Ageratum conyzoides L. inhibits 5-alpha-reductase gene expression in human prostate cells and reduces symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy in otherwise healthy men in a double blind randomized placebo controlled clinical study

Biofactors. 2017 Nov;43(6):789-800. doi: 10.1002/biof.1389. Epub 2017 Oct 19.


A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial assessed the efficacy and safety of Ageratum conyzoides in treating benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). In this study, 109 men with medically diagnosed BPH, aged 41-76 years, were administered the investigational product, A. conyzoides extract at a dose of 250 mg/d or placebo, q.d. for 12 weeks. The primary outcome measures were the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), daily urinary frequency and safety evaluations. The secondary outcome measures were testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, oestradiol, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) and cortisol levels, and prostate specific antigen (PSA), lipids, blood glucose, the Aging Male's Symptom (AMS) Score and sexual function assessed by Derogatis Interview for Sexual Functioning-Self Report (DISF-SR). The effect of A. conyzoides L extract on gene expression of 5-alpha-reductase in human prostate cells was also investigated to elucidate a potential mechanism of action. The clinical study, showed a significant reduction in total IPSS score (p < 0.01) and day- and night-time urinary frequency (P < 0.01) over time after treatment with A. conyzoides. Steroid hormones, SHBG, PSA levels, lipids, and blood glucose remained within healthy reference range in both groups. There were no changes in AMS or DISF-SR in either group. Gene arrays demonstrated that A. conyzoides extract was effective in reducing the expression of mRNA coding for 5-alpha-reductase types 2 and 1 in human prostate epithelial cells. The overall results indicate that A. conyzoides may be an effective treatment for reducing symptoms of BPH in healthy men, in part, through inhibition of 5-alpha-reductase enzyme activity. © 2017 BioFactors, 43(6):789-800, 2017.

Keywords: 5-alpha-reductase; Ageratum conyzoides; aging male; benign prostatic hypertrophy; dihydrotestosterone.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / isolation & purification
  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ageratum / chemistry*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Cholestenone 5 alpha-Reductase / genetics*
  • Cholestenone 5 alpha-Reductase / metabolism
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate / blood
  • Dihydrotestosterone / blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Kallikreins / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Prostate / drug effects*
  • Prostate / metabolism
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / blood
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / genetics
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / pathology
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / genetics
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / metabolism
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urination / drug effects


  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Plant Extracts
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
  • Cholestenone 5 alpha-Reductase
  • Kallikreins
  • kallikrein-related peptidase 3, human
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Hydrocortisone