Many men with enlarged prostate glands have sought relief from an herbal remedy called saw palmetto. It was reputed to alleviate symptoms such as frequent urination, but a new meta-analysis from the Cochrane Collaboration demonstrates that saw palmetto extract performs no better than placebo. The Cochrane Collaboration is an international network of volunteers that uses rigorous criteria to assess the effectiveness of a wide range of medical interventions. In this case, the investigators analyzed 17 studies lasting from four to 72 weeks. Even the highest dose of saw palmetto was not statistically superior to placebo. The experts conclude that this herbal remedy is safe but ineffective.

[BJU International, June, 2012]

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  1. Jerry

    Absolutely, saw palmetto has been a life saver. Two tablets daily and almost all of my problems are under control. Still don’t have a stream like when I was twenty but all else is under control. Sleep most nights with only one trip to the bathroom. Very little retention. Take them every where I travel.

  2. Chuck
    Raleigh, NC

    There is nothing that will ever make me believe that saw palmetto is not beneficial for BPH. I have been using it for close to 20 years and have recommended it to friends who have the same problem and they have had improved results. Initially, I used only saw palmetto, which reduced my night trips to the restroom, but as I aged added other supplements. I strongly encourage all men who have BPH to give saw palmetto a try but use the proper dosage.

  3. joe

    Great Information
    I am going to try saw palmetto
    Hot choclate is much better than coffee, use honey instead of sugar

  4. Fed B.

    I am turning 63 in November. I am Filipino, and my BPH onset was about 4 years ago, when I started saw several months now. If not only because tamsulosin and the likes are high-costing in our country (thanks to the established, institutionalized ‘drug cartel’) and because supplies of the 550mg saw palmetto (even just the pure and w/o any vitapluses) seems to be deliberately hoarded, and the recent reports of the-just-like-placebo stories or research— I would have stopped with saw.
    I just wonder that perhaps it may be that my bodily constitution is aligned to saw as with most positive reports, altho I read here that they are dated 2012 yet. Truth is I just experienced the way they themselves testify to saw palmetto’s all-real positive effect on me. I wonder too if the established anti-BPH drug companies are feeling the loss of the market share for the treatment they are used to prescribed (from their clinic “pushers’). [By the way, I am a stern believer in good-science medicine, but then it seems the placebo comparison study is a funny report. One “experienced” urologist says saw lessens PSA level that leads to difficulty of detecting prostatic cancer, that’s all?]

  5. BB

    The other comments are correct, saw palmetto, is quite effective in relieving urination problems. Helps a lot!

  6. jrm

    I’m a little surprised that a meta-analysis would show these results.
    I have taken a saw palmetto complex with zinc, including pumpkinseed oil, Pygeum extract and Uva-ursi extract for the last 15 or more years. I can notice a difference in urine flow when I use a different brand, with a different mixture of herbs. I now stick with this particular brand.

  7. beau10

    I always wonder who funds these “studies” and how they profit from whatever conclusion. I don’t give a whizz about the so-called “no better than a placebo” – saw palmetto, supplements work damned well for me. And none of the nasty side-effects from some pharma-drug. I googled “supplements for prostate health” and discovered I regularly take or consume food that fits the natural description. As I previously stated, the natural supplements and food work better for me than the pharma-prescription-drug I was once prescribed.

  8. s.h.

    Not work any better than placebo?
    They must be kidding. Years ago, about 14 or 15 yrs or so, my husband was beginning to have prostate problems with multiple trips to the bathroom. I had heard about using saw , so I started my husband out on a high end capsule of WHOLE HERB . Later we began using the CONCENTRATE 85 -95% fatty acids at 160 mg per gel cap.two per day.
    At first suggestion, my husband argued and said that taking some berries from a plant would not help the problem that ALL men face later in life! I begged him to try the capsules, just try them. He agreed for a while.
    He started out with two capsules each morning. I made sure that he was taking them, though he protested. Too much trouble, he said.
    I remember the morning (after day 12) that as I walked in to start breakfast, my husband VOLUNTARILY told me that he thought those capsules MIGHT be helping after all.
    From then on, he made sure he took them. *if he gets busy or on a trip and does not take them for a few days, he starts having the problem, again.
    Not work any better than a placebo? Don’t make my hubby laugh.

  9. CLW

    Are there any herbal remedies for constricted urinary flow problems?

  10. LES

    I have taken Saw Palmetto for years and when ever I run out I do start to have problems with urination, not being able to void completly and having to go much more often. I know what the study says but for me it just works. I know several men that it works for as well, and yes I do know some men who said it didn’t work for them. I don’t know how the study was done but I am not going to stop taking something that helps me just because some study tells me that it doesn’t work, if it helps great and with no side effects that I have seen I think that it is worth a try.

  11. BK

    Don’t agree. I’ve been using saw palmetto for years every time I start to see urination problems and it has always brought these symptoms back to normal. I will continue to use this approach in the future as long as it works and up until now it does work.

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