Supplement Perspectives
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Study: Bioactivity of Saw Palmetto Extract Parallels Prescription Drug for Prostate Health

<p>According to a new study, a branded CO2 supercritical saw palmetto extract (Prosterol&#174; by Euromed) was found to work in the same way, and just as well, as finasteride&#0151;a prescription drug used to treat enlarged prostate in men.</p>

According to a new study, a branded CO2 supercritical saw palmetto extract (Prosterol® by Euromed) was found to work in the same way, and just as well, as finasteride—a prescription drug used to treat enlarged prostate in men (Research and Reports in Urology. 2016:8, 1-9).

The benefits of saw palmetto extract include anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative effects, as well as the inhibition of 5α-reductases—enzymes involved in steroid metabolism. While these enzymes participate multiple metabolic pathways, researchers explained 5α-reductases catalyze the conversion of testosterone to the most potent androgen—5α-dihydrotestosterone. 5α-dihydrotestosterone has been linked to development and exacerbation of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), as well as prostate cancer, though research isn’t conclusive (Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(10):621-632).

Two 5α-reductase isoenzymes are expressed in humans: type I and type II, researchers explained. The latter is found primarily in prostate tissue. For the study, researchers determined the in vitro potency of Prosterol, an inhibitor of the 5α-reductase isoenzyme type II. Additionally, the inhibitory potency of Prosterol was compared to that of finasteride on the basis of the enzymatic conversion of the substrate androstenedione to 5α-androstanedione.

According to researchers, “By concentration-dependent inhibition of 5α-reductase type II in vitro, [Prosterol] demonstrated competitive binding toward the active site of the enzyme. Finasteride, the approved 5α-reductase inhibitor tested as positive control, led to 63 to 75 percent inhibition of 5α-reductase type II."

The authors concluded Prosterol effectively inhibited the enzyme that has been linked to BPH, and the amount of extract required for activity is comparatively low. “It can be confirmed from the results of this study that [Prosterol] has bioactivity that promotes prostate health at a level that is superior to that of many other phytotherapeutic extracts," researchers wrote. “The bioactivity of SPSE corresponds favorably to that reported for the hexane extract used in a large number of positive BPH clinical trials, as well as to finasteride, the established standard of therapy among prescription drugs."

Prosterol is part of Euromed’s new PhytoProof® line of standardized extract ingredients. PhytoProof is a proprietary process entailing extensive documented testing to guarantee the company’s botanical extracts are made in conformance with all FDA’s GMP (good manufacturing practice) requirements for identity, purity and potency. Products with PhytoProof ingredients can carry the PhytoProof label on the package.

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