Background
Pygeum africanum is an evergreen tree native to africa. an extract made from the dark-brown to gray
bark of the trunk has been well-studied in the promotion of a healthy prostate. Over 30 clinical
studies, including a dozen double-blind studies, have shown Pygeum extract to  be  effective in
improving nighttime urinary frequency, difficulty in starting urination and incomplete emptying of
the bladder. Pygeum extract has also been shown to increase prostatic secretions and improve the
composition of the seminal fluid in men with decreased prostatic secretion.

Problems with Current Prostate Cancer Treatments

Current treatment of prostate cancer often involves the use of antiandrogens – synthetic compounds
that block the action of testosterone. these compounds have numerous side effects and are of
limited long-term benefit. they  work by inhibiting the human androgen receptor (aR).  Currently
used synthetic aR antagonists bind to  the aR  and damage it, but  it is still transferred to  the
nucleus. typically,  antiandrogen treatment is effective only for about 16–24 months, after which
the prostate cancer cells becomes androgen-independent. Different mechanisms seem to be involved in
this process, but one thing that often occurs is that because of the damage caused by the
antiandrogen, the aR mutates and in the process the antiandrogens can promote prostate cancer
progression.

New Data

Pygeum may emerge as a significant protector against prostate cancer as Pygeum extract and
components (e.g., atraric acid and N-butylbenzene-sulfonamide) inhibit the transfer of the human
androgen receptor to the nucleus – a different mechanism than what is seen with synthetic
antiandrogens. Both in vitro and animal studies show Pygeum components inhibit the nuclear
transport of aR, inhibit prostate-specific antigen (Psa) expression and efficiently repress the
growth of both the androgen-dependent and some types of androgen-independent
prostate cancer cells.

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