Getting older isn’t easy, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But a saw palmetto supplement might help solve at least a few of your age-related problems.
Saw palmetto berry or extract supplements have become popular for supporting prostate health and treating hair loss.
Whether or not these claims hold up, however, has been up for debate. Research on saw palmetto’s effects has produced conflicting results. Today, we’ll talk about whether a saw palmetto supplement is worth the try and the best options currently on the market.
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens/Sabal serrulata) is a palm tree-like plant originating from the southeastern United States. Its use dates back to the early 1900s, when it was employed as a remedy for a variety of reproductive illnesses.
It continues to be used similarly today. Currently, saw palmetto can be used to help treat conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), urinary tract infections, hair loss, and more. It does so by stopping testosterone from breaking down into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which in excess can disrupt your body’s hormonal balance and cause the above issues.
In its supplement form, saw palmetto is quite accessible and is typically taken in doses of 320 mg twice per day.
Saw palmetto is known primarily for its treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition that causes overgrowth of the prostate gland and difficulty with urination.
A study concluded that taking 320 mg of saw palmetto alleviated symptoms associated with BPH. Participants reported an increase in urinary flow and improved quality of life.
However, not all studies on saw palmetto and BPH have been successful. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), for instance, completed two studies on saw palmetto’s effects on BPH and found it to be no more effective than a placebo.
Despite its conflicting effects on BPH, saw palmetto has been shown to help with hair loss.
Multiple studies found that the intake of saw palmetto has been linked to increased hair count and hair density, as well as improved hair quality.
There are also claims that saw palmetto reduces inflammation, but we’ll need more research to support these claims.
When it comes to choosing the best saw palmetto supplements, there are plenty of simple products from reputable companies out there. In this list, we highlight high-quality, reliable products.
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GNC Men’s Saw Palmetto Formula is jam-packed with quality ingredients at a good price point. In addition to saw palmetto, it contains pumpkin seed powder, which is believed to help promote prostate health. It also contains minerals like calcium and zinc. Each bottle includes a 120-day supply, and each capsule has 500 mg of saw palmetto in it.
NOW Foods Saw Palmetto Extract is another capsule-based supplement that offers quality, intentional ingredients. Each capsule contains 320 mg of saw palmetto and 80 mg of pumpkin seed oil, so you get what you need and nothing else. It provides a 90-day supply at an affordable cost too.
They include pumpkin seed oil to add beneficial fatty acids to the formula.
It’s non-GMO, suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and comes in convenient veggie softgels.
This 21st Century Saw Palmetto supplement is the most affordable option on our list. It’s gluten-free and has a vegetarian capsule, so it’s also a good option for alternative diets. You can get about thirty servings if taking the recommended two capsules (450 mg) per day. That’s a month worth of saw palmetto for under $10.
Country Life Saw Palmetto & Pygeum Extract contains the good stuff and nothing else. It contains 170 mg of saw palmetto and 344 mg of a proprietary blend which includes pygeum extract. Pygeum is an extract from bark that has been used to support testosterone levels, although evidence to support its effectiveness is lacking. This bottle provides 45 servings if taking the recommended two capsules per day.
Havasu Nutrition Saw Palmetto Gummies are a great option if you like gummy-based supplements. Each gummy has a yummy raspberry flavor and contains 60 mg of saw palmetto. You can get 30 servings if taking the recommended two gummies per day.
It’s important to note that gummy supplements tend to contain additional sugars, and this one is no exception. But if gummies are your supplement form of choice, this is one of the most potent options on the market.
Saw palmetto is considered to be a safe supplement. Mild side effects include headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Women who are pregnant, nursing, or taking birth control should consult a doctor before taking this supplement. This is because saw palmetto can alter the levels of estrogen and androgen in the body.
Lastly, saw palmetto is not a treatment for BPH. If you are experiencing symptoms of BPH, consult your doctor. Do not try to self-treat the condition with supplementation.
The best way to determine if a saw palmetto supplement is right for you is by consulting a healthcare professional.
If you are experiencing hair loss, urinary issues, or other symptoms of BPH, a saw palmetto supplement is worth the try. If you’re not struggling with these things, there’s probably not much benefit to taking this supplement.
As mentioned, there are some small studies that suggest that it can help with benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate. However, the data here isn’t conclusive.
If you have signs of prostrate problems, like frequent urination, talk to your healthcare provider. Other urinary health, like abnormal urine flow, could be a sign as well.
There are other herbal supplements that you can look into if you’re a guy trying to look and feel your best. Tongkat Ali has immerged for its potential to support libido and testosterone.
If you’re looking to support hair growth, check out this list of collagen supplements to support hair growth.
Finally, you can’t go wrong with tried-and-true basics like vitamin D.
Disclaimer: Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement, including saw palmetto. This isn’t your first time on the internet, so you should know not to trust strangers.