The most important function of saw palmetto is that it’s been shown to slow the production of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Taking it is a strong step to improve prostate health since this enzyme converts the male hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT)—a sex steroid and androgen hormone.
Why You'll Find this Herb in our Product
By taking saw palmetto supplements or using the extract of this beneficial plant, you inhibit the production of DHT and avoid these issues associated with testosterone production and prostate health that are seen in middle-aged and older males. While DHT is important because it plays a role in male development, it also contributes to many common health issues in men, such as loss of libido, an enlarged prostate and hair loss.
Why the Prostate is Important
- The prostate is a gland found only in males, and it’s located below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum.
- The size of the prostate changes with age. It’s about the size of a walnut in younger men, but it can grow to be much larger in older men and this can become problematic.
- The prostate's role is to make some of the fluid that protects and nourishes sperm cells in semen, making the semen more liquid. Just behind the prostate are glands called seminal vesicles that make most of the fluid for semen. The urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body through the penis, goes through the center of the prostate.
Helping to Prevent Hair Loss in Men
Saw palmetto extracts and supplements work as hair loss remedies because they keep testosterone levels balanced.
As men age, the testosterone hormone is diminished and the hormone called 5α-Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) increases. The cause of hair loss is due to the hair follicles’ sensitivity to DHT, which is a male androgen hormone that causes follicles to shrink, resulting in a shorter life span and decrease of hair production. Normally after hairs fall out, another hair starts to grow from this same follicle—but if DHT is high, hair growth decreases. Saw palmetto has the power to stop the conversion of testosterone into DHT, making it beneficial for hair growth.
Although the opinions about saw palmetto as an effective hair growth agent are mixed, there are studies that indicate its use as beneficial. One study conducted at the Clinical Research and Development Network in Colorado tested 34 men and 28 women, aged 18-48 years, who topically applied saw palmetto extract in a lotion and shampoo base for three months; the results found that 35 percent of the participants had an increase in hair density.
Saw Palmetto is Beneficial to Women Too
For women that have irregular menstrual cycles, saw palmetto is beneficial in helping them to be much more regular. It also eases cramps and helps provide a bit more energy during those days before your period begins.
Many women suffer from acne that is caused by hormone imbalances. Saw palmetto can help regulate those hormones, leading to fewer breakouts. It might also help the pimples go away faster.
Women who are suffering from thinning hair on their head might see it become fuller with saw palmetto. It doesn’t actually lead to more hair, but it does stop the follicles from shutting down, which means that the hair loss will stop.
High levels of androgens can lead to unwanted hair growth on the body. Women who take saw palmetto can suppress these androgens, leading to less hair. However, these effects are seen over a longer period of time.
Other Supporting Roles
Inflammation throughout the body, especially in the pelvis, can be relieved with saw palmetto.
It might also help with congestion, so conditions like bronchitis might benefit from it.
It also serves as a diuretic which can help with bloating, especially around the time of your period.