This study was to investigate the role of complementary and alternative medicine in the prevention and treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. For this purpose, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed over 12 months on 47 benign prostatic hyperplasia patients with average age of 53.3 years and international prostate symptom score over 8. Subjects received either sweet potato starch (group A, placebo, 320 mg/day), pumpkin seed oil (group B, 320 mg/day), saw palmetto oil (group C, 320 mg/day) or pumpkin seed oil plus saw palmetto oil (group D, each 320 mg/day). International prostate symptom score, quality of life, serum prostate specific antigen, prostate volume and maximal urinary flow rate were measured. In groups B, C and D, the international prostate symptom score were reduced by 3 months. Quality of life score was improved after 6 months in group D, while those of groups B and C were improved after 3 months, compared to the baseline value. Serum prostate specific antigen was reduced only in group D after 3 months, but no difference was observed in prostate volume in all treatment groups. Maximal urinary flow rate were gradually improved in groups B and C, with statistical significance after 6 months in group B and after 12 months in group C. None of the parameters were significantly improved by combined treatment with pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil. From these results, it is suggested that administrations of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil are clinically safe and may be effective as complementary and alternative medicine treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Keywords: International prostate symptom score; Symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia; pumpkin seed oil; saw palmetto oil.