Much has been written already about the much lower incidence of MPB in soy consuming cultures and its identified antiandrogenic metabolite, Equol. The following studies identify another more classically established link to MPB, that soy consumption lowers one of the known primary hormonal initiators of the pattern balding process-dihydrotestosterone.
In this way it acts via the same mechanism as Propecia and Avodart, but in a way that is much more cost effective and virtually side effect free. In fact there is evidence indicating that soy isoflavones, despite being phytoestrogens, may have aromatase inhibiting properties that would promote reductions in bodyfat and increases in libido, the exact opposite of side effects reported with Propecia and Avodart. Moreover, the source of isoflavones (soy milk and soy protein) used the studies was only dietary and of a much lower potency than one would get using a concentrated isoflavone compound, which would likely yield even far more significant reductions in DHT . The reported reductions in DHT were also not dependent upon one being genetically able to produce and utilize Equol, which some evidence suggest may limited to an Asian subset of the human population. In light of this data, soy isoflavones may be the answer for those looking for a side effect free alternative to Propecia, or for those looking to significantly enhance the efficacy of their existing treatment regimes. Studies suggest that soy’s effects on health and hair are enhanced further when combined with green tea.
Soy protein isolates of varying isoflavone content exert minor effects on serum reproductive hormones in healthy young men.
Inverse associations between soy and prostate cancer and the contribution of hormones to prostate cancer prompted the current study to determine whether soy protein could alter serum hormones in men. Thirty-five men consumed milk protein isolate (MPI), low-isoflavone soy protein isolate (SPI) (low-iso SPI; 1.64 +/- 0.19 mg isoflavones/d), and high-iso SPI (61.7 +/- 7.35 mg isoflavones/d) for 57 d each in a randomized crossover design. Twenty-four-hour urine samples indicated that urinary isoflavones were significantly increased by the high-iso SPI relative to the low-iso SPI and MPI. Serum collected on d 1, 29, and 57 of each treatment revealed that dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and DHT/testosterone were significantly decreased by the low-iso SPI [9.4% (P = 0.036) and 9.0% (P = 0.004), respectively] and the high-iso SPI [15% (P = 0.047) and 14% (P = 0.013), respectively], compared with the MPI at d 57. Other significant effects included a decrease in testosterone by the low-iso SPI relative to the MPI (P = 0.023) and high-iso SPI (P = 0.020) at d 29; an increase in dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate by the low-iso SPI relative to the MPI at d 29 (P = 0.001) and relative to the MPI (P = 0.0003) and high-iso SPI (P = 0.005) at d 57; and increases in estradiol and estrone by the low-iso SPI relative to the MPI at d 57 (P = 0.010 and P = 0.005, respectively). In conclusion, soy protein, regardless of isoflavone content, decreased DHT and DHT/testosterone with minor effects on other hormones, providing evidence for some effects of soy protein on hormones. The relevance of the magnitude of these effects to future prostate cancer risk requires further investigation.
Several studies have suggested that soybean intake is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer. However, the mechanism of prostate cancer prevention by soybeans remains unclear. Because prostate cancer is reported to have an association with an increased level of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and soybean isoflavones are known to inhibit 5 alpha-reductase, which is involved in the conversion of testosterone to DHT, the effects of soybean extract and isoflavones on the plasma levels of male sex hormones were investigated using male rats. In Experiment I, Sprague-Dawley rats were fed diets with and without soy flour; in Experiment II, rats were fed diets containing 2% soy methanol extract or 0.2% semipurified isoflavones or a control diet. The study showed a reduction of plasma DHT along with an increase in total plasma androgen in rats fed soy flour or semipurified isoflavones for 1 wk. These results suggest that soy isoflavone intake may reduce plasma DHT level.PMID: 12416261 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
In 1997, MPB Research made available the first high concentration (40%) isoflavone soy extract. The theory was that isoflavones such as genistein were the components of soy most likely to be responsible for its multiple health benefits, not the least of which was the apparent halting of male pattern baldness. In recent years, the beneficial effects of genistein and other soy isoflavones have been shown in numerous published studies. At the same time, other constituents of soy have also demonstrated effects that help explain the health and longevity of Asian populations who consume a great deal of soy in their diet. In response to increasing evidence that other constituents of soy may provide significant cell protective and hair loss prevention/hair regrowth effects, a new formulation has been developed that provides the same standardized isoflavone extract that members have been using for the past seven years, plus fermented soy natto that may provide additional benefits. Soy natto enhances isoflavone absorption and provides other nutrients contributed by the fermentation process. The enhanced absorption of geinstein, daidzein, etc, may be significant enough that only one capsule of the new Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones is required each day. The fermented soy natto used in this new formula incorporates a novel yeast (instead of bacteria) fermentation process. Japanese researchers have found that this type of cultured broth from yeast helps promote healthy cell colonies.*
Based on studies of Japanese dietary isoflavone food consumption, just one capsule of the new Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones provides more genistein and daidzein (50 mg) than the average Japanese person consumes in their diet. The typical American diet, on the other hand, often provides less than 1 milligram of these cell-protecting isoflavones.