Hair loss and hair thinning problems may be due to external and internal (or both) factors—such as malnutrition, hormonal imbalance, physical and emotional stress, medications, improper hair care, bad habits, genetics, infection and diseases.
Hair Loss Causes
Out of the many causes of hair loss, the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is believed to be the primary culprit that triggers its onset. That being the case, most hair loss product manufacturers make use of herbal ingredients that help inhibit the overproduction of DHT is the scalp. One such ingredient is saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), which is believed to be an excellent natural dihydrotestosterone (DHT) inhibitor.
Although saw palmetto doesn’t have a comprehensive scientific study to back its use for treating baldness, its popularity among consumers relies in its alleged similarities to finasteride, a medication for hair loss prevention.
There are also smaller-scale studies on saw palmetto that demonstrate its effectivity to stop hair loss. One such study was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. As indicated in the study, which was performed on men in the age bracket of 23 to 64 , almost 60 per cent of the respondents who took a combination of 100-mg of beta-sitosterol and 400-mg of saw palmetto, exhibited signs of hair regrowth.
In addition to that, a small-scale study has also been performed on the use of saw palmetto for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a disease that has similarities with androgenetic alopecia in a sense that both conditions are associated with the overproduction of testosterone. In the study, saw palmetto was found to be a potential treatment for prostate enlargement.
The Mayo Clinic gave saw palmetto an “A” rating for prostate concerns since there is “a strong scientific evidence” that proves its efficiency. However, they gave it a “C” rating as a hair loss treatment, stating that it has “unclear scientific evidence” that proved its use.
In the end, although most pharmaceutical companies believed in the potential of saw palmetto as natural anti-androgen which lowers the overproduction of DHT in the body by blocking the 5 alpha-reductase enzyme, large-scale studies need to be conducted to establish this herb as a potential agent in treating baldness.
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