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What is the benefit of Saw Palmetto? 12 studies looking at the benefits of saw palmetto

Maybe you’ve been wandering the aisles of your local natural grocery store and noticed a supplement called Saw Palmetto. Saw Palmetto is a plant native to the palm tree and can be found in the southeastern United States, also known as Florida. Historically, its fruits have been used for a wide range of conditions, to treat urinary tract infections and venereal conditions. We’ll talk about Saw Palmetto’s current therapeutic benefits, how it works, and whether it’s really worth it.

What is saw palmetto

Saw palmetto (S.Irenoa Rebbins) It is a shrub palm native to the southeastern United States. Berries were a staple food for Native Americans who used berries to treat urinary tract infections, and even to increase sperm production and increase libido. Today, the therapeutic use of saw palmetto is primarily used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.

But what does the research say saw palmetto is beneficial?

Benefits of saw palmetto

May help with urinary tract infections

A large body of research has investigated the effects of Saw Palmetto on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is a common cause of troublesome lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men.

In a 2002 meta-analysis, 21 trials evaluated the effects of Saw Palmetto on UTI symptoms and found a significant decrease in nocturia, increased subjective improvement, and improvement in peak urine flow. [R].

Recent data, however, has yielded fewer positive results and replicated previous research. An updated review, including nine trials, concluded that there was no significant effect on American Urological Association Symptom Index (AUASI) scores or peak uroflow. [R].

The largest trial conducted was the Saw Palmetto Study for the Treatment of Enlarged Prostate (STEP). 275 men 50 years of age or older with baseline AUASI scores of 8 or higher were randomized to a single center and given either saw palmetto extract (160 mg twice daily) or a placebo. No improvement over placebo was found over 1 year in symptom scores or any secondary endpoint.

Following the publication of the STEP study, a large, multicenter, double-blind, randomized control trial, Study design doesn’t get much better than thisto determine whether increasing a standard daily dose of saw palmetto extract to a double and then a triple daily dose over a period of 72 weeks would improve LUTS attributable to BPH.

A total of 369 men were randomized, between 19 and 52 men per site, with an average age of 61. Participants were given one, two, then three doses (320 mg/day) of saw palmetto extract or placebo, with dose increasing at 24 and 48 weeks.

Despite previous research, the study found that increasing doses of saw palmetto fruit extract did not reduce lower urinary tract symptoms more than a placebo.

Mirroring these same results, two large, high-quality studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), each using a different preparation of saw palmetto, found that it was no more effective than a placebo (an inactive substance) for symptoms of BPH. [R].

But then a meta-analysis evaluating four randomized, double-blind, controlled trials of 1,080 people with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) reported that Saw Palmetto Serenoa Raines Taking it daily for six months seems to improve urine flow, similar to the effect of Flomax (Tamsulosin) (although there is no improvement in prostate volume – unlike in the case of tamsulosin)

Research suggests that using Saw Palmetto may help treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and a complication of urinary tract infection.

hair loss

Some research shows that Saw Palmetto may benefit and reduce signs of hair loss, by inhibiting an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase.

Saw Palmetto is rich in fatty acids, as well as phytosterols and flavonoids, which block the effect of androgens. Research has shown that Saw Palmetto may be helpful in blocking 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (a stronger form of testosterone).

Finastride (Proscar) uses a medication to treat hair loss with the same mechanism. Finastride prevents the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which is the hormone responsible for male pattern hair loss.

In 2012, 100 male participants with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) received 320mg of Saw Palmetto while the other received 1mg of Finastride over the course of 24 months. The results showed that only 38% of patients treated with Serenoa Repens saw an increase in hair growth, while 68% of those treated with finasteride saw an improvement. [R].

Therefore, both treatments improved and affected hair loss and can be used together. However, more evidence is needed to support the therapeutic use of saw palmetto for the specific indication of hair loss [R].

May help with chronic pelvic pain syndrome/chronic prostatitis symptoms

New evidence has emerged investigating the effects of saw palmetto in patients with chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS). Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts more than six months, and therefore CPPS is pain that is central to the pelvic region and severe enough to limit function. According to the National Institutes of Health, chronic pelvic pain is often associated with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) yet it is defined as a syndrome without infection.

in a multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial including 221 patients with CPPS. Patients adhere to a protocol of 160 mg of S.160 One milligram (mg) softgel taken by mouth twice daily for 12 weeks showed significant improvement in pain relief and urinary symptoms compared to the placebo group. However, the study methodology was flawed, as it did not distinguish between patients with and without CPPS.

Other studies of saw caliber have shown mixed results. More evidence is needed to prove the use of saw palmetto for CPPS.

Saw palmetto: The takeaway

Although research has shown that saw palmetto may be effective in treating certain conditions, such as BPH, UTI, CPPS, and hair loss, more research is needed to determine the therapeutic benefits and use in treating these conditions.

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