Saw Palmetto Extract (berry) Serenoa Repens

Serenoa repens is the plant commonly referred to as saw palmetto. It is a member of the Palmaceae, or Palm family. [1] The fruit of the saw palmetto is quite unique. It appears deep purple to almost black, and is an ovate (some 3 cm long), 1-seeded berry with a hard but fragile pericarp that covers a pale brown, spongy pulp. [2] These berries are the part of the plant used for various medicinal applications. Preparations of saw palmetto are generally characterized as tasting sweet and ‘soapy.'

Saw palmetto is native to the southern United States, growing from South Carolina to Florida, and parts of southern California as well. [3] It is also cultivated on a mass scale in Mexico.

The main constituents in saw palmetto are the lipid-soluble compounds. The purified fat-soluble extract is considered the most medicinally active component, and contains between 85 and 95% fatty acids and sterols. The fruity-smelling oil contains both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, and sterols. About 63% of this oil is composed of free fatty acids including; capric, caprylic, caproic, lauric, palmitic, and oleic acids. Beta-sitosterol and its glucoside are also important components. Saw palmetto contains carotenes, lipase, tannins, and sugars, as well. [4-6]

Pharmacologic activity of saw palmetto is primarily attributed to inhibition of the intraprostatic conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT); via blocking 5-alpha reductase, inhibition of its intracellular binding and transport, and contraction of epithelial cells. [7, 8] However, more recent research has suggested additional mechanisms of action, including increased molecular markers involved in the apoptotic process, i.e. the Bax-to-Bcl-2 expression ratio and caspase-3 activity. [9]

A six month study of treatment with a saw palmetto herbal blend appeared to alter the DNA chromatin structure and organization in prostate epithelial cells, suggesting a possible molecular basis for tissue changes and therapeutic effect of the compound. [10] Other mechanisms of action may include an anti-inflammatory effect, and an anti-proliferative influence through the inhibition of growth factors. [11]

Medicinal actions ascribed to saw palmetto include; anti-androgenic, anti-exudative, anti-inflammatory, endocrine agent, and spasmolytic. [5, 12] Traditionally, it has been used for respiratory complaints (especially if accompanied by chronic catarrh), genitourinary complaints (such as to reduce irritation), prostatic and uterine hypertrophy, atrophy of the breasts, inflammation or atrophy of the ovaries and testes, and as an aphrodisiac. Saw palmetto was considered to be a tissue building plant. [13, 14]

Products Containing Saw Palmetto Extract (berry) Serenoa Repens
Name Price Rating Serving Price # of Servings Manufacturer Health Condition
Fallodox $16.95
$0.56 30 Progressive Health


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