Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Saw palmetto no more effective than placebo for urinary symptoms

28.09.2011
NIH-funded study finds dietary supplement does not alleviate BPH

Saw palmetto, a widely used herbal dietary supplement, does not reduce urinary problems associated with prostate enlargement any better than a placebo, according to research funded by the National Institutes of Health. The study was published Sept. 28 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Prostate enlargement, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), can cause frequent urination, a weak or intermittent urine stream and an inability to empty the bladder completely. More than half of men in their 60s, and up to 90 percent in their 70s and 80s, have symptoms of BPH.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) supported the study. All are part of the NIH.

According to Robert A. Star, M.D., director of the NIDDK's Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases, the current study met an important need for rigorous evaluation of standard and higher doses of saw palmetto. The trial also confirmed results of the earlier NIDDK- and NCCAM-sponsored Saw Palmetto Trial for Enlarged Prostates (STEP), which found that a standard daily dose of 320 milligrams provided no greater symptom relief than placebo.

"Investigators designed the current trial to determine whether daily doses of up to 960 milligrams – three times the standard daily dose -- would prove better than a placebo at improving lower urinary tract symptoms in men due to BPH," said Star. "We were disappointed to find that higher doses of saw palmetto did not improve symptoms more than placebo."

Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., director of NCCAM, added that this study further illustrates the importance of conducting research on botanical products that are used extensively by the general public.

"This was a well-designed study that addressed limitations of earlier, smaller trials – it was a multicenter study with a larger sample size and tested different doses of a carefully analyzed saw palmetto product," Briggs said. "The NIH is committed to bringing rigorous science to the study of natural products and to building the evidence base that can guide consumer decisions."

The study was a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted at 11 North American clinical sites from June 2008 to October 2010. A cohort of 369 men aged 45 years or older participated, each with a peak urine flow rate of at least four milliliters per second at the beginning of the study -- which is less than normal. Also, all had an American Urological Association Symptom Index (AUASI) score of between eight and 24 -- a lower score is better. The AUASI score ranges from zero to 35. Escalating doses of saw palmetto or placebo were given, starting at one, then two, and then three pills of 320 milligrams per day, with dose increases at 24 and 48 weeks.

The study measured the differences between the AUASI score at the start of the trial and after 72 weeks of treatment. Secondary measures included improvements in frequency, nocturia (nighttime urination), peak urine flow, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, sexual function, incontinence and sleep quality.

Between baseline and 72 weeks, mean AUASI scores decreased from 14.4 to 12.2 points with saw palmetto extract and from 14.7 to 11.7 points with placebo. The group average change in AUASI score from baseline to 72 weeks between the saw palmetto and placebo groups was 0.79 points, favoring placebo. Saw palmetto was not more effective than placebo in reducing urinary symptoms for any of the secondary outcomes.

According to Joseph M. Betz, Ph.D., director of the Analytical Methods and Reference Materials program at ODS and a study co-author, the study used a very well-characterized saw palmetto product. Through batch testing, study investigators took extreme care to ensure that the composition of the supplement was consistent over the whole study.

"Saw palmetto and other herbs are often manufactured in different ways, so no two brands are likely to have the same composition," Betz said.

Rottapharm/Madaus, Cologne, Germany, donated the saw palmetto extract and matching placebo used in the study.

For more information on the trial, search for NCT00603304 at www.clinicaltrials.gov. Learn about BPH at http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/prostateenlargement.

To interview an NIH official or scientist, contact:

Bill Polglase, NIDDK, 301-435-8115 or 301-496-3583(BPH and urinary symptoms)

NCCAM Press, NCCAM, 301-496-7790 (complementary and alternative medicine)

Kelli Marciel, ODS, 301-496-4819 (dietary supplements)

The NIDDK, a component of the NIH, conducts and supports research on diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutrition and obesity; and kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. Spanning the full spectrum of medicine and afflicting people of all ages and ethnic groups, these diseases encompass some of the most common, severe and disabling conditions affecting Americans. For more information about the NIDDK and its programs, see www.niddk.nih.gov.

The NCCAM's mission is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions and their roles in improving health and health care. For additional information, call NCCAM's Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCAM Web site at nccam.nih.gov.

The mission of the NIH ODS is to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, stimulating and supporting research, disseminating research results, and educating the public to foster an enhanced quality of life and health for the U.S. population. For additional information about ODS, visit ods.od.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

Bill Polglase | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nih.gov

Further reports about: BPH NCCAM NIH dietary supplement health services kidney disease medical research

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>