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Title: New perspectives on saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) : a medico historical / analytical comparison of preparations derived from it and a clinical pilot trial in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia and sexual dysfunctions
Author: Suter, Andy
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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Saw palmetto berries (Sereona repens) are used today for symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) which is an age dependent disease leading to lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and impacts negatively sexual functions (SDys). I carried out the first clinical pilot trial to assess if a saw palmetto treatment in patients with BPH symptoms and concomitant SDys is efficacious and safe on both groups of symptons. After 8 weeks of treatment with 320mg saw palmetto extract daily, the BPH symptoms assessed with the International Prostate Symptome Score IPSS were reduced from 14.4 ± 4.7 to 6.9 ± 5.2 (P < 0.0001) . At the same time SDys measured with the brief Sexual Function Inventory bSFI improved from 22.4 ± 7.2 to 31.4 ± 9.2 (P < 0.0001), and with the Urolife BPH QoL-9 questionnaire from 162.7 ± 47.9 to 105.0 ± 56.3 (P < 0.0001). The treatment was very well tolerated and accepted by the patients. Another subject of the thesis was to investigate the quality of products from 8 countries which contained saw palmetto and are sold as treatments of BPH symptoms. For each of the 46 analyzed products the amount of the main active constituent, the fatty acids was determined using gas chromatography. The quantity of fatty acids per daily dosage varied widely between the commodities and also the composition of the samples was very heterogenous. A last aspect of this thesis was to investigate how saw palmetto was historically introduced into the German speaking medical practice. The first recorded mention of saw palmetto in a German medicinal publication was in 1892. From then on saw palmetto grew more and more popular among German homeopathic doctors and was often mentioned in their publications. The homeopathic doctors were ones in the end having made saw palmetto popular as a medicinal treatment in Germany. In conclusion, this thesis shows how saw palmetto made its way into medical practice in Germany, that saw palmetto preparations on the markets differ widely in their content of active constituents and thus higher quality demands from regulatory authorities are warranted, and for the first time that saw palmetto is not only an efficacious and safe treatment for BPH symptoms but also for concomitant SDys.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available