Saw palmetto

A phytotherapeutic agent.

Likely mechanism is inhibition of 5α-reductase.

One year of saw palmetto extract v. placebo in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia reveals no changes in primary end point of urinary flow rates.

Slow growing palm, a rich source of fatty acids, and phytosterols.

Currently used to promote urination, reduce inflammation, treat BPH, and treat prostate cancer.

May have anticoagulant effects and can prolong bleeding time (Cheema P).

May cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hemorrhage, hematuria,

Increases prostate cell radiosensitivity over prostate cancer cells.

Studies on urinary flow rate, nocturia and BPH are conflicting.

In a randomized double-blind, placebo controlled trial saw palmetto had no greater effect than placebo on improving lower urinary symptoms or other outcomes related to BPH (Barry MJ et al).

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