Prior published studies have revealed multiple mechanisms by which Black Tea can promote hair growth in those afflicted with Androgenetic Hair Loss. Most prominent among these was a study in rats showing that consistent consumption of Black Tea lowered serum levels of DHT by 72%, which is a percentage more than 5 mg finasteride, ( Proscar) . Keep in mind that reducing serum levels of DHT is the mechanism by which Propecia (1mg finasteride) grows hair. Propecia lowers DHT by 65 %.
We have been recommending the usage of Black Tea Extract for several years in response to this study, as a viable, side effect free, alternative to finasteride. We have received consistent accounts of DHT blood levels dropping by varying degrees * from those who have them tested, and not surprisingly, positive feedback in regards to hair loss stabilization and eventual re-densification.
Subsequent to this groundbreaking study came more studies on Black Tea consumption showing an increased Testoserone level and sexualized behavior in both rats and humans- which is in direct contrast to Propecia, which produced problematic side effects in this regard. This has led many who use Propecia to simultaneously use Black Tea Extarct to enhance its DHT reduction and manage side effects.
Just published is this study which directly assesses its effects on hair growth, which are not surprisingly, positive. The researchers attributed its hair growth stimulation effects on its modulation of estrogen receptor activity, perhaps another contributory mechanism to scalp hair growth in addition to DHT reduction.
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2013;78(8):1606-7. Epub 2013 Jul 7.
A hair growth-promoting effect of Chinese black tea extract in mice.
Hou IC, Oi Y, Fujita H, Yano Y, Fukami H, Yoshikawa M.
Chinese black tea extract (CBTE)significantly promoted hair growth after 2 weeks in shaved 6 week-old male C3H/He mice. The hair growth-promoting effect of CBTE was potentiated synergistically by capsaicin, which has no effect on hair growth by itself. CBTE displayed an affinity for estrogen receptor (ER)α, with an IC50 value of 74.8 g/mL. This effect of CBTE might be mediated by the ERs, since a similar effect induced by orally administered soy isoflavone, a mixture of ERs ligands, has been reported to be synergistically potentiated by capsaicin.
Comment: Theaflavin (Black Tea ) Extract can be readily integrated into any existing hair loss treatment regime, and effectively address the hormonal components of hair loss without the side effects associated with pharmaceutical 5 alpha reductase inhibitors ( Propecia, Avodart)
When using Black Tea Extract a sufficient amount is required to produce significant reductions in DHT levels. The rats used in the study which confirmed this effect were subjected to using a strong brew of black tea as their only available beverage for the duration of the study, which is impractical for humans. Theaflavin Extract, an encapsulated concentrate of Black Tea’s active constituents (Theaflavins), can also be used to produce the same effects. For those under 170lbs, 2 capsules a day in divided doses are indicated. For those over 170 lbs, 3 capsules a day in divided doses is the recommendation to produce significant reductions in DHT.