2

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5-alpha reductase, saturated fats, monounsaturated fats

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 15, 2011 at 10:44 AM

I've been trying to find some accurate info on saturated & monounsaturated fats (SFA & MUFA) & their affects on 5-alpha reductase. & i seem to be going round in circles.

It seems like some SFAs lower (or inhibit) 5-alpha reductase while other SFAs may raise it? So hopefully some of you out there will know, or can point me to some studies/research if available.

Ideally i am after a list of Fatty Acids (identified by carbons is fine, no need to name) & how they affect 5-alpha reductase.

more info: to give you an idea of what google throws back;

"Saturated fat can lower 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme that catalyzes testosterone into DHT..."

& "Diets high in saturated fat such as meat, milk and butter increase 5-alpha reductase."

I also found some reference to C12 & C14 (lauric & myristic acids) inhibiting 5-alpha reductase.

Edit: Palmitic Acid: I am now confused about the comments below on Palmitic Acid being really bad. i just looked up unsalted butter on NutritionData & it looks like it contains 21% palmitic acid (21.6g per 100g). & i thought butter was good stuff.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on September 22, 2012
at 10:08 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5-alpha-reductase_inhibitor

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on March 29, 2011
at 07:37 PM

I wouldn't worry about it, there are bigger things to avoid. There are many substances considered bad but really are only so when you also have inflammation or eating other bad foods. The study I quoted said palmitic acid is good for reducing 5-alpha reductase. Look into Danny Roddy's work also, he's very thorough and done a lot of work into curing hair loss through diet...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 21, 2011
at 10:40 AM

i am now confused about the comments on palmitic acid being really bad. i just looked up unsalted butter on NutritionData & it contains 21% palmitic acid (21.6g per 100g). & i thought butter was good stuff.

9dd74d3941535d0aaa2c8d3cf454fb7e

on March 21, 2011
at 12:40 AM

If the original poster, or anyone else reading this, thinks of using the drugs mentioned by Dr. K above, to lower their 5a-reductase, before going near it you need to research its potentially permanent side effects. This link is only one of many. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MensHealth/baldness-drug-sexual-effects/story?id=13152993&page=3

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on March 16, 2011
at 08:35 PM

After oleic acid, palmitic acid is the most common in beef fat.

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on March 16, 2011
at 08:24 PM

Yes, starch is bad in EXCESS. Perfect health diet says it's fine up to 20% of calories, for example. And I don't think anyone here tries to get more HFCS or omega-6's in their diet. Palmitic acid is in meat and coconut/palm oil, how bad is it?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:55 AM

palmitic acid is really really bad........this is the chemical that cause leptin resistance in muscle and the hypothalamus and acts as the signal. Any build up in palmitic acid is bad. The starch thing is not good advice based upon human biochemistry in excess. Kitvians got away with it because 90% of their diet was tubers.....but that had no HFCS or omega six to overflow the system to palmitic acid to cause resistance centrally or peripherally

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on March 15, 2011
at 11:39 PM

Mari: That's what I meant, the other omega-3's are made from ALA. Probably could have used better wording. Daz: That sounds great. Also, don't fear starch, excess blood glucose is made into palmitic acid (C16) (as long as you tolerate carbs).

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on March 15, 2011
at 09:40 PM

ALA is not the primary omega 3. It's the kind found in plants like flaxseed...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 15, 2011
at 09:24 PM

@DePAw. thanks, very helpful. as 40yo+ male my interest is in in both male pattern baldness & benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). & hence i want to make sure that i am not raising my 5-alpha reductase through my diet. It was a concern when i saw quotes like "Diets high in saturated fat such as meat, milk and butter increase 5-alpha reductase", which i speculated was just your typical negative press around SFAs, but i wanted to be sure. My diet now includes about 65% to 75% calories from Fat, the vast majority from Short & Medium chain fatty acids & MUFAs.

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2 Answers

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B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on March 15, 2011
at 03:59 PM

Wiki: "Short chain fatty acids such as those found in coconut and many palm fruits have also been found to inhibit 5??-reductase"

Reference for that says: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19353546 "Among the fatty acids we tested, inhibitory saturated fatty acids had C12-C16 chains, and the presence of a C==C bond enhanced the inhibitory activity. Esterification and hydroxy compounds were totally inactive. Finally, we tested the prostate cancer cell proliferation effect of free fatty acids. In keeping with the results of the 5alpha-reductase assay, saturated fatty acids with a C12 chain (lauric acid) and unsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid)..."

Lauric acid (C12) is in coconut oil and breast milk. Palmitic acid (C16) is in palm oil and meat, butter, etc. Oleic acid is the main mono-unsaturated fat in meats (45% of lard for example). ALA is the primary omega-3.

So the best fats for inhibiting or lowering 5-alpha reductase, are coconut oil, animal fats and oily fish. Hmm... sounds very paleo.

Are you looking at lowering 5-alpha reductase for baldness or prostate? If baldness, look into Danny Roddy's 'Healthy Hair Diet', which is basically meat, fish, organs, coconut oil, tubers and herbs and spices... If prostate, these general guidelines (paleo or HHD) is most likely work well too.

Summary: eat paleo, try coconut oil.

EDIT: http://jap.physiology.org/content/82/1/49/F2.expansion.html This graph may also be useful to you, for generally raising testosterone. One assumes you want high testosterone but low DHT. If again shows that saturated and mono fats are best, and lots of them, but also lowering protein and upping carbs is good too (higher carb:protein ratio). This would back up the HHD method.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:55 AM

palmitic acid is really really bad........this is the chemical that cause leptin resistance in muscle and the hypothalamus and acts as the signal. Any build up in palmitic acid is bad. The starch thing is not good advice based upon human biochemistry in excess. Kitvians got away with it because 90% of their diet was tubers.....but that had no HFCS or omega six to overflow the system to palmitic acid to cause resistance centrally or peripherally

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on March 15, 2011
at 11:39 PM

Mari: That's what I meant, the other omega-3's are made from ALA. Probably could have used better wording. Daz: That sounds great. Also, don't fear starch, excess blood glucose is made into palmitic acid (C16) (as long as you tolerate carbs).

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on March 15, 2011
at 09:40 PM

ALA is not the primary omega 3. It's the kind found in plants like flaxseed...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 15, 2011
at 09:24 PM

@DePAw. thanks, very helpful. as 40yo+ male my interest is in in both male pattern baldness & benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). & hence i want to make sure that i am not raising my 5-alpha reductase through my diet. It was a concern when i saw quotes like "Diets high in saturated fat such as meat, milk and butter increase 5-alpha reductase", which i speculated was just your typical negative press around SFAs, but i wanted to be sure. My diet now includes about 65% to 75% calories from Fat, the vast majority from Short & Medium chain fatty acids & MUFAs.

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on March 16, 2011
at 08:35 PM

After oleic acid, palmitic acid is the most common in beef fat.

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on March 16, 2011
at 08:24 PM

Yes, starch is bad in EXCESS. Perfect health diet says it's fine up to 20% of calories, for example. And I don't think anyone here tries to get more HFCS or omega-6's in their diet. Palmitic acid is in meat and coconut/palm oil, how bad is it?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 21, 2011
at 10:40 AM

i am now confused about the comments on palmitic acid being really bad. i just looked up unsalted butter on NutritionData & it contains 21% palmitic acid (21.6g per 100g). & i thought butter was good stuff.

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on March 29, 2011
at 07:37 PM

I wouldn't worry about it, there are bigger things to avoid. There are many substances considered bad but really are only so when you also have inflammation or eating other bad foods. The study I quoted said palmitic acid is good for reducing 5-alpha reductase. Look into Danny Roddy's work also, he's very thorough and done a lot of work into curing hair loss through diet...

0
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:52 AM

My best guess is you need to contact a board certified hair transplant specialist and ask them directly. Why? They use propecia and avodart more than anyone else and avodart blocks both pathways while propecia just blocks the short acting one.....to DHT. Coconut oil is what they have many of their patients on.

9dd74d3941535d0aaa2c8d3cf454fb7e

on March 21, 2011
at 12:40 AM

If the original poster, or anyone else reading this, thinks of using the drugs mentioned by Dr. K above, to lower their 5a-reductase, before going near it you need to research its potentially permanent side effects. This link is only one of many. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MensHealth/baldness-drug-sexual-effects/story?id=13152993&page=3

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