Archive for the ‘saw palmetto’ Category

Saw Palmetto for the Enlarged Prostate Gland-What You Need to Know

January 23, 2015

Over 30 million Americans suffer from the enlarged prostate gland. The symptoms include getting up at night to urinate, frequency of urination, and dribbling after urination. Constantly rushing to the bathroom is a common complaint among the millions of men who develop an enlarged prostate gland, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This blog will discuss the treatment with the herbal product, saw palmetto.

Saw palmetto has been used to treat urologic conditions since the days of the ancient Egyptians. It is a common non-medical approach to the enlarged prostate gland.

Here are five reasons you should skip saw palmetto and head to the doctor for advice instead.
1. It’s no better than a placebo.
Researchers have shown that saw palmetto is no better than a placebo at alleviating symptoms. Large studies have also shown the same effect in scientific studies comparing saw palmetto to placebo.

2. Its dosage may vary.
Even if you wanted to try taking a regular dose of saw palmetto, there’s currently no guarantee that the supplement you choose contains what it says it does. One study analyzed six different brands of the supplement and found that half of them contained less than 20 percent of the amount stated on the label.

3. It might not be safe.
Saw palmetto doesn’t seem to have any major side effects, but some users have reported headaches, nausea, and dizziness. However, we haven’t seen studies proving that saw palmetto is actually safe for the long term. In addition, supplements, including saw palmetto, are not well regulated by the FDA, and it’s not uncommon for wily manufacturers to distribute tainted products. You may think you’re taking a “natural” herbal remedy, but for all you know, you could be taking prescription, or even experimental, drugs.

4. It might mask another problem.
If you have symptoms of an enlarged prostate, including frequent urination, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an enlarged prostate. The same symptoms might pop up if you have prostatitis (an inflamed or infected prostate gland) or a bladder infection that can be treated with an antibiotic. Or the symptoms might even be a side effect of another medication. If supplements relieve your symptoms for some reason, you might neglect treating another ailment.

5. It’s a waste of money.
Instead of throwing your dollars away on saw palmetto supplements, see your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and find out about approved drugs that can help. Common treatments include alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. Visit Consumer Reports’ Best Buy Drugs to find out more about drugs it recommends for treating enlarged prostate.

Bottom Line: The enlarged prostate is a common problem affecting millions of American men. Saw palmetto is an over the counter non-medical, herbal supplement that probably has minimal or even no benefit at all. All men with symptoms prostate enlargement should seek medical care as solutions are available.

Advertisements

Saw Palmetto Has No Effect on PSA

August 16, 2014

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.

Saw Palmetto Effect On the PSA Level

September 29, 2013

Saw palmetto is a commonly used herbal supplement used to treat men with mild symptoms of the enlarged prostate gland or BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). 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 5-alpha-reductase activity and binding to androgen receptors in prostatic cells. Saw palmetto reduces prostatic dihydrotestosterone by 32%. As a result of this anti-androgen effect, concerns have been raised as to whether serum PSA values should be adjusted accordingly.

In a new study published in the Journal of Urology (2013;189:486-492), researchers evaluated serum PSA values in 369 patients randomized to receive saw palmetto or placebo.
These men were part of the CAMUS (Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Urological Symptoms) trial, a double-blinded, randomized controlled study designed to determine whether saw palmetto extract reduced the American Urological Association symptom score compared with placebo at 72 weeks.
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: Many men will use the herbal supplement, saw palmetto, for the treatment of their lower urinary tract symptoms of benign enlargement of the prostate gland. There is no affect on the PSA level but middle aged men taking saw palmetto should be tested with a PSA and no adjustment need to be made in the PSA level.

Supplement Pills For Your Prostate-Probably Not Effective

March 6, 2012

Saw palmetto fruit extracts are widely used to treat lower urinary tract symptoms attributed to benign enlargement of the prostate gland. However, a new study shows that these extracts are no better than placebo at easing symptoms.
The findings were reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2011;306:1344-1351).
In the study, men were randomly assigned to receive a daily dose of saw palmetto extract, beginning 320 mg, or matching placebo. After 24 weeks, the saw palmetto dosage was increased to 640 mg per day. After another 24 week, it was increased to 960 mg per day, which is triple the standard dose. After 48 weeks there was no significant difference between placebo and saw palmetto supplements.
“Now we know that even very high doses of saw palmetto make absolutely no difference,” said study co-investigator Gerald Andriole, MD, Chief of Urologic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Bottom Line: Saw palmetto is probably not effective in treating or preventing prostate gland enlargement.