Preventing hair loss and benign prostate hypertrophy continued
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- Estrogen References
In the first section we discussed how beta-sitosterol and supplements can combat male pattern baldness. We also mentioned that benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH) and hair loss is caused by a chemical called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). In this section we will discuss the importance of progesterone, melatonin and the androgens, testosterone, androstenedione and DHEA.
Many think that Progesteron is a female hormone, but it is not feminizing in men at all. Estrogen is the feminizing hormone in men. It is progesterone that is the natural antagonist to it. In men over 50 it is excess estrogen that causes breast growth and other problems. Progesterone can help inhibit this. Please do not confuse real natural progesterone with the progestin analogs like Provera that have serious side effects. Natural progesterone is completely different. Nature has given progesterone to men and women to balance and offset the strong effects of estrogen. Men have much lower levels of progesterone than women so they need less.
Progesterone is very poorly absorbed orally and broken down into unwanted metabolites. Fortunately, it is readily absorbed by the skin into the blood so transdermal creams are very practical and effective. Get a good cream that contains 800- 1000mg of real natural USP progesterone per two ounce jar (400-500mg per ounce) and states so clearly on the label. Apply a mere 1/8th teaspoon directly to your scrotum (testical sac) daily. This allows it to get into the prostate receptors.
Progesterone has been shown to be non-toxic and very safe especially in these very low amounts. You will by applying about 7mg daily of which about 5mg will actually get into your system.
Let's discuss the research to prove progesterone antagonizes estrogen, is a powerful 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (stops DHT formation) and that the prostate has specific progesterone receptors that no other hormone can attach to. We will not list the journals, volumes and dates but the following studies were published in the most prestigeous medical journals in the world such as Endokrinologie, Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, Gynecological Investigation, International Encyclopedia of Pharmacological Therapy, Acta Endocrinology, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Journal of Endocrinology, Journal of Steroid Biochemistry, Oncology, Annals Endocrinology, Acta Physiologica Latinoamerica, Prostate, Urology Research, Endocrinology and Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics.
The Center for Drug Research in India did four different studies suggesting that progesterone shrank enlarged rat prostates, progesterone antagonized the stimulating effects of estrogen, that progesterone stimulates alkaline phosphatase and depressed acid phosphatase in the prostate and generally is supportive of proper prostate function.
Six different studies at the University of Milan in Italy, the University of Turku in Finland, Montreal General Hospital in Quebec, St. George's Hospital in London, the University of Mainz in Germany and the Roswell Park Memorial Institute in New York all independently had results that suggest that progesterone is a powerful 5-alpha reductase inhibitor that stops the conversion of testosterone into DHT in test animals. In fact at Staten Island College in New York and Mt. Sinai Medical School (also in New York ) progesterone was shown to raise the level of androstenedione in the prostate gland itself. Remember that a healthy prostate needs an abundance of androgens such as testosterone and androstenedione and DHEA to function well as it does in your youth.
At the Institute of Clinical Chemistry in Bochum, Germany progesterone in human BPH tissue reduced the activity of 5-alpha reductase strongly. In 1988 a very important study was done at Nanjing Medical College in China where progesterone reduced the prostate weights of test animals and the doctors concluded this therapy should be used on humans. Since that time there has been almost no published studies on the use of progesterone for BPH and prostate cancer. Progesterone cannot be patented, progestin alalogs don't do what real progesterone does and there is just no profit in what is now an over-the-counter cream.
The prostate actually contains melatonin receptors that make melatonin necessary for the prostate to function. You have to do an in-depth search of the scientific literature to find out how important melatonin is to prostate function.
There have been many studies in laboratory animals showing that melatonin in varying doses could lower prostate weight and shrink the prostate, thus facilitating the prevention of prostate cancer. These studies have been published in such journals as Endocrinology, Progress in Brain Research, Experientia, Hormone Research, Archiva Farmacologia Toxicology, Hormone Metabolism Research, Journal of Pineal Research, Journal of Urology, European Journal of Pharmacology and many others. This clearly shows the value of melatonin in prostate disease. More recently human studies have been done. At the University of Tuebingen in Germany men with prostate cancer were found to have low melatonin levels (Clin. Chim. Acta 209 (1992) p. 153-67). In a later study at the same university (Int. Cong. Series 1017 (1993) p. 311-6), they found the same phenomenon and suggested using melatonin supplements to treat prostate cancer.
At the University of Lodz in Poland researchers came to the same conclusion to use melatonin to treat prostate cancer (Int. J. Thymol. 4 (1996) p. 75-9). Studies in Endocrinology, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Frontiers of Hormone Research and others have found definite melatonin receptors in the prostate gland proving how important this hormone is for proper function, regulation and metabolism.
At Tel Aviv University in Israel studies showed that melatonin receptors in human prostates can suppress prostate enlargement. They noted that BPH is due to the imbalance of estrogen and testosterone as we age and found that this excess estrogen also interferes with normal melatonin metabolism (J. Clin. Endoc. Metab. 82 (1997) p. 25 35 - 41).
Take a 3mg tablet every night depending on your age. Take melatonin at night as it is produced at night when our eyes don't detect sunlight.
Androgen refers to masculinizing hormones testosterone, androstenedione and DHEA. Women also have important levels of all three. Most of this section regarding androgens will be on testosterone because it is the most relevant, most powerful, most controversial and least understood.
Testosterone falls gradually in men after the age of about 50. It does not fall steeply like DHEA or melatonin. Many people still think that testosterone contributes to BPH and prostate cancer. This theory is absolutely not true.
Studies over the last 60 years clearly show that testosterone does not contribute to BPH or cancer in any way. First of all there is no such condition called "hypergonadism" in men where they have high testosterone levels. Every study ever done shows that prostate disease depends on AGE and testosterone falls as we age. No study has ever shown higher testosterone levels for men with prostate disease compared to normal men. In fact, many studies have shown men with prostate diseases have low testosterone levels. But the fact remains that men under 50 rarely have prostate cancer when their testosterone is high, yet nearly all men will end up with prostate cancer in their 70's when their testosterone is low. The prostate disease rates parallel the fall in testosterone. At the Veterans Administration in Los Angeles¹ they proved in men that no matter how low they made the testosterone levels fall it did not inhibit the cancer growth.
We have provided 25 references that prove testosterone does not contribute to BHT.
1. J. Urol. 99 (1968) p. 788-92 / Gerontol. 14 (1968) p. 133-41 / J. Lab. Clin. Med. 76 (1970) p. 530-6 J. Ster. Bio. 6 (1975), p. 1373-9 / J. Endoc. 69 (1976) p. 15P / Prog. Clin. Biol. Res. 6 (1975) p. 143-58 / J. Endoc. 71 (1976) p. 99-107 / Probl. Endokrinol. 23 (1977) p. 111-4 / Cancer Res. 38 (1978) p. 4126-34 / Experientia 35 (1979) p. 844-5 / J. Endoc. 83 (1979) p. 31P / Vestn. Akad. Med. Nauk USSR 3 (1980) p. 72-7 / Klin. Exper. Urol. 4 (1982) p. 1930 / J. Ster. Bio. 22 (1985) p. 521-8 / Rocz. Akad. Med. Supl. 42 (1984) p. 177 / Rev. Esp. Fisiol. 46 (1990) p. 63-8 / Rev. Esp. Fisiol. 47 (1991) p. 161-6 / Zhonghua Yixue Zazhi 73 (1993) p. 489-90 / Prostate 27 (1995) p. 25-31 / Brit. J. Urol. 77 (1996) p. 433-40 / Cancer Epidem. Bio. Prev. 4 (1995) p. 735-41 / Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 93 (1996) p. 11802-7 / J. Clin. Endoc. Metab. 82 (1997) p. 571-5 / Hormone Behav. 31 (1997) p. 110-19 / Cancer Epidem. Bio. Prev. 6 (1997) p. 967-9
You can buy over-the-counter androstenedione tablets cheaply and raise both your androstenedione and testosterone levels with out the side effect of testosterone salts, injections or patches. Recent studies show that there could be a down side to androstenedione supplementation. Androstenedione has been shown to raise estrogen levels also, which is something we do not want. We can counter this with progesterone cream and DIM (Diindolymethane) which has been shown to help regulate and promote a more efficient metabolism of estrogen, and an optimal ratio of estrogen metabolites, possibly. Androstenedione is the direct precursor of testosterone and their levels generally parallel each other. There are many analogs of androstenedione. Avoid all of them as there is almost no studies done on these and we simply do not know what they do. Most of these are directed at young weight lifters who should not be taking any of these in the first place. Only men over 40 should even consider raising their testosterone.
It is important to raise androstenedione levels per se as well as testosterone.
Test your hormones with saliva and if your testosterone is low you can use androstenedione daily and monitor your results every 3 - 6 months. If it is very low or you are very old or very sick you can take multiple doses, one in the AM and in the PM until your levels are normal. You can take lower dosage to maintain your levels once you reach the point you want. Once again use caution if you are trying to raise your testosterone with androsenedione because we don't know the long term effects of continuous use.
Probably the best approach to raised testosterone levels is hard anaerobic workouts, a good diet and proper supplementation.
The third androgen to discuss is DHEA. Much has been argued over whether or not to take DHEA. If you are over 40 your levels have already fallen by 50%. At the Urology Clinic in Budapest, Hungary (Magy. Onkol. vol. 14 (1970), p. 108-10), doctors found men with prostate cancer had low DHEA levels. There is also a condition where DHEA levels are too high, so it is good to saliva test and make sure. Take 25mg and monitor every 3 - 6 months until your levels are normal again. Life extension advocates like to keep the hormone levels they had at the age of 30 generally. You can maintain your levels either by taking a half tablet or taking it, say, 3 times a week.
It is very obvious that prostate problems do not happen until DHEA falls. It is true that BPH and prostate cancer patients do not show low DHEA levels compared to healthy people, but it is also true that these rates of disease parallel very closely the fall in DHEA after the age of 50 - the lower the DHEA level the higher the rates of both BPH and prostate cancer. DHEA has many, many other benefits to immunity, length of life and quality of life you can read about in the dozens of books that have been published on it.
Men and women have exactly the same hormones in different amounts. Estrogen is a convenient term to use when referring to the class of hormones collectively known as estrogens. Men have smaller amounts of estrogen - until the age of 50 when male levels rise, female levels fall and men commonly have more estrogen than women! This is a dangerous situation as the testosterone : estrogen ratio is now reversed. The reversal of this ratio is the key to understanding prostate disease, cardiovascular health, immunity, cancer, baldness and the other ills of male ageing.
There are three estrogens - estradiol (the most powerful and most carcinogenic), estrone, and estriol (the least powerful and sometimes even beneficial which comprises 80-90% of human estrogen). Over the last thirty plus years there are many studies showing the harmful effect of excessive estrogen in aging males and the reversed androgen : estrogen (including androstenedione and DHEA) ratio as the key to prostate disease. We have provided 17 references that prove the point that testosterone is beneficail and excess estrogen is your enemy and the reversal of the androgen : estrogen ration is the most important insight we have into prostate disease.
It is difficult to lower estrogen levels. Some consider anti-aromatase drugs to be generally dangerous and/or ineffective. We need a lot more research in this area. You can lose weight, eat a low fat diet, stop drinking alcohol, eat more fiber, exercise regularly, raise your testosterone, androstenedione and DHEA levels and use transdermal progesterone cream directly applied to your testicles. Eating lots of fat causes high estrogen as does obesity. A chemical called “aromatase” converts testosterone to estradiol and androstenedione to estrone. It is very difficult to lower aromatase or prevent aromatase activity.
1. Biochem. J. 126 (1972) p. 107-21 2. Kurume Med. J. 22 (1975) p. 113-34 3. Endocrinol. 74 (1977) p. 1-9 4. Invest. Urol. 17 (1979) p. 24-7 5. Horm. Metab. Res. 11 (1979) p. 635-40 6. Scand. J. Urol. Nephrol. 14 (1980) p. 135-7 7. J. Ster. Bio. 19 (1983) p. 155-61 8. Prostate 5 (1984) p. 47-53 9. Rocz. Akad. Med. Supl. 42 (1984) p. 175-6 10. Prostate 9 (1986) p. 311-8 11. J. Ster. Bio. 44 (1993) p. 573-6 12. J. Ster. Bio. 44 (1993) p. 557-63 13. J. Clin. Endoc. Metab. 77 (1993) p. 375-81 14. Prostate 26 (1995) p. 40-9 15. Endocrinol. 136 (1995) p. 2309-19 16. Prostate 28 (1996) p. 17-23 17. Ciba Found. Symp. 191 (1995) p. 269-89