What Can I Do for an Elevated (but Benign) PSA?

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Filed Under: Q&As, Men's Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

What Can I Do for an Elevated (but Benign) PSA?

For several years, my PSA level has been elevated every time I've had a physical. I've had one biopsy (which was negative), but I know my doctor will probably want to do another. I’m not too keen on more biopsies. Do you have any suggestions or thoughts?

 

An elevated PSA level may indicate chronic nonbacterial prostatitis, a condition you can have with or without benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). If this is your problem, it would be well worth trying cranberry powder for several months.

Effects of Cranberry in the Urinary Tract

Cranberry powder's benefits have been demonstrated by research involving 42 men (average age 63) who had lower urinary tract symptoms and an elevated PSA level, but a negative biopsy for cancer. Some of them also had BPH.

Half of the men in the study were given 1,500 mg of dried cranberry powder per day. The other half were not. At the end of six months, the men who took the cranberry powder experienced—

  • Increases in their International Prostate Symptom Scores and quality of life scores
  • Increase in urinary flow
  • Decreases in residual urine volume after urination
  • Decreases in their total PSA levels

Generally, cranberry powder helps "flush" bacteria out of the urinary tract by inhibiting its ability to stick to the urinary tract’s walls. Exactly how cranberry powder works in a case of nonbacterial prostatitis isn’t understood. Regardless, based on your circumstances, I would definitely give it a try.

Save Money by Buying in Bulk

You can buy cranberry powder capsules at any health food store, but you can save a lot of money by using the bulk powder. It's a little sour, but you can always add it to a shake or tea.

Buying in bulk, it will run about $10 a month if you take 1,500 mg a day, like in the study. A company called Nutri-Fruit sells a variety of berry powders, including cranberry. A level teaspoon of their product should provide about 1,500 mg, and you’d need three containers of their 3.9 oz. size for a six-month supply.

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