Prostate specific antigen or PSA is a specific antigen produced by the prostate. Levels of this antigen are measured to determine the presence of disease. PSA can determine the presence of prostate cancer, benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostatitis. PSA is measured in nanograms; normal levels of the antigen are 4 nanograms per milliliter and below. There are several medications and herbs that can affect PSA levels.
Certain herbs have been known to cause lower PSA levels in men. Saw palmetto is often used to treat the symptoms of BPH. In comparison to pharmaceutical treatments, saw palmetto is often less expensive and better tolerated. Another supplement that has been used for the treatment of prostate conditions is PC-SPES. This is a mixture of several Chinese herbs consisting of ganoderma, rabdosia, isatis, scutellaria, chrysanthemum, glycrrhiza, panax pseudoginseng and saw palmetto. While herbals treatments are sometimes used in individuals as part of a medical treatment plan, they can impair the ability to obtain accurate test results. Use of any herbal supplement should be discussed with a health care profession prior to beginning a regimen.
According to Renal and Urology News, common medications such as statins and NSAIDS, or non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, can produce lower PSA levels during testing 1. NSAIDs are commonly used for the treatment of mild to moderate pain, arthritis and headache. Aspirin is a widely consumed NSAID that is used to prevent stroke and heart attack. Other NSAIDs include ibuprofen, Celebrex, and toradol. Statins are drugs that are prescribed to lower elevated cholesterol levels. They work by reducing the amount of cholesterol production in the liver. Usage of these medications can make accurate detection of PSA levels in the body difficult because they can lower PSA levels. Physicians may not be about to correctly determine the amount of antigen that is being produced by the prostate, allowing for increased instance of misdiagnosis.
According to studies conducted with the participation of the National Cancer Institute vitamin D has bee shown to reduce levels of PSA in men 2. The mechanism behind the success of vitamin D in the reduction of PSA levels in still not completely known and is currently being researched. Vitamin D can be obtained from natural sources such as fish, mushrooms, eggs and dairy products, or in dietary supplements. As with any new health course of therapy, it should be discussed with your health care provider.
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