Saw Palmetto extract is derived from the fruit of a palm tree.

It is commonly claimed to be a treatment for pattern hair loss (androgenic alopecia). Some say it works by preventing the conversion of testosterone to DHT in a similar way to the prescription medication Finasteride.

Here is an example claim from the popular Dr. Mercola web-site:

Saw palmetto inhibits an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone to a powerful androgen hormone known as dihydrotestosterone, or DHT
It significantly triggered follicle growth and decreased inflammatory response even better than finasteride (Propecia)

Source: Saw Palmetto for Hair Loss?

The page cites a number of studies.

Is Saw Palmetto extract an effective treatment for pattern hair loss?

  • 1
    I think "prevent" should have been left in the headline. It's not solely claimed to reverse. The lesser "prevent" is an important part of the function and applies to a larger percentage of users. – WakeDemons3 Jan 22 '19 at 23:10
  • Mercola's site doesn't make that claim. – Oddthinking Jan 23 '19 at 1:59
  • The page cites a number of studies and still claim different results than those linked studies. Or my dictionary is outdated. They claim that studies show that giving increased dosages " its effectiveness was quite lackluster". Yet the studies they link to state "Serenoa repens, at double and triple doses, did not improve urinary flow measures or prostate size in men with lower urinary tract" – SZCZERZO KŁY Jan 23 '19 at 9:14
  • @sklivvz One is not allowed to use personal experience in any way? Surely then the OP should reword the question to say "does anyone have empirical scientific proof that saw palmetto does or does not work" ? – bigbadmouse Jan 29 '19 at 8:48
  • @bigbadmouse The concept of Skeptics is to only rely on verifiable, high-standards evidence. Personal experience, unfortunately, is not allowed. As such there's no need for the question to include that clause because it's implied on all Skeptics questions. – Sklivvz Jan 29 '19 at 8:51

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