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What do I tell patients about saw palmetto for benign prostatic hyperplasia?

Saw palmetto is widely used to treat lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Although there is passionate support for herbal and complementary therapies for LUTS, clinical evidence is mixed. Because there is a well-recognized, profound placebo effect in tests of efficacy for agents treating LUTS, it is imperative that all therapies be tested in placebo-controlled trials. This article reviews evidence of the efficacy and safety of saw palmetto for men with LUTS caused by BPH, with particular emphasis on published randomized clinical trials and the upcoming Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Urologic Symptoms (CAMUS) trial.

Authors: Kane CJ; Raheem OA; Bent S; Avins AL

Urol Clin North Am. 2011 Aug;38(3):261-77.

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