Saw Palmetto Ineffective For Prostate Symptoms

Long-term use of the dietary supplement saw palmetto, even at three times the usual dose, did not reduce symptoms of prostate enlargement significantly better than placebo in a large group of middle-aged men, according to the most rigorous study of the popular herb.

"The bottom line is, don't waste your money on saw palmetto supplements for prostate enlargement," says study lead author Kevin McGarry, MD, professor of urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. You can find the best strongest prostate pills online.

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"It doesn't work any better than a placebo," McVary recommends that men with an enlarged prostate talk to their doctor about medications that shrink or relax the prostate or about laser surgery, the most common surgical procedure.

The study, conducted by researchers from 14 institutions across the United States and Canada, appears in the Sept. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The lead author is Dr. Michael Barry of Massachusetts General Hospital.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), commonly referred to as an enlarged prostate, affects about half of men by age 50 and three-quarters by age 80.

The condition can be mild, but for many men, symptoms such as frequent urination—including the need to go to the bathroom several times a night—difficulty urinating and a weak or intermittent stream of urine affect the quality of life. There are several conventional medications available to treat DPH, but the side effects can be uncomfortable.