free health consultation to speak with one of our expert advisors. This fifteen-minute consult gives you the opportunity to ask questions and receive tailored advice to your concerns.


When it comes to prostate cancer screening and raising awareness, PSA testing has an important role.

A raised PSA level can be a sign of a problem and a PSA blood test can help diagnose that problem.

However, while the test has its benefits, it’s also important to remember that it is not always a reliable indicator and should be followed by other tests, including a rectal exam and multiparametric MRI.

An elevated PSA level is not the cause of these prostate conditions, but only an indicator of the underlying disease. However, a low PSA level is a good indicator of a healthy prostate.

Lifestyle changes are still the most effective way to maintain a healthy prostate and lower your PSA level.

If you already have any prostate condition, you should get immediate treatment to avoid disease progression. Natural antioxidants and supplements are also useful in lowering your PSA levels and maintaining a healthy prostate.

What was your last PSA level? What are you doing about it now to get it down? Share your thoughts with us below and I’ll give you some advice!

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Find out about our leading Prostate Health Supplement: Total Health for the Prostate.


  1. Berquin, I.M., Min, Y., Wu, R., Wu, J., Perry, D., Cline, J.M., Thomas, M.J., Thornburg, T., Kulik, G., Smith, A., 2007. Modulation of prostate cancer genetic risk by omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The Journal of clinical investigation 117, 1866–1875.
  2. Carter, H.B., Albertsen, P.C., Barry, M.J., Etzioni, R., Freedland, S.J., Greene, K.L., Holmberg, L., Kantoff, P., Konety, B.R., Murad, M.H., 2013. Early detection of prostate cancer: AUA Guideline. The Journal of urology 190, 419–426.
  3. Carter, H.B., Pearson, J.D., Metter, E.J., Brant, L.J., Chan, D.W., Andres, R., Fozard, J.L., Walsh, P.C., 1992. Longitudinal evaluation of prostate-specific antigen levels in men with and without prostate disease. Jama 267, 2215–2220.
  4. Catalona, W.J., Southwick, P.C., Slawin, K.M., Partin, A.W., Brawer, M.K., Flanigan, R.C., Patel, A., Richie, J.P., Walsh, P.C., Scardino, P.T., 2000. Comparison of percent free PSA, PSA density, and age-specific PSA cutoffs for prostate cancer detection and staging. Urology 56, 255–260.
  5. Edinger, M., Koff, W., 2006. Effect of the consumption of tomato paste on plasma prostate-specific antigen levels in patients with benign prostate hyperplasia. Brazilian journal of medical and biological research 39, 1115–1119.
  6. Gann, P.H., Ma, J., Catalona, W.J., Stampfer, M.J., 2002. Strategies combining total and percent free prostate specific antigen for detecting prostate cancer: a prospective evaluation. The Journal of urology 167, 2427–2434.
  7. Giovannucci, E., 2002. A review of epidemiologic studies of tomatoes, lycopene, and prostate cancer. Experimental biology and medicine 227, 852–859.
  8. Nordström, T., Akre, O., Aly, M., Grönberg, H., Eklund, M., 2018. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) density in the diagnostic algorithm of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer and prostatic diseases 21, 57.
  9. Oesterling, J.E., Jacobsen, S.J., Cooner, W.H., 1995. The Use of Age-Specific Reference Ranges for Serum Prostate Specific Anitgen in Men 60 years Old or Older. The Journal of urology 153, 1160–1163.
  10. Paller, C.J., Pantuck, A., Carducci, M.A., 2017. A review of pomegranate in prostate cancer. Prostate cancer and prostatic diseases 20, 265.
  11. Pantuck, A.J., Leppert, J.T., Zomorodian, N., Seeram, N., Seiler, D., Liker, H., Wang, H., Elashoff, R., Heber, D., Belldegrun, A.S., 2005. 831: Phase II Study of Pomegranate Juice for Men with Rising PSA following Surgery or Radiation for Prostate Cancer. The Journal of Urology.
  12. Posadzki, P., Lee, M.S., Onakpoya, I., Lee, H.W., Ko, B.S., Ernst, E., 2013. Dietary supplements and prostate cancer: a systematic review of double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised clinical trials. Maturitas 75, 125–130.
  13. Prezioso, D., Denis, L.J., Klocker, H., Sciarra, A., Reis, M., Naber, K., Lobel, B., Pacik, D., Griffiths, K., 2007. Estrogens and aspects of prostate disease. International journal of urology 14, 1–16.
  14. Richardson, T.D., Oesterling, J.E., 1997. Age-specific reference ranges for serum prostate-specific antigen. Urologic Clinics 24, 339–351.
  15. Schwarz, S., Obermuller-Jevic, U.C., Hellmis, E., Koch, W., Jacobi, G., Biesalski, H.-K., 2008. Lycopene inhibits disease progression in patients with benign prostate hyperplasia. The Journal of nutrition 138, 49–53.

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  1. r. siedler

    The PSA test and implications of the result is a 2 edged sword. In the past I refused to have any more such testing done, and before my HoLEP operation did not have any confidence in the test as a means of a cancer diagnosis. My PSA pre op was 7, and it turned out that there was no cancer in the removed prostate tissue.

  2. ronald siedler

    Everybody: Read Dr Richard Ablin’s book The Great Prostate Hoax to learn more of what Ben
    has been saying about the less than accurate PSA test.

    • Ben's Natural Health Team

      Hi Ronald, good to hear from you and great recommendation!

  3. Dave

    I am 80 years old when can l stop taking the psa test . I have had 2 biopsy’s both l have come out clean .

    • Ben's Natural Health Team

      Hi Dave,

      There wouldn’t be any need for you to continue taking PSA tests if you have no symptoms of BPH. If you have symptoms, especially if they’re worsening over time, then I’d recommend keeping tabs on your prostate health with the PSA test and an MRI.

      In order to restore and maintain optimal prostate health so you do not need to bother with regular PSA test, you should take Total Health for the Prostate in combination with leading a healthy diet and doing regular exercise.

      If you’d like advice and guidance on natural methods for healing prostate disease then please reach out to our support team.

      📧: [email protected]
      ☎️: 888 868 3554

      Wishing you good health,
      Ben’s Natural Health Team

  4. Ctibor Skoda

    I am 85 years old man with a prostate cancer more than 30 years ago. My prostate is large and bothers me with frequent urination but otherwise I am ok. Recently, several years ago my PSA starting to rise and presently is 60. I have started to take cannabis to heal the cancer. I hope i will be successful as a number of other people. What do you think I should do?

    • Ben's Natural Health Team

      Hi there,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Pleased to hear you’ve been trying natural alternatives in order to improve your prostate health. As you age you can expect a gradual increase in your PSA level, it’s only significant spikes in the PSA that you should be weary of. I recommend consulting with your doctor on your elevated PSA and requesting an MRI to assess further. If your urinary symptoms have become more bothersome recently then it’s still possible to treat the BPH that often underlies prostate cancer. You can do this using either Total Health or Total Health Advanced, both have been formulated to shrink the prostate, lower your PSA level and alleviate urinary symptoms, they’re particularly effective when combined with a prostate-specific diet and some form of regular exercise.

      You should of course continue to monitor your PSA level and cancer with regular PSA tests and occasional MRI screenings.

      For personalized advice on how you can shrink your prostate and reduce your urinary symptoms using entirely natural methods please get in touch with a member of our support team.

      📧: [email protected]
      ☎️: 888 868 3554
      Wishing you good health,
      Ben’s Natural Health Team