Friday, January 22, 2010

Saw Palmetto Extract : Pharmacological Effects in the Lower Urinary Tract

Saw palmetto is a shrub in the palm tree family that grows primarily in the southeastern United States, especially in Florida.

Medicine made from the berries has been used for centuries by Seminole Indians for a wide range of conditions including impotence and infertility. Saw palmetto use continued in Europe, however, where it continues to be a very popular first line treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

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.

Numerous mechanisms of action have been proposed for SPE, including the inhibition of 5alpha-reductase

5-alpha reductase inhibitors, including the prescription drug Proscar, interfere with the effect of certain male hormones (androgens) on the prostate. This slows the growth of the prostate and can even cause it to become smaller, which may help improve the symptoms of BPH. But since a reduction in size does not always bring about symptom relief, these medicines will not give satisfactory results in every case.

The improvement of urine voiding symptoms in patients taking Saw Palmetto Extract may arise from its binding to pharmacologically relevant receptors in the lower urinary tract, such as alpha(1)-adrenoceptors, muscarinic cholinoceptors, 1,4-dihyropyridine receptors and vanilloid receptors.

Saw Palmetto Extract does not have interactions with co-administered prescription drugs or serious adverse events in blood biochemical parameters, suggestive of its relative safety, even with long-term intake.

Suzuki M, Ito Y, Fujino T, Abe M, Umegaki K, Onoue S, Noguchi H, Yamada S. Pharmacological effects of saw palmetto extract in the lower urinary tract. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2009 Mar;30(3):227-81.

BiO-LiFE’s Saw Palmetto & Pumpkin Seed contains 250g of Saw Palmetto fruit extract and 2.5mg of Pumpkin seed extract per tablet. A 2x100s pack of BiO-LiFE’s Saw Palmetto & Pumpkin Seed retails at RM189.00 with a free bottle of Bio-Zinc 30s thrown in whilst stocks last.

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