The hormonal aspects of women’s hair loss, especially in middle age significantly differ from those of men. In men, a common age related condition of elevated estrogen, dht and low testosterone wreaks havoc on hair and health. In women conversely, higher estrogen levels grow hair faster and prevent its loss, resulting in thicker hair. This is the primary reason hair gets thicker during pregnancy when estrogen levels are relatively high, then typically falls out several weeks post partum. Androgenetic Alopecia in many women begins around menopause. Estrogen levels dip prior to menstruation stopping, causing hair loss, which can actually be the initial indicator of menopause. In certain cases hair loss does not manifest for some months or years after menstruation has ceased. Although not all women noticeably lose hair after menopause, most minimally have some degree of thinning.

      Oral synthetic estrogen (Hormone Replacement Therapy-HRT) is the most common form of treatment for menopausal symptoms , including hair loss. Using synthetic estrogen *generally* helps menopausal hair loss in most , but can exacerbate hair loss in a few. Whether synthetic estrogen therapy is safe in terms of breast cancer risks remains unclear. In some studies, Synthetic Estrogens typically prescribed for the treatment of Androgenetic/Menopausal hair loss in women have been found to increase the risk of breast cancer. There are roughly 46 million post menopausal women in the United States.

      Phytoestrogens are plant based compounds that are structurally similar to estrogens in the body. Their effects can be either estrogenic or anti-estrogenic.

      A recent study assessed the estrogen like effects and anti-tumor effects of resveratrol, genistein, and daidzein as safer, health promoting alternatives to standard HRT. The researchers concluded that although all the phytoestrogens studied gave the benefits without the risks of standard HRT, Resveratrol was the most promising candidate as an HRT alternative and breast cancer preventative agent.

      One should keep in mind that with HRT, be it natural or synthetic, it takes a minimum of 2 to 4 months to see any improvement in shedding, Regrowth taking even longer.

J Nutr Biochem. 2009 Oct 2. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of diverse dietary phytoestrogens on cell growth, cell cycle and apoptosis in estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer cells.
Sakamoto T, Horiguchi H, Oguma E, Kayama F.
Division of Environmental Medicine, Center for Community Medicine, Jichi Medical University, 3311-1 Yakushiji, Shimotsuke City, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan.

Phytoestrogens have attracted attention as being safer alternatives to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and as chemopreventive reagents for breast cancer because dietary soy isoflavone intake has been correlated with reduction in risk. To identify safe and effective phytoestrogen candidates for HRT and breast cancer prevention, we investigated the effects of daidzein, genistein, coumestrol, resveratrol and glycitein on cell growth, cell cycle, cyclin D1 expression, apoptosis, Bcl-2/Bax expression ratio and p53-dependent or NF-kappaB-dependent transcriptional activity in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Phytoestrogens, except for glycitein, significantly enhanced estrogen-response-element-dependent transcriptional activity up to a level similar to that of 17beta-estradiol (E(2)). E(2) increased cell growth significantly, coumestrol increased cell growth moderately, and resveratrol and glycitein reduced cell growth. Phytoestrogens, except for glycitein, stimulated the promotion of cells to G(1)/S transition in cell cycle analysis, similar to E(2). This stimulation was accompanied by transient up-regulation of cyclin D1. While genistein, resveratrol and glycitein all increased apoptosis and reduced the Bcl-2/Bax ratio, resveratrol reduced this ratio more than either genistein or glycitein. Moreover, resveratrol significantly enhanced p53-dependent transcriptional activity, but slightly reduced NF-kappaB-dependent transcriptional activity. On knockdown analysis, genistein, resveratrol and glycitein all reduced the Bcl-2/Bax ratio in the presence of apoptosis-inducing stimuli, and estrogen receptor (ER) alpha silencing had no effect on these reductions. In contrast, in the absence of apoptosis-inducing stimuli, only resveratrol reduced the ratio, and ERalpha silencing abolished this reduction. Thus, resveratrol might be the most promising candidate for HRT and chemoprevention of breast cancer due to its estrogenic activity and high antitumor activity.

      As featured in prior updates, it would be prudent to use Super BioCurcumin in conjunction with Resveratrol for maximum hair growth effect. The addition of Super BioCurcumin addresses a wider scope of mechanisms associated with hormonal and stress related hair loss, notably Substance P and Neurogenic inflammation.