Saw palmetto and benign prostatic hyperplasia

Edward M. Gong, Glenn S. Gerber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common health issue that affects 8% of all men at the age of 40, 60% of men in their 70s, and 90% of those greater than 80 years of age. One-fourth of these men will develop moderate to severe lower urinary tract symptoms that greatly affect their quality of life. Recent evidence suggests that the use of saw palmetto leads to improvements in urinary function for those suffering from BPH. The favorable comparison of saw palmetto with tamsulosin, a well-known first line agent in the treatment of urinary tract symptoms, demonstrates promise towards a beneficial effect of this herbal agent, with very few, if any, adverse effects. However, what degree of this beneficial activity is due to placebo effects is yet to be determined. In addition the precise mechanism of action of saw palmetto in men with BPH remains unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-338
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Chinese Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004


  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms
  • Placebo effect
  • Saw palmetto
  • Serenoa repens
  • Tamsulosin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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