Prostate enlargement or BPH (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia) is the most common prostate problem in men over 50--and with an aging population, it is becoming an increasing concern for the average American. Common symptoms are the frequent need to urinate (especially at night), pain or discomfort while urinating, and a weak urine stream. According to 2000 data from the National Kidney and Urologic Disease Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC), 9% or 6.3 million men over 30 have been diagnosed with BPH.

Orthodox treatments range from drug therapies with alpha-blockers or finasteride (brand name Proscar®) to various forms of surgery... each one involving considerable risk. But there is one, largely overlooked, natural remedy that may present a more beneficial and non-invasive solution to the problem: Saw palmetto.

Saw palmetto, also known as sawtooth palm or windmill palm, is a low- growing palm tree that grows wild in the southeastern U.S., from South Carolina to Southern Mississippi. Between April and October, the plant bears deep-purple berries that have been used for centuries by Native Americans--perhaps dating back to pre-Mayan civilizations--as food and medicine. Saw palmetto promotes a healthy appetite and smooth digestion, tones the urethra, and helps maintain the healthy function of the thyroid gland and urinary system. But the reason that the feather-leaved plant has recently entered the limelight of public attention is its beneficial effect on the prostate gland.

BHP is usually caused by the DHT hormone (dihydro-testosterone) that is converted from testosterone, particularly in men over 50. DHT prompts prostate cells to multiply, which can lead to prostate enlargement. Researchers found that saw palmetto inhibits the functioning of DHT by preventing the hormone from attaching to prostate cells. Moreover, it actually prevents the conversion from testosterone into DHT.

So, before you go under the knife to have your BHP problem fixed, you may want to try saw palmetto as an all-natural alternative to more invasive methods.



"Democrats are the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then they get elected to prove it."

--P.J. O'Rourke


Posted 03-07-2005 8:51 PM by Doug Casey
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