Botox is the trade name of a neurotoxin that is used clinically in small quantities to treat abnormal alignment of the eyes, facial spasms and other neurological disorders characterized by abnormal muscle contractions. Its more popular use is by cosmetic surgeons to temporarily smooth lines on the face.
Botox is derived from Clostridium botulinum bacterium as a purified protein. Very small doses are injected into the muscles that cause wrinkles. Botox causes a temporary paralysis of these muscles, thus removing wrinkles and frown lines. In most cases, the effects of botox vanish after four months, and another dose is required.
It is now being argued whether botox can help as a prostate medicine. The prostate gland is situated right under the neck of the bladder and encircles the urethra through which the body expels urine. Prostate enlargement is a natural phenomenon that occurs during puberty in men. Due to hormonal changes, the almond sized gland starts increasing in size. With advancing age, usually after forty, the gland has enlarged enough to apply pressure on the urethra leading to urinary problems like a weak stream, incontinence and dribbling. It is a lucky man who escapes these symptoms.
Researchers used a small group of men with enlarged prostates and injected a small amount of botox directly into the gland. A majority among the group responded to the treatment, and there was a significant improvement in symptoms which lasted for nearly a year after treatment. The most encouraging part was that nearly 80 percent reported that they were able to empty the bladder completely. Indications exist that botox relaxes the prostate gland so that it relieves pressure on the urethra.
Although prostate enlargement does not cause serious problems in most cases, it can adversely affect the quality of life in a big way. Frequent urination, nocturnal visits to the bathroom and pain can be extremely uncomfortable at times. Available treatment options include medications and an invasive procedure known as Trans-Urethral Resection Procedure. Mostly men are reluctant to choose these conventional treatments as they have a number of side effects, including loss of libido. Herbs for restricting prostate enlargement that include saw palmetto, a Brazilian herb, have shown remarkable results. The basis of the recommendation is mostly on the fact that there is a remarkably less occurrence of prostate enlargement among men living in the regions where it is grown.
Botox is actually a poisonous substance as indicated by its definition as a neurotoxin. It can potentially have a detrimental affect on the neural system. It is its toxicity that paralyses the muscles and removes the frown lines. There is a lot more to be done on exploring its health benefits other than its temporary cosmetic application. Also, more research is needed to understand the side effects before it can be safely recommended as a prostate medicine or a treatment option for any other disease.