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February 14, 2006

Branching Out - Western Herbs: Saw Palmetto a Dud for BPH

The New England Journal of Medicine just published a study showing that Saw Palmetto is no better than placebo for enlarged prostates (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). The study used a much larger group for a longer duration than any previous study, and claimed to be very specific in choosing a placebo that was pungent enough to truly mimic the smell of Saw Palmetto (to the point that 46% of placebo takers thought it was, versus 40% of the actual herb takers).

What struck my eyes, was this quote from the PO Stephen Bent, MD: "This is a surprising finding that contradicts the weight of prior evidence," he observes. "There is good reason for other researchers to conduct another study to validate these results, taking care that blinding is done carefully once again. Some people believe that higher doses may be potentially effective, and that's an area that we did not address. "

I've never heard an MD be so apologetic that a study didn't turn out the way it could have. Science Daily article

Posted by Admin at February 14, 2006 08:56 AM