The exact mechanism of action of the antiproliferative effects of nettle extract on prostate cells has not been fully elucidated (Hirano et al 1994, Hryb et al 1995, Lichius & Muth 1997, Lichius et al 1999). Results from several in vitro studies suggest that several mechanisms are responsible.
Reduced prostate cell metabolism and growth may result from inhibition of membrane ATPase activity and decreased binding capacity of sex hormone binding globulin to its receptor on human prostatic membranes (Hirano et al 1994, Hryb et al Stinging nettle 1124
1995). Additionally, reduced 5-alpha dihydrotestosterone binding to proteins in humans has been demonstrated (Schmidt 1983).
Prostate cancer One study found that a methanolic extract of stinging nettle roots slows the progression of prostate cancer in both an in vivo model and an in vitro system (Konrad et al 2000). One study involving 20 males with prostatic adenoma found that treatment for 7 days with nettle produced a significant drop in zinc level, thought to be a result of altering zinc-testosterone metabolism and diminishing zinc secretion in adenomatous tissue (Romics & Bach 1991).
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