When looking for a health supplement for men, saw palmetto supplements will probably be among the first things you’ll encounter.
After all, saw palmetto is one of the few supplements that are pretty much synonymous to men’s health. It can help improve different aspects of your wellbeing—from prostate health to urinary function to hair loss.
While these are the most popular uses of saw palmetto, this plant can actually help other aspects of your health, as well. Below, we’ve listed and detailed eight promising benefits of saw palmetto. If you’re curious about all the things this herbal extract has to offer, read on!
But first, what is Saw Palmetto?
Saw palmetto supplements are derived from the fruit of the Serenoa repens tree. This palm tree is native to the southeastern parts of the United States.
The tree’s ripe berries are used to make saw palmetto extract, which is commonly used to help treat a variety of health conditions in men.
The plant’s health benefits came to light because Native Americans from the Seminole tribe used to eat saw palmetto berries to help ease reproductive and urinary conditions. These days, saw palmetto may be consumed in various forms—such as liquid, tea, and capsule.
The benefits of Saw Palmetto
Here are all the different ways saw palmetto can help elevate your health and wellbeing.
1. Saw palmetto is good for prostate health.
The prostate gland is a male organ that plays a crucial role in reproduction. Situated between the penis and the bladder, it contributes to sperm health by secreting a fluid that protects and nourishes sperm.
As a key organ in reproduction, the prostate gland can fall prey to a variety of health conditions, including benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). In BPH, the prostate gland becomes enlarged. This condition is noncancerous and common among older men—affecting about 75% of men over the age of 70.
That said, saw palmetto supports prostate health and can help prevent and manage the symptoms of BPH. Both animal and human studies have shown the potential of saw palmetto extract at reducing the inflammation and urinary symptoms that are linked to BPH.
As a result, saw palmetto may help protect you from the dire consequences of BPH. If left untreated, this condition can worsen to the point of severely interfering with your urinary function.
2. It supports urinary function.
Urinary tract problems become more common with age. Some common issues that hound the urinary system include incontinence and difficulty urinating. Men affected by BPH are especially prone to experiencing urinary issues. In this case, saw palmetto supplements may be of help.
A University of Chicago study showed that taking saw palmetto daily for six months led to a decrease in lower urinary tract symptoms. In another study, men who took herbal supplements that contain saw palmetto experienced an improvement in urinary tract symptoms that are linked to BPH.
3. Saw palmetto extract may help regulate testosterone levels in the body.
Your testosterone levels will decline as you age. Considering that testosterone significantly impacts various aspects of your health—such as your libido, body composition, and brain function, just to name a few—fighting low testosterone can very much shape the trajectory of your wellbeing and ultimately, your life.
That said, saw palmetto can help regulate testosterone levels in your body by blocking its conversion to another sex hormone. Normally, an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase (5a-R) will turn testosterone into dihydrotestosterone—therefore lowering the body’s stash of the former.
Saw palmetto has been shown to inhibit 5a-R’s activity, thus helping preserve the body’s testosterone levels. In fact, one study found that taking saw palmetto for six months led to a significant decrease in DHT levels among men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia.
4. It helps fight inflammation.
Antioxidants in saw palmetto may help decrease inflammation in the body.
Methyl gallate and epicatechin, which are antioxidants found in saw palmetto extract, are useful in fighting inflammation. This makes saw palmetto a promising anti-inflammatory agent for helping combat a variety of health conditions.
Although more studies are needed to ascertain its effects on inflammation in human subjects, saw palmetto already showed much promise in animal studies.
In a 2015 study, saw palmetto significantly reduced inflammation and improved antioxidant status in rats. Furthermore, saw palmetto extract decreased swelling and controlled several markers of inflammation among mice in another study.
5. Saw palmetto supplements can help prevent hair loss.
Hair loss is a dilemma faced by many men, especially those who are entering their later years. It can be triggered by a lot of different factors, such as genetics, hormones, side effects of medications, and medical conditions.
So, how does saw palmetto help combat hair loss?
In the abovementioned benefit discussing saw palmetto’s testosterone-regulating properties, we’ve talked about how this herbal supplement can block the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase (5a-R). This results in two things: (1) It helps preserve healthy testosterone levels and, consequently, (2) It blocks the formation of dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Here’s the deal: DHT is a hormone that is linked to hair loss. Androgen hormones like DHT are associated with shorter hair growth cycles, thinner strands of hair, and male pattern baldness. That said, having lower levels of DHT in your body can help prevent excessive hair loss from happening.
Essentially, as saw palmetto inhibits the activity of 5a-R, it regulates testosterone AND prevents the hair loss hormone from forming at the same time.
A study involving men with male pattern baldness may back this up. In the study, 60% of men who took saw palmetto extract experienced an improvement in hair growth.
Even topical application of saw palmetto led to a 35% increase in hair density among men and women.
6. It may help lower prostate cancer risk.
As a known supplement for prostate health, saw palmetto may also help lower your risk of developing prostate cancer.
Saw palmetto cannot treat prostate cancer per se. However, test-tube studies have shown that it can lessen the growth of prostate cancer cells. Saw palmetto can inhibit the activity of key receptors that play a role in cancer development, thereby blocking the growth and proliferation of prostate cancer cells.
7. Saw palmetto can help reduce prostate surgery complications.
According to research, taking saw palmetto can help those who are set to undergo prostate surgery (also called transurethral resection of the prostate or TURP).
In this study, patients with BPH received a pretreatment consisting of 320 mg/day of a saw palmetto supplement at least eight weeks before their surgery. This led to a reduction in the time spent in surgery, as well as a reduction in the development of complications.
Moreover, pretreatment with saw palmetto also helped reduce blood loss and shorten the total time spent in the hospital.
8. Saw palmetto supplements can help boost your sex drive.
Saw palmetto’s role in regulating your body’s testosterone levels can potentially lead to a stronger sex drive. What’s more, if you suffer from BPH symptoms, taking saw palmetto supplements can spare your libido from a drug-induced meltdown.
What do we mean?
Conventional drug treatments for BPH are known to negatively impact men’s sex drive. With that being said, a promising 2016 study has shown that taking a saw palmetto supplement led to a smaller decrease in libido compared to conventional BPH drug therapy.
What’s the bottom line?
Saw palmetto is commonly used in herbal supplements to help manage a variety of health conditions. It packs a bunch of health benefits that can elevate men’s health and wellbeing.
Studies show that saw palmetto extract may help prevent and manage benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), increase testosterone levels, improve urinary tract function, fight hair loss, boost your sex drive, and reduce inflammation. Saw palmetto may also contribute to prostate cancer prevention and help with minimizing complications post-prostate surgery.
Taking saw palmetto capsules regularly can be a helpful addition to your health and wellness habits. It’s packed with beneficial antioxidants. As the aforementioned benefits show, saw palmetto can also influence how you will fare later on in life, health-wise.
Best saw palmetto supplement in the Philippines
If you’re looking for the best saw palmetto supplement in the Philippines, check out .
Puritan’s Pride is a renowned maker of vitamins and supplements that are carefully made from the highest quality ingredients. Our Saw Palmetto capsules contain a precisely-crafted formula that contains 85% to 95% fatty acids and active sterols—therefore ensuring bioactivity and quality.
Looking for something else? Check out all of our supplements for prostate support here.
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