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Native to southern America and southern California, Saw Palmetto, or Serenoa repens, is a small palm tree bearing deep purple berries. For centuries, Saw Palmetto extract has been used in a variety of ailments, like reproductive and urinary disorders, testicular problems, respiratory congestion, cough, improper metabolism, and prostate problems. The major components of saw palmetto extract are saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, without cholesterol, and sterols.
How Does Saw Palmetto Work?
Studies have shown that saw palmetto benefits in a condition known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplacia (BPH), in which the prostate grows abnormally in size. This condition may block the urethra and requires surgery. A hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is responsible for the onset of this disorder. Saw palmetto functions by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone into DHT and thus prevents the binding of DHT to the androgen receptors. However, saw palmetto does not reduce the size of prostate, but may shrink the inner lining that interferes with the urine flow. Although DHT plays an important role in development in men as they age, its overproduction is linked to many disorders, like prostate enlargement, loss of libido, etc. Consumption of saw palmetto supplements suppresses the formation of excess DHT, preventing its effects in men.
Benefits of Saw Palmetto for Men
Testosterone Level. Saw palmetto supplements have been linked with a healthy testosterone level in the body, which is very essential for good fertility rate, weight management and the overall strength. Since saw palmetto inhibits the conversion of testosterone into DHT, the body retains normal level of testosterone, which is useful for maintaining normal weight, positive mood and improved sexual function.
Healthy Prostate. Saw palmetto extract has been studied for its potency in BPH and other prostate related disorders. It reduces the formation of the hormone that is responsible for BPH and thus the health consequences of this disorder. Consuming saw palmetto in any form increases the strength and lowers the problem of sexual dysfunction in men.
Urinary Health. Saw palmetto has shown its uses in urinary health as well, especially in men having BPH. Scientists have found out that this occurs due to the interaction of saw palmetto with certain receptors present in the lower urinary tract that are connected with overactive bladder and other urinary issues.
Saw Palmetto for Hair Loss
Consuming saw palmetto suppresses the activity of an enzyme 5 alpha reductase in the hair follicles, which is the leading cause of male pattern baldness. By inhibiting this enzyme, it stimulates hair growth and reduces hair loss. Saw palmetto may help hair regrowth as well.
Saw Palmetto for Women Health
Saw palmetto can be used for women health as well. Its main use is in maintaining hormonal balance in the body. Research says that it can also be used to reduce menstrual cramps, and regulate periods and hair regrowth. Some studies have also concluded that saw palmetto increases breast size and production of milk in lactating mothers. Saw palmetto benefits women by providing energy and enhances the overall sense of wellbeing.
Several saw palmetto supplements are available in the market in the form of saw palmetto capsules, tablets, powder, etc. These commercial forms of saw palmetto help men and women in enhancing their health. The compounds present in this extract improve hormonal level in both men and women, thus protecting them from various hormone related disorders. However, like all the other supplements, saw palmetto can be taken in moderate amount after consulting a healthcare provider.