Saw palmetto extract is an extract of the fruit of Serenoarepens. Which was used
by the Mayans for variety of urinary and reproductive problems.
Saw palmetto extract has been suggested as a potential treatment for male pattern.
The latest Cochrane Database review (2009) concludes, "Serenoarepens was not more
effective than placebo for treatment of urinary symptoms consistent with BPH."
A 2001 study published in JAMA (The Journal of American Medical Association) reported
on a double-blind study that eleven North American clinics conducted on 369 men.
The study found that saw palmetto fruit extract failed to reduce urinary tract symptoms
more than placebo. Men in the experimental group experienced a 2.20 point drop in
their American Urological Assn. Symptom Index (AUASI) score. However, men in the
placebo group saw a 2.99 point drop. The Los Angeles Times reports, “42.6%
of the men in the extract group saw their AUASI scores fall by at least three points;
44.2% of the men in the placebo group saw the same degree of benefit.” The
study was funded by several offices within the NIH, including the National Centre
for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.