Saw Palmetto: Nature’s Options for Hair Loss and Prostate Health

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Saw Palmetto, a fan palm native to the southeastern United States, has been the focus of interest for its health benefits. Traditionally used by Native Americans for its nutritional, diuretic, and antiseptic properties, it has become a topic of modern research. This plant’s berries are particularly noted for their role in supporting prostate health and maintaining healthy hair growth. As we delve into the scientific studies surrounding Saw Palmetto supplements, we uncover the ways in which this natural remedy has been embraced for its health-promoting potential. Join us as we explore the multifaceted benefits of Saw Palmetto and how it might fit into a health-conscious lifestyle.

What Is Saw Palmetto?

Saw Palmetto is a small palm tree known scientifically as Serenoa repens. It grows primarily in the warm climates of the southeastern United States. This hardy shrub boasts dense, dark green foliage and bears a reddish-black fruit, the extract of which has been widely studied for its health applications.

The fruit of the Saw Palmetto plant is rich in fatty acids and phytosterols, components that have been found to have healthful effects, particularly in the context of male health. Historically, the berries were a food source for Native Americans and later, they were used to treat various health issues, ranging from urinary tract problems to boosting reproductive health.

Saw Palmetto supplements are most commonly derived from the extracted oils of these berries and are available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and powders. They are sought after for their potential to support prostate health, balance hormone levels, and promote hair thickness. With a legacy that stretches back centuries, Saw Palmetto continues to be a subject of interest for those seeking wellness through natural plant properties.

According to the findings of the review study, extracts from the Saw Palmetto plant, Serenoa repens, aids in the improvement of urinary incontinence and flow measurements in males with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Also, Saw palmetto is a safe drug with favourable safety profile.

Systematic Review on Safety and Efficacy of Saw Palmetto as a Health Supplement for Prostate Health in Adult Males [*]

What Are the Benefits of Saw Palmetto?

  • Supports Prostate Health: Saw Palmetto is best known for promoting prostate health and may help alleviate symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
  • Hair Loss Management: By inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to DHT, it could help reduce the progression of hair thinning in both men and women. [PMC7706486]
  • Balance Hormone Levels: The plant’s extracts could impact the balance of hormones in both men and women, potentially influencing conditions sensitive to hormones.
  • Urinary Function: Saw Palmetto might improve urinary symptoms related to an enlarged prostate by reducing urinary frequency and increasing urinary flow.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Its components have anti-inflammatory properties that could contribute to reducing inflammation in the body.
  • Supports Urological System: It’s thought to support the overall urological system and may be helpful for those experiencing chronic pelvic pain.
  • May Improve Sexual Function: Some believe Saw Palmetto can increase libido by balancing hormone levels, although more research is needed in this area. [*]
  • Supports Testosterone Levels: It may help maintain testosterone levels naturally, which can be important for muscle mass, bone density, and overall vitality. [PMID: 34161166]
  • Anti-proliferative Effects: Saw Palmetto has been studied for its potential anti-proliferative effects, meaning it might help slow down the multiplication of cells in the prostate.
  • May Enhance Urinary Tract Function: Some people may experience improved urinary tract function and health due to Saw Palmetto’s ability to strengthen urinary organs.
  • Possibly Aids in Reducing Cold Symptoms: Its anti-inflammatory properties might assist in soothing throat irritation and reducing the severity of cold symptoms.
  • Could Support Sleep Quality: By reducing the need to urinate at night due to prostate issues, it might contribute to better sleep quality.

Is Saw Palmetto Safe?

Saw Palmetto is widely regarded as safe when used responsibly. Most people who take Saw Palmetto supplements experience no adverse effects, thanks to the herb’s gentle nature. The history of its use demonstrates its safety profile, with many people using it for extended periods without significant issues. Although it’s a natural supplement, Saw Palmetto’s effects are mild, and it’s well-tolerated by most who choose to include it in their health regimen. This track record of safety makes it a considered choice for those looking into natural supplements for prostate health and other benefits.

Medication Interactions with Saw Palmetto

  • Hormone Replacement Therapies: Saw Palmetto may interfere with the efficacy of hormone replacement medications by affecting hormone levels in the body.
  • Oral Contraceptives: It could potentially reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives due to its hormonal activity.
  • Blood Thinners (e.g., Warfarin, Aspirin): Since Saw Palmetto might slow blood clotting, it could increase the risk of bleeding when taken with these medications.
  • Antiplatelet drugs: Similarly, it could enhance the effects of drugs that prevent blood platelets from clotting.
  • Anticoagulant medications: There might be an increased risk of bruising and bleeding when Saw Palmetto is taken alongside anticoagulants.
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Combined use might increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Alpha-blockers: Saw Palmetto may enhance the effects of alpha-blockers, which could lead to lower blood pressure or increased effects of these drugs.
  • 5-alpha-reductase Inhibitors: When used with Saw Palmetto, these drugs, which also treat enlarged prostate symptoms, might have additive effects.

Supplement Interactions with Saw Palmetto

  • St. John’s Wort: When taken with Saw Palmetto, it could potentially affect hormonal balance and the metabolism of other drugs due to the combined impact on liver enzymes.
  • Ginkgo Biloba: Since Ginkgo has blood-thinning properties, using it with Saw Palmetto might increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Garlic Supplements: Similar to Ginkgo, garlic is known to have anticoagulant properties, and its effects could be amplified when used with Saw Palmetto.
  • Fish Oil (Omega-3 Fatty Acids): High doses of fish oil may slow blood clotting, so taking it with Saw Palmetto could heighten this effect.
  • Zinc Supplements: Saw Palmetto and zinc are both used for prostate health; taking them together could augment this effect but also increase the risk of an imbalance in mineral levels.
  • Licorice Root: This herb can affect hormone levels, so combining it with Saw Palmetto may enhance hormonal effects.
  • Hormone-Based Supplements: Any supplements that have hormone-like effects could interact with Saw Palmetto, potentially altering hormone levels.

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Saw Palmetto by Karuna 59101

Manufacturer Description:

Standardized herbal extract

  • Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a traditional herbal remedy whose 85-95% fatty acid content has been shown to block the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which converts the hormone testosterone to a potent prostatic tissue proliferative agent.
  • Saw Palmetto has demonstrated the ability to reduce the effects of estrogen on the prostate by blocking the enzyme aromatase, thereby decreasing inflammation and increasing urinary flow in men over 50 years of age.
  • Saw Palmetto extract is more commonly recommended in Germany, Austria and Italy by urologists than are allopathic prescription medications.

One capsule twice daily with meals, preferably morning and evening, or as directed. Continuous use is recommended for optimal results.

Saw Palmetto – 1 softgel capsule provides %DV
Total Fat (2.88 Calories )320 mg<1%
Saturated Fat (1.05 Calories )117.1 mg<1%
Total Carbohydrate
(0.16 Calories)
39.2 mg<1%
Protein (0.34 Calories)85 mg<1%
Saw Palmetto Extract***160 mg*
* Daily Value (DV) not established  

*** Standardized to 85-95% fatty acids and biologically active sterols, 138-152mg

Food First!

Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.

Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.

To Sum It Up

Saw Palmetto supplements come from a plant with a long history of supporting health, especially in men’s prostate health and hair vitality. Its benefits extend to hormone balance, urinary function, and potentially even support in reducing inflammation. As we’ve explored, the supplement carries a reputation for being well-tolerated by most people, making it a noteworthy consideration for those looking into natural health support. With a profile that spans centuries of traditional use and the backing of modern interest, Saw Palmetto stands out as a supplement with a heritage of wellness benefits.

This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.

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