Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Popular supplement has no effect on prostate health, clinical study shows

Date:
September 27, 2011
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
The most widely used over-the-counter supplement for prostate health is no more effective than a placebo in treating men's lower urinary tract symptoms, according to new findings.

The most widely used over-the-counter supplement for prostate health is no more effective than a placebo in treating men's lower urinary tract symptoms.

The findings, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, are from a study that included a UT Southwestern Medical Center prostate expert.

In the largest and longest trial investigating saw palmetto extract, North American scientists -- including Dr. Claus Roehrborn, chairman of urology at UT Southwestern -- at 11 clinical sites tested up to three times the standard manufacturer's dose and found that the supplement did not improve lower urinary tract symptoms in men with prostate enlargement.

"Astonishingly enough, there was not any measurable effect -- either in benefits or in toxicity -- with increasing doses of the supplement in comparison to placebo," said Dr. Roehrborn, a co-author of the multicenter study. "These supplements are apparently not doing anything measurably above and beyond what we call the placebo effect."

Men with enlargement of the prostate, a common age-related condition, often experience obstruction of the urethra, leading to frequent or painful urination, increased risk of urinary tract infections and urinary retention. About half of males in the U.S. experience prostate enlargement by age 50, and 75 percent by age 80.

Lower urinary tract symptoms may be treated with medications, minimally invasive therapies or surgery. But plant extracts, believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-hormonal and anti-growth agents, have been widely used for decades in the U.S. and Europe. The most commonly used are extracts of the fruit of the saw palmetto dwarf plant tree. Americans spend billions annually on such food supplements; the global market for saw palmetto extract is about $700 million a year.

In the current randomized study, conducted between June 2008 and October 2010, researchers tested 379 men ages 45 and older, and discovered that increasing daily doses of a saw palmetto fruit extract over 72 weeks did not reduce symptoms in the men's lower urinary tract. The scientists also tested the supplement's impact on quality of life issues such as nighttime urination, sexual function, incontinence problems and sleep dysfunction.

"None of them showed any effect whatsoever in contrast to placebo," Dr. Roehrborn said. "These supplements cost about $30 or more a month, and they obviously don't help."

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the NIH's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Office of Dietary Supplements.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael J. Barry, Sreelatha Meleth, Jeannette Y. Lee, Karl J. Kreder, Andrew L. Avins, J. Curtis Nickel, Claus G. Roehrborn, E. David Crawford, Harris E. Foster, Jr, Steven A. Kaplan, Andrew Mccullough, Gerald L. Andriole, Michael J. Naslund, O. Dale Williams, John W. Kusek, Catherine M. Meyers, Joseph M. Betz, Alan Cantor, Kevin T. Mcvary, for the Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Urological Symptoms (CAMUS) Study Group. Effect of Increasing Doses of Saw Palmetto Extract on Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms: A Randomized Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011; 306 (12): 1344-1351 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.1364

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Popular supplement has no effect on prostate health, clinical study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927161658.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2011, September 27). Popular supplement has no effect on prostate health, clinical study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927161658.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Popular supplement has no effect on prostate health, clinical study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927161658.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
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:

More Coverage


Saw Palmetto No More Effective Than Placebo for Urinary Symptoms; Study Finds Dietary Supplement Does Not Alleviate BPH

Sep. 27, 2011 Saw palmetto, a widely used herbal dietary supplement, does not reduce urinary problems associated with prostate enlargement any better than a placebo, according to new ... read more
from the past week

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