Looking for Some Saw Palmetto Hair Loss Help? Read This First!

Many men try saw palmetto hair loss products on the basis that they’re safe, natural alternatives to Propecia (i.e., the drug finasteride, which is FDA approved but can unfortunately cause side effects – some of them quite serious). And, since finasteride is only approved for use in men, there are also plenty of women who use both topical and oral saw palmetto hair loss products.

This review explains why saw palmetto is so popular for both men and women, and raises the question:

Can saw palmetto really stop hair loss and restore strong hair regrowth again?

What Is Saw Palmetto?

Saw palmetto is a small palm tree (it grows to just 10 feet high) which grows along the south-east coastline in the USA (and also in the West Indies – Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, etc).

Saw palmetto fan palm

It's leaves are a distinctive fan shape, but it's the small discrete-looking berries that are most interesting. That's because they contain active ingredients which have an inhibitory effect on the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). And that's useful in the treatment of the prostate gland and possibly hair loss (i.e., male pattern baldness).

Active Ingredients

The active ingredients thought to inhibit DHT are:

  • Fatty acids
  • Plant sterols (phytosterols)

Fatty acids - Saw palmetto berries contain nine fatty acids, the greatest concentration of which being oleic, lauric, myristic and palmitic acids.

Palm tree berries

Phytosterols - Phytosterols are basically plant-based steroids which appear to have several health-promoting effects. The concentration of sterols in saw palmetto berries is very small when compared to their fatty acid content.

How Saw Palmetto Helps Men With Prostate Problems

European studies have shown that saw palmetto berries are very effective against benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This uncomfortable condition generally affects older men who have developed an enlarged prostate gland, which then interferes with urinary action and also create further health problems.

High DHT levels have been linked to prostate growth. So, by reducing DHT availability, a reduction in prostate gland size can also take place, thereby relieving the symptoms of BPH.

And here’s how saw palmetto can help:

  • By blocking the enzyme 5-alpha reductase from converting testosterone into DHT.

  • It can stop DHT binding to androgen receptors.

  • It may also have an anti-inflammatory effect and oppose growth factors.

Studies show that 85% of men using saw palmetto extract can experience reduced symptoms of BPH within just three months.

Saw palmetto hair regrowth products

Saw Palmetto Hair Loss Research

Given that high DHT levels have been associated with both prostate problems and hair loss, it makes sense that saw palmetto might also be able to address hair loss in the same way.

But, the effectiveness of saw palmetto hair loss treatment is not quite as certain as it is for the prostate gland - there’s a lot of conflicting information (and disinformation) out there:

Uncertainties surrounding saw palmetto hair loss treatment

Here’s a list of just some of the contradictions and confusion surrounding the use of saw palmetto for hair loss:

  • Whilst saw palmetto will act on 5-alpha reductase and DHT receptors in the prostate gland, one or both of these mechanisms may or may not be how saw palmetto acts in the hair follicles.

  • Some studies suggest that saw palmetto only targets the prostate gland. But at least one other scientific study has shown that it targeted all tissues it was exposed to.

  • Saw palmetto is said to be similar to the drug finasteride in that both are DHT blockers. But there are differences - finasteride acts on 5-alpha reductase type II and saw palmetto acts on types I and II. Also, finasteride can decrease DHT serum levels (i.e., in the blood) whereas saw palmetto cannot.

So What Does All This Mean?

Well, from what I’ve read, it seems that saw palmetto can help with hair loss, but only very slowly and to quite a small extent – e.g., perhaps after six months or more, it might slow down your rate of hair loss or improve the growth of your existing hair.

I believe the reason why saw palmetto is so effective against prostate problems but not so much when it comes to hair loss, is because hair loss is caused by skull expansion.

And I’m pretty sure skull expansion doesn’t affect the prostate gland!

Despite the uncertainties, many men and women desperate for a solution to their hair loss problem, try saw palmetto hair loss products, and quite often do so as their first choice rather than the FDA approved drugs minoxidil and finasteride.

But, using saw palmetto for hair loss might still lead to potential problems, as you’ll see on the next page.

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Read next page? Side Effects Using Saw Palmetto for Hair Loss.

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