Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Saw Palmetto Can Improve Symptoms For Men With Urinary Problems

Date:
December 13, 2001
Source:
University Of Chicago Medical Center
Summary:
A six-month-long carefully controlled study by physicians at the University of Chicago, published in the December issue of the journal Urology, shows that the herbal remedy saw palmetto can improve symptoms for men with lower urinary tract problems, but that it has no significant impact on urinary flow rates, quality of life, or sexual function.

A six-month-long carefully controlled study by physicians at the University of Chicago, published in the December issue of the journal Urology, shows that the herbal remedy saw palmetto can improve symptoms for men with lower urinary tract problems, but that it has no significant impact on urinary flow rates, quality of life, or sexual function.

Related Articles


Although several smaller, briefer and uncontrolled trials of saw palmetto (serona repens) have implied benefits from this herb, many physicians have remained skeptical.

Men with urinary symptoms -- such as an enlarged prostate, which can interfere with their efforts to empty their bladders -- have not shared these doubts. They spend more than $140 million a year on herbal preparations containing saw palmetto, making it one of the 10 best-selling herbal remedies.

"Our study provides the best evidence to date that saw palmetto can have a beneficial effect," said Glenn Gerber, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the University of Chicago and director of the study.

Gerber and colleagues at the University of Chicago and at the Dekalb Clinic, in Dekalb, Illinois, enrolled 94 men who complained of urinary retention in the trial. During the first month of the study all participants received a placebo capsule twice a day. After the first month, nine men who reported considerable improvement were removed from the trial.

The remaining 85 men were randomly selected to receive two capsules a day of either saw palmetto (provided by Nutraceutical Corp., Ogden, Utah) or a placebo.

After the one-month placebo "run-in period,' the study subjects filled out a standardized questionnaire about their urinary symptoms, a second questionnaire about sexual function, and a third questionnaire about quality of life. They also had their urinary flow rates measured. The tests were repeated two, four and six months into the trial.

After six months on the mediction, the men who received saw palmetto had a 4.4-point decrease (improvement) in their urinary symptom score, from an average of 16.7 down to 12.3. Men who received only the placebo also had a reduction but of only half the size, 2.2 points, from 15.8 down to 13.6.

There were no significant differences between the two groups in the other measurements. Peak urinary flow rates improved slightly in both groups. Self-assessed quality of life improved slightly in both groups. There was no change in sexual function.

This may not provide the final word on saw palmetto, which has not yet been compared with standard medications for an enlarged prostate, but it does "tell doctors how to talk to patients about this supplement," said Gerber. "Saw palmetto clearly offers symptomatic benefit as compared with placebo controls."

"We can tell patients that this appears to be a safe, well-tolerated substance that can produce short-term improvement of urinary symptoms," said Gerber. "But we also need to point out that we don't know why it works, and that the dose can vary widely and unpredictably in over-the-counter preparations, which may also include other untested herbal supplements."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Chicago Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Chicago Medical Center. "Saw Palmetto Can Improve Symptoms For Men With Urinary Problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011213085153.htm>.
University Of Chicago Medical Center. (2001, December 13). Saw Palmetto Can Improve Symptoms For Men With Urinary Problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011213085153.htm
University Of Chicago Medical Center. "Saw Palmetto Can Improve Symptoms For Men With Urinary Problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011213085153.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins