Saw Palmetto Extract. Saw palmetto (Serenon repens) is a small palm tree that grows along the Atlantic coast from South Carolina to Florida. An extract from its berries has proved to be an effective remedy for prostate enlargement. This herb has been used for centuries by herbalists and Native Americans to treat urinary tract problems, and has also been considered by some to he a mild aphrodisiac The French pioneered research in the clinical use Of saw pal- metto for BPH, establishing that its mode of action is the same as Proscar—that is, it blocks the formation of DHT’ by inhibiting testosterone 5-alpha reductase.
It has also been found to display other modes of action that prevent DHT uptake by the prostate cells and therefore is described by French scientists as a multisite inhibitor. One doubl&blind study involving 110 men with benign prosta- tic hyperplasia found after one month that the group using the herbal extract improved as follows’. decreased nighttime urination (nocturia) Of more than 45 percent; increased urinary flow rate over 50 percent; and reduced amount Of urine retained in the bladder following urination (post-urination residual volume) by 42 percent. In contrast, the placebo group showed only slight reduction in nocturia, no improvement in urine flow, and increased post- urinary residual volume. Ratings Of outcome by physicians and patients both showed “significant” improvement in the group treated With saw palmetto. This was not so for the placebo group.
Treating prostate disease with saw palmetto extract has not only been proven to be extremely effective, but it costs less than a third as much as prescription remedies, and it is safer. Between 1983 and 1992, nine doubleblind studies conducted involving 528 benign prostatic hyperplasia patients have concluded that the extract of saw palmetto was effective. This conclusion was based upon both objective and subjective measurements of prostate enlargement. And all studies demonstrated no toxicity.