Graminex Pollen for Prostatitis
What Is Graminex Pollen?
Graminex pollen for prostatitis is a natural treatment option for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). Also called Cernilton, Graminex pollen extracts are standardized extracts of rye grass pollen (Secale cereal), corn pollen (Zea mays), and timothy pollen (Phleum pretense). Many men turn to pollen extracts to help with their chronic prostatitis symptoms because they are looking for a natural approach. Also many conventional therapies, such as antibiotics, do not work for Chronic Prostatitis (CP)/CPPS patients because this type of prostatitis is not generally caused by bacteria.
Graminex pollen for prostatitis is a Tier 1 treatment for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain. This means that Graminex pollen is one of the supplements for prostatitis that has some of the most successful clinical studies and research behind it. Even though many men take Graminex pollen on its own, some patients use a combined formulation of pollen extracts and quercetin (another supplement for CP/CPPS). When pollen extracts are combined with quercetin you may see this treatment under the name of phytotherapy, which is part of Dr. Geo’s “NPAT” CPPS Treatment Program. Both the use of pollen extracts and phytotherapy are recommended treatments for the Organ Specific domain of the UPOINT system for prostatitis treatment, which is used by Urologists and medical professionals.
Pollen extracts have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, a characteristic that makes them helpful in managing and treating prostatitis and other prostate conditions like enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Some men with prostatitis have urinary symptoms that are similar to BPH, so that it is important to consider how pollen extracts help both conditions, even if you have a normal prostate size. Pollen extracts have been shown to cause the bladder to contract while simultaneously relaxing the urethra. In addition, Cernilton/pollen contains a substance that inhibits the growth of prostate cells.
Generally, one major difference between bee pollen and other pollen extracts is that bee pollen is collected by bees from a variety of flowering plants. Bee pollen contains pollen, but it also consists of nectar and saliva from the bees, so the product is not standardized. Pollen extracts such as Graminex and Cernilton contain pollen from specific plants, and the end product is standardized; that is, it contains the same amount of active ingredients in each batch. Many of the studies that involve pollen and its impact on prostatitis and BPH use Cernilton and Graminex pollen extracts, using a dose of about 500 mg daily.
Graminex Pollen for Prostatitis—Does It Work?
Graminex pollen has been used to manage symptoms of prostatitis and BPH in Europe for over 35 years. It has been shown to be quite effective in several double-blind clinical studies in the management of BPH. The overall success rate in patients with BPH is about 70%. Patients who respond typically have reductions of nocturia (nighttime urination) and diurnal frequency of around 70%, as well as significant reductions in their residual urine volume.
Many scientific studies from North America and Europe have looked at the effects of various pollen extracts on prostate health. Although it is not always easy to distinguish between the different formulas or terms used for the pollen extracts in these studies, the important thing about the studies is that they all involved a pollen extract, and that they demonstrated the ability of this supplement to improve symptoms of BPH and/or prostatitis. Whether they used Cernilton or Graminex pollen extracts is not that important because names both refer to pollen extracts.
There are multiple studies on using pollen extracts for prostatitis.
- An early study of Cernilton involved 90 men who had chronic prostatitis. The men were divided into two groups: 72 men without complicating factors and 18 men with complicating factors. All the participants took Cernilton three times daily for six months and underwent testing (e.g., digital rectal examination, uroflowmetry, bacterial studies) after three and six months of intervention.
Overall, Cernilton was well tolerated by 97% of patients. Among the men who did not have complicating factors, 56 (78%) reported a favorable response to Cernilton: 26 men (36%) had their symptoms eliminated, and 30 (42%) said they had significant improvement, including an increase in their urine flow rate. In the group of 18 men who had complicating factors, only one patient reported a response. (Rugendorff 1993)
- European Urology published a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study comparing Cernilton (70 patients) with a placebo (60 patients) in men who had CP/CPPS. The men received capsules of pollen extract (two capsules every eight hours) or a placebo for 12 weeks. Compared with placebo, the men who took Cernilton reported significant improvements in total symptoms, pain, and quality of life. The men did not experience any severe side effects. (Wagenlehner 2009)
- In Urology in January 2006, researchers reported on 60 patients with CP/CPPS who were assigned to receive either a pollen extract preparation called Prostat/Poltit (which has ingredients similar to those in Cernilton) or a placebo for six months of a double-blind study. After six months, men who received Prostat/Poltit had either no symptoms or had experienced a significant improvement in their symptoms. The authors concluded that the pollen extract was “superior to placebo in providing symptomatic relief in men with chronic nonbacterial prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.” (Elist 2006)
There are also many studies on using pollen extracts for urinary symptoms of BPH.
- A double-blind, placebo-controlled study was published in the British Journal of Urology. It included 53 men with outflow obstruction due to BPH who took either Cernilton rye grass pollen extract or a placebo daily for six months. At the end of the treatment period, 69% of the men who took the extract said their symptoms had improved, compared with only 30% of the men who took the placebo. The improvements included a significant decrease in residual urine and in the antero-posterior diameter of the prostate based on ultrasound. Flow rate and voided volume did not change significantly between the two groups. The authors concluded that, “Cernilton has a beneficial effect in BPH and may have a place in the treatment of patients with mild or moderate symptoms of outflow obstruction.” (Buck 1990)
- A total of 89 men with BPH participated in a four-month study, published in International Urology and Nephrology, in which 51 patients received Cernilton and 38 patients received Tadenan (Pygeum). More than three-quarters of men (78%) with BPH who received Cernilton reported significant improvement in their symptoms compared with 55% of the patients who took Pygeum. Patients who took Cernilton reported a significant improvement in their uroflow rate and a decrease in residual urine and prostate volume.
- A Japanese study evaluated the use of Cernitin in 79 BPH patients ranging in ages 62 to 89 years. Cerniltin was administered three times daily, two tablets of 63 mg each per dose, for more than 12 weeks. At the end of the study, urine maximum flow rate and average flow rate had increased significantly, while residual urine volume had decreased significantly. Prostatic volume did not change, although 28 men who took Cernitin for longer than one year showed a mean decrease of prostatic volume. Improvements in specific factors were as follows: urgency or discomfort 76.9% improvement; dysuria, 71.4%; nocturia, 56.8%; incomplete emptying, 66.2%; prolonged voiding, 64.1%; delayed voiding, 62.2%; intermittency, 60.6%; and postvoid dribbling, 42.7%. Overall, 85% of the participants experienced benefit: 11% reported “excellent” results, 39%, “good,” 35%, “satisfactory,” and 15%, “poor.” In conclusion, the authors noted that Cerniltin “showed a mild beneficial effect on prostatic volume and urination variables in patients with symptomataic BPH.” (Yasumoto 1995)
- The Cochrane Database Systemic Review reported on four studies that involved a total of 444 men with BPH. The trials lasted from 12 to 24 weeks, and three of the studies used a double-blind approach. All of the studies used Cernilton. Overall, rye grass pollen (Cernilton) improved urinary symptoms when compared with placebo. Specifically, rye grass reduced the need to get up several times during the night (nocturia) to urinate. The supplement did not, however, improve urinary flow rates or prostate size when compared with placebo. The reviewers concluded from these findings that rye grass pollen (Cernilton) “modestly improves overall urologic symptoms including nocturia.” (Wilt 2000)
Uses and Side Effects of Graminex Pollen
A standard daily dose of Cernilton or Graminex pollen for prostatitis is about 500 mg daily. It is recommended that you talk to a knowledgeable healthcare provider to determine the best dose of pollen extract for your needs. There is a word of caution regarding pollen extracts. You should not take bee pollen if you are allergic to pollen. An allergic reaction can include shortness of breath, hives, and throat, tongue, or facial swelling. If you suffer allergies to grass, flowers, or other plants you should talk to your doctor before using pollen extracts.
References for Graminex Pollen for Prostatitis:
Buck AC et al. Treatment of outflow tract obstruction due to benign prostatic hyperplasia with the pollen extract, Cernilton. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Br J Urol 1990; 66(4):398-404.
Chambliss WG. A critical review of Graminex flower pollen extreact for symptomatic relief of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men. National Center for Natural Products Research, 2003.
Drug.com Graminex pollen for prostatitis
Dutkrewicz S. Usefulness of Cernilton in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Int Urol Nephr 1996; 28(1): 49-53
Elist J. Effects of pollen extract preparation Prostat/Poltit on lower urinary tract symptoms in patients with chronic nonbacterial prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Urology 2006 Jan; 67(1): 60-63
Rugendorff EW et al. Results of treatment with pollen extract (Cernilton N) in chronic prostatitis and prostatodynia. Br J Urol 1993 Apr; 71(4): 433-38
Talpur N et al. Comparison of saw palmetto (extract and whole berry) and cernitin on prostate growth in rats. Mol Cell Biochem 2003 Aug; 250(1-2): 21-26
Wagenlehner FM et al. A pollen extract (Cernilton) in patients with inflammatory chronic prostatitis-chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a multicentre, randomized, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study. Eur Urol 2009 Sep; 56(3): 544-51
Wilt T et al. Cernilton for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2000; (2):CD001042