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Diet and lifestyle

I found this article while researching the whole thing about hormones and really liked what I saw: not your usual "you gotta pop some pills."

While there are a number of genetic factors which determine a person's suceptibility to androgenic alopecia including androgen receptor polymorphisms, 5-alpha-reductase levels in the scalp, androgen receptor density and distribution in the scalp, and other factors some of which may not have been discovered, the dramatic increase in baldness in the population of Japan after World War II demonstrates that hair loss can be influenced by diet and lifestyle. Increased fat or caloric intake, decrease in aerobic exercise and general "westernization" was accompanied by a dramatic increase in incidence of male pattern baldness.

Daily, vigorous aerobic exercise (as opposed to short workout periods designed to raise androgen levels and build muscle, or more sporadic exercise) and a diet which is adequate yet more moderate in terms of fat and total calorie intake have been shown to reduce baseline insulin levels as well as baseline total and free testosterone[12], which would significantly lower baseline DHT.

Lower insulin levels and reduced stress both result in raised levels of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). SHBG binds to testosterone, and prevents it from circulating free in the blood. Only free testosterone is converted to DHT. It is the level of free androgens and not total androgens which is relevant to the levels of DHT in the scalp and the progression of MPB. In short, aerobic exercise is capable of significantly lowering DHT. [13] [14]

Androgenic alopecia has been shown to correlate with metabolic syndrome. Medically increasing androgen levels does not worsen this condition, demonstrating that androgens do not cause metabolic syndrome. Instead, high insulin levels (and possibly chronic inflammation [15]) seem the likely link in the demonstrated correlation between baldness and metabolic syndrome. This reinforces the notion that behaviors which help to keep insulin levels low and reduce chronic inflammation might also help to preserve hair. [16] [17]

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