1) Saw Palmetto May Treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is growth of the prostate that is not due to cancer. It is very common in older men. Nearly 40% of American men over the age of 60 and 90% of men over 80 have BPH.
Research on saw palmetto’s ability to treat BPH is conflicting. In a study in 82 men aged 30 years and older, saw palmetto decreased symptoms of BPH.
However, a study in 100 men aged 45 and older found no difference in treating BPH after 72 weeks of saw palmetto.
Finasteride (propecia) is a prescription 5-reductase inhibitor that is commonly used to treat BPH. A year-long study found that saw palmetto was more effective than finasteride in treating excessive nighttime urination. It was less effective in treating other symptoms related to BPH.
A study of 2,008 men found that 72 weeks of saw palmetto was no more effective than a placebo in the treatment of BPH.
A 2002 Cochrane review concluded that saw palmetto was effective in treating BPH. However, a 2009 Cochrane review that included larger and longer trials found that saw palmetto had no effect on BPH.
A 2016 review only included trials with a special standardized extract of saw palmetto called Permixon. Permixon was effective in improving urinary symptoms of BPH compared to placebo. It was just as effective as finasteride in treating BPH.
This suggests that the lack of an effect found in the most recent Cochrane review was due to the differences in the saw palmetto extracts used.
2) Saw Palmetto May Improve Urinary Tract Symptoms
3) Saw Palmetto Increases Hair Growth in Male-Pattern Baldness
4) Saw Palmetto May Reduce the Risk of Prostate Cancer
5) Saw Palmetto May Improve Sexual Function
6) Saw Palmetto May Increase Testosterone Levels
7) Saw Palmetto Improves Quality of Life