The prostate is a muscular gland associated with reproduction, which is walnut shaped, and is surrounded by a tough fibrous capsule. The gland is stimulated to grow (or “hypertrophy”) by the male hormone testosterone.
Health problems arise from the fact that the urethra passes through the center of the prostate. When it hypertrophies (enlarges), the outer capsule prevents the muscle from expanding, and this compression of tissue encroaches on the space occupied by the urethra, and traps the urethra, causing the typical urinary symptoms .
Those urinary symptoms include decreased force and caliber of the urine stream, urinary hesitancy at the start, feelings of urgency, post-void dribbling, incomplete emptying of the bladder leading to increased need for frequency, dysuria (discomfort), and nocturia (up and down all night).
The standard pharmaceutical therapy for BPH is the drug Proscar® (finasteride), a 5-AR inhibitor.
A six-month, double-blind study of 1,098 BPH patients over 50 years of age compared Proscar (5 mg per day) with a standardized Serenoa extract (160 mg.). Both treatments decreased BPH symptoms equally, and improved quality of life. 1 In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 110 BPH patients, 160 mg of a standardized Serenoa extract significantly improved nocturia, dysuria, post-voiding residual urine, flow rate, patient self-rating, and the physician’s overall assessment.2
In an open trial, 67 percent of patients on Serenoa described their subjective symptom relief as “excellent”, while 25 percent characterized their relief as “good”.3 No side effects or toxicity were noted. The first American randomized clinical trial of saw palmetto showed that the plant also reduces swelling in enlarged prostate tissue. The study was published in the March 1999 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Urology.
According to Dr. Leonard Marks, the study’s lead investigator and clinical associate professor in the Department of Urology with the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine, “The 21 participants who supplemented their diet with saw palmetto were satisfied with the results. In fact, 19 elected to continue supplementing after the study concluded. I believe urologists may now consider saw palmetto a viable, natural, alternative treatment for many men with BPH.”
1 Carraro JC, Raynaud JP, Koch G, et al. Comparison of phytotherapy (Permixon®) with finasteride in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia; A randomized international study of 1,098 patients. Prostate 1996;29:231-240.
2 Champault G, Patel JC, Bonnard AM. A double-blind trial of an extract of the plant Serenoa repens in benign prostatic hyperplasia. Br J Pharmac 1984:461-462.
3 Carreras JO. Novel treatment with a hexane extract of Serenoa repens in the treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy. Arch Esp de Urol 1987;40:310-313.
What they found was that “commonly used nutritional supplements for prostate disease vary widely in measured dose. Saw palmetto demonstrated tremendous variability with some samples containing virtually no active ingredients. “ Blogger’s Note: As you have read here not all Saw Palmetto supplements are created equal.
If your having symptoms of BPH, I can tell you that the many male clients who take our Saw Palmetto have been pleased with the results very satisfied
Testimony: I’m at the age where Saw Palmetto has improved the quality of my life, and it’s a great relief (excuse the pun!) to know that your quality Saw Palmetto is guaranteed to be an accurate, pure and uniform dose, from capsule to capsule and from bottle to bottle.