Is Saw Palmetto Dangerous?Many people seem to have this idea now that saw palmetto is somehow very dangerous to men. There are people claiming that saw palmetto can make you impotent, cause you to grow breasts, and essentialy turn you more into a women. They are saying these things based on there own experiences with saw palmetto and what they know about the drug Finasteride aka Propecia. There has been scientific evidence that Propecia does indeed cause many problems for men who take it. You can read about the real harm that Propecia has done to people by going here: http://www.hairloss-research.org/UpdateSideEffectsofPropecia8-12.html and http://www.naturalnews.com/036931_hair_loss_drugs_testosterone_male_hormones.html
As you can see by reading these two sources that Propecia can absolutely cause a lot of problems for men and sometimes it can be irreversible damage to them. People need to understand though that there is a huge difference between a pharmaceutical drug and a natural plant.
Pharmaceutical drugs are actually derived from plants, but they change them from there original form into a form that the body doesn't recognize. This is why drugs are toxic and can cause side effects and sometimes serious ones. Drugs only seek to treat the symptoms instead of treating the root cause of the problem. Natural herbs/plants have natural medicine in them that works with the body. The body can actually become healthier when given the right herbs and usually is always side effect free. Saw Palmetto works with the body instead of against it like a drug does such as propecia. To see an actual study of saw palmetto and its positive side effect free effects on AGA (Androgenetic Alopecia). http://www.hairloss-research.org/sawpalmetto.html
You see Propecia as far as I am aware works to naturally lower serum DHT whereas Saw Palmetto inhibits DHT binding to receptor sites without giving you those dangerous side effects that sometimes are irreversible.
Also if it makes any of you feel more comfortable then you should know that I would only recommend things to people that I know are safe and have personally used. I have taken Saw Palmetto extract for many years and have never experienced any of the side effects or dangers that people are speaking about either while im taking it or not taking it.
Another point to consider is this. Saw Palmetto works by inhibiting the enzyme 5 alpha reductase from converting testosterone into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone. This dihyrdotestosterone is considered to a contributing factor in baldness and benign prostatic hyperplasia.
The reason this is so important is to realize that there is many natural substances that have 5 alpha inhibiting properties. Many foods do the same thing as saw palmetto, but do we hear people accusing these foods of such dangerous effects to the body? Of course not! People just seem to like to pick on natural herbs that God has given to us.
If it makes anyone feel any safer you should know that Saw Palmetto has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years. The Mayans drank it as a tonic, and the Seminoles used the berries as an expectorant and antiseptic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saw_palmetto_extract
Saw Palmetto doesn't totally inhibit DHT alltogether, but it does seem to help balance mens hormones and actually increase free levels of testosterone. You can read more about how Saw Palmetto can help with your hormones here. http://www.jonbarron.org/anti-aging/natural-health-remedies-newsletter-testosterone and http://www.jonbarron.org/natural-health/male-pattern-baldness-natural-hair-loss-remedies-blog
There is also many well respected naturopaths, herbalists, etc that actually recommend saw palmetto for supporting the male hormonal system, keeping the prostate healthy, and for hair..
Here is just a list of some really well known and respected people who recommend it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYifMIE27Xc and http://products.mercola.com/saw-palmetto/ (in fact mercola even says that if he had known about saw palmetto when he was younger he would have looked at it more closely for his balding issues!"
2. Dr. James A Duke :
3. Djehuty Ma'At-ra:
4. Naturalnews! http://www.naturalnews.com/baldness.html
5. Dr Weil: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03030/Hair-Loss-Alopecia-Baldness.html
I could list many more, but hopefully you get the picture that this herb can be safe and helpful for male pattern baldness. At the end of the day everyone needs to make there own informed decisions, but please just because some may have had some side effects by taking it does not mean we should go around and tell others that its really bad and that we shouldn't take it. There is many people that have been helped by this herb and I do count myself as one of them.
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