Men with an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH) who take saw palmetto may experience an unexpected benefit from this natural remedy. A new study found that saw palmetto not only improved urinary symptoms in men with BPH, but also helped with erectile dysfunction.
Numerous studies have shown that saw palmetto works for prostate conditions and in particular can improve urinary tract symptoms in men who have BPH.
This is important because one benefit of using saw palmetto for BPH rather than the conventional medications, such as alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, is that the herbal remedy is not associated with erectile dysfunction whereas the drugs have been shown to disrupt sexual function.
In this new study, 82 men with moderate to severe symptoms of BPH plus sexual problems (e.g., erectile dysfunction or loss of libido) were assigned to take 320 mg daily of saw palmetto extract daily for eight weeks. At the end of the eight weeks, the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) was significantly reduced by 51% and erectile dysfunction, libido, and other sexual functions had improved by an average of nearly 40%.
According to Dr. Eugen Riedi, MD, a urologist in Switzerland and the study’s lead researcher, “This is one of the first therapies ever to show an improvement of BPH symptoms and of sexual dysfunctions at the same time.” Saw palmetto also was well tolerated and patient compliance was “excellent.”