Although Propecia in and of itself is a far cry better than minoxidil (Rogaine), its effects on libido and sexual functioning are more along the line of 1 in 3 users as opposed to the “2 % or less” reported in the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR). The short answer for this discrepancy is that the PDR gives “drug information” that is supplied by the manufacturer, Merck in this case. Believe me, they would NEVER publish anything that would prejudice sales. The 1 in 3 figure I quote comes from established M.D. hair loss treatment specialists, like Dr. Lee and Dr. Proctor, who have been prescribing finasteride long before it became “Propecia”. Gyno, or male breast enlargement, was added as a possible side effect around ’99 or 2000.

     There are however , side effect free, health promoting alternatives, that when taken in combination in sufficient doses, promise to be even MORE efficacious than Propecia at lowering serum levels of DHT. These same “alternatives” have been recommended by MPB Research for years in its treatment protocols based upon extrapolative interpretation of mechanisms of action. There is now more direct evidence supporting our recommendations.

     Following is a brief summary of these compounds and their mechanisms of action.

Saw Palmetto does not actually lower serum DHT, however does function as an androgen receptor blocker. Its beta sitosterol content may play a significant role. Anecdotal feedback on its sole usage has roughly parallel that given to finasteride prior to its approval for hair growth, that is it produces slow acting, subtle positive results for most, that are so subtle in fact, many have discontinued treatment, erroneously concluding there was no effect. Keep in mind that Propecia users often have to wait a year or longer to see any results at all.

Soy Isoflavone extracts have been shown in high concentrations to significantly lower serum DHT, even more so when combined with Green tea Extract. It furthermore metabolizes to Equol, an anti-androgen which dramatically lowers and blocks binding of DHT to its receptor site, while leaving testosterone levels entirely intact. Numerous additional health benefits, no sexual side effects.

Green Tea extract lowers serum DHT by itself. Increases levels of SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) which are inversely associated with Male Pattern Baldness.. Additionally, it inhibits aromatase {a plus for aging men, testosterone ratio and immune function) and tumor necrosis factor alpha-an inflammatory cytokine associated with MPB.

     I’ve personally used Proscar (finasteride) since it came out in ’92, and discontinued it in ’04. I’ve also been regularly using a combination of the Natural Prostate Formula (a multi-herbal DHT inhibitor), Super absorbable Soy Isoflavones, and Green Tea Extract since ’97 and have had excellent results. Since discontinuing Proscar, about 14 months ago, I’ve remained on the herbal combo and have had no subsequent increase in hair loss. The currently available data would indeed suggest there is no further need to stay on Proscar/Propecia, if you are using herbal DHT inhibitors. If you are currently using Proscar/Propecia, you can obtain a much more significant drop in serum DHT levels by using adjunctive herbal treatments.