If you haven’t heard by now, you probably have through our prior updates, there is a Soy metabolite named Equol that has the potential to be one of the most effective hair loss interventions to date. There has been quite a buzz about it in the research community for its potential as both a hair loss treatment and prostate cancer preventative. Here is an article from a prior update that gives a basic overview of Equol. 

Soy Metabolite Could Halt Hairloss and Prostate Cancer

       Approximately 50% of the Asian population and unfortunately few if any other ethnicities are natural equol producers, which at least partly explains the dramatically lower incidence of MPB in Asian Populations living in Asia. Although genetics play a role, it has been observed that the incidence of male pattern baldness is significantly higher in Asian men on a Western type diet versus the traditional Eastern Asian diet. Does that mean that we are doomed by our genes again in regards to both equol production and MPB, if we are not in the fortunate subset of the population that are equol producers? 

      Fortunately not. There is evidence indicating that the singular long term sustained consumption of Soy Isoflavones alone will eventually facilitate Equol production in those who are natural nonproducers.  Soy Isoflavone Supplements Lower DHT and Stimulate Equol Production

      More encouraging, to the point of being exciting, is that equol production can, according to researchers at Bear Biotech, be rapidly facilitated in non-producers by the inclusion of dietary cofactors with Soy Isoflavones, resulting in the cessation of hormone related hair loss within 2-3 weeks. These cofactors combined with Soy Isoflavones enable an individual with a different diet and racial/ethnic makeup to produce equol in proportion to his/her eastern equol producing counterparts. Bear Biotech is currently in the process of evaluating for patent submission a combination of Soy Isoflavones with specific Cofactors as a treatment for male pattern baldness. 

      So what are these cofactors that can be used in conjunction with Soy Isoflavones to rapidly facilitate Equol production in genetic non-producers?

      The short answer-Soy Isoflavones, Green Tea Extract, ProBiotics combined with the daily consumption of two 8-10oz cups of Soymilk , along with 1 cup of yogurt containing acidophilus will quickly turn non equol producers into producers. 

      Green Tea Extract, in addition to Soy Isoflavones is a cornerstone of their soon to be patented equol producing compound. The following study gives some indication as to why:

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2003 Aug-Dec;4(4):297-301
Higher consumption of green tea may enhance equol production.
Miyanaga N, Akaza H, Takashima N, Nagata Y, Sonoda T, Mori M, Naito S, Hirao Y, Tsukamoto T, Fujioka T.
Department of Urology, Post-graduate University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8575, Japan. akazah@md.tsukuba.ac.jp


BACKGROUND:Our previous case-control study revealed that Japanese living in Japan and Koreans living in Korea can be divided into equol producers who have an ability to metabolize daidzein to equol and non-producers, and that the incidence of prostate cancer is higher in the latter group. In the present study, we examined relationships between type of food intake and the capacity for equol production in Japanese subjects. 

METHODS:The subjects were the individuals analyzed for the ability to produce equol in our previous study and newly registered cases. From December 2000 to December 2002, 276 hospitalized patients were interviewed face-to-face and blood samples were collected before breakfast. These included 122 patients with prostate cancer and 154 age-matched controls.

RESULTS:The frequency of equol producers (0.5 ng/ml or more) among cases and controls was 29% and 45%, respectively (p = 0.004). The consumption of soybeans and green tea were significantly higher in equol producers than in the non-producers (p<0.05). By contrast, the consumption of selenium and fiber was significantly lower in equol producers (p<0.05). 

CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that higher consumption of soybean and green tea are strongly related to the establishment of a capacity for equol production.

      Common probiotics combined with Soy Isoflavones can, according to Bear Biotech, facilitate Equol production. In fact they strongly advocate the consumption of yogurt with acidophilus as part of their adjunctive dietary guidelines. Although the majority of studies we reviewed do not support this specific recommendation, there was one that did. How much the inclusion of probiotics actually enhances equol production remains unclear. Given the apparent success Bear Biotech has had with the stimulation of equol production and the resultant in rapid reduction in hair shedding in their study subjects, I’d be inclined to include a broad spectrum probiotic, along with the other cofactors nevertheless. 

      In addition to these cofactors and the dietary additions to be implemented along with Soy Isoflavones identified by Bear Bio-tech, we at MPB Research strongly recommend the addition of a Sea weed/ iodine supplement. In a recent study it was found that the simple addition of Seaweed to Soy increased Equol production by an astounding 58%.

J Nutr. 2009 May;139(5):939-44. Epub 2009 Mar 25.
Dietary seaweed modifies estrogen and phytoestrogen metabolism in healthy postmenopausal women.
Teas J, Hurley TG, Hebert JR, Franke AA, Sepkovic DW, Kurzer MS.
University of South Carolina Cancer Center, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.
J Nutr. 2009 Sep;139(9):1779


Seaweed and soy foods are consumed daily in Japan, where breast cancer rates for postmenopausal women are significantly lower than in the West. Likely mechanisms include differences in diet, especially soy consumption, and estrogen metabolism. Fifteen healthy postmenopausal women participated in this double-blind trial of seaweed supplementation with soy challenge. Participants were randomized to 7 wk of either 5 g/d seaweed (Alaria) or placebo (maltodextrin). During wk 7, participants also consumed a daily soy protein isolate (2 mg isoflavones/kg body weight). After a 3-wk washout period, participants were crossed over to the alternate supplement schedule. There was an inverse correlation between seaweed dose (mg/kg body weight) and serum estradiol (E2) (seaweed-placebo = y = -2.29 x dose + 172.3; r = -0.70; P = 0.003), [corrected] which was linear across the range of weights. Soy supplementation increased urinary daidzein, glycitein, genistein, and O-desmethylangolensin (P = 0.0001) and decreased matairesinol and enterolactone (P < 0.05). Soy and seaweed plus soy (SeaSoy) increased urinary excretion of 2-hydroxyestrogen (2-OHE) (P = 0.0001) and the ratio of 2-OHE:16alpha-hydroxyestrone (16alphaOHE(1)) (P = 0.01).For the 5 equol excretors, soy increased urinary equol excretion (P = 0.0001); the combination of SeaSoy further increased equol excretion by 58% (P = 0.0001). Equol producers also had a 315% increase in 2:16 ratio (P = 0.001) with SeaSoy. Seaweed favorably alters estrogen and phytoestrogen metabolism and these changes likely include modulation of colonic bacteria.

      The forthcoming patent application for an equol producing supplement by Bear Biotech notwithstanding, the components to turn yourself into an equol producer are already at your disposal. Combining Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones, Mega Green Tea Extract, an acidophilus product, along with Sea Iodine, a new arrival to our recommended treatments, could quickly (within weeks) turn you into an equol producer and halt the progression of male and female pattern baldness.

      Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones is a state of the art Isoflavone compound that combines Soy Isoflavones with Natto, a fermented Soy food for far superior absorption. The beneficial effects of diadzein, which produces equol, and other soy isoflavones have been shown in numerous published studies. These studies reveal that those who consume the most soy maintain healthier cell biological function. Other constituents of soy have also demonstrated effects that help explain the health and longevity, and dramatically lower incidence of Androgenetic Alopecia in 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 effects, a formulation has been developed that provides standardized isoflavone extract 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 genistein, daidzein, etc.,is significant enough that only one capsule of Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones is required each day. The fermented soy natto used in this 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 function and proliferation.

      Mega Green Tea Extract is the most potent Green Tea Extract on the market known, and is much more economical than attempting to obtain a comparable amount of active ingredients through simply drinking Green Tea. 5-10 cups a day of Green Tea would be required to obtain the polyphenol equivalent of one capsule.

      The active constituents in the 725mg, 98% Mega Green Tea Extract are polyphenols, with an antioxidant called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) being the most powerful. The antioxidant activity of EGCG is about 25–100 times more potent than vitamins C and E.149 One cup of green tea may provide 10–40 mg of polyphenols and has antioxidant effects that are greater than a serving of broccoli, spinach, carrots or strawberries.

      The botanical extract inMega Green Tea Extract has been concentrated and dual standardized to ensure the highest quality, consistency and biological activity. This advanced extract contains 98% total polyphenols and 45% epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), or 326mg, the most available in any Gren Tea product on the market.

      The combination of Soy Isoflavones and Green Tea has been shown to lower serum DHT more than finasteride(Proscar/Propecia), independent of Equol producer status, in animal models.

      Bear Biotech referred to the probiotics used their Equol production as “commonly available.” Since they recommend consuming yogurt with acidophilus, it might be beneficial to use an acidophilus supplement, liquid or capsule, available at any health food and most drug stores, with the Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones and Mega Green Green Tea Extract.

      Our own recommendation, above and beyond that of Bear Biotech, is to use Sea Iodine, a cost negligible Seaweed supplement, to further enhance equol production. 

      Sea-Iodine™, is a low-cost proprietary formula that health conscious individuals can take each day to support optimal iodine levels. Using standardized extracts harvested from a blend of marine algae, Sea-Iodine™ brings you the health of the sea while avoiding the well known dangers of excessive salt intake. The purified algae extracts found in Sea-Iodine™ come from the pristine waters of Iceland, Nova Scotia, Italy and Norway, providing over 667% of the Recommended Daily Value of natural iodine.

      The primary biological role of seaweed and iodine in regards to hair growth lies in the production of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).1 T4 and T3 contain four and three atoms of iodine per molecule, respectively. A sluggish thyroid is thought by many in the scientific community to be implicated in hair loss. The thyroid gland actively absorbs iodide from the blood to make and release these hormones into the blood.

      Seaweed itself, independent of its iodine content is thought to modify enteric bacteria in a way that facilitates Equol production. This mechanism is likely responsible for its apparent effects of increasing equol production. 

      Equol and facilitating equol production with the above methodology has shown to have no effect on reproductive and sexual fuction, libido, body fat accumulation or muscle mass. Dustasteride and finasteride (Proscar,Propecia), have established side effects such as gynocomastia, erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, depression and anxiety. Equol works by binding to existing DHT molecules in the hair follicles, having no side effects whatsoever. During testing of Soy Isoflavones with these cofactors at Bear Biotech, there were no changes in libido reported. In fact, the ingredients used in this compound all have a significant number of crossover health and anti-aging benefits.

      Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones, Mega Green Tea Extract, Sea Iodine, and a broad spectrum probiotic are all best taken together with or without food with a few drops of lemon and/or lime juice and/or 500 plus mg’s of Vitamin C to enhance absorption of the polyphenols in Green Tea.