Saw Palmetto Extract No Effect on BPH

Saw palmetto extract, widely touted as a natural alternative for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) turned out to be no better than placebo at relieving urinary symptoms, according to researchers.

Men with BPH who were randomly assigned to take either saw palmetto extract or identical placebo capsules for one year had no significant differences in symptoms scores, maximal urine flow, post-void residual urine volume, or prostate size, reported Stephen Bent, M.D., and colleagues of the University of California San Francisco, in the Feb. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Primary Source: Bent. S et al. Saw Palmetto for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. N Engl J Med 2006;354:557-66.

DiPaola RS and Morton RA. Proven and Unproven Therapy for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. N Engl J Med 2006;354:632-4.