Saw Palmetto Supplement Review

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Saw Palmetto
  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
+2 (Moderate Evidence)


  • The lipid (fat) component of saw palmetto consistently improves symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy.
  • Saw palmetto appears to block hormones in a similar biological way as some BPH prescription medications. It may exert an anti-testosterone and anti-inflammatory effect that decreases generalized prostate swelling and inflammation.
  • Saw palmetto has an excellent safety profile and a low risk of side effects. When side effects do occur, they are mild and similar to placebo.
  • Millions of men have taken this herb and there is a question about whether the rare side effects seen were even caused by the saw palmetto.
  • Saw palmetto is an inexpensive approach for the treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy.


  • Not every study showed that saw palmetto works well to treat the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy. Some very good studies showed that taking saw palmetto had the same results as taking a placebo, or sugar pill.
  • Men with chronic prostatitis (a long-term inflammatory condition) did not see improvement even after taking saw palmetto for one year.
  • Saw palmetto does not treat or prevent prostate cancer.

Although rare, there have been reports of bleeding complications. It is not clear whether the bleeding was actually caused by the saw palmetto. As with any herbal supplement, it is important to work with your health care provider to ensure safe use.

DOSAGE:Take 160 mg twice a day, or 320 mg once a day of the lipid beta-sitosterol component of saw palmetto.

CONCLUSION:We conclude that saw palmetto is a safe and effective product for treating mild to moderate benign prostatic hypertrophy. Some studies have shown it to be as helpful as prescription medications. If you elect to try it, remember to include it in your list of medications when you visit your doctor and other health care providers.

“Saw Palmetto.” LLC, 2013. 13 April 2012.
“Saw Palmetto.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.
“Saw Palmetto.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
Tacklind, J. et al. Serenoa repens for benign prostatic hyperplasia (Review). The Cochrane Collaboration (2009) 3

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