Cochrane Summaries

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Serenoa repens for benign prostatic hyperplasia

Tacklind J, MacDonald R, Rutks I, Stanke JU, Wilt TJ
Published Online: 
12 December 2012

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the nonmalignant enlargement of the prostate gland that is caused by an increase in volume of epithelial (top layer of tissue that line cavities and surfaces of the body) and stromal (connective tissue) cells. This increase in cells can, over time, create fairly large, discrete nodules in the periurethral region of the prostate, and in turn can restrict the urethral canal causing partial or complete blockage.

The use of plants and herbs (phytotherapy) for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH is common and has been growing steadily in most Western countries. The extract of the berry of the American saw palmetto, or dwarf palm plant, Serenoa repens (SR), which is also known by its botanical name of Sabal serrulatum, is one of several phytotherapeutic agents available for the treatment of BPH.

The update of this review included 32 randomized controlled trials involving 5666 men.

Compared with placebo, Serenoa repens, at double and triple the usual dose, provides no improvement for nocturia, peak urine flow, and symptom scores for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia.