Amino Acid Therapy
Because mild symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia(BPH) may not necessarily lead to more serious complications, doctors will generally not recommend surgery except in the most severe cases. In moderate to severe cases, prescription therapy may be used to alleviate symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. In most mild to moderate cases of BPH, doctors will usually prefer “watchful waiting”. In these cases, many patients use various dietary supplements to provide relief from the discomfort and inconvenience of the urinary symptoms of BPH. A formula of special amino acids is one of the most effective of these nutritional therapies.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and occur naturally in the body. Prostatic fluid has been found to contain particularly high concentrations of the amino acids glycine, alanine, and glutamic acid, and a special formula of these three substances has been used for decades to treat the urinary symptoms of BPH.
In the 1950’s, a group of American doctors noticed that patients being given this amino acid supplementation for an allergic condition were experiencing relief from BPH symptoms. They then conducted a controlled study(1) which showed that this therapy was indeed effective in relieving the common urinary symptoms such as urgency, discomfort, night frequency, and delayed flow. A second, more comprehensive study by another group of doctors confirmed these findings in 1962(2). While the exact method of action is not fully understood, it is thought that, like other nutritional and herbal supplements, the formula works through a diuretic and anti-edemic effect, reducing excess swelling of prostate and surrounding tissues and encouraging normal urine flow.
Amino Acid Therapy is normally given in the form of capsules, to be taken regularly with meals. Studies show that symptomatic relief occurs as long as the supplement is taken, and normally reoccur when therapy is stopped. For more information on this and other nutritional supplements for prostate health, see our men’s health links.
1. Feinblatt, HM, and Gant, JC.: Palliative Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy: Value of Glycine-Alanine-Glutamic Acid Combination, J Maine Medical Association 49:99, 1958
2. Damrau, F.: Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy: Amino Acid Therapy for Symptomatic Relief, J Am Geriatrics Society 10:5, 1962 426-430