Saw Palmetto Hair Loss Studies

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People in this generation are so clever that they would not be fooled by anything especially when concerning their health. Lots of resources are now available to know if a medication their about to take is legit or just hoax. Dietary supplements have become famous and have been reaching the doors of everyone by one way or the other. Most supplements came from herbs that were studied and researched to be effective before manufacturing and one of them is the saw palmetto.

Saw Palmetto is a herb that supports the prostate response of the male reproductive system, based on studies. Many studies have proven this function of the herb, particularly in dealing with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and urine flow problems.


Also a famous function of the saw palmetto is it’s hair loss treatment. There are very limited studies about this feature of the herb which contradicts each other.

One of the published experiments involving saw palmetto’s hair loss treatment used 10 men with male pattern alopecia. After months of applying saw palmetto to these men a result of 6 out 10 reported noticeable changes in their scalp. However this results was not enough to prove it’s effectiveness against baldness.

There is another study sponsored by a manufacturer of Proscar and Propecia (FDA approved hair loss drug) named Merck. This study compared saw palmetto to finasteride (Proscar/Propecia) and results showed that saw palmetto was useless to both BPH and alopecia or baldness. This study nearly ended the usage of saw palmetto.

Contradicting Merck’s study is another study done by Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of King Khalid University Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The study tested Premixon , the liposterolic extract of Serenoa Repens (Saw Palmetto) and its effectivity to BPH and hair loss. Focusing on hair loss, the extract reduced the mean uptake of dihydrotestosterones (DHT) by 41.9% in all tissue specimens. DHT is the converted testosterones which causes shrinking of hair follicles. The study concluded that saw palmetto acts the same as Propecia, but takes a longer time of usage before the effects show.

It was believed that saw palmetto has the ability to block 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterones to dihydrotestosterones. However, DHT is needed for the maintenance and growth of the prostate glands. Although this conversion is the natural response of our hormones, too much DHT causes hair loss and affects human’s lifestyle and self-esteem. These are supported by a study done by Leonard Marks, MD, the head of the Urological Sciences Research Foundation, which was the first American study to investigates the potentials of serenoa repens.

These studies has showed saw palmetto’s abilities to cure male or female pattern alopecia. Its treatment was said to be the same as prescription drugs such as the one said earlier, Propecia. A meta-analysis of experiments were written in the Journal of American Medical Association in 1998 which concluded that saw palmetto preparations are safe and effective. A daily dosage of 320mg of the liposterolic extract of saw palmetto is safe for people who wants to use it for their hair loss.

Many people have used saw palmetto together with Propecia, but dropped the prescription drug due to some health complication. But like any other medicines saw palmetto also have side effects, some of them are dizziness, stomach pain, headache, and others. Pregnant women and people under medications are advised to consult a doctor before using saw palmetto.

It is always good to know the nature of the medications you take before usage. Supplements especially herbs must be studied thoroughly before distributing to avoid any complications in may bring to its users.