Re-Grow Your Hair with Saw Palmetto

In England there was a hair growing competition over the course of a year (no, I’m not kidding), the winner was a fella who had been taking freeze dried saw palmetto berries every day. Apparently he had pretty good hair re-growth.

Judging by hair loss forums and chat rooms saw palmetto appears to be one of the most popular “natural” hair loss remedies. Freeze dried saw palmetto berries are one option, another is to buy the extracted form in pills from your local health store. But before you rush out and stock up let me introduce you to…

…Saw Palmetto’s Big Brother, Beta Sitosterol

The main active ingredient in saw palmetto that is thought to stop hair loss is beta sitosterol (beta sitosterol hair loss article here which also explains the mechanisms how both substances work). And then consider that a typical serving of beta sitosterol has more active ingredient than 3000 capsules of dried saw palmetto berries…

One capsule of beta sitosterol usually contains 300 mg of pure beta-sitosterol. You would have to eat 2 lbs. of saw palmetto to get the same amount of beta-sitosterol one 300 mg capsule. This is 3000 times more potent than saw palmetto.

So Should I Forget About Saw Palmetto?

The logical solution seems to supplement with beta sitosterol rather than saw palmetto. There are substances in saw palmetto other than beta sitosterol including stigmasterol and campesterol, but nearly every beta sitosterol supplement I’ve seen also includes these anyway.

But, (there’s always a “but” isn’t there!) some people actually report good results with saw palmetto – and hey, if it works, it works. Saw palmetto might be strong enough to have the desired hair saving effect for certain people. On the other hand beta sitosterol might be too strong, with some people their scalp becomes unbearably oily and itchy. Again saw palmetto may be good enough in cases like this.

Also there may be other ingredients in saw palmetto that may also be beneficial for hair loss, that aren’t in a beta sitosterol supplement. It’s really a case of suck it and see. Some people like to combine the two, which might not be a bad idea. A study reported the results of men suffering from hair loss after using 50mg of beta sitosterol and 200mg of saw palmetto berry extract (standardized 85% to 95% liposterolic content) — sixty percent of them reported new hair growth with the rest reporting that hair loss had at least ceased. Whilst the placebo group many of them had continual hair loss.

If you do decide to try saw palmetto then read the label carefully, just because it says 200mg doesn’t mean there that’s much in there, you need to check the “standardized” percentage. If it’s standardized 1% then you can be sure your not getting very much.

Personally I’m giving saw palmetto a miss for a while as I’ve just started supplementing with beta sitosterol and want to see how that goes for a few months. I may well chuck it into the mix a bit later though. If you’ve tried saw palmetto, what have been your experiences…? Post a comment below. Go on!

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This article was written on May 19, 2006 was posted in these categories DHT Blockers, Hair Nutrition, Hair Products .