Prostate supplements work to shrink the size of the prostate, a part of the male reproductive system that has a tendency to increase in size as men get older.
This increase in prostate size can cause embarrassing problems like frequent urination, leaking of urine, and a weak urinary stream.
A range of medical treatments exist to shrink the prostate, but could supplements help too? Our research team dug into the science to come up with the best supplements on the market for older men with prostate problems.
1. VitaBalance Prostate Plus
Why live with uncomfortable symptoms of aging if you don’t have to?
Men, if you’re dealing with urination issues and weight gain, VitaBalance Prostate Plus could be the simple solution you’ve been looking for. And wives, if your husband won’t admit he’s having problems, Prostate Plus is your best bet for helping him feel great again.
The herbal extracts in this powerful supplement are designed to get the prostate in peak health, so you won’t suffer the embarrassing side effects of an aging prostate.
Saw palmetto has been recognized for its support of the prostate for centuries. Add to it a wide range of supplements — including Vitamins B6 and E, green tea, cat’s claw, nettle, and more—and you should be able to stop those nighttime trips to the bathroom and start urinating with ease.
It’s the simple things, right?
The all-around top prostate supplement winner of 2020.
2. Prostate Support + By Nuzena
Nuzena is a new, premium supplement line famous for its potent concentrations.
Nuzena’s Prostate Support + formula is packed with ingredients associated with increasing urinary flow and support to relieve bladder discomfort — issues that are all too common with an inflamed prostate.
It’s great to see researched backed ingredients included such as Saw Palmetto, which has been widely studied for its benefits in relation to prostate health.
You’ll also find a solid dose of vitamins and minerals included too with the likes of Vitamin B6 and Zinc making up a good portion of the formula.
Easily a top 3 option for the best prostate supplement.
3. New Vitality Super Beta Prostate
Super Beta Prostate uses a two-pronged approach to shrinking your prostate and improving urinary function. The first is making sure you don’t have any deficiencies in trace minerals like molybdenum, copper, or manganese.
The second is using a high dosage of phytosterols, including their active ingredient, beta sitosterol, a proven supplement for prostate health.
It doesn’t have the wide range of herbal extracts you’ll find in VitaBalance Prostate Plus (above), but for many men, trace minerals and beta sitosterol are enough to improve their prostate function and health.
Thanks to its high-quality ingredients and strong reviews, it’s a smart choice.
4. Alpha Rise Ultimate Prostate Support
Alpha Rise packs a powerful herbal punch with the flagship prostate-shrinking ingredients, saw palmetto and pumpkin seed.
These are supported by less-common supplements like gravel root powder and juniper berry. It’s also got supplements to support sexual health, like zinc and pygeum africanum—for many men, prostate problems and sexual dysfunction go hand-in-hand as they get older.
5. UltaLife UltaMan Advanced Prostate
Ultalife UltaMan has a solid dose of saw palmetto, beta sitosterol, and the trace elements zinc, copper, and selenium, which gives it a very good chance at improving your prostate health.
It’s also got a wider base of herbal supplements, from antioxidants and superfoods to emerging supplements for prostate health, like stinging nettle.
If you want to go with the most proven supplements, but hedge your bets a bit with other potentially useful herbal extracts, UltaLife is the way to go.
6. LES Labs Prostate Health
LES Labs is laser-focused on only the most effective prostate supplement ingredients, but they are all delivered at fairly solid dosages.
You’ll get zinc and copper for trace elements (no selenium, unfortunately), and saw palmetto, stinging nettle, beta sitosterol, and pumpkin seed for the herbal ingredients—all proven prostate supplements.
7. Eternal Zen Prostate Complete
Eternal Zen is unique in that it has a very high dose of the most proven ingredients, but also includes a lengthy list of additional herbal extracts that may or may not contribute to prostate health.
Whether or not this is an advantage to you depends on the kind of supplementation strategy you prefer: if you just want proven ingredients and want to avoid any potential adverse effects from extra ingredients, look elsewhere. But if you want any ingredient or herbal extract that could possibly help, Eternal Zen is a good place to start.
8. Now Clinical Strength Prostate Health
Now offers a pretty boilerplate prostate health supplement that provides the mineral benefits of zinc and selenium alongside the herbal extracts saw palmetto, beta-sitosterol, stinging nettle, and pumpkin seed oil.
Several of these have solid evidence behind their use for prostate health, and while the dosage isn’t anything special, it’s a reliable way to get an array of potentially helpful aids for urinary issues.
9. Teraputics Pure Life Prostate Pro
Prostate Pro takes a shotgun approach to prostate health: if there’s any indication that an herbal supplement or extract might be useful for prostate health, it’s in this supplement.
You’ve got the mainstays like saw palmetto and beta sitosterol, but there are also things you won’t find in pretty much anything else on the market, like cat’s claw bark, reishi mushroom, and green tea extract.
The inclusion of these other herbal extracts brings down the dosage of some of the better-studied ingredients, but Prostate Pro might be a good option if you’ve tried more mainstream prostate supplements without success.
10. New Chapter Prostate 5LX
New Chapter has a prostate supplement that provides a more focused dosage of a small number of proven ingredients
The only trace element present is selenium, but there’s a bit more variety with the herbal supplements. It’s an okay choice, but it would be nice to see a broader variety of trace elements included to shore up any potential deficits, which are common among older men.
11. Arazo Nutrition Prostate Support
Arazo Nutrition goes heavy on antioxidant ingredients to cut down on systemic inflammation in this prostate supplement.
It uses a blend vaguely reminiscent of a superfood supplement, with tomato extract, broccoli, green tea, and red raspberry among its ingredients.
It does include saw palmetto and beta sitosterol, two well-studied prostate health supplements, but the dosage isn’t great. It’s a decent choice if you think inflammation is largely to blame for your prostate issues, however.
12. Teraherbs Prostate 3X
Teraherbs Prostate 3X is very different from other prostate supplements. While it does include beta sitosterol, it makes use of herbal ingredients and supplements you don’t see elsewhere, like pine pollen extract.
These, the company claims, provide both natural testosterone and DHEA, a precursor to testosterone. While this might help with sexual function, it could actually worsen prostate problems, since high levels of a particular form of testosterone is linked to increased prostate size.
Who should buy a prostate supplement?
Prostate supplements are specially formulated for older men who are having problems associated with their prostate, like poor urinary flow and frequent nighttime urination.
These problems become far more common among men who are over age 50, though they aren’t unheard of in younger men too. Still, older men are affected by far the most. Medication like Flomax and other so-called alpha blockers are commonly prescribed for benign prostate hyperplasia, but research on prostate supplements suggests that, in some cases, supplements like saw palmetto or beta sitosterol can be effective too.
If you are considering a prostate supplement, you should talk with your doctor about the potential benefits of using a supplement in addition to or instead of a prescription medication.
With any supplementation regimen, it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor about potential prescription medication interactions and possible side effects, both from a supplement or from a medication. If the side effects from prescription medication for prostate problems is causing problems, you’re a good candidate to talk to your doctor about whether a prostate supplement would be a good alternative.
How we ranked
Prostate issues are a pretty heavily studied area in medical research, and as a result, there are quite a bit of studies into the potential prostate health benefits of a wide range of supplemental ingredients.
These studies were the basis of our rankings: we compared the ingredients in a wide range of prostate supplements on the market to a master list of compounds that have demonstrated utility in treating prostate issues in older men.
This master list included plant extracts like saw palmetto and beta sitosterol, as well as trace minerals like zinc and selenium. We immediately excluded from consideration any supplement that did not have any of these potentially active ingredients.
Of those remaining supplements that did have at least one active ingredient that’s been proven to have prostate activity, we checked to see how well the doses of these ingredients corresponded to the doses that have been used in clinical research (if available).
Supplements that more closely matched the protocols used in successful scientific research were rated more highly than those that had doses that didn’t quite line up.
Although there was less rigorous evidence for ingredients like zinc or selenium, we looked for supplements that provided around 100% of your recommended daily intake for these minerals—too much less than that and it’s unlikely that the supplement would make much of a difference.
We also applied our usual criteria for purity and clean supplement design. Companies that used independent third-party purity testing or followed good manufacturing practices scored better than those that did not, and supplements that had too many unnecessary binders, fillers, and stabilizers got cut.
The remaining products, ranked according to quality, made up our final list of the best prostate supplements on the market.
Prostate supplements can help with one of the most inconvenient and embarrassing problems that men face when they get older. An enlarged prostate, which causes problems with urination, is the most common cause of urinary problems in older men.
Men with an enlarged prostate find themselves urinating often, unable to empty their bladder, and waking up often at night to go to the bathroom.
While there are prescription drugs that can help with an enlarged prostate, there’s a large body of emerging scientific research that suggests that prostate supplements can help too. Here’s what we know about the science of prostate supplements.
Saw Palmetto can help shrink your prostate and improve urinary symptoms. Saw Palmetto is an herbal extract that’s been consistently found useful in clinical trials investigating its effect on prostate function.
One such study was published in 2000 in the Journal of Urology by researchers at the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine (1).
In this study, 44 men with an enlarged prostate received either a saw palmetto supplement (318 mg per day) or a placebo pill.
The researchers tracked the prostate symptoms and function of the men over the course of six months. The results showed that the supplement was associated with a decrease in the size of the epithelium in the prostate, an area of the gland that is associated with the urinary symptoms caused by prostate enlargement.
The group that received the prostate supplement had slightly better improvements in urinary function, though these results did not reach statistical significance, perhaps due to the small sample size.
Many studies have found that saw palmetto directly improves urinary symptoms. Though the UCLA study did not find a direct benefit to saw palmetto in terms of symptom improvement, many other studies have.
A scientific paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association pooled the results of 18 different studies, with a total number of participants exceeding 2,000 men with an enlarged prostate—termed benign prostatic hyperplasia in the medical literature (2).
After analyzing the pooled results, the researchers found that saw palmetto resulted in better urinary relief compared to placebo, and similar results to finasteride, the standard pharmaceutical treatment.
Prostate supplements have fewer side effects than prescription medication. The same meta-analysis found that prostate supplements containing saw palmetto compared favorably to finasteride, the standard pharmaceutical treatment.
While the symptomatic relief was similar in both the prostate supplements and the prescription medication, side effects were less common with a supplement.
The effect was particularly notable for erectile dysfunction: prostate supplements were about five times less likely to be associated with this side effect compared to finasteride.
Beta sitosterol has powerful prostate-shrinking effects. Beta sitosterol is a steroid-like compound that is synthesized by plants, and it appears to have powerful effects on enlarged prostates.
A clinical trial conducted by researchers in Germany followed a group of men randomly selected to receive either a beta sitosterol supplement or a placebo for six months (3).
After six months of follow-up, the researchers reviewed the results and determined that the beta sitosterol supplement was effective at reducing symptoms compared to a placebo. The researchers then followed a subset of these subjects for another twelve months.
They then “unblinded” the study participants, giving those on the placebo the opportunity to switch to the beta sitosterol group. Those who did experienced the same improvement in urinary symptoms as those in the first phase of the study, and those who ceased taking the supplement experienced a slight worsening in symptoms.
Trace minerals can also help shrink the size of your prostate and improve urinary symptoms. While you may not pay much attention to the amount of minerals like zinc or selenium in your diet, they may play a role in benign prostatic hyperplasia.
This suggest that zinc deficiency, which is rather common among older men, might be related to prostate problems. The same may be true of selenium, another trace element. Research out of Brazil found that a prostate supplement that provided saw palmetto alongside selenium decreased prostate symptoms compared to a placebo (5).
The researchers proposed that the supplement had anti-inflammatory effects, which reduced the size of the prostate and improved urinary symptoms.
Over half of all men will have an enlarged prostate by age 55. The prevalence of benign prostate hyperplasia, the technical medical term for an enlarged prostate, is known to increase over time.
A study published in the journal The Prostate details exactly how likely you are to have an enlarged prostate at any given time in your life: using data from a longitudinal study of men, a group of scientists at the National Institute of Aging looked at the emergence of prostate enlargement in two ways: first, on autopsy, and second, based on clinical symptoms indicative of prostate enlargement (6).
The authors showed that both methods resulted in very similar estimates of the prevalence of prostate enlargement over time, and they both told the same story: at age 40, fewer than 10% of men had an enlarged prostate. By 50, this number had climbed to 35%, and by age 60, it was over 50%.
Rates of prostate enlargement flattened somewhat in older age, but still climbed: by age 75, over 80% of men have an enlarged prostate. The findings from this study underscore the importance of men in their 40s and 50s paying attention to any difficulties with urination that they encounter, so they can identify prostate enlargement when it happens.
Lycopene may help slow the progress of prostate enlargement. Prostate enlargement (termed benign prostate hyperplasia or BPH) is the root cause of many prostate-related complaints, like problems urinating.
The condition is termed “benign” only to distinguish it from prostate cancer, which is malignant—despite the name, BPH can be anything but harmless. Some new research suggests that lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, and other orange or red fruits, may help slow the progress of prostate enlargement. A study published in 2008 in the Journal of Nutrition demonstrated the efficacy of lycopene supplementation among people with BPH (7).
In the study, 40 people with benign prostate hyperplasia were randomly assigned to take either a lycopene supplement or a placebo supplement for six months. Prostate size was assessed at the conclusion of the study using both ultrasonic imaging and a manual exam.
The results showed that, while the placebo group’s prostates continued to enlarge, progress was halted in the lycopene group. While the direct mechanism of action is unclear, it may be related to the anti-inflammatory properties of lycopene.
Alternatively, there might be other direct biochemical effects of lycopene on prostate tissue—other research has found that greater lycopene intake may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, which suggests that lycopene may directly prevent tissue abnormalities in prostate cells.
One of the most attractive aspects of prostate supplements is that they offer a less intimidating side effect profile than the standard prescription medications used to treat an enlarged prostate.
According to a meta-analysis of saw palmetto studies, supplements in this category are associated with a lower rate of erectile dysfunction, but a slightly higher rate of gastrointestinal symptoms, when compared to finasteride (8). Still, side effects were described as “mild and infrequent.”
Since saw palmetto and beta sitosterol are the two best-researched prostate supplement ingredients, it’s important to make sure the dosage of these ingredients is in line with the clinical trials that have been successful.
Saw palmetto seems to be effective when taken in doses of at least 300 mg daily, typically split up into three separate doses. Beta sitosterol seems to work best when taken in doses of at least 20 mg daily.
With other ingredients, like trace elements (zinc, copper, selenium, etc.), a good prostate supplement will have at least 100% of your recommended daily intake for these key ingredients.
Q: What do prostate supplements do?
A: A prostate supplement is designed to help improve the health of your prostate, a gland in men that secretes the fluid component in semen. Many men over age 50 develop a condition called benign prostate hyperplasia, where the prostate becomes enlarged.
This increase in size can constrict the flow of urine, which makes it difficult for men with benign prostate hyperplasia to urinate, and causes them to wake up at night several times to use the bathroom.
Often, benign prostate hyperplasia worsens over time as the prostate increases in size. A prostate supplement is designed to stop or reverse the increase in prostate size, hopefully improving your ability to use the bathroom.
Q: What are the best prostate supplement ingredients?
A: In terms of efficacy, the best ingredients to look for in a prostate supplement are saw palmetto, beta sitosterol, zinc, and selenium.
Other ingredients, like lycopene, may be useful as well, but these first four are the ones with the most scientific evidence behind them so far.
Supplements containing these ingredients ranked the highest in our rankings, and they’re definitely what you should look for if you want a prostate supplement that works.
Q: What is the best thing to drink for your prostate?
A: If you are looking for a beverage to improve the health of your prostate, try a green drink: there’s not a whole lot your diet can do for your prostate, but increasing your intake of vitamin C and zinc may help, according to the Mayo Clinic (9).
Since you can find both vitamin C and zinc in green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, and cauliflower, a green drink is a great way to get the benefits of these nutrients. Many green drinks also contain lycopene, which can help with prostate health as well.
Q: What foods are good at shrinking the prostate?
A: According to Harvard Medical School, you should strive to eat more fruits and vegetables, less sugar and refined carbohydrates, and less red meat (10).
These are all basic dietary guidelines, but they track pretty well with prostate health. Researchers at Harvard also emphasize the importance of physical activity, pointing to three separate studies that show that more exercise helps with prostate health, even if you don’t lose weight.
Q: Can supplements help your prostate?
A: There’s pretty good evidence that, at least over relatively short time periods (circa six months), supplements like saw palmetto or beta sitosterol can outperform a placebo when it comes to relieving symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia, or prostate enlargement.
There are fewer studies that have compared prostate supplements head-to-head against prescription prostate medication, but the few that have do suggest that, for some people, prostate supplements may have a lower rate of side effects, especially erectile dysfunction. Still, supplementation is not right for everyone.
Talk to your doctor before you decide whether supplementation instead of, or in addition to, prescription medication is the right call for you.
Q: Can you naturally shrink your prostate?
A: Supplements like saw palmetto and lycopene are natural compounds that are thought to help shrink the prostate, or at least prevent it from getting larger (often men who have benign prostate hyperplasia experience increased prostate growth over time).
People often elect to take natural prostate supplements to shrink their prostate with fewer side effects, though prostate supplementation is not the right call for everyone.
Q: How do you know if your prostate supplement is working?
A: The easiest way to gauge whether your prostate supplement is working or not is to track your symptoms over time.
You can record in a daily journal how many times you had to get up during the night to use the restroom, or whether you had difficulty urinating during the day.
Do keep in mind that even a successful supplementation routine can take weeks or months to take effect; most scientific studies on prostate supplements last for around six months or so.
Your doctor may want to record the size of your prostate using an ultrasound, or by feeling it during a manual examination.
Q: Can vitamin supplements cause prostate cancer?
A: The evidence connecting any vitamin supplement to prostate cancer is scarce; there is some weak evidence that high intake of zinc (supplementing in excess of 100 mg per day) may be linked to the development of prostate cancer (11), and there is also some weak evidence that consuming lycopene could be protective against prostate cancer (12).
However, it’s very hard to draw firm conclusions from these observational studies, because it is hard to control for the fact that people who take certain kinds of supplements tend to be very different from those who do not.
For example, prostate cancer shares many symptoms with benign prostate hyperplasia, and both zinc and lycopene may be taken as prostate supplements.
It’s not hard to see how this could cause some spurious associations in the data. Other research, for example, has found that zinc is protective against prostate cancer (13).
Q: Can a prostate supplement work for increasing your sex drive?
A: Benign prostate hyperplasia is most often associated with difficulties in urination, but emerging evidence suggests that an enlarged prostate may also cause sexual side effects. One study notes that men who have enlarged prostates are more likely to report problems with erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and a low sex drive (14).
So, if you have problems with your sex drive that are being caused by prostate enlargement, a prostate supplement might be able to help. Another issue to watch out for is side effects from prescription medication: one of the top reasons why people bother with prostate supplements in the first place is the fact that many of the first-line medications for benign prostate hyperplasia have sex-related side effects like erectile dysfunction and low ejactulate volume.
A more direct way to increase your sex drive might be using a male enhancement pill, though it’s important to check to make sure it won’t interact with any prescription medication that you are taking.
Male enhancement pills (and related compounds like testosterone boosters) are specifically designed to help with problems like erectile dysfunction and low sex drives, so they might be worth a shot.
A prostate supplement can offer many of the advantages of pharmaceutical treatment for men with an enlarged prostate that’s causing problems with urination, but with fewer side effects.
A good prostate supplement should definitely include saw palmetto, and likely beta sitosterol as well. Trace elements, like zinc and selenium, might play a role in prostate function as well.
A good prostate supplement will have a balance of herbal and mineral ingredients. Adverse effects can include gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating or gas, but these are rare—less than one percent of men in clinical trials for prostate supplements experienced these effects, and these rates are only a fraction of a percentage point higher than what men on traditional pharmaceutical therapy experienced.
While some men in clinical trials experience erectile dysfunction on prostate supplements, the rates are far lower than the rates of erectile dysfunction in men taking finasteride for an enlarged prostate.
A high-quality prostate supplement might be just what you need to fend off the frustrating symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
For BodyNutrition‘s #1 prostate supplement recommendation, click here.