1: Urology. 2001 May;57(5):999-1005. Links
Tissue effects of saw palmetto and finasteride: use of biopsy cores for in situ quantification of prostatic androgens.Marks LS, Hess DL, Dorey FJ, Luz Macairan M, Cruz Santos PB, Tyler VE.
Urological Sciences Research Foundation, Culver City, California, USA.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the effects of a saw palmetto herbal blend (SPHB) compared with finasteride on prostatic tissue androgen levels and to evaluate needle biopsies as a source of tissue for such determinations. METHODS: Prostate levels of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) were measured on 5 to 10-mg biopsy specimens (18-gauge needle cores) in three groups of men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia: 15 men receiving chronic finasteride therapy versus 7 untreated controls; 4 men undergoing prostate adenomectomy to determine sampling variability (10 specimens each); and 40 men participating in a 6-month randomized trial of SPHB versus placebo, before and after treatment. RESULTS: Prostatic tissue DHT levels were found to be several times higher than the levels of testosterone (5.01 versus 1.51 ng/g), that ratio becoming reversed (1.05 versus 3.63 ng/g) with chronic finasteride therapy. The finasteride effect was statistically significant for both androgens (P <0.01), and little overlap of individual values between finasteride-treated and control patients was seen. In the randomized trial, tissue DHT levels were reduced by 32% from 6.49 to 4.40 ng/g in the SPHB group (P <0.005), with no significant change in the placebo group. CONCLUSIONS: For control versus finasteride-treated men, the tissue androgen values obtained with needle biopsy specimens were similar-both for absolute values and the percentage of change-to those previously reported using surgically excised volumes of prostatic tissue. The quantification of prostatic androgens by assay of needle biopsies is thus feasible and offers the possibility of serial studies in individual patients. The SPHB-induced suppression of prostatic DHT levels, modest but significant in a randomized trial, lends an element of support to the hypothesis that inhibition of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase is a mechanism of action of this substance.
Lets see here Hangin, Finasteride reduced tissue levels of DHT from 5.01 ng/g to 1.05 ng/g, or to about one/fifth what they were before therapy.
Saw Palmetto reduced tissue levels of DHT from 6.49 to 4.40 ng/g, or by about one third.
So Finas cut roughly 80% of tissue DHT from the prostate, and Saw Palmetto cut 32%. Saw Palmetto may inhibit some binding of DHT to the androgen receptors, help with insulin, and have some inflammatory activity. Who knows, perhaps Saw Palmetto helps with some androgen-inducible genes by suppressing them also.
However, If some random guy were to ask me what was the best bet to hang on to his hair, I’d have to tell him to do finasteride over Saw Palmetto at this point. It has more science behind it.
I know what studies you are referring to concerning Saw Palmetto inhibiting both type 1 and type 2 alpha five reductase, and they are impressive…but they are using SUPRAPHYSIOLOGICAL levels of Saw Palemetto. More than one could ever get into cells. Cell-free assays dont always correlate to what happens in the body.
I’d LOVE for you to be correct in your conviction of Saw Palmetto being equally as good as finasteride for hair however. I wish some entity would do a good double blind test with about 20 men, with hair counts and hair weights and photographs, and see what about 400 mgs of Saw Palmetto could do. Im very confident that topically Saw Palmetto can be beneficial because of the old Italian Dermatological Study that showed that there was a 67% reduction in casual sebum when Saw Palemetto extract was used in a topical solution, shampoo, and internal pill were taken by men. Many had improved hair…but thats adding two topicals to the mix. Its here at hairsite.
Post Scriptum…Ive wondered if beta sitosterol inbibits alpha five reductase or inhibits androgen receptors also. I just wish these two things in particular could get a valid human dermatological test by a disinterested third party. Believe me Hangin, Im not against naturals at all. I simply want to see them tested. I’d LOVE to be able to take a couple of herbals and ditch dutasteride, but am not going to risk that until I have absolute proof. Best of luck and Im glad you are having success with your regimine.