Urinary steroids in men with male-pattern alopecia

    Viktória Poór, S. Juricskay, Enikő Telegdy
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    TLDR Men with male-pattern baldness have higher levels of certain testosterone metabolites and may have more active androgen metabolism.
    In a 2002 study, researchers analyzed urinary steroid metabolites in 23 men with androgenic alopecia and compared them to 7 age-matched healthy controls. They discovered significantly higher levels of testosterone metabolites, including androsterone and etiocholanolone, as well as increased levels of 16-hydroxy-dehydroepiandrosterone and cortisol in the alopecia group, while cortisol metabolite levels were unchanged. An increased total 5α/5β metabolite ratio indicated higher 5α-reductase enzyme activity in patients. The elevated 16-OHD levels suggested possible mild hyperadrenal activity in some patients. These results suggest that increased androgen metabolism and 5α-reductase activity play a role in male-pattern baldness.
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