Hair Loss and Prostate Health: Saw Palmetto's Dual Role

Hair Loss and Prostate Health: Saw Palmetto's Dual Role

The benefits of saw palmetto have been recognized for a very long time. Native Americans of the Southeastern United States employed the saw palmetto shrub for medicinal purposes, and in the early 20th century, males used the berries to cure urinary tract disorders, improve sperm production, and preserve prostate health.


Because of its many positive effects, saw palmetto is now one of the most popular dietary supplements among men who suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate cancer. In 2011, nearly $18 million worth of saw palmetto was sold in the United States, making it the third most popular herbal dietary supplement.

Saw palmetto benefits include the ability to treat colds, coughs, and sore throats, as well as asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and migraine headaches.

Additionally, it is used to stimulate urine flow, promote relaxation, and increase sexual desire.

What exactly is Saw Palmetto?


Saw palmetto extract is derived from the dark purple berries of the Serenoa repens saw palmetto fan palm. It has rich, green leaves that fan out from its thorny stem, and it grows as a tree or shrub.

In warm regions, it can grow to a height of 10 feet, and its leaf clusters can be as long as 2 feet.

The saw palmetto is also known as the American dwarf palm tree and cabbage palm. Saw palmetto is a plant that is native to the West Indies and can be found growing in the warm conditions of the Southeast Coast of the United States, from South Carolina to Florida.

The benefits of saw palmetto have been recognized for generations, and the herb has been utilized in traditional, alternative, and eclectic medicine. It contains fatty acids, plant sterols, and flavonoids as active components.

In addition, the berries contain high molecular weight polysaccharides (sugars) that may reduce inflammation and enhance the immune system, so adding immune system booster to the list of saw palmetto advantages.

It has been demonstrated that Serenoa repens inhibits the formation of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, hence taking it is an effective way to improve prostate health. This enzyme transforms the male hormone testosterone into the sex steroid and androgen hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Although DHT is essential for male growth, it also contributes to several male health problems like low libido, an enlarged prostate, and hair loss. By taking Serenoa repens pills or using the extract of this helpful plant, you suppress the synthesis of this hormone and help prevent middle-aged and elderly male concerns such as prostate enlargement and BPH symptoms.

In addition to other saw palmetto benefits, saw palmetto berries may also alleviate chronic pain and migraines and prevent hair loss in the future.

Advantages

Effectively treats benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)


Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the most prevalent cause of an enlarged prostate. As long as male hormones are present, the prostate tends to remain roughly the same size or expand slowly in adulthood.

Whenever the prostate becomes enlarged, symptoms of BPH and lower urinary tract problems manifest in males.

The prostate gland may become enlarged or irritated as men age. When the prostate enlarges, it presses on the urethra, making it painful to urinate and increasing the risk of bladder infections and stones.

BPH can be brought on by a number of factors, including hormonal changes (such as excess estrogen), weakening blood vessels, and zinc deficiency.

According to the American Urological Association, by age 60, more than half of men will develop BPH, and by age 85, 90% of men will have BPH. In addition, one-fourth of these men may suffer moderate to severe symptoms of the lower urinary tract, which will significantly diminish their quality of life.

According to research, saw palmetto blocks testosterone from attaching to and activating prostate cells, hence reducing prostatic cell growth and expansion.

Other therapies for BPH, such as alpha blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, can induce sexual dysfunctions, but saw palmetto is a natural supplement with few side effects. As a result, it is one of the greatest natural ways to boost testosterone and enhance prostate health.

A study of 82 patients over the course of an eight-week trial was undertaken in Switzerland in 2012. The patients daily consumed one capsule containing 320 mg of saw palmetto extract.

After completing treatment, patients' International Prostate Symptom Scores dropped from 14.4 4.7 to 6.9 5.2. Evaluations by researchers and patients validated the treatment's efficacy, and it was well tolerated and accepted by patients.

Reduces the possibility of prostate cancer


A systematic assessment of 11 studies revealed that saw palmetto supplements are one of the five most popular kinds of alternative medicine utilized by men with prostate cancer.

The 5-alpha reductase inhibitory properties of Serenoa repens supplements reduce the rate at which testosterone is converted into DHT. Evidence suggests that DHT contributes to prostate enlargement, which in turn may lead to prostate cancer.

Although there is still some debate in the scientific community, it has been shown that men who take the 5-alpha reductase inhibitors Finasteride (Proscar) or Dutasteride (Avodart) are less likely to acquire prostate cancer over the course of several years compared to men who take an inactive placebo. These drugs might produce sexual adverse effects such as decreased sex drive and impotence.

Saw palmetto, on the other hand, can indeed suppress DHT and aid with urinary issues caused by BPH, such as difficulty urinating and urine leakage; also, it regulates testosterone levels, improves libido, and serves as a natural treatment for impotence.

In addition, studies have shown that saw palmetto suppresses the growth of prostate cancer cells and may even eliminate them. The hormone that causes the prostate to swell, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), was down-regulated by saw palmetto, according to research done by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Beijing's Peking University Health Science Center.

The studies conducted to determine the effect of saw palmetto on post-surgery recovery time is another intriguing aspect of this plant. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) surgery, which removes the prostate through the urinary tract, can have a lengthy recovery period, but studies show that consuming saw palmetto (320 milligrams daily) for two months prior to surgery can shorten that time.

Additionally, it reduces blood loss, the occurrence of complications during surgery, and hospital stays.

Aids in Hair Loss


Saw palmetto extracts and pills are effective hair loss treatments because they maintain healthy testosterone levels. As men age, their testosterone levels decrease and their 5-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels rise.

Hair follicles' susceptibility to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male androgen hormone, shortens the hair follicles' life span and reduces hair production, which leads to hair loss.

Normally, when a hair falls away, another begins to grow from the same follicle; however, when DHT levels are high, hair development slows. Saw palmetto has the ability to prevent the enzyme that converts to DHT, hence promoting hair growth.

Although views regarding saw palmetto as an efficient hair growth agent are divided, particularly when it comes to the usage of saw palmetto for women, studies indicate that its use is advantageous.

In a three-month study undertaken at the Clinical Research and Development Network in Colorado, 34 men and 28 women between the ages of 18 and 48 used saw palmetto extract topically in lotion and shampoo. The findings revealed that 35% of the individuals experienced an increase in hair density.

This shows that saw palmetto may be an effective natural treatment for hair loss in both men and women.

Serenoa repens extract has been shown to increase hair quality, total hair count, and hair density in alopecia patients, according to a review of the available scientific literature conducted in 2020 and published in the Cochrane database, PubMed, and Google Scholar. Saw palmetto was likewise shown to be safe, with no reports of major adverse reactions.

Maintains Testosterone Levels


As a result of saw palmetto's ability to block the conversion of testosterone to DHT, the body maintains normal testosterone levels. Weight loss, muscle control, pain tolerance, hair loss, and a heightened desire to have sex are all aided by this.

Low testosterone in men is on the rise, resulting in persistent weariness, diminished libido, and a diminished sense of well-being.

In an American Journal of Medicine case study, a 52-year-old male with erectile dysfunction, low libido, and exhaustion were examined. He was medication-free and generally healthy.

Increasing his testosterone levels, according to the study, improved his metabolic health significantly. Already after three months, he felt more invigorated and his sexual performance had improved.

Contributes to Urological System


Saw palmetto is advantageous for the urological system of males with benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is due to an interaction with receptors in the genitourinary tract, which can induce urinary incontinence and overactive bladder.

Since Serenoa repens strengthens the urinary organs, it is also advised as a natural therapy for kidney stones and to treat weakened urinary organs in the elderly or in women after menopause.

In a 1998 review, the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that saw palmetto is helpful for relieving urological problems and urine flow. A total of nearly 3,000 males participated in the 18 randomized studies that were reviewed.

28 percent of males using saw palmetto experienced a reduction in urinary tract symptoms, 24 percent experienced an increase in peak urine flow, and 43 percent of participants experienced an increase in total urine flow.

The outcomes were equivalent to those of the group receiving Proscar, a prescription medicine, and far more promising than those of the placebo group.

In a second placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind study conducted at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, 85 males took either saw palmetto or a placebo for six months. Compared to placebo, the data indicate that saw palmetto significantly improves urinary symptoms in men with symptoms of the lower urinary tract.

This study demonstrates that saw palmetto is an efficient UTI home treatment.

Suggested Dosage

The average daily dose of saw palmetto is between 160 and 320 mg. This decision should be made in consultation with your healthcare professional based on your health status.

When treating BPH with saw palmetto, the suggested starting dose is 320 mg daily for four months. Some physicians may recommend a greater dosage of 320 milligrams three times day, followed by a reduction to 320 mg once daily after four months of treatment.

Take 160 mg twice daily to treat the early stages of BPH.

Take 320 mg daily for two months before to a planned prostate surgery (transurethral resection of the prostate).

To treat thinning hair and bald areas, take 50 mg of beta-sitosterol twice a day in addition to 200 milligrams of finasteride twice a day.

Even while saw palmetto tea can be consumed, it is not as effective as taking capsules since the fatty acids that make up its active constituents are insoluble in water.


Conclusion


Saw palmetto fan palm (Serenoa repens) berries are the source of the extracts used to treat various conditions.
The most well-known effect of saw palmetto is its ability to inhibit the formation of 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that supports prostate health. According to research, saw palmetto could be utilized to address benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) as well as lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Additional saw palmetto benefits have included the prevention of hair loss, the maintenance of normal testosterone levels, and the enhancement of urological function.
The recommended daily dosage of saw palmetto is between 160 and 320 mg.
Consult your healthcare provider when using saw palmetto to determine the optimum dose and screen out any possible drug interactions.

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