Whether it occurs in men or women, excessive hair loss can be a source of complexes or stress for the people concerned. Although its origin can be linked to many factors, in the majority of cases it is a hormonal imbalance.
In the latter case, saw palmetto seems particularly effective in rebalancing the hormonal mechanisms linked to hair loss.
We have also retained this ingredient in our “Vegetable Biotin” Hair complex, and we present its main benefits and properties to you here.
The origin of the Dwarf Palm
The Dwarf Palm (Serena Repens ), also called “Saw palmetto”, is a small palm originally native to the South East of the United States. It is now also found in many Mediterranean gardens. It owes its name to its size (around 2.5 meters) and is characterized by its fan-shaped leaves.
This palm has the particularity of producing fruits rich in oil . It is in this that its active ingredients were identified. It seems that the Indians of Florida were already consuming its berries for their stimulating properties.
Saw palmetto oil mainly contains fatty acids , Esther of fatty acids and Phytosterols. This is why it is important to use extracts with guaranteed lipid content.
The known benefits of Saw Palmetto on hair
Excessive hair loss (androgenic alopecia) is largely due to hormonal mechanisms.
These hormonal variations involve Testosterone (known as the male hormone, even if it is also found in smaller quantities in women) and particularly one of its derivatives: dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
It is excess DHT that over time reduces the number and strength of hair follicles and induces hair loss .
The central role of the male hormone in increasing the natural mechanism of hair loss obviously explains why baldness is a phenomenon observed with much more frequency and intensity in men. But age or occasional hormonal changes (particularly postpartum) can also induce periods of fairly intense hair loss in women.
The mechanism of action of saw palmetto on hair loss
The mechanism of action of Saw Palmetto would be as follows: the transformation of Testosterone into DHT takes place under the action of enzymes (5a Reductase) and it seems that the fat-soluble active ingredients of Saw Palmetto have an inhibitory effect on these enzymes.
The transformation of Testosterone into DHT then becomes less effective in their presence, which tends to reduce hair loss.
Promising results on hair loss
Regarding its effectiveness on hair loss, it is not yet possible to be 100% categorical.
From a scientific point of view, encouraging results exist to seriously advance this hypothesis.
Proof of its effectiveness on women's hair loss follows a publication on this subject (Dr Rodney, Skin & Cancer Institute Melbourne Australia).
However, more trials and follow-up are needed to state this without qualification. The objective will be to better identify the mechanism(s) of action and the molecules involved in the effectiveness of Saw Palmetto in limiting hair loss.
An effect on Benign Prostate Hypertrophy (BPH)
The use of saw palmetto is not limited to hair loss . Its clinical effectiveness has already been tested on different physiological mechanisms.
For more than 20 years, specific extracts of Saw Palmetto have been used to reduce the symptoms of BPH. This practice is supported by scientific results from several sources, with serious methodologies which attest to a positive effect.
In Europe, the HMPC (Herbal Medicinal Products) Committee of the EMA (European Medicine Agency) recognizes its “well-established medical use in the symptomatic treatment of BPH” but only for saw palmetto extracts obtained with hexane as extraction solvent.
However, it also recognizes its “traditional use to relieve lower urinary tract symptoms linked to BPH” for saw palmetto extracts obtained with ethanol as the extraction solvent.
These two technical details (types of extraction solvent) are justified by the need to extract the lipid-soluble active ingredients from the seed of Saw Palmetto with these appropriate solvents.
Risks and interactions, precautions for use of dwarf palm
There is no major or significant risk from consuming saw palmetto extract, nor any interaction with plants, supplements or medications known to date.
The dosages and types of extracts used for food supplements are safe and do not present a risk identified by any of the public health organizations that monitor consumer safety (Europe, Usa, Canada.).
As a general precaution, it remains recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women and people under medical treatment with anticoagulants/antiplatelets inform their doctor for an advisory opinion before taking.
This is a common precaution for plant extracts without any particular risk being identified. (These precautions normally apply to extracts obtained with Hexane or the Supercritical process and reserved for medicines).
Saw palmetto in food supplements
Because of its virtues, we chose saw palmetto to complete our formula designed to improve hair growth, shine and reduce hair loss. Our hair complex with Vegetable Biotin contains 75 mg of Saw Palmetto extract per capsule (150 mg/day), titrated at 20% lipids.
This is a dosage that we have deliberately moderated to avoid any very possible significant interaction with medical or hormonal treatments while allowing targeted action on hair loss.
The effectiveness of this hair formula is very rapid (a few days) on the quality and resistance of the hair that grows during the treatment. The first users of this formula mention having observed a significant reduction in their hair loss (see the qualified reviews posted on our site), this is very encouraging and we are obviously following this feedback closely!
- https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/herbal/sabalis-serrulatae-fructus Sensitivity to saw palmetto on androgenic alopecia
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12423443/ Action on female hair loss Rodney D Sinclair , Rica S Mallari , Bruce Tate , 1 Skin and Cancer Foundation, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23298508/ Study on the effectiveness of finasteride vs saw palmetto on Androgenic Alopecia a two-year study
- Int Journal Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2012 Oct-Dec; A Rossi , E Mari , M Scarno , V Garelli , C Maxia , E Scali , A Iorio , M Carlesimo
The above information is compiled in good faith by Argalys based on open source information available as of July 1 , 2022.