Male Hormones & Hair Loss
Often when we think of someone being ‘hormonal’ we think of women, but men are also affected by hormonal fluctuations. Hormones affect us in many different ways both physically and emotionally. Sometimes the physical changes can also affect us emotionally as different pathways of hormones can create unwanted effects. Testosterone for example can be converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase.
DHT is a more potent version of testosterone, it is responsible for the physical changes in a man during puberty, which are often welcomed. However, as we age the effects of DHT can include androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness - which is the leading cause of hair loss in both men and women. DHT is also responsible for prostate enlargement, or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
Natural strategies to balance the metabolism and effects of DHT and other androgens include:
Taking pumpkin seed oil daily 400mg
Reducing animal protein, increasing plant foods and fibre
Increasing phytoestrogens - flaxseeds, organic tofu & tempeh and drinking red clover tea
Increasing intake of lycopene, found in tomato paste and concentrated tomato products (favour organic and salt/sugar free)
Taking a high quality Saw Palmetto herbal extract, 150mg - 3g per day in divided doses
Drinking spearmint tea
Getting some sunshine on bare skin as often as you can to maximise vitamin D production
Increase your zinc intake - oysters, pumpkin seeds, cashews, mushrooms. Or take a supplement under a naturopathic nutritional therapist’s guidance (long term unsupervised supplementation is not recommended).
These strategies will help support healthy hormone balance, are protective of the prostate gland, and as they can affect the rate of DHT formation and utilisation, they may even promote a fuller head of hair.
By Naturopath Gemma Hurditch, photo right, lecturer at CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine).
CNM trains students for careers in natural therapies. Short Courses are also offered for interest, in a range of natural therapies.
Seventh Wave Supplements have been the UK's 100% natural and additive free brand of health supplements for ten years. They are passionate about helping people feel better naturally. www.seventhwaveuk.com