A healthy diet, regular exercise, and an active lifestyle are the foundation of good health. But even the best diet can benefit from proper supplementation to fill in the gaps and help us achieve our specific health and fitness goals. What’s more, men and women need to consider their bodies’ different needs.
As men get older, their bodies’ nutritional needs change as their risk factors increase. They need to consider the health of their prostates, as well as other issues like colon health that affect men more than women. What’s more, they may encounter issues like hair loss and flagging testosterone levels which can have a damaging effect on their self-esteem and potentially impact their libido. This in turn can put pressure on the relationship between a man and his significant other.
Men have experienced issues like these for generations, and have historically turned to natural remedies to supplement their diets and help them to remain in good health. Here, we’ll discuss one natural ingredient that’s commonly mentioned in the conversation around men’s health supplements.
Saw palmetto extract is an extremely popular ingredient that is commonly used in men’s health supplements. It’s important to remember of course, that no supplement is a substitute for an active lifestyle and a healthy, balanced diet. However, supplements can provide the nutrients that the body needs that are difficult to get enough of through diet alone.
You should always contact your GP or healthcare provider to get professional medical advice before taking any nutritional supplement or undergoing dietary or lifestyle changes. Saw palmetto may have interactions with medications you are taking like blood thinners or hormone treatments.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know to make an informed decision about saw palmetto extract.
Saw palmetto is a member of the palm tree family, and grows along the southern coastal regions of the USA. Palmetto berries are considered to be a natural anti-inflammatory, and may be linked to improved hormone balance in men. Palmetto oil is extracted from the berries
Over the years, saw palmetto extracts have been used around the world to help treat a variety of male health issues.
As with most herbal supplements and alternative medicine, it’s difficult to make definitive claims about saw palmetto. This is because there are relatively few studies on the effects of saw palmetto leading to a limited body of evidence. Nonetheless, saw palmetto has been anecdotally linked to a range of positive health outcomes with regards to a number of medical conditions.
There are a number of causes of male pattern baldness. One of which is poor circulation to the scalp, meaning that the follicle is unable to get the nutrients it needs to function. What’s more, the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) can shrink the hair follicle and shorten its life cycle. So hair is thinner and more brittle.
Lab studies have shown that saw palmetto supplements can block the enzyme catalyst responsible for converting testosterone into DHT. It can also improve blood flow to the scalp by improving vasodilation, reducing vasoconstriction, and increasing the production of nitric oxide. So your hair follicles are more likely to get the nutrition and oxygen they need.
Some studies demonstrate a link between saw palmetto supplementation and improved urinary tract flow. This can help reduce the risk of painful urinary tract infections. While UTIs are more common in women than in men, around 12% of men experience urinary tract infections.
Saw palmetto may also help to reduce the loss of urinary function associated with prostate conditions.
The prostate gland is important in both sexual and urinary health. It grows as we get older. In our youth, it’s around the size of a walnut, but in old age it can grow to about the size of a lemon, putting pressure on the urethra. This condition, known as Symptomatic Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, can make urinating difficult or painful.
Several small studies have demonstrated that saw palmetto supplements may ease the inflammation that causes benign prostate hyperplasia and help to mitigate the BPH symptoms of having an enlarged prostate gland.
Some research suggests that saw palmetto may have anti-inflammatory properties. One study with mice demonstrated that saw palmetto supplementation reduced interleukin and several other markers of inflammation.
When men get older, their bodies produce less of the sex hormone testosterone. This can lead to a loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, weight gain, loss of muscular strength, lethargy and depression.
One review suggests that saw palmetto extract may help block the uptake of DHT and reduce its ability to bind to receptors by almost 50%. Theoretically, this may help to regulate testosterone levels and increase testosterone synthesis.
The main function of saw palmetto supplementation is stopping the breakdown of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The by-product responsible for hair loss and depleted testosterone levels. This helps the body to retain more of its testosterone and create less DHT. Which in turn could help to mitigate the health risks that come with reduced testosterone levels.
Saw palmetto is a very widely available extract. It takes a number of forms that are easy to integrate into your lifestyle. The most common supplements come in the form of capsules, gel tablets, and new saw palmetto prostate patches. These may be beneficial for those who don’t like to swallow capsules or struggle to remember to take them.
Saw Palmetto generally has very few side effects. While instances of these are rare, some documented side effects include:
In some very rare instances, men taking saw palmetto extract have reported a loss of libido, erectile dysfunction and tenderness / swelling of the breast tissue.
At My Health Shield, we make it easier than ever for men to enjoy the benefits of saw palmetto. We sell saw palmetto in the form of our prostate patches. However, the extract is also present in other male supplements including our Vigour+ male potency patches and herbal male potency tablets. These are proven to be:
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