Soy metabolite could halt male pattern baldness and prostate cancer

March 29, 2004
In this issue

Life Extension Update Exclusive:

Soy metabolite could halt male pattern baldness and prostate cancer


Hair loss

Featured Products of the Week:

Mega Soy

Dr Proctor’s Advanced Hair Regrowth Formula

Life Extension Magazine March 2004 issue:

Lycopene inhibits growth of normal prostate cells

Life Extension Update Exclusive

Soy metabolite could halt male pattern baldness and prostate cancer
A study published in the April 2004 issue of the journal Biology of Reproduction, found that a byproduct created in the intestine when the soy isoflavone daidzein is digested has an antiandrogen effect that could stop the progression of male pattern baldness and prostate cancer. The compound, known as equol, works by blocking the androgenic hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), known to stimulate prostate growth and scalp hair loss.

The researchers administered equol to rats for four to seven days and found a decrease in weight of two areas of the prostate. In a second experiment, equol was given to rats whose testes had been removed, rendering them unable to produce dihydrotestosterone. Injections of DHT stimulated prostate growth, but simultaneous treatment with equol prevented this from occurring. Equol did not influence hormone levels, but prevented DHT from functioning as it normally would by binding to the androgen receptor. Testosterone, estrogen, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) were not influenced by equol.

Over the past decade, pharmaceutical agents that inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone have been developed, but these drugs have side effects. Equol’s mechanism of action is different, because if works by preventing the functioning of DHT rather than by blocking its formation. Senior author Robert J. Handa, PhD, of Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, explained, "Directly binding and inactivating DHT without influencing testosterone gives equol the ability to reduce many of the harmful effects of androgens without affecting the beneficial ones."

"This molecule is remarkable, stated study coauthor Kenneth Setchell, PhD, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, who first identified equol in humans. He added, “These findings are of immense clinical importance because blocking the action of the potent androgen DHT has been one of the holy grails of the pharmaceutical industry as a strategy for treating prostate cancer and other related diseases. This natural metabolite made from soy isoflavones, which are found in high amounts in soybeans, does this very effectively."


Hair Loss (balding)
Male-pattern balding, the most common type of balding in men, is controlled by a single dominant autosomal gene. This type of balding usually starts at the temples and then will gradually recede to form an "M" shape on the head. The hair on the top of the head will start to thin out. Over time, the male is left with a horseshoe-shaped pattern of hair around his head. Some males will have only a receding hairline or bald spots on the crowns of their heads. The hair that remains in the balding areas starts out as long, thick, and pigmented and changes into fine, unpigmented sprouts that grow at a slower rate. If a man begins losing his hair during his mid-teen years, there is a good chance he will become completely bald on top of his head.

Androgenic alopecia is another factor that can cause male-pattern baldness. Androgenic alopecia is caused by three factors: advanced age, an inherited tendency to bald early, and an overabundance of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a highly active form of testosterone within the hair follicle. DHT influences male behavior, from the sex drive to aggression. Testosterone converts to DHT by 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme produced in the prostate, various adrenal glands, and the scalp. What appears to happen is that DHT (and perhaps other androgenic hormones) causes the immune system to react to the hair follicles in the affected areas as foreign bodies. This is suggested by the presence of hair-follicle antibodies, as well as by the infiltration of immune system cells around the hair follicles of balding men (as well as women).

Dr. Peter Proctor has developed unique, patented multi-ingredient hair formulas that address all the known factors in the balding process. These include Dr. Proctor's Hair Regrowth Shampoo (use like any shampoo), Dr. Proctor's Advanced Hair Regrowth Formula (8-10 drops applied once or twice a day to the thinning areas), and/or Dr. Proctor's European Prescription Hair Regrowth Formula (1/10 tsp--a dab on the end of your finger--applied once a day for 8-12 months, and then applied every other day for maintenance).

It is possible that there may be new drugs approved in the future that could be more effective than existing therapies. Most hair-growth drugs prevent hair from falling out better than they regrow hair on a balding scalp. Therefore, taking aggressive steps today to maintain healthy hair could enable one to benefit from better medications in the future.

Featured Products of the Week

Mega Soy

Two 135 mg capsules of Mega Soy Extract provide more than twice the amount of active soy isoflavones consumed daily in Japan, where the risk of certain disorders is significantly less than in the West.

Two capsules supply:

Soybean powdered extract 270 mg


Standardized to supply isoflavones 111 mg


Genistein and its precursor isoform genistin 51.6 mg


Daidzein and its precursor usifirn daidzin 50 mg


Glycitein and its precursor isoform gylcitin 9.4 mg

Dr Proctor’s Advanced Hair Regrowth Formula

Dr. Proctor’s Advanced Hair Formula contains EDRF enhancers, SODases, and free radical scavengers. This multi-agent formula is one of the most potent natural formulas available. It includes every type of natural hair agent available to counter DHT, autoimmune, and inflammatory effects. Advanced Hair Formula is a liquid that is applied to the scalp.

Life Extension Magazine March 2004 issue

In the news: Lycopene inhibits growth of normal prostate cells
The dietary carotenoid lycopene has been demonstrated in several studies to be associated with a reduction in prostate cancer cell growth. In the first study to test the effects of lycopene on noncancerous cells, researchers from the University of California at Davis found that lycopene also has an inhibitory effect on the growth of normal prostate epithelial cells in vitro. The researchers speculate that lycopene could have preventive or therapeutic benefits in benign prostate hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate gland), which frequently occurs in older men and may precede the development of prostate cancer.

If you have questions or comments concerning this issue or past issues of Life Extension Update, send them to or call 954 766 8433 extension 7716.

For longer life,

Dayna Dye
Editor, Life Extension Update
Life Extension Foundation
1100 West Commercial Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
954 766 8433 extension 7716
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