The Many Wonders Of Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto is a North American palm plant. Although it is native to the gulf coast, it is widely used globally. Studies have shown that some species of the plant have lived over 600 years. Being such a resistant plant, and growing up to 10 feet; one may wonder what the health benefits are. The plant itself produces a fruit which is where most of the health benefits are. The fruit which sprouts in the form of a berry, can be digested; or the nutrients and properties can be extracted and used in capsule form. There are numerous health benefits to this plant. These benefits include hair health, muscle mass, and increased immunity to name a few.
When ingested, palmetto has a hormone affect on the human body. One of those affects has been shown to stimulate hair growth. Saw Palmetto has been a staple for those who are aging and experience hair loss or thinning. Many younger consumers also take the palmetto supplement as a precaution; to prevent the occurrence of hair loss.
Saw Palmetto also can boost the human immunity system. The plan has been used for centuries to treat colds, headaches and migraines. The anti-inflammatory properties inside the plant significantly reduces ailments and discomfort. The plant itself is known to promote overall vitality and increased health. However, due to its high concentration and strength, it is recommended to consult with a physician if you are currently taking other medications.
Bodybuilders and athletes have been taking palmetto as a supplement for decades. The properties in the plant increase muscle mass. When ingested, the plant increases testosterone levels in males; leading to gained muscle mass when aligned with physical training. Due to its potency, this should be taken in moderation when used as a supplement.
Palmetto is a plant that has been used for centuries due to it’s wide array of health benefits. This plant can live for hundreds of years and can grow up to 10 feet tall. Some of the health benefits of Saw Palmetto include increased muscle mass, boosted immunity, and hair health to name a few. The plant is high in concentration and should be consumed in moderation.
1. Prevents hair loss
Baldness is a common condition which can result from a variety of factors, including genetics, certain medical conditions, hormonal changes, and using medications, like stimulants and blood thinners.
Saw palmetto is often utilized to balance hormone levels and combat hair loss.
According to one review, saw palmetto can help block the action of 5-alpha reductase (5α-R), an enzyme which converts testosterone into a hormone linked to hair loss known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
It might also prevent hair loss by reducing the uptake of DHT in the hair follicles, which reduces its capacity to bind to specific hormone receptors.
In 1 analysis, saw palmetto was effective at enhancing hair growth in 60 percent of men with male pattern hair loss between the ages of 23 and 64.
Another research in 62 adults showed that applying saw palmetto topically for 3 months increased hair density by 35%.
2. Improves urinary tract function
Urinary tract symptoms are common among older men and can include issues like incontinence and difficulty urinating.
Saw palmetto can improve urinary symptoms associated with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) — a condition which causes an enlargement of the prostate gland and results in decreased urine flow.
1 12-week research in 92 men showed that taking 2 capsules per day of Prostataplex, a mixture of herbal supplements which contains saw palmetto, helped enhance urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH.
Similarly, another study in 85 men over age 45 found that treatment with 160 mg of saw palmetto twice per day decreased lower urinary tract symptoms, improved urine flow, and improved overall quality of life after 6 months.
However, more research is required to determine whether saw palmetto can also enhance urinary tract function in the general population, including for those experiencing prostate issues.
3. May encourage prostate health
The prostate is a small gland located between the bladder and the penis in males, which is responsible for preserving sperm health.
Some research suggests that saw palmetto could encourage prostate health and might aid in preventing issues like BPH and prostate cancer.
According to one test-tube study, saw palmetto berry extract managed to decrease the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Another test-tube study showed that saw palmetto blocked the spread and growth of prostate cancer cells by deactivating certain receptors involved in cancer growth.
Other animal and human studies indicate that it might be good at reducing urinary symptoms and inflammation related to BPH as well.
Yet, some studies don't correlate saw palmetto having a lower risk of prostate cancer and also observe that it could be ineffective at decreasing symptoms of BPH.
Further high quality research is required to evaluate how saw palmetto can affect prostate health in people.
4. May decrease inflammation
Saw palmetto includes the antioxidants epicatechin and methyl gallate — chemicals which prevent damage to cells, decrease inflammation, and protect against chronic disease.
Some research shows that saw palmetto might have anti inflammatory properties, which might be valuable in treating certain ailments.
For example, 1 study found that providing saw palmetto extract to mice with enlarged prostate glands decreased swelling and many markers of inflammation, including interleukin 6 (IL-6).
Another research in obese rats using BPH found that saw palmetto was effective at decreasing inflammation and enhancing antioxidant status.
Although these results are promising, additional studies are required to determine how saw palmetto can impact inflammation in people.
5. Can help regulate testosterone levels
Saw palmetto is often used by men looking to increase testosterone levels naturally.
Regulating testosterone levels can affect several aspects of health, including body composition, sex drive, mood, and cognition.
Testosterone levels decline with age, and some research shows that low levels of testosterone may contribute to ailments like heart disease.
Saw palmetto works by decreasing the action of 5α-R — an enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), another sex hormone, to help preserve testosterone levels in the body.
1 test-tube research found that the effectiveness of saw palmetto extract was like finasteride in maintaining testosterone levels. Finasteride is a medicine used to treat hair loss and BPH by reducing the action of 5α-R.
Another research in 40 men discovered that treatment with saw palmetto decreased levels of DHT by 32 percent after 6 months, suggesting that saw palmetto was effective at maintaining testosterone levels.