In most people, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is made by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. This process converts about 10% of your testosterone into DHT, which is a powerful sex hormone that helps maintain and develop male characteristics, including facial, body, and pubic hair.
It also plays a role in regulating the libido and sweat glands, prostate health, and men's sexual development. If your DHT levels are too high, you may experience baldness, enlarged prostate, or a sexually transmitted disease.
DHT can cause male pattern baldness, but it can also lead to other issues like enlarged prostate or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to lower your DHT levels if you have these symptoms.
The most common way to reduce your DHT levels is by consuming foods that block the DHT-producing enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Some foods that can help block DHT include green tea, edamame beans, onions, pumpkin seeds, and lycopene-rich fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin D is another nutrient that can help regulate DHT levels. If you don't have enough of this vitamin in your diet, you can take supplements that will help improve your DHT levels.
Onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant that can help block DHT production in the follicles of human hair. However, more research is needed to determine whether onion consumption or quercetin supplements will actually lower your DHT levels and help with hair loss.
Edamame is a young soybean that contains isoflavones, which may also help lower DHT levels. Eat at least two portions of edamame each day to help curb your DHT levels naturally.