Effects of dietary saw palmetto on the prostate of transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate model (TRAMP)

Teri L. Wadsworth, Teresa R. Worstell, Norman M. Greenberg, Charles E. Roselli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Several of the proposed mechanisms for the actions of the liposterolic extract of saw palmetto (SPE) are exerted on known risk factors for prostate cancer (CaP). This study investigated whether SPE could prevent the progression of CaP in a transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) model. METHODS. Two different doses of SPE designed to deliver 50 mg/kg/day SPE and 300 mg/kg/day SPE were administered in a custom diet to TRAMP mice for 12 or 24 weeks. Body and organ weights were used to evaluate toxicity, and radioimmunoassay was used to measure plasma and tissue androgen levels to monitor effects of SPE on 5α reductase activity. Prostate tissues were evaluated histologically to determine the effect of treatment on tumor grade, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. RESULTS. Treatment with 300 mg/kg/day SPE from 4 to 24 weeks of age significantly reduced the concentration of 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the prostate and resulted in a significant increase in apoptosis and significant decrease in pathological tumor grade and frank tumor incidence. CONCLUSIONS. Dietary supplementation with SPE may be effective in controlling CaP tumorigenesis. SPE suppression of prostatic DHT levels lends support to the hypothesis that inhibition of the enzyme 5α-reductase is a mechanism of action of this substance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-673
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1 2007


  • 5α-reductase
  • Apoptosis
  • Ki67
  • Prostate cancer
  • Serenoa repens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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