Literature Review: Soy NOT Feminizing, Beneficial for Hair

The consumption of dietary Soy and/or Soy Isoflavones appears to have effects that are clearly beneficial for the treatment of both male and female pattern hair loss. Studies have shown that Soy Isoflavones reduce serum DHT levels and are singularly capable of gradually stimulating the production of equol, even in supposed non-producers over time. This stimulation of equol production can be more rapidly facilitated by the addition of Probiotics, Green Tea Extract, and Seaweed.

These identified mechanisms coupled with the low incidence of Androgenetic hair loss in soy consuming cultures (which significantly increases when the same ethnic groups live in the U.S.-so much for the purely genetic theory) strongly imply that Soy Isoflavones do have a rightful place in Androgenetic hair loss intervention.

Because Soy is considered to be a phytoestrogen many avoid it because they assume that it will somehow have a feminizing effect or raise the risk of breast cancer. Fortunately there is ample evidence to the contrary. Soy consumption has actually been linked to a much reduced incidence of breast cancer, increased bone density and as the following most recent literature review shows, no feminizing effects in human males whatsoever.

Fertil Steril. 2010 May 1;93(7):2095-104. Epub 2010 Apr 8.
Soybean isoflavone exposure does not have feminizing effects on men: a critical examination of the clinical evidence.
Messina M.
Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California 92350,USA.

Objective: To critically evaluate the clinical evidence, and when not available, the animal data, most relevant to concerns that isoflavone exposure in the form of supplements or soy foods has feminizing effects on men.

Design: Medline literature review and cross-reference of published data.

Result(s): In contrast to the results of some rodent studies, findings from a recently published metaanalysis and subsequently published studies show that neither isoflavone supplements nor isoflavone-rich soy affect total or free testosterone (T) levels. Similarly, there is essentially no evidence from the nine identified clinical studies that isoflavone exposure affects circulating estrogen levels in men. Clinical evidence also indicates that isoflavones have no effect on sperm or semen parameters, although only three intervention studies were identified and none were longer than 3 months in duration. Finally, findings from animal studies suggesting that isoflavones increase the risk of erectile dysfunction are not applicable to men, because of differences in isoflavone metabolism between rodents and humans and the excessively high amount of isoflavones to which the animals were exposed.

Conclusion(s): The intervention data indicate that isoflavones do not exert feminizing effects on men at intake levels equal to and even considerably higher than are typical for Asian males.

* Asian males have a much lower incidence of both Metabolic Syndrome and MPB

Comment: To say the singular consumption of Soy would likely benefit those with MPB, particularly in its beginning phases, would be reasonable. These benefits would appear to be significantly enhanced by the addition of one or more several adjunctive compounds, including Green Tea, Black Tea Theaflavins, Cayenne Pepper, and Sea Vegetables. We’ll go into more detail in an upcoming featured article.