Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Myth of Saw Palmetto





     I have been taking saw palmetto for over 20 years.  I first started taking it when I read that it prevented prostate problems, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer.  Before I started taking the supplement, naturally I did some research on it to determine it's efficacy and safety.  At that timeI learned that it had been used for years in Europe to treat prostate problems.  Much of the research added that it is as effective as  prescribed medications, such as Avodart and Flomax.  If a Google search is done one can also see that saw palmetto can also reduce the size of the prostate gland which would reduce the annoying symptoms of BPH. 

    Now that I am 70 years old I am one of the millions of American men who suffer from the symptoms of BPH.  These include frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom, weak urinary stream, urgency and incomplete bladder emptying, among others.  Apparently saw palmetto didn't work, at least for me!  Each of the primary care physicians and urologists I have visited over the years knew I was taking saw palmetto, but never advised against it or even mentioned it. I continued taking it , I guess in the hopes one day I would begin to see a benefit.

   In the past couple of years as my nighttime trips to the bathroom became more frequent I began once again to research the efficacy of saw palmetto treatment for BPH.  As before I saw the same testimonials regarding how great the herb was for millions of sufferers.  But unlike before I discovered that there is actually very little scientific research to substantiate the claims that saw palmetto can be beneficial in the treatment of BPH or any other prostate conditions.  I came to doubt the claims of the relief of symptoms offered in reviews of prostate support supplements containing saw palmetto, which I read on prostate health forums and Amazon product review pages.  I found more and more people like me who found no benefit from taking the supplement.  So finally I decided to stop my daily regime of supplementing with saw palmetto and other prostate health supplements.  It has now been over 2 months since I have stopped the supplements and my condition has not changed a bit!  I'm not saying that saw palmetto may not help some men, but for me it is of no use.

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