Dihydrotestosterone or DHT, a derivative of testosterone, is the most commonly cited culprit behind hair loss in men. In men unlucky enough to have a genetic predisposition to hair loss, it binds to, shrinks and eventually kills off the scalp follicles that grow your hair.
Popular minoxidil containing hair loss products block the action of DHT by directly stopping it from binding with your hair follicles. But there is another avenue of treatment, reducing the amount of DHT in your body overall. The less DHT, the less potential there is for damage to your hair. Finasteride, commonly known by its brand name Propecia, works by blocking the action of 5-α reductase (5AR) the molecular engine that converts testosterone into DHT.
An alternative for Men who want to explore a more natural way of blocking DHT is Saw Palmetto. Widely used in the treatment of enlarged prostates, a condition closely hormonally linked to hair loss, there is good scientific evidence that it significantly reduces free DHT and thus protects your hair.
Saw Palmetto is sustainably farmed in Florida
Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto) is a palm native to Florida which has been used historically as a food source and medicine. Modern treatments use extracts from the fruit either, in a dry capsule, or more potently an oil in an easy to take softgel. When selecting a Saw palmetto supplement look for high quantities of Fatty Acids, Sterols and Beta-sitosterol which make up the biologically active components of the plant.
Saw Palmetto in potent easy pleasant to take softgels
There is a significant body of scientific research on Saw Palmetto extracts that demonstrate that it acts to reduce DHT levels by a mechanism similar to that of finasteride. By blocking the action of 5-α reductase (5AR) it stops the conversion of testosterone into DHT and reduces its levels by as much as 32%1.
For men predisposed to hair loss, a reduction in the amount of available DHT should reduce the pressure on your hair follicles leading to healthier fuller hair. A 2012 study2 on a group of 100 men over 2 years comparing the effectiveness of Saw Palmetto vs Finasteride resulted in Saw Palmetto arresting the hair loss in 52% of cases and showing significant regrowth in 38% while avoiding the potential side effects of finasteride. The Saw Palmetto was most effective in earlier stage hair loss indicating that it could be a useful starting point for men wanting to act on early stage hair loss but without taking the small but real risk of side effects seen in finasteride3.
Taken in high purity potent softgels it avoids the mess and time of sprays and lotions. Saw Palmetto does, however, have significant effects on the body so in a very few cases it will cause stomach irritation which can usually be avoided by taking it with food. You should also make sure to tell your doctor you are taking Saw Palmetto if you are undertaking a PSA test as it can cause significant changes in the results due to its action.
Saw Palmetto is even more effective when combined with other types of treatment. By reducing the amount of DHT in your body with Saw Palmetto and then acting to block what remains from reaching your hair follicles with Minoxidil you can decisively disrupt the mechanism behind hair loss and return your hair to health.
Saw Palmetto is a useful, effective tool to help you get on top of your hair. If you'd like to add it to your daily routine try our Anagen 360 Saw Palmetto, a high quality, great value, convenient dietary supplement. The softgels are easy on the stomach while acting to naturally reduce DHT levels.
If you pay attention to the science and get into a healthy routine you can get on top of your hair loss, the sooner you act the better your results will be.
1 Leonard S Marks, David L Hess, Frederick J Dorey, Maria Luz Macairan, Paul Bryan Cruz Santos, Varro E Tyler: Tissue effects of saw palmetto and finasteride: use of biopsy cores for in situ quantification of prostatic androgens; Urology
Volume 57, Issue 5, May 2001, Pages 999-1005
2 A. Rossi, E. Mari, M. Scarnò, V. Garelli, C. Maxia, E. Scali, A. Iorio, and M. Carlesimo: Comparitive Effectiveness and Finasteride Vs Serenoa Repens in Male Androgenetic Alopecia: A Two-Year Study; International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, October 1, 2012.
3 Prager N1, Bickett K, French N, Marcovici G: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of botanically derived inhibitors of 5-alpha-reductase in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia; J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Mar;12(2):199.
Photo from Forest Plants of the Southeast and Their Wildlife Uses by J.H. Miller and K.V. Miller, published by The University of Georgia Press.
In the short-term Minoxidil will halt further loss in 95% of men after 3 months of a twice-daily routine. Over a few months, 60% of men will report significant regrowth, especially for those that act quickly to stop the loss. After a year of continuous use, you should expect the initial gains to stabilize as you hair bounces back and you get the thinning under control.The key to using minoxidil is to get into and stick with a healthy routine to get on top of your hair and maintain your gains.
The value of the global hair-loss treatment market is a $2.7bn USD in 2017, which is not surprising when you consider how widespread male pattern hair loss is. Unfortunately, a market that largely attracts not only serious research and clinically proven products, but also a host of more dubious “treatments” and, in some cases, completely unscrupulous “cures”. These can range from the seemingly well-intended but ineffective treatments to outright frauds.
Finasteride is one of two FDA-approved medicines for the treatment of androgenic alopecia (male pattern hair-loss). Developed on the back of insights around male sexual development it was released in 1997 after over 20 years of development. It works by blocking the production of a hormone which degrades your hair follicles and in large-scale studies, it has shown to help maintain and in some cases promote hair growth.