Dear Health-conscious Friend,
The Myths – and Truth – About Saw Palmetto
Next to catching a cold, an enlarged prostate is one of the most common health issues men face. But unlike common colds, prostate problems don’t clear up after 7 to 10 days. In fact, they just keep getting worse.
As your prostate grows, you’ll find yourself having to urinate more often… you may have trouble starting a stream… urination may burn or become painful… and your sex life may grind to a halt.
Eventually, your expanding prostate may squeeze your urethra shut altogether. If your problem gets this far, you’re in serious trouble.
That’s why it’s so important for men to deal with the problem as soon as they notice any signs of trouble. For generations, the #1 solution has been saw palmetto. This plant has a solid record for safety and an enviable reputation for effectiveness.
As with any remedy that’s been around a lot longer than modern medicine, a lot of myths and stories have grown up around saw palmetto. So let’s tackle some of the myths surrounding this plant and dig down to the truth.
You may hear some folks say there’s no “real science” behind saw palmetto. But that’s simply not true.
Saw palmetto extracts help block the activity of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase (5-AR). 5-AR converts testosterone into a related form known as DHT. This is key, because, as men age, their DHT levels rise. And that rise has been linked to prostate enlargement.
You may have also heard that saw palmetto isn’t fast-acting. Or that it doesn’t work for everyone. This is true.
5-AR inhibitors take a little time to work, because it takes time for your hormone levels to move back towards normal levels. So you may not see much difference for a week or more. And if your prostate issues aren’t caused by too much DHT, saw palmetto may not have a strong effect.
That’s why I recommend a nutritional supplement with a comprehensive prostate formula. Various herbs and nutrients act on prostate issues in different ways. A comprehensive formula “covers your bases.”
Some folks may tell you all the evidence for saw palmetto is old… or that “modern” studies don’t support its use. Both these claims are wrong.
An Italian study – involving 8 health centers – appeared in the journal Urologiia in 2012. This study found that saw palmetto is effective, even after 6 months of use.1
A 2nd 6-month study from 2012 showed that men taking saw palmetto had significant improvements in urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate.2
Another common myth is that saw palmetto’s benefits don’t last long. A 2013 Russian study should put this myth to rest for most men.
Doctors followed 38 prostate patients taking saw palmetto for 10 years. After 10 years, the saw palmetto was still effective… and none of the men had reported any side effects.3
Finally, what about sex? An enlarged prostate can shut down your sex life.
Last year, Swiss doctors ran a saw palmetto trial that looked at sexual function as well as urinary issues. The volunteers in this study saw their urinary issues ease. They also experienced a big boost in sexual performance.4
So don’t believe everything you hear about saw palmetto. The evidence still shows it’s safe and effective – especially as part of a complete prostate health supplement.
Yours in continued good health,
Dr Kenneth Woliner, M.D.
1 Bertaccini, A., et al, “Observational database serenoa repens (DOSSER): overview, analysis and results. A multicentric SIUrO (Italian Society of Oncological Urology) project,” Arch Ital Urol Androl. Sep 2012; 84(3): 117-122.
2 Giulianelli, R., et al, “Multicentre study on the efficacy and tolerability of an extract of Serenoa repens in patients with chronic benign prostate conditions associated with inflammation,” Arch Ital Urol Androl. Jun 2012; 84(2): 94-98.
3 Aliaev, Iu.G., et al, “The results of the 10-year study of efficacy and safety of Serenoa repens extract in patients at risk of progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia,” Urologiia. Jul-Aug 2013; (4): 32-36.
4 Suter, A., et al, “Improving BPH symptoms and sexual dysfunctions with a saw palmetto preparation? Results from a pilot trial,” Phytother Res. Feb 2013; 27(2): 218-226.