A prior update featured the dht lowering effects of both finasteride ( Propecia/Proscar) and Black Tea. Finasteride was shown to lower serum dht by 71% and Black tea by 72%. Given the ominous side effect profile for Propecia, ie sexual side effects, gynocomastia,(breast enlargement), and of most concern, neurological alterations predisposing to anxiety and depression, it would be prudent to inquire if Black Tea or perhaps the combination of Soy and Green Tea given their dht lowering effects, would produce the same side effects.

      Although there have been no reports of side effects of any kind, and well documented health benefits with Black Tea/Green Tea/Soy, the question as to why not warrants inquiry.

      It is known that pseudohermaphrodites, who have no male pattern baldness, are born with a diminished expression of the gene Steroid 5 alpha Reductase, Polypeptide 2, (SRD5A2). Finasteride,(Proscar/Propecia) downregulates the expression of this gene.

      Tea catechins downregulate the 5 alpha reductase type 2 enzyme vis a vis the NADPH binding site, through an anti-oxidant mechanism, which is also a health promoting mechanism by which to quench free radicals.

      Finateride essentially causes an enzyme inhibition on a genetic level, resulting in a lengthy pharmacologically imposed decrease in the expression of the gene, which can potentially result in both neurological and hormonal side effects for some individuals. Tea catechins accomplish the same enzyme inhibition via natural antioxidant mechanisms.

      As previously featured, Black Tea catechins have been shown to decrease blood levels of dht by 72%, and finasteride by 71%, both in animal models, and unlike finasteride, have been shown to markedly increase sexual activity.

      Due to concerns about the potential estrogenic side effects of finasteride, I personally discontinued its use in 2004, with no apparent detriment to my hair. This was and is likely, in part, due to my consistent usage of Soy Isoflavones and Tea catechins amoung other things over the years. If you currently use finasteride and choose to discontinue, you would be well advised to use alternate methods that either lower serum dht, or inhibit its binding at receptor sites, or ideally both. This *can* be readily accomplished in a side effect free, health promoting manner.