Insulin resistance is a well-established correlate for both male and female pattern hair loss. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an endrocrine disorder diagnosed in women that has hyperandrogenism as a hallmark feature. Hyperandrogenism includes acne, hirsutism (body and facial hair growth) and androgenetic alopecia, (pattern hair loss). Almost all traditional allopathic MD’s in the US treat the symptoms of hyperandrogenism with anti-androgens, such as Spironolactone, Diane, finasteride, dutasteride or Androcure.  Although helpful to a degree, these anti-androgens not only raise the risks of breast cancer in women, they produce side effects such as breast enlargement, loss of libido, and cognition deficits that make them unusable in men.  Metformin, now considered an anti-aging drug by the scientific community, works not as an anti-androgen, but by modulating the body’s insulin release, and produces no anti-androgenic side effects, making it readily usable in both genders.  Data thus far, although limited, has indicated that Metformin produces a better scalp hair growth and acne reduction response than anti-androgens in PCOS patients. The causative mechanisms of hair loss in PCOS are virtually identical to those of MPB. Anecdotal accounts from women who use Metformin for hair loss has been resoundingly positive, which comes as no real surprise.  Metformin is a dirt-cheap prescription drug that is approved for blood sugar management in those with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Although there is an extremely good safety profile with this drug, doctors are generally unwilling to prescribe it for any legitimate off label use. Accessing Metformin without a prescription though, is fairly simple as it is widely available from legitimate online pharmacies and OTC in Mexico and most other countries. I personally take 1500 mg a day for anti-aging purposes and stock up when in Mexico, where I paid a few dollars US for a bottle of 60 tablets, 500 mg.   It is recommended when taking Metformin, to supplement with B-12, which I do with an inexpensive sublingual version.

Clin Chim Acta. 2019 Nov 13.Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: Correlation Between Hyperandrogenism, Insulin Resistance and Obesity.Abstract Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex and heterogeneous endocrine disease characterized by clinical or laboratorial hyperandrogenism, oligo-anovulation and metabolic abnormalities, including insulin resistance, excessive weight or obesity, type II diabetes, dyslipidemia and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The most significant clinical manifestation of PCOS is hyperandrogenism. Excess androgen profoundly affects granulosa cell function and follicular development via complex mechanisms that lead to obesity and insulin resistance. Most PCOS patients with hyperandrogenism have steroid secretion defects that result in abnormal folliculogenesis and failed dominant follicle selection. Hyperandrogenism induces obesity, hairy, acne, and androgenetic alopecia. These symptoms can bring great psychological stress to women. Drugs such as combined oral contraceptive pills, metformin, pioglitazone and low-dose spironolactone help improve pregnancy rates by decreasing androgen levels in vivo. Notably, PCOS is heterogeneous, and hyperandrogenism is not the only pathogenic factor. Obesity and insulin resistance aggravate the symptoms of hyperandrogenism, forming a vicious cycle that promotes PCOS development. Although numerous studies have been conducted, the definitive pathogenic mechanisms of PCOS remain uncertain. This review summarizes and discusses previous and recent findings regarding the relationship between hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance, obesity and PCOS.

      Metformin is a prescription drug in the US, typically limited for use in diabetics or pre-diabetics.  Although Metformin has a minimal side effect profile, many would prefer to use if possible, a natural alternative.  In an in-depth analysis profiling the safety and gene pathway-level similarities of more than 800 natural compounds to metformin was performed to find natural compounds that mimic the   effects of this anti-aging drug, in a way that would be completely side effect free. This analysis confirmed that ginsenoside and withaferin A as strong mimetics of metformin. Ginsenoside is a constituent of Ginseng, and and withaferin A is an active constituent of Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine.  They also found, via statistical analysis, that the combinations of compounds far outperformed single compounds, with the combination of Ashwagandha and Ginseng exhibiting the most potential.  Both Aswagandha and Ginseng have been featured in prior updates for their well-documented health promoting and apparent hair growth effects.

Ashwagandha Reverses Long Standing Androgenetic Hairloss

   We have long recommended Ashwagandha for resolving stress related hair loss due to its well- established ability to modulate cortisol, the stress hormone.  Ginseng has exhibited hair growth effects in several studies, and has been shown to be a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor.  The recent study showing the particularly potent Metformin mimicking properties of these compounds, both singularly and more so in combination, show an additional rationale for their usage as both hair growth and anti-aging interventions.  Ashwagandha is a low cost adaptogen (stress modulator) that is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine from India.  Asian Energy boost is a combination of Panax Ginseng Extract and Cordyceps, which promote energy, endurance, insulin sensitivity,<—– For optimal hair growth effects take 2 capsules a day of Ashwagandha, 1 in the AM, 1 in the PM, 2-3 capsules a day of Asian Energy boost.