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Saw Palmetto Market Sees a Fresh Newcomer

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Botanicals that are innovative are ones with unique extraction profiles and studies that cannot be replicated on any other species material. Here’s how Vi-spo™ is the next innovation in saw palmetto extraction.

A common issue faced by men as they age is the appearance of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) such as increased urinary frequency and weak urinary stream.  In one U.S. study, it was reported that 9.5% of men were experiencing moderate to severe LUTS from ages 50-59 with an increased prevalence to 17.5% in those aged 60-69.1​ Prostate health may play a role in LUTS. With such a high prevalence, it is no wonder that many aging men seek dietary supplements to support prostate and urinary health. 

Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens​) has been perhaps one of the most popular botanical dietary supplements aging adults have relied on.  A 2017 systemic review found that saw palmetto is one of the most frequently used herbal medicine products (HMPs) in adults that are 65 or older. 2  ​“Saw palmetto is clearly a market-leading ingredient for men’s health,” confirms Steve Geiger, VP/GM of Sales and Operations for Vidya Herbs USA.

While countless saw palmetto products are available on the market, many of them are unstandardized or are inconsistent in their dosing recommendations, leaving it up to consumers to do their own research on what is the best option for their needs. A branded ingredient source of saw palmetto allows consumers to readily recognize the research associated with the material and understand what the clinically supported dosage is to achieve its benefits. 

Vi-spo™ is the branded ingredient solution recently developed by Vidya Herbs to meet the high demand for saw palmetto while also surpassing the status quo. “Ethanol extracts have been a mainstay of this market, but Vidya Herbs knew the ingredient was ripe for further innovation,” comments Christopher Bailey, Director of Scientific Affairs for Vidya Herbs USA.  “Rather than just focusing on the fatty acid content, our R&D team recognized the importance of high levels β-sitosterol as well, leading to the development of Vi-spo™, a novel supercritical CO2​ extract of saw palmetto berries with higher β-sitosterol content (up to 3%).

K Shyam Prasad, Vidya Herbs’ Founder and Managing Director explains, “The CO2​ extraction of saw-palmetto, in conjunction with chromatography, allows for a unique fatty acid profile compared to conventional ethanol extraction and greatly enhanced β-sitosterol levels.”

He adds, “Our research and development team didn’t want to make something unique simply for the sake of being different-our innovations seek to improve human health and wellness.”

The first study on Vi-spo™ β -sitosterol-enhanced saw palmetto extract was a 2019 animal trial published in BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies​. This murine study compared efficacy of β -sitosterol-enriched saw palmetto oil (Vi-spo™) against conventional saw palmetto oil supercritical fluid extract and found that the β -sitosterol-enriched material (Vi-spo™) significantly outperformed the conventional extract on a marker of prostate health.3

New Human Clinical Trial

Vi-spo™ was recently shown in a human clinical trial to support prostate health. 4​ In the 12-week double-blind trial, men aged 40 to 65 were randomized to consume either placebo, 400 mg daily doses of β-sitosterol-enriched saw palmetto oil (Vi-spo™), or conventional supercritical saw palmetto oil.

Perhaps one of the exciting aspects of the trial is that the reported symptom improvements in prostate health were mirrored by improvements in urodynamic and plasma-based markers of prostate health with a relatively low dose of the Vi-spo™ extract.

This was demonstrated by a significant decrease in the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), a significant reduction in residual urine volume, a significant increase in maximum urinary flow rate (Qmax) as well a significant decrease in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the Vi-spo™ group as compared to the placebo group.   

Vi-spo™ provides prostate benefits at just 400 mg (oil) or 800 mg (spray-dried powder) per day. Vi-spo™ is a carrier-free supercritical saw palmetto (Serenoa repens​) berry extract from berries cultivated in the southeastern United States. It is standardized to both ≥ 85% fatty acids and 2-3% beta-sitosterol. It is free of the 8 major food allergens, non-GMO and made in an NSF GMP-registered facility.

Geiger summarizes, “Vi-spo™ hits all the right notes for today’s health-conscious male who is mindful of prostate health.”

 

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References

1 Maserjian NN, Chen S, Chiu GR, et al.  Urology​.  2013;82:560-564. 

2 Agbabiaka TB, Wider B, Watson LK, et al.  Drugs & Aging​.  2017;34:891-905. 

3 Sudeep HV, Venkatakrishna K, Amrutharaj B, et al. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine​.  2019;19:270.

4 Sudeep HV, Thomas JV, Shyamprasad K. BMC Urology​.  2020;20:86.