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5 Promising Benefi ts and Uses of Saw Palmetto


S


aw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a type of palm native to the southeast- ern United States.


The berries of the plant are com- monly used in supplements to improve prostate health, balance hormone levels, and prevent hair loss in men. It’s also associated with other benefi ts,


including decreased infl ammation and improved urinary function. Here are 5 promising benefi ts and


uses of saw palmetto. 1. Prevents hair loss


Hair loss is a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors, in- cluding genetics, certain medical condi- tions, hormonal changes, and the use of medications, such as stimulants and blood


thinners Saw palmetto is often used to balance


hormone levels and combat hair loss. According to one review, saw pal-


metto may help block the activity of 5-al- pha reductase (5α-R), an enzyme that converts testosterone into a hormone linked to hair loss called dihydrotestoster- one (DHT). It may also prevent hair loss by reduc- ing the uptake of DHT in the hair follicles, which decreases its ability to bind to spe- cifi c hormone receptors. In one study, saw palmetto was effec-


tive at improving hair growth in 60% of men with male pattern baldness between the ages of 23 and 64.. Another study 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 diffi culty urinating. Saw palmetto may improve urinary symptoms associated with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) — a condition that causes an enlargement of


the prostate


gland and results in decreased urine fl ow. One 12-week study in 92 men showed


that taking two capsules daily of Prostata- plex, a mix of herbal supplements that includes saw palmetto, helped improve urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH..


Similarly, another study in 85 men


over the age of 45 found that treatment with 160 mg of saw palmetto twice daily reduced lower urinary tract symptoms, increased urine fl ow, and improved over- all quality of life after 6 months. However, more research is needed to


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determine whether saw palmetto may also improve urinary tract function in the gen- eral population, including for those with- out prostate issues.


3. May support prostate health The prostate is a small gland located between the bladder and the penis in men, which is responsible for maintaining sperm health.


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