Another supplement combination in recently published studies have been shown to prevent and ameliorate existing micro-inflammation of the hair follicle ( peri-follicular inflammation) as well as neutralize the negative consequences of 5 alpha dihydrotestosterone — a metabolite of the steroid hormone testosterone (T) that has been conclusively shown to initiate male and female pattern hair loss. . This data, published by two separate research teams, concluded that the combination of Saw Palmetto Extract, Carnitine, and Alpha Lipoic Acid (Thioctic Acid) presents a viable way to stop the progression of MPB and stimulate hair growth, via several mechanisms. 

Phytother Res. 2016 Jun;30(6):1016-20. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5611. Epub 2016 Mar 17.
Blockade of Androgen Markers Using a Novel Betasitosterol, Thioctic Acid and Carnitine-containing Compound in Prostate and Hair Follicle Cell-based Assays
Chen L, Wang J, Mouser G, Li YC

Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) affects approximately 70% of men and 40% of women in an age-dependent manner and is partially mediated by androgen hormones. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) similarly affects 50% of the male population, rising by 10% each decade. Finasteride inhibits 5-alpha reductase (5AR) and is used to treat both disorders, despite offering limited clinical benefits accompanied by significant adverse side effects. Building on our previous work demonstrating the efficacy of naturally derived 5AR inhibitors (such as stigmasterol and beta sitosterol), we hypothesize that targeting 5AR as well as inflammatory pathways may yield improved efficacy in AGA and BPH. Here we address these dual pathomechanisms by examining the potency of a novel composition using in vitro assays of representative cell lines for AGA (hair follicle dermal papilla cells) and BPH (LNCaP prostate cells), respectively. Exposure of cells to the novel test composition down-regulated mRNA expression profiles characteristic of both disease processes,which outperformed finasteride. Changes in mRNA expression were corroborated at the protein level as assessed by western blotting. These studies provide proof of concept that novel, naturally derived compositions simultaneously targeting 5AR and inflammatory mediators may represent a rational approach to treating AGA and BPH. 

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:985345. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nep102. Epub 2011 Jun 8.
Inhibition of inflammatory gene expression in keratinocytes using a composition containing carnitine, thioctic Acid and saw palmetto extract.
Chittur S, Parr B

Chronic inflammation of the hair follicle (HF) is considered a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Previously, we clinically tested liposterolic extract of Serenoa repens (LSESr) and its glycoside, β-sitosterol, in subjects with AGA and showed a highly positive response to treatment. In this study, we sought to determine whether blockade of inflammation using a composition containing LSESr as well as two anti-inflammatory agents (carnitine and thioctic acid) could alter the expression of molecular markers of inflammation in a well-established in vitro system. Using a well-validated assay representative of HF keratinocytes, specifically, stimulation of cultured human keratinocyte cells in vitro, we measured changes in gene expression of a spectrum of well-known inflammatory markers. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) provided an inflammatory stimulus. In particular, we found that the composition effectively suppressed LPS-activated gene expression of chemokines, including CCL17, CXCL6 and LTB(4) associated with pathways involved in inflammation and apoptosis. Our data support the hypothesis that the test compound exhibits anti-inflammatory characteristics in a well-established in vitro assay representing HF keratinocyte gene expression. These findings suggest that 5-alpha reductase inhibitors combined with blockade of inflammatory processes could represent a novel two-pronged approach in the treatment of AGA with improved efficacy over current modalities.

      The mechanisms by which Saw Palmetto and Beta Sitosterol prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth are slightly different from Propecia, and may explain the apparent lack of side effects by comparison. They have been documented to inhibit the binding of DHT at androgen receptor sites in all tissues tested.

Saw Palmetto, Propecia and Hairloss Revisited

Recently Published Study Validates Hair Growth Effects of Saw Palmetto

      Alpha-lipoic acid(ALA) is an antioxidant used in Europe to promote liver and nerve health, and confer protective benefits against oxidative processes. Alpha-lipoic acid has been called the universal antioxidant because it boosts glutathione levels in cells already within a normal range and has potent antioxidant actions. Glutathione in its topical form has been used experimentally as a hair growth stimulant. ALA also boosts energy production and metabolizes glucose for the production of ATP, which helps hair growth.

      Studies have shown that Carnitine stimulates human hair growth; via its ability to increase proliferation and decrease apoptosis in follicular cells. Carnitine literally increases the energy supply to the hair follicle matrix, which is necessary for the full functioning of potassium channels in hair follicles. Oxford BioLabs an English biotech company was the first to combine oral Carnitine, with Branched Chain Amino Acids, Potassium and Niacin to stimulate hair growth via Potassium Ion Channel stimulation, the exact mechanism of topical Minoxidil,(Rogaine). This combination is considered to be a Minoxidil alternative.

Minoxidil Alternatives

      The components of this combination, Beta Sitosterol (Palmetto Guard), Alpha Lioic Acid, and Carnitine , all have distinct mechanisms by which they singularly support hair growth. The specific combination of these 3, as confirmed in 2 published studies by separate research teams, apparently counters the effects of both DHT and inflammation on keratinocytes and hair follicle dermal papilla cells, and represent a novel two-pronged approach in the treatment of AGA with improved efficacy over current modalities.

      Cross over health and anti-aging benefits include reduced bodyfat, enhanced cognition and Prostate function.