How can saw palmetto help with prostate problems?

Saw palmetto inhibits the influence of a male hormone on prostate tissue. The main effect of saw palmetto, as an extract of the fat-soluble berry substances, is to reduce some of the effects of the hormones responsible for male characteristics (i.e., androgenic hormones). It is these hormones that cause benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland..

Saw palmetto extract can reduce the conversion of the male hormone testosterone to the more active dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The more potent DHT appears to increase the growth rate of benign prostate cells, although the reason for this effect is unclear.

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