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Anyone on Saw Palmetto extract?

saw palmetto

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#1 livius

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 01:58 PM

Hi girls (and boys) smile.gif!

I'm a 25 years old white girl, and I've been dealing with acne since I was 13, I guess. I have tried all possible sorts of treatments, and now I have really mild acne, but very very stubborn (besides that, my skin is also hypersensitive and gets very easily dehydrated, although it's really oily in my T-zone - it seems like I have it all sad.gif... ). I'm pretty sure it's hormonal acne ( I have hormone imbalance and thyroid problems as well), so 3 weeks ago I started a Saw Palmetto treatment (5-600 mg/day), as I was tired of all these harsh topicals that irritate my skin like crazy!

I'm not having any problems with this treatment, but it seems like I'm not having any results either. I'm thinking that maybe it's too early to see an improvement, but I was also thinking to add Spironolactone to the regimen (100 mg/day). Anyway, I got a bit scared after reading the thread on Spiro, where I saw that some girls had huge breakouts because of it... I'm a little puzzled right now...

I was also wondering if I take my Saw Palmetto pills correctly - I take the 2 of them after breakfast, but not every day at the same hour (in fact, I rarely take them at the same time every day, as I have a messed up shedule). Should I take them at the exact same time every day rolleyes.gif ?

If anyone else is on the Saw Palmetto tratment, please tell me if you've had results with it or not! And if you've had results, after how long and how good? Many thanks in advance eusa_angel.gif !

P.S.: as for my topical products, I now use only very gentle products (a cleansing lotion for sensitive skin that I don't have to rinse off with water - my skin can't tolerate tap water, and a hydrating cream called Ictyane) because my skin is really irritated by the cold winter.

#2 livius

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 02:12 PM

BTW, as someone else on the board said, it's really difficult to deal with acne when you have to go out there and look for a job or once you've got a demanding job. I mean, it's always difficult to deal with acne, but when you are entering in a really professional environment, and you are supposed to be faultless all the time, it's very hard to be self-confident and assertive. And now that I have an important position in a PR firm (this was my first day on this new job), it's difficult for me to face the other colleagues, and especially our clients and the journalists (and tomorrow I have several meetings with them... I hope my face won't be so red and irritated, and with those really annoying small zits!).

#3 livius

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Posted 27 February 2005 - 08:10 AM

Nobody on Saw Palmetto?!

As for myself, not much change since the last posts. I have few small pimples and 2-3 red marks I'm trying to get rid off.

Maybe I will add Spironolactone to this treatment, and I also want to buy Clarins' Lotus Oil (it seems to be very efficient and gentle) as nigth treatment and Lush's Enzymion cream as day treatment - it's a natural matifying cream, apparently it does a very good job and smells very good (exotic fruit smell yummy smile.gif).

#4 danielle23

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 05:23 AM

I'm saw palmetto and I am seeing improvement. It's taken me about two months for me to see any kind of result though, so be patience. It will help, it just takes time. For me, it was better than having to go back to birth control pills to control hormonal breakouts.

#5 livius

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 03:09 PM

Hi, Danielle, I'm so glad you've replied to me! I was loosing any hope that someone would answer me...

I feel encouraged after your message, now that I know it will help, but only in time. I just finished my first month of Saw Palmetto treatment, and I've ran out of pills, so I'll have to buy them tomorrow (I have already missed 2-3 days of treatment).

I don't want to go back to birth control pills, in fact they never did anything for me (and I've been on Diane 35 + Androcur, which are strong treatments, for one year), except for making my skin very fragile and making me put on serious weight sad.gif.

So I'll stick to the Saw Palmetto treatment, and maybe add vitamin B6 (it is supposed to control male hormones as well) and Spiro. I will also buy the topical products I've already spoke about (Lotus Oil and Enzymion).

Anyway, what kind of results do you see? Are you clear, almost clear, how is your skin now and what kind of acne did you have (if you do want to tell me, of course)?

Thank you very much for your reply smile.gif and keep me in touch! I will also post my results as I see them (soon, hopefully).

Byeee!

#6 livius

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 02:30 PM

Oh, BTW, Danielle, what is your daily dosage of Saw Palmetto? I'm taking 600 mg/day.

Tnx!

#7 livius

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 12:14 PM

?

#8 Red_Butterfly

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 12:17 PM

redface.gif Saw Palmetto is for males! for females, take Vitex (Chaste Tree).



#9 19yochickfightingacne4toolong

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 05:59 PM

QUOTE(S214 @ Mar 5 2005, 01:17 PM)
redface.gif Saw Palmetto is for males! for females, take Vitex (Chaste Tree).

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Saw palmetto is specfically for males!! It helps with the relief of Prostatis (inflammation and infection of the prostate gland).

Its a urinary antiseptic, wich restores and strengthens male genitourinary tract.

#10 livius

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 06:14 AM

Hi, girls!

I know Saw Palmetto is used against prostatis - it's effective because it blocks the DHT (dehydrotestosterone - the active form of testosterone) synthesis.

Since the DHT is what causes acne, no DHT==>no acne.

Anyway, the Saw Palmetto extract doesn't have any (known) side effects, and it has been used for a long time.

I would also take Vitex, but I can't find it, whereas Saw Palmetto is in every pharmacy and health store.

But, thanks for your concern, girls smile.gif! And good luck!

#11 livius

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 06:17 AM

Look, here's an article I found on the Internet about the use of Saw Palmetto extract in women:

Saw Palmetto

Women

Topical saw palmetto has also been used successfully in women for hair loss (androgenic alopecia) due to high levels of male hormone testosterone (4).

Actually the active agent in causing adrogenic hair loss (balding of the head), acne and even excess body hair is a chemical called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is formed in the skin by the conversion of testosterone to DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. Saw palmetto is known to block 5-alpha reductase as its mechanism to reduce prostatic hypertrophy and androgenic alopecia. To our knowledge it has not been tested as an active agent against acne or excess hair growth (hirsutism) in women either by applying the oil topically (breaking open the capsules) or taking the capsules by mouth. However in theory, by being an effective 5-alpha reductase blocker, it should have a positive effect on both acne and excess hair growth.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto (also know as sabal palmetto) is a reddish brown-to-black berry growing on a 6'-8" palm tree (Serenoa repens). The fruit of this palm have been part of the diet of natives of the southeastern U.S. for hundreds of years.

It is widely used for the treatment of enlarged prostate glands in men. It is thought that prostate glands become enlarged primarily because of a metabolite of testosterone, called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. Women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) also tend to have higher levels of testosterone and DHT than other women. Therefore, what works for men may work for women.

Saw Palmetto Extract for Hirsutism

How does it work in women?

One of the most troubling symptoms of women with PCOS is hirsutism (too much hair, in the wrong places). Hirsutism is thought to be mostly due to excessive levels of androgenic hormones. Examples of androgens are testosterone, androstenedione, and DHEA.

Testosterone is the main androgen we’re concerned about. It’s normal for men to have a lot of testosterone and for women to have some. In both men and women, testosterone is converted into a more potent hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is the hormone in your skin that stimulates hirsutism, which is male pattern hair growth. If you can reduce DHT, you may be able to reduce hirsutism (hair growing where you don't want it) or male pattern hair loss (restoring hair where you do want it).

Saw palmetto appears to reduce DHT in three different ways:
Inhibits DHT production;
Inhibits the binding of DHT to its cell receptors;
Promotes the breakdown of DHT.

Testosterone is converted into DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. 5-alpha-reductase is inhibited by saw palmetto, and thus less DHT is produced and hirsutism may be reduced.

Saw palmetto may be helpful in another way. A high level of estrogen may inhibit the elimination of DHT. Some women with PCOS have estrogen levels that are too high. It is reported to have an anti-estrogenic effect, thus helping with the removal of DHT.

There have been many studies of men with testosterone disorders that demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of saw palmetto. There aren’t yet any studies of hirsute PCOS women. However, naturopathic physicians using these herbs for PCOS are seeing consistently favorable results.

Saw palmetto may help with the following PCOS symptoms:
Hirsutism (too much hair in the wrong places)
Male pattern baldness or hair loss.

Is It Similar to Anti-Androgenic Drugs?

Two drugs commonly prescribed for PCOS women are spironolactone (Aldactone), and finasteride (Propecia, Proscar).

Spironolactone is a diuretic that blocks two pathways to the production of androgens, or male hormones. One of those pathways is inhibition of 5-alpha-reductase. Spironolactone may cause irregular bleeding in some women, as well as nausea, indigestion or fatigue.

Propecia and Proscar inhibit 5-alpha-reductase and are used mostly for male pattern baldness and men with enlarged prostate glands.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a review of studies that concluded saw palmetto was as effective as finasteride in the treatment of enlarged prostates.

Two advantages of saw palmetto are:
(1) it is free of side effects, and
(2) it is less expensive than the drugs mentioned above.

Saw Palmetto Side Effects and Precautions

No significant side effects have been noted in clinical trials with this herbal extract, except for rare headache or stomach upset if taken on an empty stomach.

Because of possible hormonal activity, it is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Palmetto berry constituents have alpha-adrenergic blocking activity that may alter the effects of these medications: prazosin, terazosin, doxazosin mesylate, tamsulosin

It may have an additive effect if taken with anti-androgen drugs that reduce the levels of male sex hormones, such as finasteride (Prosca, Propecia) or flutamide (Eulexin).

In theory, it could interfere with birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy in women.

If you're taking any of these drugs, check with your doctor or naturopathic physician before taking saw palmetto.

Because it may have activity on the body's response to estrogen, the effects of other agents believed to have estrogen-like properties may be altered. Possible examples include alfalfa, black cohosh, bloodroot, burdock, hops, kudzu, licorice, pomegranate, red clover, soy, thyme, white horehound, and yucca.

How Much Should You Take?

Every women is unique, so the amount and form of saw palmetto you need won't be the same as for someone else.

As a general guideline, a common dose for men is 320 mg. of extract per day, standardized to at least 85-95% fatty acids with a guaranteed minimum of 0.2-0.4% sterols. ("Standardized" means you get the same amount of active ingredients every time). You may decide to start with a somewhat lower dose.

In men, it can be taken for six weeks before any effect is noticed. If improvement is noted, it is recommended that men take it continuously. Since you're trying to reduce DHT like the men are, you could do the same.

Vitex and Saw Palmetto Dose

A number of herbal products and nutritional supplements work synergistically to modify your hormonal profile. A few examples include vitex (chasteberry), saw palmetto, and stinging nettles (pygeum). You may wish to combine saw palmetto extract and stinging nettle root for a greater effect. You may also wish to add vitex. As you can imagine, your supplement program can get complicated.

Therefore, we recommend you seek guidance from a naturopathic physician, who would have extensive knowledge of herbs and botanical medicines. Or, consult with Dr. Nancy Dunne, who is a naturopathic physician specializing in the treatment of PCOS.

WARNING: Thee quality of botanical supplements varies widely. Don't buy any herbal or botanical product unless it has a "standardized" amount of the active component listed on the label. A "standardized" product has a consistent amount of active ingredients from one bottle to the next. If you buy a product that is not standardized, you have no clue as to what you are actually getting and may be wasting your money.



#12 Red_Butterfly

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 09:21 AM

QUOTE(livius @ Mar 6 2005, 07:17 AM)


Vitex and Saw Palmetto Dose

A number of herbal products and nutritional supplements work synergistically to modify your hormonal profile. A few examples include vitex (chasteberry), saw palmetto, and stinging nettles (pygeum). You may wish to combine saw palmetto extract and stinging nettle root for a greater effect. You may also wish to add vitex. As you can imagine, your supplement program can get complicated.





wow! thanks livius! this is promising....I'm currently on Vitex and Evening Primrose Oil ...EPO has some estrogen qualities...if I add Saw Palmetto to my supplements...i don't know if i'm doing harm or good...

i'll have to consult a naturopath...but aren't they expensive?

#13 livius

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 09:43 AM

Hi, Sway smile.gif! I don't think Saw Palmetto could hurt your regimen, on the contrary, in my opinion it could only improve it.

I would like to use Saw Palmetto+Vitex, but I can't find Vitex so I'm using only Saw Palmetto. I haven't noticed any side effects, as for the results, I'm still waiting - apparently it takes 6-8 weeks to see some improvement. I have just started my 5th week, I'm optimistic...

Good luck smile.gif!

#14 livius

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 09:52 AM

BTW, Sway, what is your daily dosage for Vitex? I just found a herbal supplement that has 80 mg of Vitex/pill, I don't know if that's good or too little...

Have a great week!

Livia

#15 Red_Butterfly

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 11:42 AM

QUOTE(livius @ Mar 6 2005, 10:52 AM)
BTW, Sway, what is your daily dosage for Vitex? I just found a herbal supplement that has 80 mg of Vitex/pill, I don't know if that's good or too little...

Have a great week!

Livia

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i take 2 capsules a day. in one capsule there's 500 mg, so this is 1000 mg daily dose.

#16 19yochickfightingacne4toolong

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 12:13 PM

Its actually the hormone Androgen that primarily makes us breakout.

#17 cjb

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 05:40 PM

The thing about herbs in capsule form is that they've had to be POWDERED to be put in capsule form. Herbs are delicate, so the more processing, the more they lose their potency. I think it's better to take them as a tincture or a tea, depending on the herb. Saw palmetto tea doesn't taste very good. It's not horrible, but not very enjoyable, so tincture might be the best way to go. Just my opinion.

#18 twocanyan

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 08:51 PM

QUOTE(18yochickfightingacne4toolong @ Mar 6 2005, 02:13 PM)
Its actually the hormone Androgen that primarily makes us breakout.

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you know what the funny thing is.. when i was in college prob 5 years back.. i was on the whole Human growth hormone craze and worked out pretty hard.. i actually took Andro and Diol 5 which is a supressor so you won;t get the bitch tits and i did not really break out from it.. at least from what i recall..

now i am healthy clean and strict with what i eat.. i get zits up the ying yang..

how life is so funny


#19 livius

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 10:37 AM

Thanks for the advice, CJB! Maybe I'll try the tincture, it's also much cheaper than the pills wink.gif!

#20 livius

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:48 AM

Yes, Twocanyan, life can be veeeeeeeeeeery funny! Or should I say unfair?!