Can Saw Palmetto actually improve testosterone level and fertility?

Can Saw Palmetto actually improve testosterone level and fertility?

Saw palmetto may be useful for boosting testosterone levels naturally. Herbal remedy saw palmetto is derived from the fruit of the Serenoa repens plant. The male reproductive system, including prostate problems, may be helped by saw palmetto, according to some research.

A lot of conflicting information is available regarding the link between saw palmetto and testosterone. Some people believe that saw palmetto boosts testosterone levels, but others disagree.

Researchers have discovered that saw palmetto can slow down 5-alpha reductaseTrusted Source. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a potent androgen hormone generated by this enzyme. Androgen hormones are responsible for the development of male characteristics.

When men age, saw palmetto can reduce the effects of DHT by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase. The evidence to support the claim that saw palmetto regulates testosterone levels is lacking.

Saw palmetto interaction with Drugs

Interaction of a substance generally refers to a potential risk that could develop inside the human body when two or more drugs, products, or medical conditions, interact with one another in a negative manner that could result in certain unwanted health conditions. 

Natural products such as Saw palmetto are generally considered safe when taken in food amounts but might be harmful when consumed as a medicine amount like supplements. If an individual is medicating with certain medical drugs to treat any condition, there might be a possibility of interaction between those drugs and this herb or its supplement. This could cause complications in the condition that is to be treated or could result in new unwanted conditions. Such interacting medical drugs include:

  • Antiplatelet/Anticoagulant drugs– Intake of saw palmetto along with drugs that resist blood clotting could increase the risk of bruising and bleeding due to lower blood clotting than usual. Drugs that decreases the blood clotting includes clopidogrel (Plavix), enoxaparin (Lovenox), warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, dalteparin (Fragmin), heparin, ticlopidine (Ticlid), and several others.
  • Birth control pills– Some of the birth control pills contain estrogen. Saw palmetto might decrease the effects of estrogen. It is advisable to use additional birth control ways while consuming this natural herb.
  • Estrogens– Saw palmetto seems to decrease estrogen levels in the body. Taking saw palmetto along with estrogen pills might decrease their effects.

Precautions and warnings before using Saw Palmetto

Although being a natural herb that is used for a number of medical applications, there are certain medical conditions in a human body in which intake of Saw palmetto must be limited or avoided in order to prevent complications. Interference of this herb could result in worsening of certain medical conditions or might cause other unwanted conditions. Such medical conditions includes:

  • Pregnancy– Consuming Saw palmetto is likely to be unsafe during pregnancy. It acts as a natural hormone that could be harmful. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid consuming Saw palmetto during pregnancy. 
  • Breastfeeding– Consuming Saw palmetto is likely to be unsafe during Breastfeeding. It acts as a natural hormone that could be harmful. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid consuming Saw palmetto during Breastfeeding. 
  • Surgery–  Intake of saw palmetto during surgery might increase the risk of bleeding. It is advisable to withdraw from consuming this natural herb or its extract at least 2 weeks before surgery.

Side effects of using Saw palmetto

Interaction of saw palmetto with several medical drugs, overdose, or no precautionary actions against several medical conditions might cause certain unusual or allergic side effects and condition in a human body that includes:

  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • bleeding/bruising

There could be more side effects not mentioned in the above list. An individual must make sure to consume Saw palmetto with proper precaution and avoid interaction in order to prevent side effects. However if side effects are observed, it is advisable to contact a doctor or get immediate medical attention as soon as possible if necessary.

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