Received: August 27, 2019 Accepted: August 29, 2019 Published: August 29, 2019
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a progressive pathologic condition common in ageing men and constitutes a health burden. It is characterised by the proliferation of prostatic tissues, prostate enlargement and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). The development and growth of the prostate gland is dependent on the stimulation of androgens receptors by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an active metabolite of testosterone. This leads to increased cell growth and hyperplasia in the prostate. Inhibitors of 5-alpha reductase, alpha-blockers (α-adreno-receptor antagonists) and surgery are used for the management and treatment of BPH. The use of herbal medicine in the management and treatment of BPH has shown some promises. The efficacy and potency of some polyherbal extracts have been scientifically proven in the management and treatment of diseases while many others are yet to be investigated. One of such polyherbal formulations that is yet to be scientifically investigated for efficacy is a local concortion - Yagari, popularly used to treat benign prostate hyperplasia in the eastern part of Nigeria. Many patients who had reached catheter-surgery stage have smiled away (relieved without surgery) after treatment with the herbal mixture. The aim of the research was to determine the effect of the herbal mixture (Yagari) on experimentally-induced benign prostatic hyperplasia in rats and to identify its pharmacologically active agents. The effect of the herbal mixture on experimentally-induced benign prostatic hyperplasia in rats was determined using 36 male Wistar rats grouped randomly into 6 groups of 6 rats each. The test rats were treated subcutaneously using a combination of DHT and oestradiol valerate in 10:1 ratio for 28 days according to standard method. The test rats were thereafter treated with the herbal mixture for 21 days. Prostate specific antigen, inflammatory cytokines, assay of prostate function hormonal and prostate function enzyme activities and kidney function test were evaluated in the blood samples collected by ocular puncture applying standard methods. Prostates were harvested and examined for histopathological changes. Biological activity-guided fractionation of the herbal mixture crude extract in a silica gel column was carried out and using phospholipase A2 activity as a biomarker. The identity of the bioactive compounds was determined using mass spectroscopy (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The herbal mixture showed a positive effect on prostatic hyperplasia by decreasing urinary obstruction through inhibition of 5-alpha reductase, anti-inflammatory activity, and decreased level of sex hormones. Characterization by spectral studies revealed apigenin (4´, 5, 7 – trihydroxyflavone, molecular weight: 270.24 g/mol and Chemical formula: C15H10O5) as the compound among many responsible for the potent beneficial effects in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.