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Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a metabolite of the principal male hormone testosterone. However, it is more powerful than testosterone because of its increased affinity for the androgen receptor. DHT’s function is to promote male secondary sex characteristics, such as growth of facial and body hair and deepening of the voice. Equol, a metabolite of the phytoestrogen daidzein, has been found to bind and sequester DHT thus preventing it from binding to the androgen receptor. Equol also has an affinity for estrogen receptor subtypes that have positive influences on skin and hair. Equol’s biological characteristics have important ramifications in terms of preventing androgen-related pathologies, such as those involving skin and hair, like stimulating collagen and elastin in the dermis, controlling oil production from sebaceous glands and preventing male- and female-pattern baldness.
Equol also has application in treating conditions of the prostate. As men age, almost all men experience benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is the enlargement of the prostate gland causing urinary problems. The principal androgen in prostate enlargement is DHT. Current blocking drugs that inhibit the activity of the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT has similar prostate size reducing effects, however the clinical side-effects of the current available drugs are negative. This invention involves a method of mediating androgen hormone action in such a way to bind free dihydrotestosterone, thus reducing prostate size and stimulating estrogen receptor subtypes that further blocks androgen hormone action for increase prostate health without side-effects.
Equol has also been found to treat several neurospychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, such as depression and anxiety with implications to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease providing a neuroprotective role for brain health. Equol is also involved in weight control, preventing obesity and stimulating fat (adipose) tissue loss.
This technology is useful for treating androgen related pathologies in the skin, hair, brain, and prostate through administering equol, thus it has several applications. Some conditions/disorders that would be ameliorated by equol include: wrinkles, scars, acne, oily skin, age spots, and baldness in both genders. Equol also improves wound healing in the skin, and reduction in pore size and sweat gland function. Furthermore, its neurological applications open a wide array of possibilities in the development of supplements and drugs to treat several disorders such as anxiety and depression which have high risk factors associated with obesity and weight control that equol can prevent and heal.
Patent Pending: U.S. Patent Filed
Edwin D. Lephart, Professor, Department of Physiology/Developmental Biology/Neuroscience, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Trent D. Lund, Manager, Physiology Division, Stoelting Co., Wood Dale, IL
Kenneth D. Reginald Setchell, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Robert J. Handa, Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Equol is licensed to USANA Health Sciences.
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