Category: Health

Tainted Supplements

Tainted Supplements

Is the Saw Palmetto Supplement You’re Buying Pure?

Before you rush out and buy any supplement be it for health or well-being be sure to make sure that the product is exactly what it claims to be. The FDA recently issued a warning to consumers that some supplements may be “spiked” with pharmaceutical drugs that are not declared on the labels. In fact, the FDA has already issued public alerts 24 times this year for supplements that contain undeclared drugs.

How does this relate to Saw Palmetto? Well, while many Saw Palmetto supplements are advertised as solely Saw Palmetto there are a number of other supplements that include Saw Palmetto for things such as libido, sexual performance and energy. If you are a fan of Saw Palmetto you may be inclined to purchase those supplements.

A supplement called Mojo Nights, an alleged sexual performance enhancer for men, was tested by the FDA and found to contain five drugs that did not appear on the label. Two of the drugs were pharmaceuticals and three were what they call analogues which are chemical variants of pharmaceuticals. Sure, the supplement may work given that it contains these drugs but you need to know that you are ingesting these compounds. These drugs can have serious side effects and should not be taken without a doctors OK. When you buy these supplements you may think you are buying something that is all natural when, in fact, it is not.

Another supplement called Affirm XL which has saw palmetto listed as one of its ingredients was tested in April by the FDA and found to be tainted with sulfoaildenfil, a modified form of sildenafil which is the key ingredient in Viagra.

So, be careful what you buy, and research the product to ascertain whether it is what is says it is. If you cant be sure what the ingredients are then you should probably not buy it.

Saw Palmetto To Treat Acne

Saw Palmetto To Treat Acne

There has been quite a bit of discussion over the effectiveness of Saw Palmetto in treating acne. Given that Saw Palmetto seems to reduce DHT levels it seems a reasonable assumption that it may have a beneficial effect on those suffering from hormonal acne.

Unfortunately, at this point, there do not seem to be any conclusive studies showing that Saw Palmetto can effectively treat acne. The theory is there but the supporting studies are not.

Is Saw Palmetto Effective?

A cursory search of acne related forums may help you make a decision regarding Saw Palmetto. Many people have tried Saw Palmetto for their acne and have had mixed results. You can see some of the acne related posts at the links below: 2

Saw Palmetto BPH and the Prostate

Saw Palmetto BPH and the Prostate

Is Saw Palmetto effective at reducing symptoms of an enlarged prostate?

Well, a couple of large studies have shown that it is. One project reviewed 21 trials including over 3,000 men aged 40-88 years old. Each subject had moderate BPH symptoms. In 13 of the studies that utilized BPH scores, it was shown to not only improve those scores but improve individual symptoms and flow measures more than the placebo. 12 of the studies also showed that it reduced Nocturia, the need to get up during the night in order to urinate, by 25% compared with the placebo.

Now, two of the studies compared Saw Palmetto with drug Finasteride. Finasteride is marketed under a number of names including:

  • Proscar
  • Propecia
  • Fincar
  • Finpecia
  • Finax
  • Finast
  • Finara
  • Finalo
  • Prosteride
  • Gefina
  • Finasterid IVAX

The studies showed that Saw Palmetto and Finasteride had similar positive effects on urinary symptom scores and peak urine flow and that the adverse side effects of Saw Palmetto were comparable to the effects of the placebo which were mild and infrequent.

Wilt T, Ishani A, MacDonald R. Serenoa repens for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2002;3:CD001423.

Another study comparable to the one mentioned above found similar evidence of the effectiveness of Saw Palmetto.

Gerber GS, Kuznetsov D, Johnson BC, Burstein JD. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of saw palmetto in men with lower urinary tract symptoms. Urology 2001;58:960-4.

Most of the studies utilized a dosage of 320 milligrams a day in either a single or split dose but there is no general consensus as to what the optimal dose really is. Also, there seems to be no real standardization of Saw Palmetto products in the U.S. So one product may not necessarily be comparable to another. Be sure to check out our page on Saw Palmetto Side Effects, contraindications, interactions and other cautions. Always consult with your doctor before taking any supplements.

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