The importance of using Phytosterols such as Beta Sitosterol and Saw palmetto when either using or coming off Propecia cannot be over stated. Through some as yet identified compensatory mechanism or feedback loop, Propecia while lowering DHT, actually increases Androgen Receptor (AR) activity. Although a slight majority of Propecia users exhibit at least a moderately positive response, there are many who experience significantly worse hair loss while on Propecia, indicating that for some, Propecia’s effects on AR activity outweigh the hair loss benefits of lowering serum DHT. At least as ominous is the well established association of finasteride with the most lethal and aggressive forms of Prostate Cancer, which are thought to be related to this up-tick in AR activity and perhaps increased estrogen as well.
Fortunately there are AR blockers that can be used that inhibit the binding of remaining DHT to receptor sites in skin and scalp that often ameliorate the finasteride induced effects of increased androgen receptor activity.
Pharmaceutical AR blockers include Spironolactone, Casodex and Flutamide, which are actually fairly effective for MPB as singular treatments, but far too anti-androgenic for sustained usage, reliably causing loss of libido, increased fat deposition around hips, and male gynocomastia. Both are commonly used as a hormonal component of gender re-assignment protocols.
Critical Extracts (CO2) of Saw Palmetto and Beta Sitosterol inhibit androgen binding without side effects, and are a vital component of those on Propecia wishing to maximize its hair growth benefits. Soy Isoflavones have been demonstrated to suppress Androgen receptor expression without having any negative effect on serum hormone levels in males. Phytosterols and Isoflavones are a particularly critical component of those coming off Propecia, because as DHT levels rise in the presence of already elevated AR activity, a perfect storm for hair loss is created.
The Ultra Natural Prostate Formula combines a critical CO2 extract of Saw Palmetto, Beta Sitosterol, along with Flax and Norway Spruce Lignans, providing a multiple Phytosterol component that may positively impact one’s response to Propecia, by down regulating AR activity, which will be significantly increased while using finasteride.
Super Absorbale Soy Isoflavones provides soy extract standardized to isoflavones plus fermented soybeans (Natto) that enhances isoflavone absorption and provides other nutrients contributed by the fermentation process. The enhanced absorption of genistein, daidzein, etc., is significant enough that only one capsule of Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones is required each day. The non-GMO Soynatto™ used in this formula is produced by a yeast fermentation process. Japanese researchers have found that this type of cultured broth from yeast helps promote healthy cell function and proliferation.
Some side effects associated with Propecia, specifically sexual side effects, are thought to be permanent in some, which has prompted several law suits against Merck. Whether or not this documented increase in AR activity caused by finasteride is permanent remains unclear.
I personally discontinued Propecia (¼ tab of Proscar) in 2004 after taking it for 12 years, due to concerns about its reported side effects. The decision to do apparently hasn’t cost me a single strand of hair. I can plausibly say this is in part, if not largely due, to the generous amounts of Isoflavones and Phytosterols that have been a part of my regime.