People have been searching for ways on how to combat hair loss for centuries. Almost everything has been tried and applied on the scalp or ingested by desperate people, in hopes of getting their hair to grow back. Some actually worked, while some did not. Some were proven to be temporary treatments, while others had permanent bad side effects. There is, however, a safer and less expensive alternative that shows great potential.
Soy Protein Helps Hair Loss
A study published in the journal Biology of Reproduction indicates that soy protein could help in hair loss problems and reduce male pattern baldness. Incorporating soy products, such as soy milk and tofu, into one's diet may actually be able to aid in stopping hair loss.
When isoflavones, which are organic compounds found in high amounts in soybeans, are digested and broken down, a by-product called equol is produced in the intestine. The molecule equol seems to impede the function of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a form of testosterone that induces hair loss and prostate growth. What's interesting here is that equol only serves to stop the function of DHT; it does not block the production of the said testosterone.
Similar to equol, most hair loss prescription medications also target DHT. However, they work in a different manner. What they do is that they completely stop the formation of DHT. Studies show that they are able to combat hair loss in around 80 percent of cases and are able to stimulate new hair growth in about 30 percent. These benefits, however, are lost when the treatment is completely stopped. Moreover, the DHT inhibition action of these hair loss prescription drugs could pose the risk of harmful side effects, such as impotence.
Not Everyone Benefits from Soy
But there is one problem: not every person suffering from hair loss problems will benefit from binging on soy. According to studies published in December 2003 in the Ob/Gyn Clinical Alert, only around 30 percent of human beings are able to create equol in their intestines.
Before you are discouraged, it is good to know that it wouldn't hurt to try to increase your soy intake. Studies say that soy may help combat hair loss and that is enough reason to start drinking it, especially if your hair is starting to thin out. An interesting fact is that the Japanese eat ten times more soya than other nationalities, and if you will notice, there are not a lot of bald Japanese.
To be frank, there is a chance that soy may not be able to do anything about your receding hairline. However, soy products are cheaper than most, if not all, hair loss prescription drugs. Moreover, it has other proven health benefits such as lowering the risk of some forms of cancer and bone health problems, decreasing the levels of bad cholesterol, and regulating our glucose levels. So unless you are sure that you are among the unfortunate 30 percent who cannot produce equol, it wouldn't hurt to increase the amount of soy in your diet in an attempt to alleviate your hair loss problems.
Wong Darren is an online medical researcher and webmaster of Hair Loss Treatment
Related topics: Hair Science and 5 Effective Hair Loss Solutions