Insulin Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) was found to be an associated mechanism and now a therapeutic target for treating hair loss. Dr. Harada, in published research, found that hair follicles in balding areas of the scalp had significantly diminished levels of IGF -1 compared to levels in non-balding areas. He also found that the oral co administration of Soy Isoflavones and Cayenne Pepper increased IGF-1 levels in both the hair follicles and circulation (good news if you are a bodybuilder), and stimulated hair growth. This hair growth stimulation effect occurred in subjects with both Androgenetic and Auto-Immune forms of hair loss.

Cayenne, Soy Combo for Hairloss

      This more recent study, is the latest in a series of studies that directly point to IGF-1 stimulation as a potent therapeutic target for hair growth.

Insulin-like growth factor-1: roles in androgenetic alopecia
Panchaprateep R, Asawanonda P
Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn
University, Bangkok, Thailand
Experimental Dermatology [2014, 23(3):216-218]

Of all the cytokines or growth factors that have been postulated to play a role in hair follicle, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is known to be regulated by androgens. However, how IGF-1 is altered in the balding scalp has not yet been investigated. In this study, expressions of IGF-1 and its binding proteins by dermal papilla (DP) cells obtained from balding versus non-balding hair follicles were quantified using growth factor array. DP cells from balding scalp follicles were found to secrete significantly less IGF-1, IGFBP-2 and IGFBP-4 (P < 0.05) than their non-balding counterparts. Our data confirmed that the downregulation of IGF-1 may be one of the important mechanisms contributing to male pattern baldness.

      Finasteride, or Propecia has also been shown to have the effect of raising follicular IGF-1, and that has been proposed by some as a more primary mechanism of hair growth as opposed to a simple reduction I blood levels of DHT. In fact, DHT has been shown to inhibit IGF-1 in the dermal papillae of hair follicles affected by AGA.

Growth Hormone IGF-1 and Hair Growth

      In an illuminating study concerning the differential response of Propecia on hair growth, it was shown that the expression of insulin-like growth factor 1 in follicular dermal papillae correlates with therapeutic efficacy of finasteride in androgenetic alopecia.

      One does not have to resort to Propecia to raise IGF-1 for hair growth purposes. This can readily be accomplished by the oral use of Soy Isoflavone Extract in combination with a half a teaspoon of Cayenne a Pepper, or about 2,000 mg equivalent of Cayenne Pepper in capsule form, as compliance can be a definite issue when trying to ingest Cayenne Pepper powder. 

      In addition to increasing systemic and follicular levels of IGF-1 (in combination with Cayenne Pepper) Soy extract prevents the hair loss effect of testosterone by inhibiting the binding of testosterone to the hair and scalp receptor. Soy extracts also raise systemic levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and upregulate VEGF (vascular endothelium growth factor). A recently published study showed that merely consuming soy milk and small amounts of soy protein significantly lowered blood levels of DHT. Oral soy extracts can be combined with other pharmaceutical treatments for hair loss without adversely affecting the beneficial and positive effects of such treatments. 

      Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones are a highly bio-available isoflavone concentrate that are compounded with Natto, a traditional Japanese food made from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis, that breaks up and facilitates the absorption of Soy Protein.