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.

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.

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

Other factors such as age, prostatitis, and BPH have been shown to elevate PSA levels.

However, a low PSA level is a good indicator of a healthy prostate.

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

What is a PSA Test?

PSA is a protease, which is 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.

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

Healthy men have low levels of serum PSA, but they are often elevated in the presence of prostate disorders, including an increased risk of prostate cancer.

If your prostate biopsy was negative for prostate cancer, a PSA test can determine if there is a need for a repeat biopsy. 

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.

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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 so your medical team will need to assess other risk factors.

They may also perform a DRE (digital rectal exam) and/or a multiparametric MRI  in order to make an accurate diagnosis.

PSA is not a unique indicator of prostate cancer because PSA screenings can be confounded by other prostate conditions.

For instance, age does not only increase prostate cancer risk but can also increase risk of 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.

Causes of High PSA Levels

Age

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

BPH

An enlarged prostate, which is common in older men, can increase the levels of total PSA due to the effect of BPH on the bladder.

UTI

Urinary tract infections may elevate your PSA levels.

Prostatitis

Men under the age of 50 often develop prostatitis. Prostatitis-associated inflammation and prostate irritation can 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. 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 and may raise PSA levels because parathyroid hormone can promote prostate cancer growth.

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 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.

If your PSA test result is high for your age or persistently increasing, your doctor may recommend a prostate biopsy.

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

Learn more about normal PSA levels based on age and race.

How to Naturally Lower Your PSA Level

Though you cannot control all of the risk factors of the discussed prostate conditions, lifestyle changes are still the most effective way to maintain a healthy prostate and naturally lower PSA levels.

This includes regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and natural supplements (including vitamin d and omega-3 fatty acid supplements). All of these may help improve your prostate health and can help you maintain an overall well-being.

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

Regular Physical Activity

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

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).

Healthy Diet

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

Consume More Plant-Based Antioxidants

Tomatoes

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

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

A randomized clinical trial of a polyphenol-rich multicomponent food supplement that included a 31.25% pomegranate extract found a significant slowing of PSA increase in the food supplement arm vs placebo in men on active surveillance and those experiencing biochemical recurrence (BCR).

Consider Taking a Prostate Health Supplement

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

If that is the case, you should talk to your doctor about using a prostate health supplement.

Learn more about how our prostate health supplement can help get you to a normal PSA level.

Read our Guide to Prostate Supplements.

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Clinical trials and meta-studies show the active ingredients in Total Health have a positive impact on prostate volume, improve lower urinary tract symptoms, and decrease the risk of acute urinary retention.

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Worried About Your PSA Levels?

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

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

Sources

  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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7 Comments

  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

 
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