Despite years of controversy regarding efficacy, saw palmetto remains the most common herbal treatment for men with lower urinary tract symptoms.
Extracted from the fruit of the saw palmetto dwarf tree, the extract exerts effects by diminishing activity f an enzyme that is responsible for prostate cell growth. As a result of this effect decreasing prostate cells, concerns have been raised as to whether serum PSA values should be adjusted accordingly.
In a new study published in the Journal of Urology researchers evaluated serum PSA values in patients receiving either saw palmetto or placebo.
The results showed that even with triple the recommended dose of saw palmetto, serum PSA remained unaffected compared with placebo. These data can help guide clinicians using PSA for the early detection of prostate cancer in those patients taking this common herbal remedy.
Bottom Line: Saw palmetto may have a small effect on reducing prostate symptoms but has no effect on the PSA level.