Male-pattern baldness increases risk of heart and prostate disease
When considering men’s health there is good evidence to suggest that baldness may be an indicator of both heart and prostate disease. When compared to men with no hair loss at all, the risk of heart disease increased by 9 percent. When a bald spot appears on the crown, relative risk jumps to 23 percent. When all hair is gone from the top of the head, the risk rises by a worrisome 36 percent (Info from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School). According to Australian researcher, men with bold spots at the top of their heads were 1 ½ times more likely to have moderate to high-grade prostate cancer before age 70 than those without such bald spots.
The common link between these two seemingly unrelated conditions is the male hormone testosterone. Men who lose their hair sooner, or to a greater extent often have higher testosterone levels. These men also display higher conversion rates of testosterone to another male hormone, dihydrotesterone (DHT), which among other actions, interferes with the growth of hair follicles. DHT also stimulates the growth of prostate cells, leading to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in many older men and may lead to prostate cancer.
Soy protein, which has been shown to have a direst beneficial effect on the prostate gland, has two isoflavones that have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of male-pattern baldness. Genistein has been shown to reduce the growth of prostate tissue while daidzein has been shown to stop the progression of prostate cancer and male pattern baldness by blocking the hormone DHT. These two isoflavones from soy have also been shown to protect against heart disease by slowing the growth of cells that form plaque in the coronary and other arteries.