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Q: Acne Treatment by inhibiting 5-Alpha Reductase Enzyme ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Acne Treatment by inhibiting 5-Alpha Reductase Enzyme
Category: Health > Men's Health
Asked by: johnsmithsonian-ga
List Price: $8.00
Posted: 09 May 2003 21:45 PDT
Expires: 08 Jun 2003 21:45 PDT
Question ID: 201874
I was recently told by my doctor that a high protein diet (ie. Tuna,
Milk, etc.) could reduce my acne because it helps inhibit the 5-alpha
reductase enzyme which converts testosterone to the potent and harmful
DHT. I tried the diet and it worked GREAT!!! Now I'm wondering what
are all of the ways I can inhibit this enzyme and which work best at
inhibition. Ie.
Certain foods, low-cost medications, herbal remedies, etc. I've heard
great things about your service from friends and I look forward to
your research! Thanks.
Subject: Re: Acne Treatment by inhibiting 5-Alpha Reductase Enzyme
Answered By: jackburton-ga on 10 May 2003 09:23 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi johnsmithsonian!
Thank you for choosing Google Answers!
I have found quite a lot of information which i hope you'll find
useful. I've selected the most relevant segments from various sites
and have included links below each one, in case you wish to read the
whole article.
"Acne diet tip: By maintaining a higher intake of protein in relation
to carbohydrates you reduce the activity of 5 alpha reductase and thus
the formation of the more potent DHT. Avoid consuming carbohydrates
which total more than 60 to 70% of your diet and keep your protein
intake about 40 to 45%.
Since I gear most of my diet towards vegetarian, I avoid meat. They
can contain hormones, pesticides, residual antibiotics and saturated
fat. The best source of protein is from whey. Whey protein powders are
a superior form of protein which require minimal digestion and
depending on how it was manufactured, contains low fat and minimal
lactose plus other ingredients beneficial to health..."
(paragraph 4/5)
Click here for Malty Whey Protein Powder:
"There are two ways to prevent the negative effects of
dihydrotestosterone on your body. Either you have to inhibit the
activity of 5-alpha reductase or you have to increase the breakdown of
dihydrotestosterone via your liver.
Those nutrients that reduce the activity of 5-alpha reductase include
zinc, soy, flaxseed, pumpkin seed and evening primrose oil. Diets high
in saturated fat such as meat, milk and butter increase 5-alpha
To enhance the detoxification capability of your liver, thereby
reducing dihydrotestosterone a diet high in garlic, broccoli, cabbage
and cauliflower would be beneficial.
Consuming lots of berry fruits such as strawberries and blackberries,
as well as taking supplements of the vitamins A, C and E and the herb
St Mary’s thistle (Silybum marianum) would further augment liver
"EMU OIL - Research has shown that emu oil contains a high level of
linolenic acid which further research has shown to be an efficient
antiandrogen. Linolenic acid is a potent 5 alpha reductase inhibitor
and may be useful in the treatment of disorders related to the hormone
Dihydrotestosterone. Linolenic Acid has been suggested to be of use in
the disorders such as benign prostratic hyperplasma, acne androgenic
alopecia and hirsuitism..."
"ZINC - Zinc has been shown to be a beneficial vitamin in the
treatment of both Alopecia Areata and Androgenic Alopecia. Oral zinc
has been shown to be of benefit in Alopecia areata and seems to have
an immunomodulatory effect.There have been studies in which zinc is
shown to inhibit 5 alpha reductase activity, and it is therefor
concluded that zinc is beneficial in diseases and disorders related to
an excess in dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
such as Androgenetic Alopecia, Benign Prostratic Hyperplasma and acne.
There have been studies that have shown that vitamin b6, zinc and
azelaic acid combined together, even at very low concentrations caused
a 90% inhibition of 5 alpha reductase activity. Zinc is a vitamin that
is used in other disorders related to excess dihydrotestosterone, such
as acne and prostratic disease. One may be likely to assume that as it
is of benefit in treating these types of androgen dependent conditions
then it may be of some benefit in the treatment of androgenetic
alopecia.  Topical application of zinc has shown to reduce sebum
production and acne. Also some people suffering from acne have been
found to have zinc deficiencies in their skin, despite of the fact
that they may have normal levels within their bloodstream..."
([LifestylesNews] Lifestyles Newsletter, 02/2002 Vol. 2, Issue 2)
"Kelp, a sea weed sold as a dietary supplement, and iodized foods,
such as salt, have shown a direct link to acne and should be limited
or avoided
Acidophilus, a “friendly” bacteria, is useful in treating acne in that
it checks harmful intestinal bacteria, including yeasts such as
Candida albicans.  You can add acidophilus to your diet by consuming
yogurt with live culture or by taking supplements in gel-capsule form
Fortunately, your natural products store will have a variety of
quality brands of cleansers, toners and topical creams that are gentle
and effective against adult acne, but without these negative effects.
What are some of the ingredients found in these products and their
benefits?   Some of the most effective treatments contain tea tree
oil, green tea extract, azelaic acid, ester- C, tocopherol (vitamin E)
and a variety of herbal extracts.  Azelaic acid is a naturally
occurring acid that stabilizes keratin production and produces results
comparable to that of Retin-A, benzoyl peroxide or oral antibiotics,
such as tetracycline.  Tea tree oil has long been known to possess
antifungal and antibacterial qualities.  Green tea, and topical
vitamin C and E are potent antioxidants that help to reduce infection
and inflammation. Other ingredients include fruit acids (AHAs and
BHAs) that act as gentle exfoliates.  One relative newcomer to this
list is an algae extract called Phlorogine that has met with great
success in several double-blind studies on adult acne. Look for
products that contain these healing ingredients, cleanse thoroughly
and gently and eat a balanced diet consisting of plenty of fresh
fruits and vegetables. 
Acne-Fighting Botanicals
Burdock root
Yellow Dock Root
Red Clover
Strawberry (leaves)
(Natural Treatments For Adult Acne - Better Nutrition Magazine)
Taking vitamins and minerals can help balance the body's hormonal and
nutritional needs. Experts suggest supplementing with the following:
*	Vitamin A is considered one of the most important vitamins for skin
health. It's been shown to reduce sebum production. For controlling
acne, high doses are required. Due to potential toxicity, consult your
health care practitioner for appropriate dosage.
*	Vitamin B6 has been widely reported to control acne, especially
premenstrual outbreaks due to hormonal imbalances. By metabolizing
fats and fatty acids, vitamin B6 balances oil production in the skin.
*	Vitamin E is also important for proper absorption of vitamin A and
works in conjunction with selenium.
*	Selenium is an antioxidant trace mineral that plays an important
role in controlling inflammation associated with acne.
*	Zinc helps in cell regeneration and has proven to help control acne.
It reduces sebum and facilitates the absorption of vitamin A.
*	Chromium is known to enhance insulin sensitivity, which, according
to Murray and Pizzorno, has been reported in an uncontrolled study to
induce rapid improvement of acne patients.
While conflicting theories abound regarding the correlation between
nutrition and acne, holistic practitioners proclaim that a balanced,
healthful diet low in fat and refined foods will have beneficial
effects on skin. The experts advise that you:
*	Avoid refined sugar. According to Gittleman, refined sugar has no
nutritional value and the body has to use its own mineral
reserves-including important skin nutrients such as chromium and
zinc-to digest it.
*	Avoid foods high in hydrogenated oils such as margarine.
Hydrogenated oils interfere with prostaglandins, a hormone that
contributes to healthy skin, says Gittleman.
*	Limit salt. For individuals sensitive to iodine, this irritation may
result in an acne outbreak, says Gittleman.
Topical Treatments
While treating acne from the inside out, topical treatments still have
their place. These tried-and-true natural remedies may provide
*	Calamine lotion, rich in zinc, is an excellent acne treatment. Plus,
it's inexpensive and readily available in stores-and may already be in
your medicine cabinet.
*	Sulfur has been used for thousands of years to treat skin disorders.
A topical antiseptic, it helps control acne without irritating the
skin. Sulfur-containing acne products can usually be found in natural
products stores.
*	Tea tree oil, famous for its antiseptic and antifungal properties,
has demonstrated the same benefits as five-percent benzoyl peroxide,
popular in over-the-counter acne treatments. However, tea tree oil is
much gentler on the skin. For moderate to severe acne, use up to a
15-percent tea tree solution..."
Here are some Homeopathic remedies for Acne:
(water of mineral springs) 	Useful for acne, pimples and pustules.
It's indicated when there are boils on arms and face or if you have
hard glands, especially on the lower jaw and throat.
Hepar sulphur calcareum 
(Hahnemann's calcium sulphide) 	Good for treating skin abscesses or
acne in youth. This treatment is indicated when a person experiences
skin ulcers accompanied by burning, stinging and easy bleeding or
chronic and reoccurring elevated patches of smooth red skin.
Kali bromatum 
(bromide of potash) 	Useful for treating facial acne with itching
that's worse on the chest, shoulders and face. People who may benefit
from this treatment may have a flushed face.
According to Peter Laker, a practicing Clinical Herbalist and
Iridologist at Herbs and Health in North York, Ont. and President of
The Central Canadian Herbal Practitioner’s Association,"...Eat lots of
fresh fruits and vegetables, raw and cooked, vegetable juices, along
with whole grain breads and pastas, brown rice, soy products, organic
chicken, and fish. Keep to a vegetarian diet as much as possible.
Herbal remedies used for this condition are usually a combination of
liver (hepatic) and blood (alteratives) purifying herbs, and if
necessary, glandular and hormone balancing herbs. In addition, herbs
to support the immune system are used especially if the individual has
been on long-term anti-biotic treatments.
Herbal skin washes with astringent, anti-inflammatory and
anti-microbial properties are used to cleanse the skin and reduce
redness and pain and to clear and prevent infections. The skin can be
washed with infusions of pot marigold (calendula) and witch hazel.
They are excellent choices because they contain all the required
properties for treating this condition, reducing oil production,
inflammation, and infection. Additional external remedies are Tea tree
oil and herbal Swedish bitters, which can be swabbed on to painful
cysts or left on overnight covered with a bandage or band-aid. This
will reduce and eliminate the painful swellings by combating infection
and reducing inflammation.
Nettle, burdock and cleavers taken individually or combined as a tea
would make an excellent remedy for this condition. It is not difficult
to find these herbs because they grow wild all around us. Before
picking herbs I would advise seeking out a qualified herbal
practitioner just to be safe. The herbalist will assess your
individual condition and more than likely have a supply of the
necessary herbs.
Other herbs that aid this condition are dandelion, milk thistle,
Oregon grape, Echinacea, cleavers, red clover, and yellow dock. Liver
cleansing herbs that aid detoxification and normal bowel function,
blood and lymphatic herbs to remove toxins, immune stimulating herbs
to eliminate infections and prevent secondary infections, and herbs
such as vitex, a hormone modulator, to control androgen levels.
This formulation is another example of a combination of herbs that
would be prepared in equal parts:
*	Oregon grape 
*	Echinacea 
*	Cleavers 
*	Red clover 
*	Burdock 
Chaste berries (Vitex) could be added if hormone imbalance is
Combine this mixture and make either an infusion of dried herbs or an
alcohol tincture.
For a tea, one teaspoon to a cup boiling water, steep 10 minutes.
Drink 3 cups daily, or for an alcohol tincture take one teaspoon in 2
ounces water 3 times daily. The best time to take these remedies would
be 30 minutes before meals. I would suggest a program of 6 to 8 weeks.
Remember to follow the dietary suggestions along with herbs to get the
best results. In addition to the herbs and dietary changes I have seen
very good results using evening primrose oil capsules, 2 capsules 3
times daily.
Vitamins are an excellent adjunct to herbal therapy and can be taken
as a multi vitamin and mineral compound or individually. Recommended
for acne are: vitamins A, F, C, and B complex, along with chromium,
zinc, and selenium."
I hope you find this information useful and informative!
If you need clarification on this answer, please let me know before
giving your rating.
best regards,
Search terms used:
( [ "5-alpha reductase" acne ], [ "5-alpha reductase" acne
diet ]
johnsmithsonian-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Thank you very much! That's very comprehensive and it answered
everything I had in mind. Keep up the good work!

Subject: Re: Acne Treatment by inhibiting 5-Alpha Reductase Enzyme
From: jackburton-ga on 10 May 2003 12:22 PDT
thank you for the 5 star rating, and the tip.

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