Some 5 to 10 percent of women develop too much hair in the wrong places, because of a condition called hirsutism. Hirsutism can be caused by genetics or by health problems that lead to high male hormone levels. For some, losing weight can reduce male hormones. Others can combat the problem by addressing underlying health problems, including adrenal cancer, polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), Cushing’s syndrome, an ovarian tumor, certain medications, hypothyroidism or congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Sometimes vitamins and mineral supplementation can help balance hormone levels. Be aware, however, that supplementation may not solve problems with unwanted facial hair unless it is part of an overall program to control hirsutism or an underlying condition.
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Vitamin B6 can reduce the production of prolactin, a hormone that causes the male hormone testosterone to be taken up by tissues. It also dampens cells’ responsiveness to hormones. This vitamin can be found in avocados, fish, organ meats, soybeans, walnuts, peanuts, bananas and other fruits.
Calcium-D-Glucarate can help your body detoxify hormones. It's a natural substance found in many fruits and vegetables, including apples, Brussels sprouts, bean sprouts, broccoli and cabbage. This also is called Glucaric Acid, D-Glucarate, or D-Glucaric Acid. If you supplement, use 200 mg twice a day.
Vitamin E can normalize androgens and reduce the effects of testosterone. Wheat germ oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, safflower oil, peanut butter, corn oil, spinach, broccoli, mangoes and spinach contain this vitamin.
Consuming up to 500 mg per day of magnesium is another way to reduce testosterone effects and bring androgens back into balance. Nuts, seeds, raw leafy greens, soybeans and whole grains contain magnesium.
Zinc & Copper
Zinc and copper are minerals that can help prevent unwanted facial hair. Do not overdo with copper; the ideal balance of zinc to copper is eight to one in favor of zinc. Copper is abundant in the environment—it's in drinking water in some areas, and you can get it from copper plumbing and cooking equipment.
Diindolylmethane, or DIM, can help re-balance hormones. It’s found naturally in broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. For best absorption, couple this supplement with vitamin E. Take 120 mg each day.
Get enough iodine. The thyroid gland needs iodine to make its hormones, which regulate metabolism. If you need to eat more iodine, consume sea vegetables, or seaweeds, twice a week, or use an iodine-rich seasoning such as Seaweed Gomasio.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Women's Health Information
- "Super Nutrition for Women," Ann Louise Gittleman, 2004
- University of Maryland Medical Center
- Natural Health Solutions for PCOS
- Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, "Managing Premenstrual Symptoms," June, 2009
- University of California at Berkley