Since there’s obviously a ton of money in hair loss products, why hasn’t anyone done a conclusive study on the effects of saw palmetto on hair loss? It seems like if it’s believed to help, a conclusive study would (if it’s found to slow loss) help products containing saw palmetto off the shelves
I agree that a better controlled study would help us understand the impact of saw palmetto on hair loss, provided it was dose response oriented. The reason that this is probably not being done is that there is no patent coverage available for this drug, so when a study comes out, anyone can profit from the sale of the drug (in this case it is an herbal remedy not a drug). So there’s money to be made if it shows the herb is effective… but one company financing the study will potentially open the floodgates for other companies to profit. This does not make for a good business proposition if you were paying for the study. In other words, studies are not cheap and who is going to finance it if the money can’t be made back?
There have been limited studies on this very subject in the past. One such study from 2002 contained only 19 men. Of those men, 60% showed “improvement”, but I don’t know if that means their hair looked thicker, darker, or there was actually more hair. Plus, it was just a pilot study and too small to be worthwhile in proving effectiveness.