A recent preclinical study compared the effects of two standardized lipidosterolic extracts of saw palmetto – USPlus from Valensa International (Eustis, FL), and Permixon, a well-established hexanic extract of saw palmetto – on prostate health.
A recent preclinical study1 compared the effects of two standardized lipidosterolic extracts of saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) – USPlus, a proprietary ultra-high-pressure supercritical carbon dioxide extract of saw palmetto, from Valensa International (Eustis, FL), and Permixon, a well-established hexanic extract of saw palmetto – on prostate health. Specifically, researchers evaluated the activity of 5α-reductase (5αR) enzymes, which block the conversion of testosterone to its active metabolite, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The three isoforms of 5αR are overexpressed in men’s prostate tissue as they age. 5αR type 2 expression is particularly high in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. They also evaluated the lipid profiles of the extracts.
Results showed that the extracts had nearly identical inhibition curves for 5αR as well as comparable lipid profiles based on similar levels of total fatty acid, weight/weight comparisons of individual fatty acids, and individual fatty acid ratios to lauric acid. This is important because Permixon, produced by Pierre Fabre Medicament in Castres, France, is a common treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia that meets the standards set by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), but is not available in the North America. Therefore, the study demonstrates that USPlus may be helpful for North American men with lower urinary tract symptoms due to enlarged prostates.
“USPlus meets the standard set by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) monograph for authenticity and purity of a supercritical carbon dioxide (SCCO2) extract of saw palmetto,” said Margaret H. Dohnalek, PhD, chief science officer and senior vice president, research and innovation for Valensa International, in a press release. “Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) has been a staple botanical for men’s urological health. However, the products in the market are inconsistent and many do not provide an extract with the fatty acid profile and dose for clinical effectiveness.”
Another compelling finding in the study is the strong inhibition of 5αR type 1 which is predominantly found in his skin and hair, potentially slowing down androgenic-mediated hair loss associated with this conversion of testosterone into DHT.