Monday, December 13, 2010

Do "Natural DHT Blockers" Work?

While shopping recently, I came across a "natural" DHT blocker on a store shelf.  This particular product was placed right next to a branded Minoxidil solution, and priced similarly.

That had me thinking - how could a completely unproven solution be priced the same as an FDA-approved solution such as Minoxidil?  Keep in mind, Minoxidil is one of the only solutions proven to regrow hair - a claim the natural DHT blocker might not be able to make.

For many people, natural or homeopathic solutions are an attractive alternative, especially if surgery isn't an option, or a solution such as Minoxidil was not effective in restoring hair loss.  While it is true that natural solutions may instill confidence if you believe it is working, the reality is this is nothing more than placebo effect.

Ardent supporters of natural and homeopathic remedies will refute this and make claims about how the medical community is stifling their research in the name of the almighty dollar.  However, do you realize how rigorous the clinical trials are for proving the efficacy of a drug?  Consider the following:
  • Strong clinical trials are double blinded - this means that neither the patient nor the person(s) administering the trial know if treatment is drug or placebo
  • Strong clinical trials are conducted across multiple sites - this ensures the data is highly reliable and of good quality
  • Strong clinical trials limit eligibility - while the goal is to have a large sample to work from, the entire sample must have the same condition and/or illness.  In the case of hair loss, the entire sample (or sub-groups) should be at the same stage of hair loss
  • Strong clinical trials rely on measurable, objective results - typically defined before the study commences.  As an example, it may be the length of hair re-growth, or number of strands
Many clinical trials - if not all - include use of placebo, which is necessary to determine the response to the drug.  Great care is taken when admistering placebo, especially in cases where it could negatively impact the patient (for example, a cancer drug test).

I raise this point because the ultimate goal is to test the efficacy of a solution.  A significant amount of time and effort is put into these tests in order to substantiate any claims.  That should raise the question - why aren't these natural solutions subjected to a similar set of trials?

The short answer is - they simply don't do what they claim.  In fact, most of these solutions work no better than placebo, and there are multiple studies available to support this.  That may be difficult to digest, but when it comes to your hair loss, don't be in denial.

by RJ Dee

No comments:

Post a Comment