People often ask me "is Saw Palmetto really good for hair loss?" And "is it a DHT blocker?"
Saw Palmetto has been used for years as a way to treat benign hyperplasia of the prostrate. Increased DHT levels will increase prostatic tissue and a natural cure has been sought after. The same DHT is associated with minaturization of hair follicles in male pattern baldness. Testosterone converts to DHT and saw palmetto has claims of acting as a DHT blocker. But is there any evidence to support such claims?
Can saw palmetto act as a DHT blocker?
There are several studies that show that Saw Palmetto has no efficacy at all for benign prostatic hyperplasia.
"In a double-blind trial, we randomly assigned 225 men over the age of 49 years who had moderate-to-severe symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia to one year of treatment with saw palmetto extract (160 mg twice a day) or placebo. "
"In this study, saw palmetto did not improve symptoms or objective measures of benign prostatic hyperplasia. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00037154.)."
Another study for prostatitis showed:
This study was designed to assess the safety and efficacy of saw palmetto or finasteride in men with category III prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).
Cp/Cpps treated with saw palmetto had no appreciable long term improvement. In contrast , patients with finasteride has significant improvement in all variuos parameters except voiding.
We must note that finasteride has side effects such as erectile disfunction.
So any claims that saw palmetto is efficacious in improving or reversing hair loss has not been shown. If Saw Palmetto blocked DHT levels it should have the same effect on hair as it would by relieving the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. We have never seen improvement or reversal of hair loss in our practice after 27 years.
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