Friday, December 23, 2016

Trader Joe's Saw Palmetto Plus Selenium & Vitamin D

I am of the sex and age subject to the problems attendant to a gradually enlarging prostate gland. The symptoms are not severe enough to make me willing to try the various prescription medications available, but they're certainly annoying enough that I'd welcome an over-the-counter remedy that was reasonably effective, inexpensive, and free of side effects.

Saw palmetto extract is the mainstay in this category. Trader Joe's version is relatively expensive, but I figured that as long as I was going to be trying something, I might as well make it a TJ's product and get a blog post out of the experience.

I took the recommended daily dose for about three months, then waited another three months before writing this. The reason for the slow timetable is that I would expect any effect to be quite gradual in onset--enough that I might not notice until I stopped taking it and symptoms returned.

While using it, I sometimes thought, "I think it might be getting a little bit better"--the "it" there primarily meaning the long delay in starting a urinary stream, post-void dribbling, and nocturnal wakening. But if there was any improvement, it was subtle enough that I could never be sure if it was a real effect or just random fluctuation in severity of the symptoms. After I stopped using the product, I noticed no trend toward worsening.

My conclusion was that any benefit was too small to be confident that it was real. For me, that means that it's not worth bothering with.

Will I buy it again? 

I probably will, in order to run the same experiment again in a year or two. Maybe if my condition has progressed, it will be easier to discern a therapeutic effect.

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