Saw Palmetto: The Natural Secret to Better Prostate Health?

Saw palmetto, a type of American dwarf palm tree, has shown significant potential in managing prostate health as men age. Rich in fatty acids and phytosterols such as beta-sitosterol, saw palmetto offers anti-inflammatory properties and helps manage hormones that control prostate growth. By inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and 5-alpha-reductase activity in prostate tissue, it can improve urinary flow, reduce nighttime urination, and enhance overall quality of life.

Shopping for Prostate Supplements

When searching for top prostate supplements containing saw palmetto, consider looking for formulations that include additional beneficial ingredients such as:

  • Stinging nettle
  • Curcumin
  • Quercetin

These components complement saw palmetto’s properties and contribute to more comprehensive prostate health support. Other helpful ingredients to consider in your supplement regimen include:

  • Beta-sitosterol
  • Vitamin D3
  • DIM (diindolylmethane)
  • Cranberry
  • Pygeum
  • Zinc
  • Green tea extract
  • Pollen extracts

Ensure your supplements provide clinical-strength ingredients that can truly make a positive difference in your health. Also, consider seeking a supplement that was formulated by a urologist or naturopath who specializes in men’s prostate health.

Saw Palmetto in Studies

While saw palmetto has been examined in many studies, it’s essential to understand that its effectiveness in improving prostate health may dwindle when used alone. It tends to work more effectively when combined with other supplements. Here are some notable findings from various studies involving saw palmetto:

  1. Prostatitis Treatment – In a study where one group took antibiotics and another group took antibiotics with a supplement containing saw palmetto, curcumin, quercetin, and other natural ingredients, 90% of patients in the supplement group reported their symptoms were gone after one month, and prostatitis did not return for six months. In comparison, only 27% of those who took antibiotics alone reported similar improvements (Cai, 2009).

  2. Treatment for Enlarged Prostate – Saw palmetto relieved urinary symptoms in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) as effectively as the pharmaceutical drug finasteride (Proscar), but without its severe side effects (Pais, 2010).

  3. Chronic Prostatitis Comparison – In a study where one group of patients took 160mg of saw palmetto twice a day, and another group took 0.4mg of Flomax (tamsulosin) for six weeks, both groups showed similar improvements. However, the pain scores of those who took saw palmetto decreased more significantly.

  4. Combination with Antioxidants – Saw palmetto’s effectiveness in reducing enlarged prostate size increases when taken with antioxidants such as selenium and lycopene (Altavilla, 2011).

Taking Saw Palmetto

Men have utilized saw palmetto for prostate health for over 200 years. There are no known significant side effects or drug interactions, though one positive side effect reported is the slowing or prevention of male pattern baldness.

For optimal benefits, take 320-640mg of saw palmetto extract daily to improve prostate health and promote a healthy libido. As always, consult your healthcare provider before incorporating any new supplements into your health regimen.


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.

Cai T et al. Serenoa repens associated with Urtica dioica and curcumin and quercitin extracts are able to improve the efficacy of prulifloxacin in bacterial prostatitis patients: results from a prospective randomized study. Int J Antimicrob Agents 2009 Jun; 33(6): 549-53.

Pais P. Potency of a novel saw palmetto ethanol extract, SPET-05, for inhibition of 5alpha-reductase II. Adv Ther 2010 Aug; 27(8): 555-63