Saw Palmetto for Hair Loss – How Does It Work?
Thinking about taking saw palmetto for hair loss? Many natural health websites tout taking saw palmetto if you¡¯re losing your hair due to genetic (hereditary) hair loss. This herb comes from the berries of the palm tree native to South Atlantic coast.
So how does it work?
Well, first of all, you have to understand how we start to lose our hair due to male pattern balding (also called androgenetic alopecia). Balding is thought to be caused by the hormone DHT or dihydrotestosterone.
Certain hairs in some men (usually the hairs on the top and front of the head) are sensitive to DHT. As the body produces DHT over time, this sensitive hair becomes weaker and will eventually stop growing altogether.
So it stands to reason that if you can reduce the levels of DHT in the body, then you can slow or even stop the hair thinning that you have.
In fact, this is the basic mechanism by which ‘baldness’ drugs like Proscar and Propecia operate. They inhibit the enzyme responsible for regulating the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. This reduces DHT levels in the scalp and thus reduces it effects on the hair follicles – reversing hair loss in many men.
However, the problem is that many men are concerned these drugs may have toxic side effects.
That’s where saw palmetto comes in. According to some natural health experts, it can do something similar to these drugs by helping to reduce activity of 5 alpha-reductase. These blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone and thus helps to reverse hair loss.
Does it work?
Well, there are not a lot of scientific studies out there to say if it does or not (which is not surprising since it’s a natural remedy and there’s no money to be made).
However there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from people who have taken it and find that it has helped them. You can usually find saw palmetto at a health food store. It’s found in varying amounts several natural hair regrowth supplements on the market.
There are a few things you should be aware of however.
First of all, you’ve got to make sure that any herbal remedy for your hair contains enough saw palmetto to actually be effective. I’ve seen supplements that contain everywhere from 100 mg up to 1000 mg per capsule.
And you’ll also notice that sometimes price does not really depend on what kind of dose you take. For example, I know of one supplement that contains 300 mg of saw palmetto for hair loss per capsule. Then there’s another supplement that contains 1000 mg of saw palmetto per capsule – and it’s actually cheaper.
So if you do decide to try this solution make sure you shop around and find the best supplement in terms of value. Also, you should check with your doctor before taking any supplement to make sure your hair thinning is genetic and not a result of other things like stress or illness.
Source by Christopher Waters