Soy may prevent baldness
According to an article "Soy: Prevent Prostate Cancer, Male Baldness?" in Biology of Reproduction, March 2004, D. Kenneth claims that soy may prevent prevent prostate cancer and male baldness. Other studies have suggested that mice fed high doses of isolfavones have less prostate cell growth. Equol, a metabolite of isoflavones, is showing promise as a powerful blocker of a potent male hormone involved in prostate cancer, male baldness and even acne. During digestion the two soy isoflavones, genistin and daidzin, are metabolized to form genistein and daidzein. Finally daidzein is metabolized to equol.
When male rats, with removed testes so they don't produce testosterone, were injected with DHT (Di-Hydro-Testosterone, created through the actions of an enzyme on the male hormone testosterone) their prostate increased in size. When the mice were injected with equol the size of their prostate did not change.
When both DHT and equol were injected in the mice, equol prevented DHT from triggering prostate cell growth. Equol seems to block the bad function of DHT. It is known that DHT also causes loss of hair follicles resulting in baldness. If equol can block DHT this means that soy isoflavones have a tremendous potential in preventing male baldness. These finding are very interesting because other current treatments for prostate cancer involve decreasing or blocking the production of testosterone,resulting in fatigue and low libido. Equol, on the other hand, does not interfere in the production of DHT but prevents it from functioning. The researchers said that more studies are required to assess the potential of eqoul as a treatment for other androgen-mediated conditions.