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Can taking saw palmetto relieve benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)?

In the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), saw palmetto seems to inhibit male hormones by reducing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which stimulates prostate growth. Exactly how the saw palmetto exerts this influence when taken in extract form is not known.

Saw palmetto has been used in Europe as a prescription product called Permixon. Saw palmetto is available in the United States as a supplement -- not a medication.

The recommended dose for saw palmetto is 320 mg of extract per day. The amount used in most studies is usually divided into two 160 mg doses.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.