Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone similar to testosterone that’s thought to contribute to hair loss in both men and women.
Your body naturally converts about 5% of testosterone into DHT using an enzyme called
By blocking this enzyme, many foods are thought to
Here are 6 foods that may fight hair loss by blocking DHT.
Derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, green tea is one of the most popular drinks worldwide.
During production, green tea leaves are steamed — and not fermented as is often the case with oolong and black tea leaves — which maintains more of the
This includes one of green tea’s primary plant chemicals called
EGCG has also been shown to
When applied to the scalps of three men for 4 days, an alcohol extract of EGCG
While this study has many limitations related to its small sample size and short treatment duration, it helps pave the way for further research on the topic.
Green tea extract supplements commonly contain standardized amounts of EGCG but have not been shown to combat hair loss caused by DHT. They have also been linked to
Ultimately, additional studies in humans are needed to better determine whether drinking green tea or taking EGCG or green tea supplements blocks DHT and fights hair loss.
Green tea contains high amounts of the plant compound EGCG, which may support hair growth by blocking DHT from damaging hair follicles.
Coconut oil comes from the kernel or meat of coconuts.
It’s commonly used for cooking thanks to its ability to withstand high cooking temperatures. The oil also has various applications in beauty, skin care, hair care, and overall health.
While these types of studies — known as preclinical studies — help researchers identify whether a specific treatment may be effective or safe, their results can’t be translated to humans.
As such, clinical studies in humans are needed before coconut oil can be recommended for preventing or treating hair loss.
Lauric acid, the predominant MCT in coconut oil, has been shown to block DHT production in test-tube and animal studies, but human trials are needed.
White onions add a sweet yet sharp flavor to an abundance of dishes.
They contain few calories but boast a high content of antioxidants like quercetin.
In preclinical studies, quercetin has been shown to
For example, when combined with a commonly prescribed medication to treat hair loss, quercetin was shown to
Despite these promising results, no studies have investigated the effects of eating onions or taking quercetin supplements on DHT levels in humans.
Other fruits and vegetables rich in
Onions contain the antioxidant quercetin, which has been shown to block DHT production in preclinical studies. Further research is needed to learn whether these benefits apply to humans as well.
Turmeric is an herb widely used in cooking and as a powder extract for its health benefits.
It has been shown to
These effects are linked to turmeric’s high concentration of active compounds called curcuminoids, the most studied of which is curcumin.
Preclinical studies have demonstrated that
However, whether these results translate to humans remains unknown.
Turmeric is a popular spice used in cooking and as a supplement. It contains curcumin, which has been shown to block DHT in preclinical studies. Yet, human studies are needed.
Pumpkin is a winter squash and symbol of fall festivities like Halloween.
Each pumpkin contains hundreds of nutritious seeds that are rich in iron, zinc, magnesium, and antioxidants.
Interestingly, pumpkin seed oil may promote hair growth in men.
These findings were attributed to pumpkin seed oil’s ability to inhibit DHT production from testosterone by blocking the alpha-5 reductase enzyme. The supplement used for the study, however, contained other active ingredients that may have contributed to the results.
As such, additional trials in humans are necessary before pumpkin seed oil can be recommended for fighting hair loss.
Pumpkin seed oil may block the 5-alpha reductase enzyme from producing DHT in humans and thus combat hair loss, but more research is necessary.
Edamame beans are young soybeans typically enjoyed as a snack or appetizer.
In addition to being packed with protein and fiber, edamame beans contain isoflavones, which are beneficial plant compounds that may lower DHT levels by blocking the action of 5-alpha reductase.
After 3 and 6 months, the soy protein supplements — regardless of isoflavone content — reduced DHT levels more than milk protein did. While this decrease in DHT was not significant after 6 months, it may still have clinical significance or practical importance.
Moreover, since the beneficial effects were also seen with soy protein that had most of its isoflavones removed, soy may contain other active components connected to these effects.
It’s worth noting that although consuming soy is commonly thought to decrease testosterone levels in men, most available evidence suggests that this does not apply if it’s consumed
Regardless, additional studies in humans are needed to determine the effects of consuming edamame or other soy products on DHT levels and hair loss.
Edamame beans contain isoflavones and potentially other compounds that may lower DHT levels in humans to help combat hair loss.
Many foods contain nutrients that have shown promise for lowering DHT levels, but more research in humans is needed.
If you experience hair loss, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to review your medical history and identify any potential reasons for your hair loss to determine the proper treatment.
Medications like minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia) have been shown to help treat hair loss.
Nevertheless, these medications can have
It’s also possible that a
Given the limited number of studies on specific foods and nutrients for lowering DHT levels, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider regarding potential hair loss treatments. Certain medications or vitamin supplements may help you.
DHT is a hormone that contributes to hair loss in both men and women.
Green tea, onions, pumpkin seeds, and edamame, among other foods and beverages, contain nutrients that may lower DHT levels and prevent hair loss.
However, based on the limited research, additional studies in humans are needed before — in the absence of a nutrient deficiency — any foods or specific nutrients can be recommended to prevent hair loss.