The Journal of American Medical Association released a 1998 review stating that s aw palmetto is effective in improving urological symptoms and urine flow . For the review, 18 randomized trials with almost 3,000 male participants were analyzed; 28 percent of the men taking saw palmetto showed fewer urinary tract symptoms, 24 percent showed improvement in peak urine flow and overall urine flow improved for 43 percent of the participants. The results were comparable to the group taking Proscar — a prescribed medication — and they were much more promising than the men taking a placebo.
You can try dried ground or whole berries of saw palmetto. Saw palmetto extracts are also available as capsules and tablets. Saw palmetto is not known to cause serious side effects though it can sometimes cause stomach discomfort or headaches. However, do keep in mind that having saw palmetto may reduce the level of certain proteins (known as prostate-specific antigen) over the course of 6 to 12 months. As high levels of this protein are an early indicator for prostate cancer there is a risk of missing early detection if you’re taking saw palmetto supplements. 8 Also remember that certain medical conditions like diabetes and thyroid problems can also cause hair loss, as can stress and poor nutrition. So do check in with a doctor if you have unexplained hair loss. 9