If you’re experiencing symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate, such as increased urinary frequency and urinary leakage, you may be wondering whether any natural supplements can help.
You’ll be happy to know there is one such supplement called saw palmetto—a type of palm tree native to the southeastern United States.
How can saw palmetto support prostate health?
Saw palmetto has a long history of use by Native Americans for its nutritional value and ability to support prostate and other urinary problems. It’s best known for its use in reducing urinary symptoms associated with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), a condition that causes an enlargement of the prostate gland.
Saw palmetto’s medicinal properties stem from the berry of the palmetto tree, which contains a compound that may reduce symptoms like excessive urination and leakage.
Is saw palmetto effective?
Evidence supporting the use of saw palmetto for prostate health is mixed. A report published in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews analyzed 32 previous studies involving over 5,000 men with BPH. It concluded there was little evidence that saw palmetto could alleviate BPH symptoms.[*]
However, a more recent 2020 review published in the American Journal of Men’s Health, which evaluated four studies involving over 1,000 men with BPH, found that saw palmetto improved urinary flow when taken daily for six months.[*]
The Bottom Line on Saw Palmetto for Prostate Health
Saw palmetto shows great promise in reducing symptoms of BPH, but with inconsistent research results, it’s clear more studies are needed to ultimately determine its effectiveness.
That being said, saw palmetto is generally well tolerated and has few (if any) side effects. Taking saw palmetto is certainly worth trying if you’re struggling with uncomfortable prostate-related symptoms. Just be sure to get your doctor’s OK before taking it, as it could interact with some medications and health conditions.