Hair loss can affect many of us at some point or another and the effect loss of hair loss on your life quality can be devastating. It’s no wonder then that a wide range of treatment options, ranging including hair plugs and medicated shampoos, have been developed in the past.
Recently, however an extract that is derived from the plant of saw palmetto has drawn a lot of interest from scientists. But what exactly is saw palmetto and why does a growing number of people utilize it to combat hair loss?
What is the reason of hair loss?
There are a myriad of forms of hair loss, however the most prevalent is the so-called “genetic hair loss”. It is typically seen in men, and occurs when the hair line recedes towards the normal “widows the peak”. In more severe cases, that the cap of your skull could also be thinning. This is known as “male-pattern hair loss”.
It is interesting to note that women also suffer from genetic hair loss although it is less common.
Experts employ the term “androgenic Alopecia” (or AGA for short) to refer to this condition that affects both men and women. But what’s the science to explain the way AGA can cause hair loss?
We are aware that both men and women are testosterone-positive within their bodies, however testosterone levels in males tend to be more high. It appears that an enzyme that goes by the name “5-alpha reductase” (5AR) converts testosterone into a chemical referred to by the name of dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
This DHT also is is believed to be the cause of the baldness. This also explains the term androgenic alopecia more clearly and testosterone is classified as an androgen – a term used for male sexual hormones. DHT appears to affect hair follicles in a direct way, causing them to grow hairs which are shorter, thinner in length and less durable than typical hair.
It is believed that the issue could be caused by the effect of DHT on the subcutaneous tissue which helps keep hair hydrated. DHT can trigger the tissue to thin and put pressure on hair follicles that result in the loss of hair, or even complete loss.
As one might imagine that there are two possible ways to treat these types of hair loss. One is to either stop testosterone from turning into DHT or block the receptors of hair follicles to ensure that DHT is a much less impact.
What is Saw Palmetto?
Saw palmetto is a common term used for Serenoa Repens which is a palm tree that is typically found at higher altitudes. Originating from in the West Indies, it may be seen growing in warmer regions in North America also. The product we recognize today as saw palmetto, is made from the fruits of the tree and is available by way of the form of tablets or in cream for the skin.
Saw palmetto may not have received the recognition it merits by the science community. Because of this, scientists are only beginning to discover the mysteries of how it may influence hair loss. Researchers consider that the saw palmetto appears to cause losing hair through two methods. It appears to block the activities of 5AR which in turn aids in the prevention of the transformation from testosterone to DHT.
Certain experts believe that palmetto can also lessen the effects on DHT over hair follicles, by blocking hair receptors in the hair follicles. While research on saw palmetto’s effects is still at its beginnings and if the numerous customers of this supplement prove to be correct, it could be one of the most intriguing treatments for hair loss that has been discovered recently.
How do you know the Science Behind Saw Palmetto for Hair Loss?
Many recent studies have attempted at determining the efficacy of saw palmetto in reducing hair loss. In one study that is well-known, people aged between 23 and 64 received saw palmetto over a period which lasted for five years. The hair’s coverage was measured prior to and following treatment and 60% of them showed improvements. However, it’s crucial to note that the sample size was minimal, which means that it was not being a large-scale research study.
In a subsequent, more rigourous, study, 50 participants received the dose of 320mg of saw palmetto each day for a period of 24 months. The study discovered that 38% of people who took saw palmetto noticed an increased growth in their hair, with the greatest growth occurring at the top of the head.
The final study grouped the 62 participants into three groups. The first group received shampoo and lotion that was enriched with saw palmetto, and also as an oral supplement daily. The second group was given placebo-like alternatives, whereas the third group used saw palmetto lotion and shampoo, but the placebo supplement.
The results are fascinating. It is not surprising that the group using placebo products did not experience any additional hair growth. However, both groups saw a significant increase in hair growth between 20 to 35 percent. Perhaps the most intriguing thing is was that the group taking oral supplements experienced the highest growth, indicating seeing palmetto products might have more efficacy than topical treatments.
In addition to being associated to treating hair loss Saw palmetto has also been associated with treating bladder infections, reducing the drive to sex and improve prostate health.
Do I Know How to Take Saw Palmetto
Before taking any new supplements you should consult with your doctor to confirm that it’s safe to consume and that saw palmetto comes in many forms such as tablets, capsules with powdered ingredients and liquid extracts. Tablets are the most easily accessible method to consume the supplement. experts suggest taking between 1000 and 2000 mg of saw palmetto two times a each day.
Negative Side Negative Effects Saw Palmetto
The most attractive benefits of the use of saw palmetto an alternative is that, so far, it appears to be a safe treatment for losing hair. Due to its rising popularity several studies have evaluated the potential hazards of taking saw palmetto supplements as well as the outcomes have proved 100% positive.
A study looking at the potential adverse impacts of saw palmetto discovered that it’s “well tolerated by the majority of users and does not come in contact with major adverse events”. They also stated that most adverse side effects are “mild often, reversible and infrequent” and could include headaches, nausea, or a decrease in libido.
Another study concluded that “despite careful examination there was no evidence of significant toxicity of saw palmetto was found in this study”. Despite these encouraging initial results, saw palmetto should not be used for pregnant women or children until further studies are completed.
Saw palmetto has been shown to be promising in research on its role in combating hair loss However, more research should be conducted to prove the real value from this supplement. Studies in the lab have demonstrated its ability to block hair loss-promoting enzymes and research has shown positive results when tested with people suffering from hair loss.
Saw palmetto is an effective herbal treatment for women and men who want to prevent hair loss. It is an alternative to more expensive treatments such as medications or surgery. The plant is also connected to treatment for other ailments including a decrease in testosterone levels and sustaining prostate health.
While more research is required to test the effect of saw palmetto in reducing hair loss, the research thus far has been positive as a possible alternative to expensive treatments.