Saw palmetto supplements

Prescription Counterparts:

Chemists worked long, hard, and at high cost to make a medicine that combats BPH. The result was finasteride (Proscar), which does not work as well as saw palmetto, inflicts many more side effects, and costs about three times as much. Even the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that the berry extract works as well and with fewer side effects. Here's how the drug and saw palmetto match up.

How many benefit? Finasteride relieves urinary symptoms for less than 50 percent of the BPH-affected men who take it. Saw palmetto works for more than 80 percent of its users.

What is the trade-off? Finasteride lowers libidinous urges and impairs erectile ability. Saw palmetto impairs erectile ability and tames the libido in only a comparatively few men.

Saw palmetto supplementsWhen does it go to work? Men have to take finasteride for at least 6 months before it shows any benefit. Saw palmetto's benefits become apparent within 3 months. How comprehensive is it? Finasteride inhibits only the creation of dihydrotestosterone. Saw palmetto not only deters the creation of dihydrotestosterone but also inhibits the hormone from interacting with the prostate.

How does it affect the gland? Finasteride significantly shrinks the size of the prostate. Saw palmetto has no appreciable impact on the gland's size. How safe is it? According to advocates of the drug and the FDA, any woman who might conceive a child should not touch finasteride, even briefly. Saw palmetto, as far as we know, poses no such threat.

Saw palmetto supplements Dosage Options:

The preferred therapeutic dosage and form for an enlarged prostate is 640 milligrams daily of a standardized supplement containing 320 milligrams of a certi-fied-potency fruit extract and 90 percent fatty acids and biologically active sterols. Better brands include similar wording on their labels. Other dosages include 1,200 to 1,800 milligrams of a nonstandardized supplement, a little more than 1/4 teaspoon of a liquid fruit extract, about 1 teaspoon of a liquid whole-herb extract, or 2 to 3 teaspoons of fresh saw palmetto berries every day.

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