While investigating the evidence behind prostate supplements and testing the quality of the products, ConsumerLab said it found supplements with a certain amount of beta-sitosterol (a type of phytosterol) may reduce symptoms of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) but “the latest and most reliable studies show no benefit for saw palmetto supplements. Neither ingredient is useful in treating prostate cancer.”
Analytical tests found several supplements with levels of beta-sitosterol likely to be effective, but ConsumerLab discovered that one beta-sitosterol supplement would not properly break apart and may not fully release its ingredients. Most saw palmetto supplements contained their listed amounts of the herb, while the labels of two “prostate formulas” -- consisting of multiple ingredients -- made disease treatment claims on their labels which violate FDA regulations.
The Product Review of Prostate Supplements is available online for ConsumerLab members. It identifies which saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol supplements passed or failed ConsumerLab's review and quality testing; what saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol can and cannot do for your health; which other ingredients in prostate formulas (such as Pygeum, pumpkin seed, nettle, selenium, and zinc) may or may not be helpful; the dosages of saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol used to treat prostate enlargement; and the potential side-effects of saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol.
Products reviewed in the report are CVS Pharmacy Saw Palmetto, Doctor's Best Best Saw Palmetto, GNC Herbal Plus Standardized Saw Palmetto, Jarrow Formulas Prostate Optimizer, Julian Whitaker, M.D. Saw Palmetto Prostate Health, Member's Mark (Costco) Extra Strength Saw Palmetto Complex, Natural Factors (Dr. Michael Murray) Prostate Health Complete Herbal Formula, Nature's Bounty Standardized Extract Extra Strength Saw Palmetto Complex, Nature's Herbs Saw Palmetto Berries, Nature's Way Once Daily ProstActive Saw Palmetto, New Chapter Prostate 5LX, Pharmanex Prostate Formula, Prostate Power Rx, Prostavar RX, Pure Encapsulations Beta-sitosterol, Schiff Men's Health Prostate Health, Solgar Saw Palmetto Berry Extract, Source Naturals Mega Strength Beta Sitosterol, Spring Valley Standardized Extract Saw Palmetto, and Swanson Ultra Saw Palmetto Combo.