What is saw palmetto?
Saw palmetto is a small, palm-like plant that is native to the southeastern United States. The plant, specifically the fruit of the saw palmetto plant, has been used for centuries by American Indians to treat a variety of ailments, including urinary tract infections, reproductive issues, and respiratory problems.
What are the benefits of using saw palmetto?
1. Prostate Health
Saw palmetto has been a popular natural supplement for men who are dealing with prostate issues. Clinical studies have shown that saw palmetto can alleviate the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, such as frequent urination, weak urinary stream, and difficulty starting and stopping urine flow. It is believed that saw palmetto works by inhibiting the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that contributes to prostate enlargement.
2. Hair Loss Prevention
There is some evidence to suggest that saw palmetto can also be effective in preventing hair loss. DHT is also responsible for shrinking hair follicles, which leads to hair loss. Saw palmetto can help block the production of DHT, thereby reducing the risk of hair loss.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Saw palmetto has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. This is primarily due to its high concentration of fatty acids. These fatty acids can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, which can help alleviate a range of conditions, such as asthma, arthritis, and even irritable bowel syndrome.
4. Improves Urinary Tract Health
In addition to improving prostate health, saw palmetto has also been found to have a positive effect on urinary tract health. Studies have shown that saw palmetto can help alleviate the symptoms of urinary tract infections by reducing inflammation and fighting off harmful bacteria.
Can saw palmetto cause weight gain?
Weight gain is not a known side effect of taking saw palmetto. In fact, many people take saw palmetto to maintain a healthy weight due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to promote prostate and urinary tract health.
However, it is important to note that everyone’s body reacts differently to supplements, and some people may experience unwanted side effects while taking saw palmetto. It is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.
What are the potential side effects of taking saw palmetto?
While saw palmetto is generally recognized as safe, some people may experience mild side effects while taking the supplement. These side effects may include:
- Upset stomach
If you experience any of these side effects while taking saw palmetto, you should stop taking the supplement and talk to your healthcare provider.
Who should not take saw palmetto?
Saw palmetto is generally considered safe for most adults. However, there are some groups of people who should avoid taking saw palmetto or should take it under the guidance of a healthcare professional. These groups include:
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Individuals with a bleeding disorder or who are taking blood thinners
- People who are scheduled to undergo surgery in the near future
- People who have a history of hormone-sensitive cancers
If you fall into any of these categories, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking saw palmetto.
How should I take saw palmetto?
Saw palmetto supplements can come in many different forms, including capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts. The exact dosage and form of saw palmetto that you should take will depend on your individual needs and health status. It is important to follow the directions on the product label and to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any new supplement.
The Bottom Line
Saw palmetto is a natural supplement that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of health conditions. While weight gain is not a known side effect of taking saw palmetto, it is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen. As with any supplement, there is no one-size-fits-all dosage or form of saw palmetto that will work for everyone. It is important to do your own research, talk to your healthcare provider, and listen to your body to determine the best approach for you.
Frequently Asked Questions about Saw Palmetto and Weight Gain
- Can saw palmetto cause weight gain? weight gain is not a known side effect of saw palmetto
- What are the potential side effects of taking saw palmetto? Potential side effects include nausea, upset stomach, headache, dizziness, constipation, and diarrhea
- Who should not take saw palmetto? Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, individuals with a bleeding disorder or who are taking blood thinners, people who are scheduled to undergo surgery in the near future, and people who have a history of hormone-sensitive cancers should avoid taking saw palmetto or should take it under the guidance of a healthcare professional
- American Cancer Society (2021). “Saw Palmetto”. American Cancer Society. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/complementary-and-alternative-medicine/herbs-vitamins-and-minerals/saw-palmetto.html
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (2021). “Saw Palmetto”. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/saw-palmetto
- University of Wisconsin-Madison Health Services (2021). “Saw Palmetto”. University of Wisconsin-Madison Health Services. Retrieved from https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/health-topics/sexual-reproductive-health/saw-palmetto/