Saw Palmetto and Biotin
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Both saw palmetto and biotin are often promoted for treating hair loss and restoring normal hair growth in people experiencing hair loss, thinning, or baldness. But do they really work? What does science say? Let’s try to figure it out together.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the functions and benefits of saw palmetto and biotin, especially in terms of their effects on hair and scalp health. But before we get into how saw palmetto and biotin can help with hair health, we’ll start knowing the basics of these two herbs first. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is saw palmetto?
- What is biotin?
- Benefits of saw palmetto and biotin for hair
- Other benefits of saw palmetto and biotin
- Can I take saw palmetto and biotin together?
- Final words
What is saw palmetto?
Saw palmetto is a small fan palm species that is botanically known as Serenoa repens and grows in the coastal subtropical climates of the southeast part of the United States from Carolina to across Florida. It grows like a shrub and has thorn-shaped green leaves that spread out like a fan.
Saw palmetto is the only species that belongs to the plant genus Serenoa. Other popular names include cabbage palm, American dwarf palm, and others.
The saw palmetto tree produces large berries that are yellow in fresh but turn to deep purple when ripe. These berries contain various plant nutrients including fatty acids, heavy molecular weight polysaccharides, flavonoids, and plant sterols, which are thought to be responsible for the medicinal properties of saw palmetto.
Historically, saw palmetto has been valued by Native Americans in the alternative, eclectic, and traditional medicine for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments. Currently, dried berries are used to make saw palmetto extracts that are commonly used as dietary supplements in various forms such as capsules, tablets, and liquids to improve various health conditions including male and female pattern hair loss, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), sexual dysfunction, and many others.
What is biotin?
Biotin, also known as vitamin H or B7, is an important nutrient that is a part of the vitamin B complex, a group of vital vitamins the body needs to maintain metabolic, digestive, cardiovascular, and nerve functions.
Like all vitamins of the B complex group, biotin is water-soluble which means this nutrient dissolves in water and cannot be stored in the body. Therefore, ensuring regular intake through dietary or supplementary means is essential.
Biotin is found in various food sources including fish, meat, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. It is also available as a dietary supplement which is a good option for those who find it difficult to eat enough biotin-containing foods.
Biotin plays a major role in assisting enzymes that are involved in metabolizing carbohydrates and fats, synthesizing fatty acids, and breaking down amino acids found in protein synthesis. People use biotin supplements mostly for hair loss, brittle nails, skin health, detoxification, and better immunity.
Benefits of saw palmetto and biotin for hair
Saw palmetto works wonders to help keep testosterone levels in check, which is why it is widely promoted by clinicians as an effective hair loss remedy. It has an incredible ability to block 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme believed to be responsible to convert testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a many times more powerful form of testosterone.
DHT is assumed to cause hair follicles to shrink, affecting natural hair growth and inducing thinning of hair and hair falls. Saw palmetto can help stop the conversion of testosterone into its more potent form DHT, making it highly beneficial for preventing hair fall and restoring hair growth.
A 2020 systematic review in alopecia published in Google Scholar, PubMed, and the Cochrane database revealed that saw palmetto is effective in improving overall hair quality, hair density, and total hair count in people with androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium, and hair thinning. This review also showed that saw palmetto is better tolerated and doesn’t show any serious adverse effects.
Hair fall and thinning is also a dominant symptom that is linked to biotin deficiency or its low levels, which is why most hair growth supplements and products contain considerable amounts of biotin. But such a deficiency is uncommon and rare as the human body needs only small amounts of biotin which can be easily obtained through a healthy diet.
Besides, biotin seems to benefit the process of building proteins required to maintain healthy and youthful hair, such as keratin.
A 2017 review in Skin Appendage Disorders focused on the use of biotin for hair loss concluded that biotin supplementation might be of benefit to biotin deficiency and its associated pathologies such as hair and nail changes in both inherited as well as acquired cases.
Other benefits of saw palmetto and biotin
Other benefits of saw palmetto
Saw palmetto has also been found beneficial in many different health conditions other than hair loss, including the following:
- Enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia
- Urinary tract symptoms
- Low sex drive
- Prostate cancer
- Sleeping issues
- Cough, cold, and sore throat
Other benefits of biotin
Biotin has many potential health benefits other than hair growth as well, including:
- Metabolic health
- Diabetes management
- Skin and nail health
- Pregnancy and prenatal care
- Cardiovascular health
- Adrenal and thyroid function
- Tissue and muscle build and repair
- Brain and cognitive function
Can I take saw palmetto and biotin together?
There are numerous dietary supplements, especially hair growth formulations out there that contain both saw palmetto and biotin together and there are no reported cases of adverse events so far. This indicates that saw palmetto and biotin are possibly safe and well-tolerated when used together.
However, it’s always strongly recommended to consider asking a certified naturopathic health provider to determine whether saw palmetto or biotin or both are right for your specific health and hair conditions.
Saw palmetto and biotin both are widely used for treating hair loss and thinning, and promoting natural hair growth. Each has many different potential health benefits other than hair health as well. They seem to be safe and well-tolerated when taken together. But consider speaking to a licensed natural healthcare provider to determine best doses and safety precautions.
Here you can see Vorst’s pure and natural Saw Palmetto 320 mg Capsules
Here you can see Vorst’s special Hair Growth Formula with Biotin Capsules