Saw Palmetto for Prostate Cancer

General Information

Saw palmetto is an herb. It inhibits the enzyme (5-alpha-reductase), which converts testosterone to its most potent form (dihydrotestosterone or DHT). Proscar (finasteride) is a prescription drug that works through the same mechanism as saw palmetto. Proscar decreases the levels of DHT, which results in the shrinkage of an enlarged prostate. This drug may be associated with some negative side effects, such as loss of libido. It is important to note that Proscar, unlike saw palmetto, has been subjected to controlled clinical studies. Therefore, we can speak with greater certainty about its effectiveness and its side effects.

Medical Research/Studies

Studies have only shown that saw palmetto reduces the symptoms of BPH (benign-prostate-hyperplasia), which is the noncancerous enlargement of the prostate.

Urology Center Recommendation

  • It is not recommended to take this herb as a treatment for prostate cancer.

Click here to view information about selenium.