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Hair Loss in Men Linked with Aggressive Prostate Cancer

If you are losing your hair, it may not just be a cosmetic issue. New studies show that both heart disease and aggressive prostate cancer are linked with men who lose their hair. Read more about this connection below.
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If the loss of hair and possible increased risk for heart disease wasn’t enough, new studies have uncovered a link between hair loss and prostate cancer in men.

According to an October 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, men with frontal or vertex baldness by the age of 45 have a higher risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. According to data from Nature Clinical Practice Urology, at least 50 percent of men will suffer from an enlarged prostate (BPH), prostate cancer, or other related disease.

New studies have shown that hair loss early in life can be a significant risk factor for developing these dangerous and deadly diseases. Men can protect their health by addressing hair loss at the source. Some research has suggested that an imbalance of DHT is responsible for hair loss, prostate issues, and the increased risk for heart disease.

By taking steps to reverse the signs of hair loss, men can also cut down on their chances of dealing with a dangerous disease later in life. Read more about the connection between prostate cancer and hair loss below:

Study Findings

According to the study researchers, “Male pattern baldness seems to share pathologic mechanisms with prostate cancer in terms of advancing age, heritability, and endogenous hormones.” The study researchers believe that the link between hair loss and prostate cancer may be the missing piece of the puzzle that determines what actually causes prostate cancer.

In the Journal of Clinical Oncology study from 2014, the researchers examined data collected on over 39,000 men from the PLCO Cancer Screening Trial. This trial was designed to evaluate the effect of cancer screening on disease-specific mortality. Men who did not have cancer diagnosis at the start of the study, were screened each year with PAS screenings and rectal examination for four years. Some of the study participants were also given questionnaires to fill out asking about further risk factors and hair loss patterns at age 45. The men were able to choose between the following hair loss answers:

  • No baldness
  • Frontal baldness only
  • Frontal plus mild vertex baldness
  • Frontal plus moderate vertex baldness
  • Frontal plus severe vertex baldness

Researchers continued to follow these men if they were diagnosed with cancer or cancer-related deaths. During the research period, the researchers found that 1,138 cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed and 571 of those cases were diagnosed as aggressive. The researchers then examined the possible link between hair loss and prostate cancer risk and severity.

The study researchers found that men with frontal plus moderate vertex baldness had no additional risk for developing prostate cancer but did have a 39 percent increased risk for developing aggressive prostate cancer. Hair loss in other areas of the head did not increase aggression risk or prostate cancer risk.

Study Implications

According to data from these studies, hair loss at the crown of the head and front of the head are more likely to increase a man’s chances of seeing aggressive prostate cancer if he does get prostate cancer. Data from a review of studies conducted on over 40,000 men in 2013 showed also showed that hair loss in the crown of the head (but not the front) is also linked with an increased risk in heart disease of up to 81 percent.

Researchers have theorized that an increase in androgens (male sex hormones) and androgen receptors lead to both hair loss and prostate cancer. According to Dr. Jonathan Ballon, “This is not unexpected, since both male pattern hair loss and prostate cancer are mediated by dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. Bald men have inherited one or more genes which are responsible for higher levels of both DHT and DHT receptors in both the scalp and the prostate.”

DHT is a hormone that is responsible for the onset of puberty in boys. DHT triggers the spread of male hormones throughout the body and also triggers growth in male reproductive organs. Some researchers theorize that high levels of DHT in the body in adult men are responsible for the enlargement of the prostate. It is possible that blocking the receptors of DHT may not only reduce hair loss but may also be able to cut down on your risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer.

One of the side effects of high levels of DHT is the shrinking of hair follicles on the head, which is why blocking DHT may be able to help prevent the spread of hair loss.

Simple Ways to Block DHT

If excessive amounts of DHT in the body are linked both with hair loss and an increased risk for developing an enlargement prostate and even prostate cancer, then blocking DHT may be able to stop the problem at the source and prevent the increased health risks.

Before starting any new health regimen, consult with your doctor about any potential side effects and whether taking additional steps to prevent hair loss and prostate cancer is right for you. Not everyone will benefit from DHT prevention tips, but studies have shown that the following steps can help prevent the overabundance of DHT in the body, which can benefit both hair growth and reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer or BPH (benign prostate enlargement).

Eat a Healthy Diet

Health experts agree that one of the best ways to maintain a healthy body is through a healthy diet. Some of the following foods may be most beneficial in maintaining a healthy balance of hormones:

Oysters: Oysters are rich in zinc and work to repair tissues and cells. Zinc is essential for the healthy growth of hair.

Salmon: Salmon contains the vital fatty acid Omega-3, which is used for growing healthy, silky strands of hair. The body cannot make omega-3 fats on its own.

Walnuts: Also a rich source of omega-3, walnuts also contain high amounts of vitamin E.

Lentils: Lentils contain a variety of ingredients beneficial for hair growth- like zinc, iron, protein, and biotin. Biotin is an essential hair-boosting nutrient and protein is necessary to manufacturer keratin, which creates strong, healthy hair.

Blueberries: Blueberries contain high amounts of vitamin C, which is used to support the vascular system in the scalp. Vitamin C helps circulate the blood in the scalp and provide nutrients for healthy hair follicles. Too little vitamin C in the diet may contribute to damaged, unhealthy hair.

Eggs: Eggs contain both biotin and protein, two essential nutrients for hair health.

Spinach: According to data from the National Health Service, a lack of iron in the diet contributes to anemia. Anemia prevents enough oxygen from getting to cells, which could lead to hair loss.

Poultry: Poultry contains several beneficial ingredients for hair, including iron, protein, and zinc.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise can boost the health of your hair in a variety of ways. Exercise promotes an overall sense of well being and improves circulation. Some hair loss is associated with a reduced amount of circulation in the body, and by exercising, you increase circulation and benefit all cells in the body.

According to a study from 1998 conducted by the University of North Carolina, men who exercise frequently with aerobic exercise often have DHT levels 60 to 85 percent of that of a man who exercises less. This may prevent some of the dangerous side effects of DHT, such as increase risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and hair loss. However, some other studies have shown that exercise tends to increase DHT levels.

Supplement for Hair Health

Research shows that some natural herbs and ingredients have scientific backing as beneficial for hair loss. These same supplements may also provide benefit in preventing some of the more dangerous side effects of unbalanced hormones, such as heart disease and prostate cancer.

Beneficial Supplements for Healthy Hair

Saw Palmetto: Saw palmetto is the number one hair loss supplement for men. Saw palmetto contains beta-sitosterol, fatty acids, and other beneficial ingredients in preventing hair loss. According to data collected by Life Extension.org, saw palmetto inhibits enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT and bind to DHT receptors, which reduces the negative impact of DHT on hair follicles.


Green Tea: Green tea container polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants inhibit 5-alpha reductase, which can contribute to hair loss. A 2005 study published in the Journal of National Medical Association found that when rodents were given green tea extract, rodents had significant hair regrowth when compared to the control group.

L Lysine: L lysine is an amino acid beneficial for preventing hair loss. A study from 2002 published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology found that study participants who consumed iron and l lysine were able to experience hair regrowth.

Proanthocyanidins: Proanthocyanidins are a form of phytochemicals, which have been linked with the process of hair growth. Procyanidin B2 has been shown in animal studies to promote hair growth. These naturally occurring phytochemicals can affect the process of hair growth. Procyanidin B2 can act as a growth promoting factor in animal hair cells. Commonly, B2 is found in apples. According to a 2001 study published in Phytother Research, a small clinical trial found that men who used a 1% procyanidin B-2 tonic had thicker and more numerous hairs after 4 months.

Hair Loss: Not Just a Cosmetic Problem

Although many men lose their hair, and some hair loss is genetic, recent studies have also indicated that hair loss can be a precursor for an increased risk for dangerous health problems like aggressive prostate cancer and heart disease. Addressing the causes of hair loss can not only prevent the further progression of hair loss, but it may also help prevent more serious issues down the road. Addressing hair loss when signs first start to appear may help men become one step closer to protecting their health as they age.





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