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How Saw Palmetto can help men to maintain prostate health

How Saw Palmetto can help men to maintain prostate health

Prostate health basics: what is the prostate gland and what does it do?

The prostate gland is one of the key areas of concern in men’s health.  It’s a small gland that – at least when it’s healthy – is about the size of a walnut. The prostate sits just underneath the bladder, surrounding the urethra: the tube through which urine passes out of body.

The prostate gland’s major function is to produce a liquid called prostatic fluid, which nourishes and transports sperm cells during ejaculation. This fluid makes up the majority of semen.

Common prostate changes after 40

As men get older (often after age 40), they usually start to experience a series of hormonal changes.  Their testosterone production naturally begins to decrease, which changes the balance of testosterone to oestrogen in their bodies. 

In addition to the lower production rate, their bodies convert more of the testosterone that is produced to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  These changes act as a chemical trigger to prostate cells to gradually increase in size.  

Over time, this results in noticeable prostate enlargement, and can lead to the prostate pressing in on the urethra.  The medical term for this is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), and its symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty or pain when urinating
  • Frequent, urgent need to urinate
  • Weak urine stream, or a stream that stops and starts

What is Saw Palmetto and how can it support prostate health?

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a small palm with fan-shaped leaves that grows in the Southern US and Central America.  Native Americans have used Saw Palmetto berries for both food and medicine – predominantly to support men’s health – for thousands of years.  Some of the most common conditions it has been used to treat include prostate problems, infertility  and impotence.

Today, researchers have identified beneficial compounds in Saw Palmetto called liposterols which may:

  • Inhibit 5-alpha reductase – the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT1
  • Relieve the urinary problems caused by prostate enlargement
  • Support general prostate health and function

Other important tips for a healthy prostate gland

While Saw Palmetto can help to relieve symptoms of prostate enlargement, it needs to be taken within a context of supporting overall prostate health. This means men will also benefit from:

  • Increasing their intake of other nutrients that have been shown to support prostate health. These include Omega 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants like Zinc, Selenium and Lycopene.  Supplementing with any or all of these nutrients may be helpful.
  • Eating plenty of antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables, especially tomatoes and other red-coloured fruit / vegetables, which are good sources of Lycopene.  Note that tomatoes are better Lycopene sources when they are cooked.
  • Eating foods that are rich in Zinc and Selenium. Shellfish – in particular, oysters – provide good Zinc levels.  Fish, nuts, pumpkin/sunflower seeds, whole grains and eggs also contain Zinc, while  Brazil nuts are excellent sources of Selenium. 
  • Quit smoking, and avoid alcohol, caffeine, coffee and tea, which can all irritate the genitourinary tract.
1Bayne CW et al. The selectivity and specificity of the actions of the lipid-sterolic extract of Serenoa repens (Permixon) on the prostate. J Urol 164.3 (2000): 876-81.

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How Saw Palmetto can help men to maintain prostate health

What is the prostate gland? What does it do? What is the connection between saw palmetto with prostate health? Get tips about men's health here.

Prostate health basics: what is the prostate gland and what does it do?

The prostate gland is one of the key areas of concern in men’s health.  It’s a small gland that – at least when it’s healthy – is about the size of a walnut. The prostate sits just underneath the bladder, surrounding the urethra: the tube through which urine passes out of body.

The prostate gland’s major function is to produce a liquid called prostatic fluid, which nourishes and transports sperm cells during ejaculation. This fluid makes up the majority of semen.

Common prostate changes after 40

As men get older (often after age 40), they usually start to experience a series of hormonal changes.  Their testosterone production naturally begins to decrease, which changes the balance of testosterone to oestrogen in their bodies. 

In addition to the lower production rate, their bodies convert more of the testosterone that is produced to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  These changes act as a chemical trigger to prostate cells to gradually increase in size.  

Over time, this results in noticeable prostate enlargement, and can lead to the prostate pressing in on the urethra.  The medical term for this is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), and its symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty or pain when urinating
  • Frequent, urgent need to urinate
  • Weak urine stream, or a stream that stops and starts

What is Saw Palmetto and how can it support prostate health?

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a small palm with fan-shaped leaves that grows in the Southern US and Central America.  Native Americans have used Saw Palmetto berries for both food and medicine – predominantly to support men’s health – for thousands of years.  Some of the most common conditions it has been used to treat include prostate problems, infertility  and impotence.

Today, researchers have identified beneficial compounds in Saw Palmetto called liposterols which may:

  • Inhibit 5-alpha reductase – the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT1
  • Relieve the urinary problems caused by prostate enlargement
  • Support general prostate health and function

Other important tips for a healthy prostate gland

While Saw Palmetto can help to relieve symptoms of prostate enlargement, it needs to be taken within a context of supporting overall prostate health. This means men will also benefit from:

  • Increasing their intake of other nutrients that have been shown to support prostate health. These include Omega 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants like Zinc, Selenium and Lycopene.  Supplementing with any or all of these nutrients may be helpful.
  • Eating plenty of antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables, especially tomatoes and other red-coloured fruit / vegetables, which are good sources of Lycopene.  Note that tomatoes are better Lycopene sources when they are cooked.
  • Eating foods that are rich in Zinc and Selenium. Shellfish – in particular, oysters – provide good Zinc levels.  Fish, nuts, pumpkin/sunflower seeds, whole grains and eggs also contain Zinc, while  Brazil nuts are excellent sources of Selenium. 
  • Quit smoking, and avoid alcohol, caffeine, coffee and tea, which can all irritate the genitourinary tract.
1Bayne CW et al. The selectivity and specificity of the actions of the lipid-sterolic extract of Serenoa repens (Permixon) on the prostate. J Urol 164.3 (2000): 876-81.
How Saw Palmetto can help men to maintain prostate health