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Saw Palmetto for Men

Saw Palmetto for Men

Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.  

While it is best known for the treatment of enlarged prostate, the use of saw palmetto for men is not only limited to this but also for many different other reasons including hair loss, low sex drive, and urinary tract function. Wanna know what saw palmetto can do for men’s health? Let's explore together. 

In this article, we’ll be exploring the benefits of taking saw palmetto for men along with possible doses and safety precautions. But before we get into how saw palmetto can help with men’s health, we’ll start with the basics of saw palmetto first. So, let’s get started. 

Table of contents 

  • What is saw palmetto? 
  • Benefits of saw palmetto for men
  • How to use saw palmetto 
  • Precautions and side effects 
  • Final words 

What is saw palmetto? 

Saw palmetto, also known as the American dwarf palm tree or Serenoa repens, is a small species of the palm family with sharp thorn-shaped leaves that grows in the sandy soils of the southeastern coastal regions of North America. It produces large yellow berries that turn dark when ripe. 

Saw palmetto has been used for centuries by Native Americans for its high nutritional value and medicinal properties for treating a whole range of ailments and their associated symptoms.

The benefits of saw palmetto for men and women appear to come from the phytochemical compounds found in the berries, such as flavonoids, fatty acids, plant sterols, and heavy molecular weight polysaccharides, all of which have been believed to have cough-reducing, sedative, diuretic, and aphrodisiac as well as other properties. 

Currently, the berries of saw palmetto are dried and ground to prepare extracts that are widely promoted as dietary supplements for improving various health conditions including hair loss, enlarged prostate, pelvic pain, and urinary tract symptoms. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways how saw palmetto can specifically benefit men's health:   

Benefits of saw palmetto  for men 

Saw palmetto can help men in many ways, including managing and preventing various ailments and associated symptoms, particularly those related to reproductive organs, hair loss, and androgen levels. Some common health benefits of saw palmetto for men are as follows: 

Saw palmetto can help reduce BPH symptoms 

Saw palmetto is most commonly used for the treatment of BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia and its associated symptoms such as painful urination and nocturia (frequent urination at night). 

Saw palmetto extract can help keep testosterone levels in a healthy state, reduce prostatic inflammation, and inhibit prostate growth with its anti-androgenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties. 

A 2019 study in Food Science and Biotechnology showed that saw palmetto extract is effective in improving lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in BPH at clinical and preclinical levels with its potential anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and anti-androgenic effects. 

Saw palmetto may help with hair loss 

Males are more prone to experience hair loss than females. Certain types of hair loss such as telogen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness are common in men that affect self-esteem, confidence, as well as the overall quality of life. Studies suggest that saw palmetto may reduce hair falls, improve hair density, and restore normal hair growth in men with these conditions. 

A 2020 systematic review published in Skin Appendage Disorders revealed that the use of saw palmetto topically or orally can improve hair thinning, telogen effluvium, and androgenetic alopecia without any adverse effects. 

Saw palmetto can improve testosterone levels and sexual function 

Low testosterone levels are linked to poor sexual function or low sex drive which is often associated with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and BPH. 

Saw palmetto has the potential to block the 5 alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), and therefore, can help keep testosterone levels in a healthy state and as well as improve sexual function in men who have BPH and other lower urinary tract symptoms.  

How to use saw palmetto 

The methods of use and doses of saw palmetto are individual and may vary from one person to another depending on the specific health conditions and goals. Oral doses of saw palmetto generally range from 160 mg to 960 mg per day which can be taken in several divided doses in various supplementary forms such as capsules, liquid extracts, or tablets. 

For topical use, lotions, creams, and gels containing saw palmetto extract are also available. It’s best to talk with a licensed natural medicine professional to determine what dose and method of use would be suitable for your specific condition.  

Precautions and side effects 

There are no reported serious adverse effects of saw palmetto so far when taken as recommended, but some people may experience mild and easily reversible symptoms of headache, dizziness, abdominal discomfort, and a decline in sexual function. 

Besides, it impacts the hormonal system and the ways certain medications work in the body, such as blood thinners. Therefore, it’s important to take the direct supervision of a healthcare provider when considering taking it with hormone conditions such as pregnancy and breastfeeding or in combination with other medication. 

Final words 

Saw palmetto has been shown to have many potential health benefits for men, but its full potential is still yet to come. However, improving BPH and urinary tract symptoms, male pattern hair loss, and restoring testosterone levels are some of the common benefits of saw palmetto for men what we know so far. It’s always recommended to speak with a licensed naturopathic doctor or healthcare professional before using saw palmetto or any dietary supplements to determine the safety precautions and best method of use.

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