In a prior update we identified the ability of Black Tea consumption to precipitously lower DHT blood levels in mammal models by 72%, which is a percentage point more than Proscar, which acheives a 71% reduction, and 6 points more than Propecia, which achieves a 65% reduction. Based upon this data, we have recommended for several years that Black Tea (Theaflavin) Extract be used as part of a treatment regime for hair loss, and as an alternative to finasteride, particularly those who wanted to discontinue Propecia for health reasons, but wanted to maintain the hair benefit. The feedback from many who have used or made the switch from finasteride to Theaflavin Extract has not only been positive, but on several occasions validated by blood tests indicating substantial drops in serum DHT in response to its usage. 

      This featured study identifies the specific anti-androgenic mechanisms of Black Tea, and its potential use as a treatment for androgen mediated disorders, such as Acne and Male Pattern Baldness. What it found was that Theaflavin not only inhibits 5 alpha reductase by 89%, which is more potent than finasteride (Procar/Propecia), it also inhibits the expression of androgen receptor activity, providing an added dimension of treatment over 5 alpha reductase inhibition alone. 

      The study concludes that the role of Theaflavins in chemoprevention and treatment of male and female pattern hair loss are significant, especially given its dual mechanisms.

Carcinogenesis. 1109-18

Theaflavin-3,3′-digallate and penta-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucose inhibit rat liver microsomal 5alpha-reductase activity and the expression of androgen receptor in LNCaP prostate cancer cells.

Lee HH, Ho CT, Lin JK


Institute of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.


Androgens play a critical role in regulating the growth, differentiation and survival of epithelial cells in many androgen-responsive organs, such as prostate and skin. The enzyme steroid 5α-reductase (EC catalyzes the conversion of testosterone (T) to a more active androgen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT then binds to androgen receptors (AR) and functions in the nucleus to regulate specific gene expression. Androgens via their cognate receptor may be involved in the development and progression of benign prostate hyperplasia, prostate cancer, hirsutism, male pattern alopecia and acne. The aim of this study was to determine whether theaflavin-3,3′-digallate (TF3) and penta-O-galloyl-β-D-glucose (5GG) have inhibitory effects on androgen production and action. We found that TF3 and 5GG inhibit rat liver microsomal 5α-reductase activity. Furthermore, TF3 and 5GG significantly reduced androgen-responsive LNCaP prostate cancer cell growth, suppressed expression of the AR and lowered androgen-induced prostate-specific antigen secretion and fatty acid synthase protein level. In conclusion, our result suggests that TF3 and 5GG might be useful chemoprevention agents for prostate cancer, male pattern alopecia, and acne through suppressing the function of androgen receptor activity.


      This study also found that Theaflavins exhibited an 89% inhibition of 5 alpha reductase activity in concentrations that could be conceivably achieved through oral consumption. 

      Our Theaflavin Extract is a concentrated Black Tea Extract that contains the polyphenol equivalent of 5-10 glasses of strongly brewed Black Tea. Consistent feedback over several years has enabled us to refine the dosage recommendations to attain the desired DHT reduction effects. For those under 170 lbs, 2 capsules a day in divided doses are recommended. For those who are over 170 lbs, 3 capsules a day are recommended. 

      Unlike Propecia, Black Tea Extract not only produces absolutely no sexual side effects, it actually enhances libido and raises testosterone while lowering DHT, a plus for both hair and health.