Cranberry powder attenuates benign prostatic hyperplasia in rats
Cranberry powder (CR) is reported to be effective against lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and recurrent urinary tract infections. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men older than 50 years is a common cause of LUTS. Here, we attempted to evaluate if CR is also effective for treating BPH using a BPH-induced rat model, which was orally administered CR. Male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 200-250 g were randomly divided into the following six groups (n = 9): noncastration group; castration group; BPH group; BPH and cranberry for 8-week (CR8W) group; BPH and cranberry for 4-week (CR4W) group; and BPH and saw palmetto group (saw palmetto). Compared with the BPH group, the CR8W group showed a significant decrease in prostate weight (by 33%), dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels (by 18% in serum and 28% in prostate), 5-alpha reductase levels (18% reduction of type 1 and 35% of type 2), and histological changes. These results indicate that CR could attenuate BPH by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase and by reducing other biomarkers such as prostate weight and DHT levels. Thus, CR may be an effective candidate for the development of a functional food for BPH treatment.