Quelling Prostate Pain
By Anthony Almada, M.S.
Chronic prostatitis is marked by pain in the pelvic region, pain during ejaculation and irritation or obstruction during urination, often in the absence of pathogenic bacteria. More than 2 million U.S. doctor-office visits a year are prompted by such symptoms. One remedy may be the flavonoid quercetin, abundant in red grape juices and wines, apples, tea and onions. Recent studies have used quercetin for chronic prostatitis with noteworthy success. In the first placebo-controlled study, 30 men (ages 26-72) received either placebo or 500 mg quercetin twice daily for one month. Symptoms of pain and overall quality of life improved in two-thirds of the men on quercetin. This and another recent study have shown the combo of 500 mg quercetin plus the plant enzymes bromelain and papain (twice daily) reduces free radical damage within prostatic fluid. Because there are no data showing bromelain and papain to have any antioxidant effect, and this combination has not been compared to quercetin alone, it would seem economically prudent to take only quercetin, itself a potent antioxidant, until long-term studies produce conclusive information on the triple cocktail.
Anthony Almada, M.S., has collaborated on more than 45 university-based studies and is founder and chief scientific officer of IMAGINutrition.