Are you worried about your PSA levels?
If you’ve had a PSA test and your levels were higher, you may be looking for ways to reduce them.
In addition to medical treatments, there are lots of things you can do at home to help.
Keep reading to find out how to lower your PSA levels with supplements.
What is PSA?
Many of us have heard about a blood test that can help diagnose prostate cancer. That is PSA, but the explanation is a bit more complex.
So, what is PSA in medical terms? It stands for Prostate Specific Antigen. It is a protein produced in the prostate gland, even without disease.
You should normally have a low PSA number in the blood because this protein leaks into the bloodstream. But it is not meant for the bloodstream.
The real function of PSA is to prevent clots in the sperm and increase its fluidity. The presence in the bloodstream is a helpful marker of prostate health, though.
Prostate growth, as in benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer, causes an increase in the number of prostate cells. They produce more PSA, and more of it leaks into the bloodstream.
About the PSA test
The PSA test is a blood test that feels no different than any other. It measures how much PSA you have in your blood.
In contrast with other blood tests, the PSA test does not have the same normal range for all patients.
So, determining if your PSA levels are normal or not depends on how old you are and if you have any previous PSA levels to compare.
The reliability of the PSA test is not perfect, and many factors can influence the reading.
Thus, here’s a list of things to avoid prior to a PSA test (2):
- Do not have sex or ejaculate for 48 hours before the test.
- Avoid vigorous exercise activity for 48 hours.
- Inform your doctor and re-schedule your test if you have a urinary infection.
- Avoid any prostate manipulation, including prostate massages and digital rectal examination.
- After prostate biopsies, patients should wait for a minimum of 6 weeks.
Contrary to what most people think, PSA test fasting is not required. Foods that lower PSA levels are not likely to cause an immediate change that affects your diagnosis. Thus, there is no specific dietary recommendation before a PSA test.
Also, even if prostate health can be affected by your stress level, the changes are not noticeable in most cases (2).
What are normal PSA levels?
As noted, PSA is a normal protein produced by the prostate gland. The levels of this protein in the blood increase as we age. Thus, the reference range is different depending on your age. For instance:
- If you are in your 40s, the upper threshold level is 2.5 ng/mL
- If you are 50 to 59 years, PSA should not go beyond 3.5 ng/mL
- Patients aged 60 to 69 years should not exceed 4.5 ng/mL
After 70 years old, PSA screening is not recommended unless you have warning signs of aggressive prostate cancer. And still, in such cases, your doctor may advise against prostate cancer screening.
But a PSA test is much more complex than that. Your individual threshold level can change depending on your race. The interpretation is also different if you have a previous PSA test to compare.
As such, prostate cancer diagnostics does not follow a one-size-fits-all standard. It is individualized to every single patient, their risk factors, and the prevalence of the disease in their age group, ethnic group, and family (3).
What causes high PSA levels?
If your PSA levels are high, it is not necessarily due to prostate cancer. One of these problems may also be the cause (4):
Benign prostatic hyperplasia
It is the most common cause of an increase in prostate gland size. As such, it is the most common reason why PSA levels are high.
The inflammation of the prostate will also increase your PSA levels in the blood. Inflammation changes prostatic blood flow and increases the rate of PSA leakage into the bloodstream.
Urinary tract infections
Patients with urinary tract symptoms and high PSA levels may also have a bladder infection. Since the prostate is next to the bladder, the inflammation affects the gland by proximity.
On the other hand, PSA levels rising quickly are more likely due to prostate cancer cells. Prostate cancer diagnosis uses PSA density and PSA velocity to increase PSA accuracy.
In other words, your doctor will evaluate how large your prostate is and if the size corresponds to the PSA level. They will also compare previous PSA tests to see if your levels increased dramatically, which is a common feature in cancer.
When to see a doctor
Studies show that irresponsible and excessive use of PSA tests can also be harmful. Thus, a PSA test should ideally be prescribed by your doctor.
It would be a good idea to visit a doctor if you have one of these problems:
- A family history of prostate cancer, especially in your father and brothers.
- If you have prostate-related symptoms such as reduced urinary flow and nocturia.
- When you’re in the age group of adults aged 40 years old and beyond.
How to lower PSA levels with supplements
Patients with prostate cancer risk factors or very high PSA levels may require additional testing. If you are diagnosed, your doctor will provide the best prostate cancer treatment option according to your condition.
Treatment can include hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, active surveillance, and follow-up.
Prostate herbal treatment can also help as coadjutant therapy for prostate cancer.
So, how can you lower PSA levels naturally with supplements?
Step 1: Choose the proper herbal treatment
Choosing adequate prostate herbs is probably the most important way to go. For instance, saw palmetto is one of the most important on the list.
Combining it with Pygeum africanum and an antioxidant such as pomegranate is good.
Supplementation with vitamin complexes and minerals is also important. For example, vitamin C is necessary to repair damaged tissues, and zinc inhibits prostate cancer growth.
Remember that PSA is only a measure of prostate growth. So, you want to treat the problem as a whole and not only lower your blood levels of PSA (5).
Step 2: Look for the appropriate supplement blend
Now that you have a list of vitamins, minerals, and herbs backed up by research, it is also important to look for supplement blends.
This will help you save money and facilitate the process by taking one supplement instead of various daily pills.
Step 3: Speed up the process with lifestyle changes
Some dietary changes and habits will speed up your recovery. For example, quitting tobacco and eating a healthy diet are essential steps. Drinking tomato juice is also a good idea because it contains lycopene.
We also recommend exercise and training your bladder to reduce the severity of urinary symptoms (2).
Step 4: Keep up with it and do not leave your mainstream therapy
Prostate cancer usually grows slowly, and the effects of medical and herbal medicine are not immediately evident. So, you may need to give your treatment some time.
While you’re at it and after your symptoms improve, keep visiting your doctor, and do not neglect prostate cancer medical therapy.
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How long does it take to lower PSA levels?
PSA lowers gradually and depends on your prostate gland metabolism. Treatment selection and lifestyle factors also play an essential role.
In studies, patients usually take weeks of treatment before PSA levels drop. They are usually eight weeks, but the results can be seen before or after that, depending on the severity of your condition (5).
In this article, we have described how to lower PSA levels with supplements. Different herbs for prostate cancer can help you improve your symptoms.
They include Saw palmetto, Pygeum africanum, vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc. Instead of taking them independently, some supplement blends have these and more prostate cancer herbs to relieve your symptoms and reduce your PSA levels simultaneously.