Saw palmetto is an herbal supplement derived from the fruit of the Serenoa repens plant. There is limited scientific evidence to suggest that saw palmetto directly affects weight loss or weight gain. The primary use of saw palmetto is not related to weight management, and its impact on body weight is not well-established.
Saw palmetto benefits for weight loss
The theory, purported by some, is that since saw palmetto supplementation can decrease the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body, there will be less DHT and testosterone levels will thereby increase.
Studies have shown that long term testosterone therapy in men with initially low testosterone levels leads to noticeable and lasting weight loss. It also helps reduce waist size, body mass index (BMI), and improves body composition. Testosterone therapy can also help improve certain aspects of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. So, testosterone is useful for weight loss.
But, these positive results were shown for men with already low levels of testosterone. If initial testosterone levels are normal then supplementing with more testosterone has almost no affect on weight loss.
Taking saw palmetto supplements could theoretically help someone with already low testosterone levels. As mentioned above saw palmetto can lower conversion of testosterone to DHT. This would hypothetically increase testosterone levels. But, probably not by enough to make a difference. In fact, if a person’s testosterone levels are low they would be better off seeing a doctor and possibly pursuing testosterone supplementation rather than taking saw palmetto.
Some studies have shown that saw palmetto supplementation does reduce the level of DHT in the body but that testosterone levels didn’t actually increase.
Does saw palmetto help with weight loss?
Weight loss or weight gain is a complex process influenced by various factors, including diet, physical activity, genetics, and overall health. While saw palmetto may indirectly impact weight through its potential effects on hormonal balance, it really shouldn’t be considered a significant contributor to weight changes.
If you’re interested in weight management, it’s important to focus on a balanced diet, regular exercise, and other lifestyle factors that promote overall health. If you have specific concerns or questions about weight management, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized advice based on your individual circumstances.