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Most antiandrogens inhibit DHT. DHT is connected to testosterone. [1] shows a beneficial effect on prostate cancer which can be caused by DHT. However, according to [2] garlic also increases testosterone.

What are the effects of garlic on Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or 5α-dihydrotestosterone? Can it be used as an antiandrogen?

[1] Hsing AW, Chokkalingam AP, Gao YT, et al. Allium vegetables and risk of prostate cancer: A population-based study. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2002; 94(21):1648–1651.

[2] Oi, Y; Imafuku, M; Shishido, C; Kominato, Y; Nishimura, S; Iwai, K (Aug 2001). "Garlic supplementation increases testicular testosterone and decreases plasma corticosterone in rats fed a high protein diet". The Journal of nutrition 131 (8): 2150–6.

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migrated from Jun 16 '14 at 3:01

This question came from our site for scientific skepticism.

This should be migrated to Biology.SE – nico Jun 14 '14 at 12:31
Welcome to Skeptics! According to the FAQ, Skeptics.SE is for researching the evidence behind the claims you hear or read. This question doesn't appear to have any doubtful claims to investigate. Please edit it to reference a notable claim and flag for moderator attention to re-open (or get 5 re-open votes). – Oddthinking Jun 14 '14 at 14:30
@Oddthinking I think the comment for migration to Biology is accurate and I agree with that. Though, I am not sure how I can migrate it there. – Alex Jun 14 '14 at 17:26
I asked the Biology mods, and got back the response that the question isn't clear enough and it would be closed. I agree; I am not sure what the question really is either. – Oddthinking Jun 15 '14 at 3:34
I added a further explanation in order to be a candidate for Biology.SE. Any help on that is welcomed. – Alex Jun 15 '14 at 8:18
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Garlic may affect testosterone metabolism. Its beneficial effect on prostate cancer is not attributed to this, but it is attributed to the direct effect on prostate cancer cells.

What is garlic's connection to DHT?

Cytochrome P450 enzymes. Diallylsulfide, a constituent of garlic, suppresses oxidative demethylation by competitively inhibiting cytochrome P450 2E1, an enzyme that activates carcinogens. Since testosterone metabolism occurs through the mixed function oxidase cytochrome P450 system, garlic may affect the rates of metabolism of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. The metabolism of testosterone is catalized by inducible P450 1A1, 1A2, 3A3, 3A4 and 3A5 enzymes. These mixed function oxidases can be modulated by a wide variety of environmental facts and dietary constituents. Little is known about the potential for modifying testosterone risk or its treatment modality by administration of garlic constituents [1].

S-allylcysteine (SAC), a potent compound derived from garlic, suppressed the proliferation of PC-3 cells and led to cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phases, as well as induced cell apoptosis, which was accompanied by the decreased expression of Bcl-2 and increased expression of Bax and caspase 8. This demonstrates the chemopreventive activity of SAC in vitro, and that SAC may be a promising candidate for prostate cancer treatment [2, 4].

Diallyl disulfide (DADS) is another major component of an oil-soluble allyl sulfide garlic (Allium sativum) derivative. Inhibitory effects of DADS on prostate carcinoma LNCaP cells motility and invasiveness were found to be associated with increased tightness of the tight junctions (TJ), which was demonstrated by an increase in transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) [3, 4].


  1. Paul A. LaChance. Nutraceuticals: Designer Foods III: Garlic, Soy and Licorice. John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Pages 177-180.

  2. Liu Z, Li M, Chen K, Yang J, Chen R, Wang T, Liu J, Yang W, Ye Z. S-allylcysteine induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in androgen-independent human prostate cancer cells. Mol Med Rep. 2012 Feb;5(2):439-43. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2011.658. PubMed PMID: 22052207.

  3. Shin DY, Kim GY, Kim JI, Yoon MK, Kwon TK, Lee SJ, Choi YW, Kang HS, Yoo YH, Choi YH. Anti-invasive activity of diallyl disulfide through tightening of tight junctions and inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase activities in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Toxicol In Vitro. 2010 Sep;24(6):1569-76. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2010.06.014. PubMed PMID: 20600798.

  4. Bhandari P. Dietary botanicals for chemoprevention of prostate cancer. J Tradit Complement Med. 2014 Apr;4(2):75-6. doi: 10.4103/2225-4110.130371. PubMed PMID: 24860728.

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