The National Library of Medicine, which is a service of the National Institutes of Health, publishes ratings on a number of dietary supplements in order to help consumers judge their effectiveness. Below is the NLM rating for Saw Palmetto for Enlarged Prostate/benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).(
The NLM Grade for this use of Saw Palmetto is “A” or “strong scientific evidence for this use.”
Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy/BPH)
Numerous human trials report that saw palmetto improves symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) such as nighttime urination, urinary flow, and overall quality of life, although it may not greatly reduce the size of the prostate. The effectiveness may be similar to the medication finasteride (Proscar®) with fewer side effects. Although the quality of these studies has been variable, overall they suggest effectiveness.
For further commentary and dosing recommendations, see the NYBC entry on Saw Palmetto (Jarrow). In addition, NYBC stocks