Does Saw Palmetto Help Enlarged Prostate?
by Doug Bremner

Saw Palmetto is a supplement derived from the fruit of Serenoa repens or Sabal
serrulatum, or the American Dwarf Palm, native to the Southeast US. Saw Palmetto
is marketed for the treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), a hardening of
the prostate gland that is associated with problems with urination, and is used by 2
million men in the US for that purpose. Saw Palmetto is often mixed with nettle root
in a formulation for the prostate. It is promoted as having anti-inflammatory
properties, as well as blocking conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone,
with resultant shrinkage of the prostate tissue. The primary side effect is stomach
upset, which can be reduced by taking it with food.

Saw Palmetto was shown in an initial controlled trial to be efficacious in the treatment
of BPH. However a more recent double blind placebo controlled trial failed to show
any effects of Saw Palmetto on symptoms of BPH, objective measures of BPH, or
quality of life. I think in earlier trials of saw palmetto that patients may have been
able to smell the saw palmetto thus breaking the blind. I therefore do not think that
saw palmetto is very helpful for BPH, although it is free of risk and if you want to try
it you are free to do so.

Bent, S., Kane, C., Shinohara, K., Neuhaus, J., Hudes, E.S., Goldberg, H., Avins, A.L.
Saw palmetto for benign prostatic hyperplasia. New England Journal of Medicine. Feb
9 2006;354(6):557-566.


About The Author

J. Douglas Bremner, MD, is a researcher and physician and author of 'Before You
Take That Pill: Why the Drug Industry May be Bad for Your Health: Risks and Side
Effects You Won't Find on the Label of Commonly Prescribed Drugs, Vitamins and
Supplements.'
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH)
(also known as Enlarging Prostate, or
EP) is a thickening of the prostate
tissue surrounding the urethra in older
men that is associated with problems
with urination. It is a part of normal
aging, and with time some men are
affected more than others. Many
men don't want to go to the doctor
and get into the cycle of prescription
medications. Is there a way they can
use alternative or natural options and
avoid the doctor? The most
commonly promoted natural and
herbal alternative is Saw Palmetto.
But does it really work?
Copyright © EveryNutrient.com
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
this website is for educational purposes only.  Please consult with your physician before using natural
remedies and before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise
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