Why Saw Palmetto Helps the Prostate

A new study compared the effects of a new saw palmetto CO2 extract produced in the United States with a hexane extracted saw palmetto extract used for many years in Europe as a medicinal product for the treatment of BPH (enlarged prostate). Hexane can be dangerous, and long-term exposure to hexane can cause adverse effects to the brain and lead to nerve damage.

Supercritical extracts use carbon dioxide, which leaves no chemical residue and does not require high heat which can damage plant compounds.

Researchers looked at each extracts’ ability to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), by suppressing the enzyme 5alpha reductase. DHT causes abnormal prostate cell growth leading to BPH.

DHT is also linked to male pattern baldness.

Study results: both saw palmetto extracts were equally effective at inhibiting 5-alpha reductase and reducing the conversion of testosterone to DHT; therefore, the newer CO2 extract can be used in place of the traditional extract with hexane to treat BPH.