The 5 alpha Reductase Inhibiting Properties of Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil keeps looking better as a possible dietary intervention for Androgen related hair loss. In a prior study it was shown that the consumption of Coconut Oil by rats reduced prostates by the same amount as the lipid sterolic extract of sernoa repens,(Saw Palmetto). The authors speculated that this might be due to the high lauric acid content of Coconut Oil which they posited had DHT inhibiting properties. This study confirms that assertion, and is observationally corroborated by the extremely low incidence of prostate disorders and AGA in cultures where Coconut is a dietary staple.
The health benefits of Coconut Oil are many, including including hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Organic or Virgin Coconut Oil can be readily purchased at any health food store. Feedback from various sources indicate that 2-3 tablespoons a day are required to have significant therapeutic benefits.
Chem Biodivers. 2009 Apr;6(4):503-12
Anti-androgenic activity of fatty acids
Liu J, Shimizu K, Kondo R.
Department of Forest and Forest Products Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan.
In this study, we show that 5alpha-reductase derived from rat fresh liver was inhibited by certain aliphatic free fatty acids. The influences of chain length, unsaturation, oxidation, and esterification on the potency to inhibit 5alpha-reductase activity were studied. Among the fatty acids we tested, inhibitory saturated fatty acids had C12-C16 chains, and the presence of a C==C bond enhanced the inhibitory activity. Esterification and hydroxy compounds were totally inactive. Finally, we tested the prostate cancer cell proliferation effect of free fatty acids. In keeping with the results of the 5alpha-reductase assay, saturated fatty acids with a C12 chain (lauric acid) and unsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid) showed a proliferation inhibitory effect on lymph-node carcinoma of the prostate (LNCaP) cells. At the same time, the testosterone-induced prostate-specific antigen (PSA) mRNA expression was down-regulated. These results suggested that fatty acids with 5alpha-reductase inhibitory activity block the conversion of testosterone to 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and then inhibit the proliferation of prostate cancer cells.
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