August 10, 2020

Natural DHT blockers – a natural alternative to Propecia?

In a previous post I have discussed the main drawbacks of Propecia, which are the potential side effects that come with it. This led me to stop taking Propecia a few years ago and search for other male pattern baldness (or androgenic alopecia) treatments. One of them is Minoxidil, which is great, however it doesn’t completely solve the hair loss problem because it doesn’t lower DHT levels in the scalp. Natural DHT blockers are perhaps another good treatment option to consider taking with Minoxidil since they work similarly to propecia but have far less side effects, if any.

Saw palmetto and hair loss

Saw palmetto is a plant with small berries that grows in the subtropical area of southeastern United States. It has been used by Native Americans for hundreds of years for treating all sorts of problems such as urinary and reproductive system problems. It is perhaps the most popular natural DHT blocker, and although research is limited, there have been researches that show its effectiveness in preventing or slowing down hair loss. It is believed saw palmetto works similarly to propecia by binding to alpha 5 reductase and blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Natural DHT blockers   Saw Palmetto is also used widely as a treatment for symptoms of an enlarged prostate in men, called Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH). In fact, finasteride was first used as a treatment for enlarged prostate in men, and one of its side effects was hair regrowth in patients, which led to its discovery as a male pattern baldness treatment. The connection between prostate health and hair loss might suggest saw palmetto is effective in treating hair loss, and it has been approved in Europe as a treatment for hair loss and for men’s prostate health. Saw palmetto exists in a tablet, capsule, liquid extract, or whole dried berries form. The most common forms are tablets and capsules, and they are also the easiest to consume and the only ones that have been examined by researches. A normal dosage would be 1 or 2 tablets/capsules per day.

Side effects and warnings

Saw palmetto is generally considered safe for use in men and shouldn’t be used by children and pregnant or breast feeding women. Although it is a supplement and not a medicine, it might cause some minor side effects such as stomach irritation, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, vertigo, or mild headaches. These side effects tend to be mild and reversible. You should consult your doctor before taking it and you must notify your doctor before having any operation or surgery, because saw palmetto has been shown to thin blood, and it may cause excessive bleeding during surgery. It also shouldn’t be taken with other blood thinners.

Saw palmetto vs Finasteride (Propecia)

Since it is a supplement and not a medicine, research is limited and it is not a proven treatment as propecia is. In one two year study, men were given 320 mg of saw palmetto daily or finasteride. About one third of those taking saw palmetto reported an increase in hair growth. It’s pretty good, but it was only half as effective as finasteride. Another study showed a 12 percent increase in hair count after four months of use, in more than half of the 25 participants. It is safe to say that saw palmetto is not as effective as propecia in treating hair loss. It is believed to lower DHT levels but not as much as finasteride. That is why it is better to take it as a complementary treatment and not as a main treatment. For example, taking saw palmetto with minoxidil might be a good combination and one that guarantees results with less side effects than with taking propecia.

Other natural DHT blockers

  • Pygeum bark – Pygeum is a herb that’s extracted from the bark of the African cherry tree, and is usually available as a herbal supplement taken orally. There is little research on its effectiveness as a DHT blocker for hair loss, however it is commonly used as a treatment for enlarged prostate and is believed to block some DHT.
  • Pumpkin seed oil – Has shown to be successful in blocking DHT. One study found that men taking 400 mg of pumpkin seed oil daily for 24 weeks have experienced an average of 40 percent increase in scalp hair count
  • Caffeine – Surprising, isn’t it? While it probably does not block DHT, caffeine has been found to extend and stimulate the life cycle of hair follicles, causing hair to grow longer and healthier.
  • Vitamins B-12 and B6 – like caffeine, they don’t block DHT, but they are essential nutrients that improve blood flow to scalp follicles, and as a result promote healthier and thicker hair growth.

Capsules containing a combination of these supplements with saw palmetto are available and are usually the most effective and easy to use option.

Final thoughts

Though natural DHT blockers are not as effective and clinically proven as propecia, they have been found to slow hair loss and promote hair in many cases, with less serious side effects. I would not recommend taking these supplements alone though, but rather adding them to a proven treatment such as minoxidil to guarantee results.

Get your natural DHT blocker here.

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions, leave your comment below.

7 thoughts on “Natural DHT blockers – a natural alternative to Propecia?

  1. God bless you for researching information for this post. I know everybody wants a gorgeous full head of hair. It’s great to hear of ways to prevent hair loss and/or grow new hair. My heart goes out to a woman with thinning or no hair. Now, this is just my opinion …. but, I’ve seen some men that look GOOD with no hair. Great post.

  2. Thank you so much for all the thourough research you provide us with! I’m sure you will help many men and also women with your genuine and helpful reviews. I find it surprising that caffeine does help to some extend and told my boyfriend about it. We live in Italy, so caffeine is not the problem! But he wanted to cut down on the coffee consumption of which I certainly disapprove. Anyway he is very apprehensive about the subject of hairloss and it seemed a lossed battle. Following your insight, I might be helping him without letting him know. He is very proud…
    Infact this topic isn’t easy and kind of a tabu (at least around here) and so will have to submit help to him secretly. He has become my boyfriend very recently so I do not want to scare him off. I like him also without hair or bold, but he doesn’t like himself and I’m afraid I can’t really help around that.
    Any ideas on that? Sorry for chatting away…
    Thank you in advance,

  3. Hi Janie, I would suggest for him to use topical Minoxidil 5% foam since it is easy to apply on the scalp and it has no serious side effects, if any. It is available in a generic version or branded (like Rogaine for example).
    Propecia (Finasteride) is also an option, in fact it will likely stop his hair loss completely (and even regrow some hair perhaps) but it is a medical pill that can cause side effects. That’s why I myself stopped taking it 7 years ago despite its superb results. Also beware that a doctor’s prescription is needed for Propecia.
    So Minoxidil and maybe some vitamins like saw palmetto which is discussed here is a good option depending on the degree of hair loss.
    Of course if you feel he is ashamed of this topic and very much against treatment, maybe it’s better not to pressure him until he feels more comfortable to talk about this topic.
    Hope I helped!
    All the best,

  4. Thank you so much! I will try to let him know in a subtle way. Maybe he will look into it himself without letting me know….I wish he would just try.
    Thank you so much for your help,

  5. Thanks for the information on more natural remedies. My husband has a bald spot but he doesn’t seem to care about trying to get it to regrow so maybe I’ll just add a new supplement and see if that works! If not, I’ll just keep sharing information with him and maybe he’ll give something a try.
    You’ve given me a few ideas on what he could use.

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