Saw Plametto The botanical name for Saw Palmetto is Serenoa Repens, while its genus / species name is Serenoa repens.
Its benefits on prostate gland can be traced back centuries where the aborigines of Florida depended upon the berries as a staple food item and was included in the Indian medicine mans array of healing herbs. In 1898, Edwin Hale, M.D. described its medicinal value for relief of prostate gland swelling in his book-Saw Palmetto. Saw Palmetto is also believed to benefit conditions like baldness, colds and coughs, sore throat, asthma, chronic bronchitis, migraine headache etc, studies are needed to support these health benefit claims of saw palmetto.
Saw Plametto Benefits - Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Recently an extract derived from the Saw Palmetto berry has been used to treat male genitourinary problems. It grows naturally in the southeast United States, and has been used as a folk remedy for this issue for hundreds of years. In recent years science has confirmed that Saw Palmetto is an effective herbal remedy in helping to treat the common symptoms associated with and enlarged prostate gland. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is a common occurrence in almost all men over 50.
Researchers at University of Messina, Italy, reported the combined use of saw palmetto, selenium and lycopene gave a better benefit than saw palmetto alone to prevent hormone dependent prostatic growth in a study of rats. 
Saw Palmetto Benefits - Prostate Cancer Researchers recently demonstrated that oral administration of saw palmetto to TRAMP mice increases apoptosis, and reduce tumor grade and frank tumor incidence. These results support the idea that dietary supplementation with saw palmetto extract could be effective in preventing or delaying the onset and progression of prostate cancer. 
NOTES A study of 369 men finds that the supplements work no better than placebo. The trial started men out at 320 mg, doubled the dose at six months, then tripled the dose to 960 mg daily after one year. However, both groups have similar results and the result is only a slight improvement.  _______________________________________________________________________________________
Saw Palmetto Hair Loss Androgenic alopecia (AGA) is the most common cause of hair loss in humans. AGA hair loss is characterized by the structural miniaturization of androgen-sensitive hair follicles in susceptible individuals and is anatomically defined within a given pattern of the scalp. Saw Palmetto may benefit AGA hair loss. Biochemically, one contributing factor of this disorder is the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone via the enzyme 5-alpha reductase (5AR). This metabolism is also key to the onset and progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In a study, liposterolic extract of saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol were effectively to treat this type of hair loss.  Chittur S and co-workers at Advanced Restoration Technologies, Inc. further demonstrated that saw palmetto extract combined with blockade of inflammatory processes could represent a novel two-pronged approach in the treatment of AGA hair loss with improved efficacy over current modalities. 
Saw Palmetto Acne A sebum control cream containing polyphenol-rich extract from saw palmetto, sesame seeds, and argan oilIn was shown its efficacy or benefit of reducing the greasiness of oily facial skin.  But insufficient evidence to support the claim that saw palmetto benefit conditions like acne. ____________________________________________________________________________________
SAW PALMETTO SIDE EFFECTS Saw palmetto appears to be as effective as finasteride, with limited side effects. There is no known drug interactions with saw palmetto and the side effects reported are minor and rare.  Also, In a review of 21 trials, Wilt T and co-workers at General Internal Medicine, Minneapolis, concluded that the side effects related to Serenoa repens were mild and infrequent. 
In a study of 155 men with clinically diagnosed benign prostatic hyperplasia, subjects consumed Permixon 160 mg (lipidosterolic extract of Serenoa repens; twice daily for 2 years). Researchers found maximum urinary flow improved significantly and Prostate size decreased. Sexual function remained stable during the first year of treatment and improved significantly during the second year. 10 adverse events were reported in nine patients. The researchers claimed that the long-term efficacy and tolerability of saw palmetto extract was demonstrated. 
Medlineplus (September 14, 2011) reports saw palmetto side effects include dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea. Saw palmetto side effect may further include impotence, however, the rate of these side effects is similar to the rate for users taking placebo. There is also some concern that saw palmetto might cause liver or pancreas problems in some people, but information is not sufficient to show the relationship. Finally, saw palmetto seems to decrease estrogen level and slow blood clotting. Users must be careful if they are also taking estrogen pills, anticoagulants, and antiplatelets.
A recent report (August 25, 2011), a case of acute pancreatitis potentially associated with saw palmetto use has been reported. Users must be alert to this potential side effects.  In fact, as early as 2006, there was a similar report about saw palmetto side effect of pancreatitis from St. Agnes Healthcare.  ______________________________________________________________________________________
Comments The recommended dosages for early stages of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is 160 mg, twice a day. The product should be standardized and contain 85 - 95% fatty acids and sterols. These fatty acids and sterols are believed to be the active components in Saw Palmetto that may nutritionally support healthy prostate and urinary function. Extract usually contains oleic acid, lauric acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid, plant sterols (beta-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol and cycloartenol), free fatty alcohols and monoglycerides.Other relevant articles in this website include:Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia TreatmentBenign Prostatic Hyperplasia SymptomsFrequent Urination
Good Health, David, September 14, 2011 ____________________________________________________________________________________
REFERENCE  Saw Palmetto for Prostate Disorders, Am Fam Physician 2003 Mar 15;67(6):1281-3. Pytel YA et al Long-term clinical and biologic effects of the lipidosterolic extract of serenoa repens in patients with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. Adv. Ther. 2002 Nov-Dec; 19(6):297-306.  Serenoa repens for benign prostatic hyperplasia, Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2002;(3): CD001423.  Can herbal supplements prevent prostate cancer? Oregon Health and Science University Website September 14, 2011. HAIR LOSS  Prager N, et al, A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of botanically derived inhibitors of 5-alpha-reductase in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. J Altern Complement Med. 2002 Apr;8(2):143-52.  Chittur S et al, Inhibition of Inflammatory Gene Expression in Keratinocytes Using a Composition Containing Carnitine, Thioctic Acid and Saw Palmetto Extract. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Aug 19.  Dobrev H. Clinical and instrumental study of the efficacy of a new sebum control cream. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2007 Jun;6(2):113-8.  Bruminhent J et al, Acute pancreatitis with saw palmetto use: a case report. J Med Case Reports. 2011 Aug 25;5(1):414  Altavilla D, et al, The Combination of Serenoa Repens, Selenium and Lycopene is More Effective Than Serenoa Repens Alone to Prevent Hormone Dependent Prostatic Growth. J Urol. 2011 Oct;186(4):1524-9.  Jibrin I, et al, Saw palmetto-induced pancreatitis. South Med J. 2006 Jun;99(6):611-2.  Saw Palmetto Works No Better Than Placebo for Prostate Symptoms Healthland.time.com September 28, 2011
Saw Palmetto Side Effects, Saw Palmetto Benefits Saw Palmetto Hair Loss and Acne, September 14, 2011
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