Study: Soy Isoflavones Supplement Causes Marked Reduction in DHT

Acne and Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) are almost identical twins in terms of their underlying mechanisms. Both disorders are mediated by enhanced 5 alpha-reductase activity, DHT, and Inflammation. Not surprisingly both acne and hormonal hair loss are generally responsive to the same treatments. Some examples include Dutasteride, Cyproterone Acetate, Spironolactone, Retin A, Saw Palmetto/Astaxanthin and Soy Isoflavones. 

      We have recommended Soy Isoflavones as a part of a hair loss treatment regime for many years for several reasons. To recap, Soy Isoflavones:

      Reduce DHT : 

Soy Isoflavones Lower Serum DHT

      Facilitate Equol production:

Soy Metabolite Could Halt Hairloss(Male Pattern Baldness)

      A large scale study concluded the mere consumption of dietary Soy was shown to be associated with a significantly lower incidence of pattern hair loss. 

Androgenic Alopecia Associated with less Dietary Soy

      Oral Soy Isoflavones also have an overall firming effect on facial skin, and reduce the depth of surface wrinkles.

Soy Isoflavones for Hair Loss and Skin Aging

      Prior studies have shown a modest reduction in DHT in response to Soy Protein consumption (humans), and a pronounced decrease in DHT with the combination of Soy Isoflavones and Green Tea Catechins (animals).

Green Tea/Soy Combination additional mechanisms that benefit hairloss

      The following study assesses the effects of a modest dose Soy Isoflavone supplement on DHT levels in adult (human) females. The results are highly encouraging for those ( both genders) with hair loss seeking health promoting treatment alternatives to Propecia , and Dutasteride. In sum, only one 165 mg Soy Isoflavone supplement capsule a day reduced acne inflammation and reduced blood levels of DHT by an average of 50 percent in all subjects.

Dermatoendocrinol. 2015 Jan-Dec; 7(1):
Advantage of soybean isoflavone as antiandrogen on acne vulgaris
Puguh Riyanto,Prasetyowati Subchan,Rosa Lelyana

 Acne vulgaris (AV) is the commonest skin disorder, whereas soybean isoflavone had been proved as antiandrogen that is it can inhibit the enzyme 3-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase,17-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 5α-reductase. The purpose of this study is to prove the advantage of soybean isoflavone as antiandrogen on AV. Methods: this study is a clinical study using randomized pretest-posttest control group design. This study is a study with 40 samples randomized into 2 groups, i.e. placebo group and 160 mgs of isoflavone group, the duration is 12 weeks, conducted a double-blind manner. The dependent variable is total of AV lesion, whereas the intermediate variable is DHT that will be examined using ELISA. Differential test and multivariate analysis were performed on dependent, independent and intermediate variables. Results: This study found that the difference in mean of total AV lesion before treatment was not significant (p: 0.099), whereas after treatment it differed significantly (p: 0.000), with significant delta difference (p: 0.000). Difference of mean DHT level before treatment was not significant (p: 0.574), whereas after treatment it differed significantly (p: 0.000), with significant delta difference (p: 0.000). Delta of DHT (p: 0.003) (r: 0.736) had significant influence on delta of total AV lesion (P < 0.05). Conclusion: This study concludes that supplementation with 160 mgs/day of soybean isoflavone can reduce total AV lesion as a result of decreased DHT level.

      There are several excerpts of particular interest from the text of the study:Table 5
      DHT level before and after 12-weeks treatment, and the delta of both Soy Extract supplement and controls:

GroupNMean SDDHT level before treatment (pg/ml)Mean SDDHT level after treatment (pg/ml)Mean SDDelta of DHT level (pg/ml)
Control20300.1 138.01397.5 316.6697.4 320.72
Treatment20315.2 165.07169.5 62.43-145.6 159.17/

      By the way the minor hypothesis was proved i.e. that supplementation of 160-mgs/day soybean isoflavone for 12 weeks will cause a difference in the decrease of serum DHT level in women with AV as compared with control group.

      The role of isoflavone on DHT in this follow-up study is almost in agreement with study in United Kingdom, where the use of soybean isoflavone had decreased the level of DHT, but the study was performed on males with prostate hypertrophy 

      Isoflavone influences androgen hormone by restricting enzymes that is involved in androgen metabolism .

Comment: The oral administration of only 160 mg of basic Soy Isoflavone Extract reduced DHT by approximately 50%, and effected a significant improvement in Acne, which has a pathogenesis that is practically identical to Androgenetic or hormone mediated hair loss. It is reasonable to conclude that a higher dose of Soy Isoflavone Extract, or the usage of more bio-available Soy Extracts, such as the Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones, would yield even more pronounced reductions in DHT levels. 

      There are those that have been led to believe that Soy is somehow feminizing in men, because it is considered a phyto-estrogen. In actuality , Soy�s effects in men are anti-estrogenic, as Isoflavones replace naturally occurring stronger estrogens at receptor sites with a weaker plant based phyto-estrogen. A study , published a few years ago, shed some conclusive light on this very issue:

Literature Review: Soy NOT Feminizing, Beneficial for Hair

      Oral soy extracts can be combined with other natural or pharmaceutical treatments for hair loss to enhance the beneficial and positive effects of such treatments.

Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones – It is the most potent and bioavailable soy extract commercially available. Each capsule provides 135 mg. of highly concentrated isoflavones, including genestein, diadzein, and glyciten, and is combined with Natto, a fermented extract that facilitates absorption yielding Isoflavone levels that are significantly higher than standard Isoflavone Extracts. 1-3 capsules are recommended either in conjunction with other treatments, or as a standalone treatment.