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Saw Palmetto, also called American dwarf palm tree grows in the south-eastern United States, mainly on coasts of Florida, and it has large fan-shaped leaves. Its fruits are abundant red berries with a bitter taste that are used as a remedy in herbalism due to their medicinal properties. Among the ingredients in the Saw Palmetto berries the substances known as sterols stand out, especially the one called beta-sitosterol.
It also contains long chain sugar molecules, flavonoids, and vegetable oil. All these components have a powerful and positive effect on the prostate.
Several clinical studies have shown that saw palmetto can relieve the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Unlike prescription medicines used to treat this disorder, saw palmetto has no side effects and it even improves health overall and strengthens sexual drive.
The prostate is a small gland that has a similar size and shape to that of a chestnut.
It is located below the bladder and surrounds, like a ring, the male urethra.
From the age of 75, almost all men suffer from inflammation of the prostate.
In most of the cases and if there are no other health problems, the inflammation of the prostate is not dangerous.
However, in around 25 or 30 percent of cases, it can cause benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), with symptoms of various types, among which is the unpleasant discomfort during urination.
Medications commonly prescribed to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), such as finasteride and alpha-blockers, can cause serious side effects, such as impotence or depressed mood, as well as dizziness, headaches, and tiredness.
Among the natural products that can be used to treat the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) we can find pumpkin seeds, nettle, rye pollen, and African plum, but the most popular remedy is undoubtedly saw palmetto, which is the best choice for an effective treatment of benign prostate enlargement.
Properties of Saw Palmetto
The American dwarf palm berries contain seeds, whose inside contains flavonoids, oil, and sterols.
These sterols can regulate the benign enlargement of the prostate, reduce inflammation of the gland and fluid retention, and relieve or cure the pain when urinating.
Among its properties the following stand out:
1. Improves the urine flow
During 1998, 18 controlled clinical trials were conducted on nearly 3.000 men who suffered from benign enlargement of the prostate.
The results of all these studies showed that men who consumed saw palmetto extract supplements experienced the same improvement in the urinary tract than those who had received finasteride treatment. However, in the case of saw palmetto extract they did not have to suffer the side effects associated to the medication.
2. Reduces the inflammation of the prostate
A 2003 clinical study clearly confirms that saw palmetto helps to reduce the inflammation of the prostate.
In order to do this, the effects of the berry extract were compared with those of finasteride (medicine) and Carnitine (an extract of eight different types of pollen) and the results were published in the journal "Molecular Biochemistry".
The conclusion was that all three types of treatments reduced inflammation of the prostate, but in those subjects who consumed saw palmetto and pollen extract, the treatment did not produce the serious side effects that go along with the medication and, in addition, a reduction of the body weight took place.
In order to achieve the best results you should consume Saw Palmetto regularly.
One of the most rigorous clinical studies that has been performed on this subject showed that a combination of saw palmetto and Carnitine produces, over the course of three months, an important relief of the general symptoms associated to benign prostatic hyperplasia. In particular, the improvement produced by the administration of natural products is experienced in the reduction of the nocturia (need to wake at night to urinate).
3. Improves sexual dysfunction
In most cases, benign prostatic hyperplasia has negative repercussions on the health and sexual life of those who suffer from this pathology.
This is because the urgent and frequent urge to urinate is usually accompanied by a painful ejaculation, difficulty to ejaculate, or erectile dysfunction.
When taking finasteride or alpha blockers to treat enlargement of the prostate, other symptoms such as irritability or a depressive state may occur in addition to sexual dysfunction. For this reason, most researchers have concluded that saw palmetto is a beneficial and efficient treatment which avoids dangerous side effects, reduces inflammation of the prostate, and improves the life quality of those who suffer from this pathology.
In a pilot clinical study conducted in 2003 for eight weeks on 82 men with mild to moderate symptoms of prostatic hyperplasia, they were given a daily intake of 320 mg of Saw Palmetto extract.
This study showed how the participants improved and how the symptoms associated to the pathology were reduced, like residual urine, frequent urination, inability to postpone urination, and night-time urination.
At the same time, it was found out that health and sexual life also notably improved. In addition, Saw Palmetto combined with astaxanthin maintains sexual vitality during old age and to slows down reduction of testosterone.
Benefits of Saw Palmetto in women
Although saw palmetto is one of the most used remedies for men, it also has many health benefits for women.
One of the most well-known benefits of Saw Palmetto for women is that it can stimulate the production of the female hormone prolactin, which can favor breast enlargement.
Saw Palmetto is also one of the best remedies to treat women's inflamed bladder and painful urination.
Another of its benefits is the reduction of hirsutism (or excessive hair growth) in women, caused by an excess of male hormones.
Side effects and interactions of Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto is made from the natural berries of the plant and it is sold as an extract, with different formats in terms of its composition and effectiveness. There are formulas that also add other natural products, such as pumpkin and nettle. The result you will obtain depends on the combination and ingredients of each preparation, which is the reason you should always choose a quality product to get the best results.
But, in general, saw palmetto produces no side effects except on rare occasions when some stomach discomfort may be experienced.
In addition, a study has been carried out to assess the safety of these substances. In this study, men who were consuming saw palmetto were evaluated for over a year and no side effects of any kind, like urinary incontinence, or sexual dysfunction, were observed.
However, if you experience any discomfort or other health problems, it is recommended to consult your doctor first.
In regard to possible interactions, it has sometimes been observed that Saw Palmetto can interact with ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. The extract of Saw Palmetto is a totally natural alternative, and one of the most valued and recognized remedies.
Especially in the early stages of the disease (benign prostatic hyperplasia - stages I and II) we recommend the regular consumption of saw palmetto extract to relieve discomfort.
When mild prostate problems occur a good alternative to medications (which are very aggressive) may bec onsuming saw palmetto. When prostate problems become more serious, it can be used to accompany conventional medical treatment, which will enhance its action and achieve relief from discomfort sooner.
If consume in the form of fresh berries, the recommended intake of Saw Palmetto is 1 to 2 grams a day. However, fresh berries are very difficult to find, so the best alternative is to opt for Saw Palmetto dietary supplements. If it is consumed as an extract, it is recommended an intake of 320 milligrams daily divided in two.
Where to buy a Saw Palmetto extract supplement
In our online HSNstore shop you can buy a Saw Palmetto nutritional supplement in the form of extract to prevent inflammation of the prostate or to improve the symptoms associated to this pathology.
When the prostate is slightly enlarged due to age, dietary supplements can relieve the discomfort this may cause. The most well-known treatment is pumpkin seed, not only for its ability to relieve the need to urinate frequently, but also to reduce inflammation of the bladder.
Saw Palmetto, nettle root, and rye pollen are also good for treating prostate problems. In addition, the phytosterols contained in these plants also have other benefits for health, such as reducing inflammation and swelling of the prostate, inhibiting long-term prostate enlargement, and preventing the development of prostate cancer.
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