Category: Saw Palmetto

The Popularity of Saw Palmetto

The Popularity of Saw Palmetto

According to a report by the Nutrition Business Journal in 2012, herbal dietary supplement sales grew an estimated 5.5% in the U.S. alone. That amounts roughly 5.5 billion dollars in total sales. Add another $4.2 billion for overseas sales. That is a lot of money being spent on supplements.

Top Ten Most Popular Supplements

Where does Saw Palmetto stand in the list of top ten supplements? Well, here is the list as of 2012:

  • Cranberry
  • Garlic
  • Saw Palmetto
  • Soy
  • Ginkgo Leaf Extract
  • Milk Thistle
  • Black Cohosh
  • Echinacea
  • St. Johns Wort
  • Ginseng

As you can see Saw Palmetto falls in at number 3 on the list. Not surprising given the amount of advertising it receives on the radio and in print with regard to its alleged benefits in treating enlarged prostate.

Saw Palmetto Side Effects

Saw Palmetto Side Effects

If you’re thinking of trying Saw Palmetto you should be aware of any potential side effects. Many claim that there are no significant side effects from Saw Palmetto other than perhaps a mild stomach ache. However, there are some precautions you should take and one particular consequence that you should definitely be aware of.

Saw Palmetto berries have alpha-adrenergic blocking activity and may alter the effects of the following medications: prazosin, terazosin, doxazosin mesylate, tamsulosin.

Saw Palmetto may also have an additive effect if it is taken with anti-androgen drugs that reduce the levels of male sex hormones, such as finasteride (Prosca, Propecia) or flutamide (Eulexin).

It is remotely possible that it could interfere with birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy in women as well. If you’re taking any of these drugs, check with your doctor or naturopathic physician before taking saw palmetto.

Now, another important, but little known, possible consequence of taking Saw Palmetto is its affect on a PSA test. The PSA or prostate-specific antigen test is used for early detection of prostate cancer. Some doctors have warned that Saw Palmetto may mask PSA levels and thereby reduce the ability of the test to detect prostate cancer. You can find that warning HERE.

Some studies have shown that Saw Palmetto doesn’t seem to have a significant effect upon PSA levels but to be on the safe side you should definitely tell your doctor if you are taking Saw Palmetto so that they will be aware of any possible influence it may have on your PSA test.


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