What Is The DHT Hormone?
The DHT hormone is a type of androgen derived from testosterone. It greatly contributes to the maturity of the male body during puberty and is the reason behind the many physical attributes in male adults. While DHT hormones can also be found in females, their actual role is still unknown.
When created in excess, this hormone can cause several medical and aesthetic concerns in an individual. To avoid this, people try to reduce their DHT levels with the help of blockers. These blockers can be found in a variety of foods and plants.
Unsurprisingly, one of the main concerns of excess DHT hormone is hair loss. Read the next segment to understand further.
Does The DHT Hormone Cause Hair Loss?
An overproduction of the DHT hormone can lead to hair fall.
Every hair strand on your body grows out of tiny follicles or roots present right below the skinâ€™s surface. This process follows a strict growth cycle that ends with the hair falling off once it reaches the resting phase.
High DHT levels in the body could shorten the strandâ€™s growth cycle as well as shrink the follicle size. This can cause hair to fall out faster, eventually leading to hair loss. Additionally, the DHT hormone can also increase the time it takes for the follicle to produce more hair â€“ and this aggravates the problem.
As with most medical issues, certain individuals are more susceptible to experiencing the negative side effects of this hormone. There could be any of the following causes:
Now that we have discussed the link between increased DHT levels and hair loss, let us understand how to reduce these levels.
Potential DHT Blocker Foods
The body uses an enzyme named 5-alpha reductase to convert testosterone into DHT. Hence, the best way to reduce oneâ€™s DHT levels is by consuming DHT-blocking foods that can prevent this conversion. We have listed the same below. While some of these foods are known to block DHT and reduce the associated hair fall, some others warrant further research.
1. Green Tea
In a study, epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG (a component of green tea) was found to protect the hair follicles from DHT-induced hair loss (3).
In another study, researchers applied an alcohol extract of EGCG to the scalp of the test subjects for 4 days. EGCG was found to effectively block the negative impact of DHT. It also protected those cells that regulated the hair strand growth cycle (4).
Onions are rich in antioxidants, like quercetin (5). It can help combat free radical damage. The antioxidant may also help inhibit 5 alpha-reductase (6). However, more information on the DHT-blocking effects of onions is warranted.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Consuming a pumpkin seed oil supplement daily was found to lead to rapid hair growth. However, the supplement may not make a difference in the hair strand thickness. Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols that can successfully inhibit 5- alpha reductase (7).
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids such as lauric, oleic, and myristic acids (8). These may help prevent DHT-induced hair loss by inhibiting 5 alpha- reductase (9). However, more research is warranted in this regard.
Concrete research is lacking here. The curcumin in turmeric was found to effectively reduce the production of testosterone in prostate cancer cells. This has lead to certain claims that turmeric may also help reduce DHT levels and the associated side effects, like hair loss.
6. Soy Milk
Soy milk is incredibly healthy and comes packed with isoflavones, a plant compound. Soy milk, regardless of its isoflavone concentration, had resulted in lower DHT levels. However, whether soy milk can also reduce DHT-induced hair is yet to be understood.
Now that you know how to control DHT with the help of food, letâ€™s discuss how to block DHT formation through ayurveda.
How Do You Reduce DHT Levels With Ayurveda?
Certain ayurvedic treatments may help reduce DHT levels and the associated side effects, including hair fall. However, research is limited in this regard. Consult your doctor before going for any of these treatments.
1. Oil Massages
Frequently massaging your hair with oil may help reduce hair fall. Applying warm oil created from Indian gooseberry and aloe vera may help lower DHT levels. Massaging the head will also improve blood circulation to the hair follicles.
2. Nasya Kriya
Nasya kriya, or the inhalation of medicated oils such as black sesame oil, is a famous ayurvedic solution to prevent DHT-induced hair loss. During this process, the oil is thought to quickly enter the bloodstream through the olfactory system and change the chemical composition of the scalp receptors by binding to them. This may block the DHT molecules from assessing the receptors, leading to reduced hair fall.
3. Washing Your Hair With Ayurvedic Shampoos
Several ayurvedic doctors recommend shampooing your hair with ayurvedic products to reduce the hair fall caused by DHT. These hair products also enhance blood circulation in your scalp. They are said to widen the follicles present within the scalp, thereby promoting thicker, healthier hair growth.
While many support, follow, and have experienced positive results from these ayurvedic treatments, it is important to note that a lot more research needs to be done on this subject matter.
Besides the above-mentioned ayurvedic treatments, many people have also tried to reduce their DHT levels naturally with the help of exercise. Read the next segment to learn more.
Can You Reduce DHT With Exercise?
While many gymnasts do promote cardio and yoga as a way to reduce the levels of DHT in your body, there is not enough research backing these claims. That said, it is hypothesized that weight lifting can actually increase the levels of testosterone in your body, resulting in higher DHT levels and more hair fall.
The DHT hormone is a type of androgen that may cause hair loss. While certain factors beyond your control can lead to this type of hair loss, you sure could counter it. Consuming DHT blocked foods might help. You may also consult your doctor and try various ayurvedic treatments. If you still do not see results, you may have to consider alternatives.
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