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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Saw Palmetto Cholesterol
January 2002

Q. I recently received a triglyceride report of 430, whereas before my score had regularly been 78 or so. I had been taking saw palmetto berries for a prostate condition. Could the saw palmetto have caused such an elevation? Or is it more likely that the high score was the result of having the blood test done after eating a full lunch?

A. Although most Americans are well aware of cholesterol, triglycerides are another type of fat circulating in the bloodstream that have implications for a healthy heart. High triglycerides are often associated with high cholesterol. Diabetes, hypothyroidism, excess body weight, and excess alcohol intake can contribute to this elevation. It is not likely that your test result would change so dramatically, so definitely have the test repeated on a fasting basis, meaning that you have not eaten for 12-14 hours at the time of the blood sample. At present, there are no published reports on saw palmetto affecting the levels of triglycerides.



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