Life Extension Magazine®

Prostate Enlargement

Super Saw Palmetto and Super Nettle Root – two alternatives for alleviating symptoms of prostate disease.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Super Saw Palmetto ExtractMost men over age 60 are likely to develop prostate enlargement. Preventing the development of benign prostate disease is a critical component to maintaining an enjoyable quality of life. There is also evidence that the steps taken to prevent benign prostate hyperplasia (enlarged prostate gland) may also reduce the risk of contracting prostate cancer.

If you are between the ages of 30 and 50, a concentrated saw palmetto extract capsule has been developed that requires only once-a-day dosing. This new capsule utilizes a super-critical extract of saw palmetto that has shown superior results, compared with the previous hexane extract of saw palmetto (see details elsewhere in this issue). The good news for consumers is that this improved Super Saw Palmetto costs no more than the older saw palmetto supplements. The published scientific literature, along with 10 years of experience at the Life Extension Foundation, shows that saw palmetto extract by itself is highly effective in alleviating symptoms of benign prostate disease in most men. SUPER SAW PALMETTO NETTLE ROOT FORMULA

However, newly published studies reveal solid evidence that men over age 50 should add a nettle root extract to the new saw palmetto extract for prevention purposes. As men age, their ratio of estrogen to testosterone increases, thus making it important to inhibit the effects of estrogens, sex hormone binding globulin and dihydrotestosterone. While saw palmetto protects against prostate enlargement caused by dihydrotestosterone, nettle root is required to inhibit the proliferation of prostate cells in response to estrogen and sex hormone binding globulin.

The Foundation offers a product, Natural Prostate Formula, that contains saw palmetto, pygeum and nettle extract. The most expensive ingredient in this product is the pygeum extract. While pygeum and nettle work synergistically in benign prostate disease caused by estrogen and other hormone-like substances, published studies show that up to 86% of men obtain significant relief from symptoms of benign prostate disease by taking a combination of only saw palmetto berry and nettle root extracts.

Natural Prostate Formula Since we now have a molecular understanding of how nettle functions in the body, it would appear that most men could both prevent and effectively treat benign prostate hyperplasia by taking the new Super Saw Palmetto, along with the methanolic extract from nettle root. By leaving out the expensive pygeum, the retail price for a new product Super Saw Palmetto/ Nettle Root Formula is reduced by 26%, compared with Natural Prostate Formula. The daily dose of the Super Saw Palmetto/ Nettle Root Formula is one capsule in the morning and one in the evening.

Men with severe prostate enlargement should use the Natural Prostate Formula that contains all three herbal extracts that have shown broad-spectrum protection against prostate disease. The CO2 extract of saw palmetto has clearly been shown to inhibit production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is one cause of prostate enlargement. We know that pygeum and nettle extract work together to inhibit prostate cell proliferation caused by estrogens and the sex hormone binding globulin. As men grow older, their need to block the effects of estrogens and sex hormone binding globulin becomes more urgent. The dose used in the successful clinical studies equates to one capsule of Natural Prostate Formula in the morning and one capsule in the evening.

The Natural Prostate Formula is clearly the "Cadillac" of all prostate products, but for many men, the lower-cost Super Saw Palmetto/ Nettle Root Formula or the new one-a-day Super Saw Palmetto capsules may be all that is required. All of these prostate formulas contain the new CO2 supercritical extract of saw palmetto, and the two products with nettle extract use the newer methanolic extract that has proven its effectiveness in placebo-controlled studies.

Anyone suffering symptoms of urinary discomfort should obtain a diagnosis from his physician. If benign prostatic hyperplasia is determined, a test should be done to measure the serum level of prostate specific antigen (PSA), an important marker that may indicate the presence of prostate cancer. If the total PSA level is high, then request another blood test that measures free PSA. The free PSA blood test is more specific in identifying early stage prostate cancer. Men with benign prostate disease are at a higher risk for developing prostate cancer.