Natural Hair Supplement: Friend or Foe? Saw Palmetto, a Systematic Review in Alopecia

    January 2020 in “Skin appendage disorders
    Evyatar Evron, Margit Juhász, Arash Babadjouni, Natasha Atanaskova Mesinkovska
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    TLDR Saw palmetto supplements may modestly improve hair regrowth with few side effects, but more research is needed.
    The document is a systematic review of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of saw palmetto (SP) supplements in treating alopecia, focusing on androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and telogen effluvium (TE). It includes five randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and two prospective cohort studies, totaling 381 patients. The review found that SP supplements led to a 60% improvement in overall hair quality, a 27% increase in total hair count, an 83.3% increase in hair density, and stabilized disease progression in 52% of patients. No serious adverse events were reported, although mild gastrointestinal issues were common, and there were some concerns about hormonal effects such as early menarche. The review concludes that SP may offer modest improvements in hair regrowth, but the evidence is limited by methodological flaws such as small sample sizes and the inclusion of other active ingredients in the supplements. Further high-quality RCTs are necessary to confirm SP's efficacy and determine long-term safety.
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