A study by researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center and the Dekalb Clinic in Illinois confirmed the benefit of saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) in men with symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH, a normal part of aging, causes the prostate gland to slowly enlarge (hyperplasia), constricting the urethra and reducing the force and flow of urine. Other symptoms include increased urinary urgency, strain while urinating, and a sensation of incomplete voiding after urination.
In this double-blind seven-month study, researchers enrolled 94 men, 45 years and older, who were diagnosed with BPH. After a one-month placebo period, researchers randomly selected 85 participants who took either a placebo or 320 mg of standardized saw palmetto in two divided doses per day. Men in the saw palmetto group reported at least twice the reduction in severity of symptoms compared with men in the placebo group.