Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) expression is often used to measure androgen receptor activity in cells.
High DHT levels stimulate the androgen receptor to induce greater PSA production.
Increased levels of DHT have been found in balding men compared to non-balding controls.
Androgen over-activity may also be the result of local factors such as an increased number of androgen receptors, functional polymorphisms of the androgen receptor, increased local production of DHT, or reduced local degradation of DHT. In addition to serum DHT measurements, PSA levels can also indirectly reflect DHT blood levels and directly reflect Androgen receptor activity, thus providing useful feedback on the targeted anti-androgenic effect or lack of effect on any given intervention(s).
A cornerstone of any hair loss related intervention regime should, especially in younger individuals, address both elevated Androgens and Androgen Receptor activity. Again, both serum DHT and PSA (in males) provide reliable feedback on existing Androgen status in regards to hair loss treatment.
Finasteride (Proscar/Propecia) and Dutasteride (Avodart) have both been shown to drop PSA levels.
Side effects notwithstanding (sexual side effects, Depression, Anxiety), they have both also been well documented for hair loss prevention and hair growth. Finasteride lowers serum DHT by 71%, Dutasteride by 90+%. In prior updates we have detailed the serum DHT lowering effects of Black Tea Extract (72%), Soy/Green Tea Combination (80%), and dietary Soy (15%). Black Tea has been also shown to concurrently raise Testosterone while lowering DHT, creating libido-enhancing effects.
PSA levels are primarily a means to gauge Androgen receptor activity. As mentioned, Finasteride drops PSA levels. The following article from Dr. Barclay addresses this issue.
Finasteride May Lower Serum PSA Level in Men With Male-Pattern Hair Loss
News Author: Laurie Barclay, MD
CME Author: Charles Vega, MD, FAAFP
December 12, 2006 — Finasteride, 1 mg/day for 48 weeks, lowers serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentration in men with male-pattern hair loss, mandating an adjustment to PSA level during prostate cancer screening, according to the results of a randomized trial reported in the December 5 Online First issue of The Lancet Oncology.
“Use of 5 mg/day finasteride (Proscar) for benign prostatic hyperplasia [BPH] is known to affect serum concentrations of prostate-specific antigen (PSA),” write Anthony V. D’Amico, MD, and Claus G. Roehrborn, MD, of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Faber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. “When men taking this treatment undergo screening for prostate cancer, a compensatory adjustment of the PSA concentration (to multiply the value by two) is recommended. Whether this recommendation should apply to men taking 1 mg/day finasteride (Propecia) for the treatment of androgenic alopecia is unknown.”
From March 13, 1998, to January 12, 2000, the investigators stratified 355 men aged 40 to 60 years with male-pattern hair loss by age decade (40 – 49 and 50 – 60 years) and randomized them in a 4:1 ratio to 1 mg/day finasteride or placebo for 48 weeks. The main outcome was serum PSA concentration.
Before study end, median decrease in serum PSA concentration in the 1 mg/day finasteride group was 40% (95% confidence interval [CI], 34 – 46) in men aged 40 to 49 years and 50% (95% CI, 44 – 57) in men aged 50 to 60 years. In the placebo group, the median changes were 0% (95% CI, -14 to 14) and an increase of 13% (95% CI, 2 – 24), respectively.
“In men aged 40 – 60 years, 1 mg/day finasteride for 48 weeks lowers serum PSA concentration,” the authors write. “Therefore, the existing recommendation for the adjustment of serum PSA concentration in prostate-cancer screening in men taking 5 mg/day finasteride should also apply to men taking the 1 mg/day preparation for male-pattern hair loss. Research is needed to assess the effect of 1 mg/day finasteride preparation beyond 48 weeks of treatment.”
Merck & Co, Inc., the maker of finasteride, funded this study. The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Interestingly, the combination of Soy Isoflavones and Curcumin also more precipitously drops PSA levels, lending credence to several prior studies showing that Curcumin degrades Androgen receptor activity, reinforcing its long standing inclusion in our treatment recommendations for both genders.
Lancet Oncol. Published online December 5, 2006.
Prostate. 2010 Jul 1;70(10):1127-33.
Combined inhibitory effects of soy isoflavones and curcumin on the production of prostate-specific antigen.
Department of Urology, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
BACKGROUND: Sustained chronic inflammation in the prostate promotes prostate carcinogenesis. Since an elevated level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) per se reflects the presence of inflammation in the prostate, intervention to improve the PSA value might potentially have beneficial effects for the prevention of the development of prostate cancer. Isoflavones and curcumin have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. We examined the biological effects of soy isoflavones and curcumin on LNCaP cells. After that, we conducted a clinical trial for men who received prostate biopsies, but were not found to have prostate cancer, to evaluate the effects of soy isoflavones and curcumin on serum PSA levels.
METHODS: The expression of androgen receptor and PSA were examined in LNCaP cells before and after treatment of isoflavones and/or curcumin. Eighty-five participants were randomized to take a supplement containing isoflavones and curcumin or placebo daily in a double-blind study. Subjects were subdivided by the cut-off of their baseline PSA value at 10 microg /ml. We evaluated values of PSA before and 6 months after treatment.
RESULTS: The production of PSA were markedly decreased by the combined treatment of isoflavones and curcumin in prostate cancer cell line, LNCaP. The expression of the androgen receptor was also suppressed by the treatment. In clinical trials, PSA levels decreased in the patients group with PSA >or= 10 treated with supplement containing isoflavones and curcumin (P = 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicated that isoflavones and curcumin could modulate serum PSA levels. Curcumin presumably synergizes with isoflavones to suppress PSA production in prostate cells through the anti-androgen effects.
The oral combination of Resveratrol and Curcumin produces by far the most rapid and dramatic drops in PSA, providing a measure that is not only useful for Prostate Cancer prevention, but for its benefit for MPB as well, via its effects on inflammation and Androgen receptor activity. Below are excerpts from a patent issued on the combination of Resveratrol and Curcumin as a treatment for both lowering PSA and Androgenetic hair loss.
The group of patients that has assumed only resveratrol didn’t show any modification on the PSA, while the group treated with resveratrol and curcumin showed with great surprise a reduction, sometimes also relevant, in variable time periods.
Case 2: 69 years old man operated of radical prostatectomy for carcinoma 10 years before starting the treatment with curcumin and resveratrol (Capsures). Anatomic-clinic stage at the moment of the intervention: T3; Gleason 5+4. During the period between the operation and our testing, the patient had had various treatments (total androgenic block, anti-androgens radiant therapy). Before the treatment with Capsures, the PSA value was at 3300 mg/ml, without answer to the traditional treatments. After the administration for 30 days of Capsures, 4 pills a day, the value of PSA decreased to 1500 and then to 700 after 60 days. Afterwards, the patient interrupted the treatment and his PSA value increased until the patient restarted the treatment with Capsures again.
In a subsequent entry, hair growth effects were not surprisingly, noted.
The interference of the hormonal action on hair loss is unquestionable, even if capsaicinoid-sensible sensory innervations are an ancestral phenomenon that does not depend on the hormonal mechanisms, but through a metabolic way different from the ordinary one. The growth and the pigmentation of the hair follicle seem to be controlled by epitelius-mesenchimoneuroechtodermmic interactions not very well known, but with an important role of the P substance on the hair growth in vivo.
In both these studies, Curcumin is the common denominator, whether combined with Soy Ioflavones or Resveratrol, that produces drops in PSA, giving clear benefits for hair growth. Curcumin analogues have also been patented by Androscience as a treatment for both acne and hair loss. Its mechanism of action involves degradation of Androgen receptor activity. There is ample evidence that you can readily lower serum DHT, PSA, and degrade androgen receptor activity without having to resort the side effect laden drugs, Propecia and Avodart. Combining Super BioCurcumin with either, or ideally both, Resveratrol and Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones is documented to lower PSA, an indicator of reduced Androgen Receptor activity.
Serum DHT can be easily reduced by Black Tea (Theaflavin) Extract or by combining Mega Green Tea Extract with Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones.