A ‘Whey’ to Improve BPH Symptoms?

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A beverage made from fermented whey improves moderately bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), according to a small European study published in PLOS ONE in 2018. The drink also appears to reduce the cell damage that promotes BPH.

Researchers asked 46 men with moderate BPH-related lower urinary tract symptoms to join the study. They were randomly assigned to drink a beverage containing fermented whey (a watery byproduct of cheese production) daily for one month or to consume a similar-tasting drink with no whey.

At one month, men who had consumed the whey drink had greater improvement in urine flow and reductions in pain than those in the comparison group. Men who drank the whey beverage also had a greater reduction in markers of oxidative stress, or cellular damage, than the non-whey drinkers. Interestingly, the whey drinkers’ prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were reduced, too. The findings are in line with previous research indicating that whey protein increases levels of the antioxidant glutathione, which protects against oxidative stress caused by destructive molecules called free radicals.

These results are promising, but it’s too early to recommend drinking fermented whey to ease your BPH symptoms. More research is needed to confirm the findings. However, the results add to growing evidence that lifestyle changes may be one option for men with minor to moderate symptoms of BPH.

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