What is DHT?
DHT is a sex hormone that is similar to testosterone and is responsible for hair loss in both men and women.
Many foods are known to decrease the production of DHT by blocking this enzyme.(2)
11 Foods That Can Help Block DHT
Green tea is one of the most popular beverages consumed by many worldwide.
The natural compounds of the tea are maintained as during production, the tea leaves are steamed and not fermented as with oolong and black leaves tea.(3)
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a primary plant chemical present in green tea, which is known to protect hair follicles.(4)
In a study, an alcohol extract of EGCG was applied to the scalps of three men for 4 days. It was found, the extract stimulated hair growth by preventing the death of cells that regulate the growth and development of the hair by DHT.(5)
Coconut oil is an extremely beneficial oil that is extracted from the kernel or meat of the coconut.
It is commonly used for cooking as it can withstand high temperatures. This oil is also used for various other applications in beauty such as skincare and hair care.
Coconut oil contains a high percentage of fatty acids in the form of lauric acid. In a test tube and animal study, lauric acid is shown to block DHT production.(6)
More research is needed on humans to see its effect on hair loss.
White onions add sweet and sharp flavor to the dishes. It is low in calories and high in quercetin.(7)
Quercetin is known to block the production of DHT by blocking the action of enzyme alpha-5 reductase and decrease oxidative stress.(8)
A study done on rats showed, adding coconut oil with commonly prescribed medication decreased DHT production.(9)
Other fruits and vegetables rich in quercetin are asparagus, spinach, kale, apples, and berries.
Turmeric is widely known for its various benefits for health.
Its benefits on health are due to its high concentration of active compounds called curcuminoids, amongst which curcumin is most studied.
One pumpkin contains hundreds of seeds that are rich in iron, zinc, magnesium, and antioxidants.
In a study done of 72 men with male pattern baldness, half were given 400 mg of pumpkin seeds and half were given a placebo. Those taking pumpkin seeds had significantly more hair growth than the other group.(12)
Edamame is the beans of young soybeans. They are typically enjoyed as snack or appetizer.
Along with containing protein and fiber, they contain isoflavones, beneficial plant compounds that may lower DHT levels.
A study suggested consuming soy proteins may lower DHT levels.(13)
Bananas are a great source of biotin, a B-vitamin that helps in hair growth.
Bananas also contain potassium that helps the circulatory system to efficiently provide nutrients to the scalp.
Banana contains fructooligosaccharide (FOS), which decreases DHT overproduction thereby preventing hair loss.
Tomatoes contain lycopene that inhibits DHT by inhibiting or regulating 5-alpha reductase.
Antioxidants present in tomatoes help fight cells that cause damage to the hair follicles.
Tomatoes also contain beta-carotene that helps supply nutrients to the scalp for hair growth.
Flaxseeds contain alpha-linolenic acid that blocks the enzyme that creates DHT.
It prevents DHT from shrinking the hair follicles and prevents hair loss. Flaxseeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids that can assist the body with forms of stress which is another major cause of hair loss.
Flax seeds can serve as an effective DHT blocker and hair loss combatant.
Caffeine present in coffee stimulates hair growth and stops hair loss.
A study done in 2007, found caffeine helped block the effects of DHT in male hair follicles.(14) It was also found to longer the anagen duration.
Coffee can therefore be called an effective DHT blocker.
Both L-Lysine and biotin act as DHT inhibitors and are also a heart-healthy source of Protein, Folate, and Molybdenum.
Folate and Molybdenum help the scalp make use of Iron and copper that are needed for healthy hair growth. They are also rich in monounsaturated fats that nourish the hair follicles by keeping the cardiovascular system healthy.
DHT is a hormone that can cause hair loss in both men and women. If there is a deficiency of a certain nutrient, it can be corrected by improving the food intake that is specific to prevent hair loss.