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 5-alpha reductase.
By blocking this enzyme, many foods are thought to decrease DHT production from testosterone and prevent hair loss.
Here are 6 foods that may fight hair loss by blocking DHT.
1. Green tea
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 tea’s natural compounds.
This includes one of green tea’s primary plant chemicals called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been associated with health benefits like weight loss, heart health, and brain health.
EGCG has also been shown to protect hair follicles — the part of your skin that grows hair — from hair loss caused by DHT.
When applied to the scalps of three men for 4 days, an alcohol extract of EGCG stimulated hair growth by preventing the death of cells that regulate the growth and development of hair caused by DHT.
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 liver damage in certain populations.
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.
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