Metabolomics study of Saw palmetto extracts based on 1H NMR spectroscopy

Fitoterapia. 2015 Apr;102:56-60. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2015.02.007. Epub 2015 Feb 21.


Preparations containing Saw palmetto extracts are used in traditional medicine to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. According to the European and the American Pharmacopoeias, the extract is obtained from comminuted Saw palmetto berries by a suitable extracting procedure using ethanol or supercritical carbon dioxide or a mixture of n-hexane and methylpentanes. In the present study an approach to metabolomics profiling using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) has been used as a finger-printing tool to assess the overall composition of the extracts. The phytochemical analysis coupled with principal component analysis (PCA) showed the same composition of the Saw palmetto extracts obtained with carbon dioxide and hexane with minor not significant differences for extracts obtained with ethanol. In fact these differences are anyhow lower than the batch-to-batch variability ascribable to the natural-occurring variability in the Saw palmetto fruits' phytochemical composition. The fingerprinting analysis combined with chemometric method, is a technique, which would provide a tool to comprehensively assess the quality control of Saw palmetto extracts.

Keywords: (1)H nuclear magnetic spectroscopy; Acylglycerols; Metabolomics; Sabal serrulata (Michx.) Nutt. and Schult; Saw palmetto; Serenoa repens (Bartr.) Small.

MeSH terms

  • Metabolomics*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / standards
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Quality Control
  • Serenoa / chemistry*
  • Solvents / chemistry


  • Plant Extracts
  • Solvents
  • saw palmetto extract