Q: Does creatine cause hair loss?
A: It’s plausible, but unlikely. One RCT linked creatine supplementation to an increase in DHT — an androgen involved in hair loss — but this RCT has never been replicated.
Read full answer to "Does creatine cause hair loss?"
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a derivative of testosterone that is known as being more potent at signalling through the androgen receptor, and due to this it is involved to a larger degree in hair loss and prostate cancer.
Our evidence-based analysis features 26 unique references to scientific papers.
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Q: Does creatine cause hair loss?
The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect dht
|Grade||Level of Evidence|
|Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials|
|Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled|
|Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies|
|Uncontrolled or observational studies only|
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
All comparative evidence is now gathered in our A-to-Z Supplement Reference.
The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available here.
Via HEM and FAQ:
- van der Merwe J, Brooks NE, Myburgh KH. Three weeks of creatine monohydrate supplementation affects dihydrotestosterone to testosterone ratio in college-aged rugby players. Clin J Sport Med. (2009)
- Kreider RB, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2017)
- Kaufman KD. Androgens and alopecia. Mol Cell Endocrinol. (2002)
- Bang HJ, et al. Comparative studies on level of androgens in hair and plasma with premature male-pattern baldness. J Dermatol Sci. (2004)
- Nyholt DR, et al. Genetic basis of male pattern baldness. J Invest Dermatol. (2003)
- Rathnayake D, Sinclair R. Male androgenetic alopecia. Expert Opin Pharmacother. (2010)
- Bartsch G, Rittmaster RS, Klocker H. Dihydrotestosterone and the concept of 5alpha-reductase inhibition in human benign prostatic hyperplasia. World J Urol. (2002)
- Hamada K, Randall VA. Inhibitory autocrine factors produced by the mesenchyme-derived hair follicle dermal papilla may be a key to male pattern baldness. Br J Dermatol. (2006)
- Trüeb RM. Molecular mechanisms of androgenetic alopecia. Exp Gerontol. (2002)
- Adil A, Godwin M. The effectiveness of treatments for androgenetic alopecia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Acad Dermatol. (2017)
- Redler S, Messenger AG, Betz RC. Genetics and other factors in the aetiology of female pattern hair loss. Exp Dermatol. (2017)
- Price VH. Androgenetic alopecia in women. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. (2003)
- Yip L, Rufaut N, Sinclair R. Role of genetics and sex steroid hormones in male androgenetic alopecia and female pattern hair loss: an update of what we now know. Australas J Dermatol. (2011)
- Green G. Creatine supplementation and DHT:T ratio in male rugby players. Clin J Sport Med. (2010)
- Vatani DS, et al. The Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Performance and Hormonal Response in Amateur Swimmers. Science and Sports. (2011)
- Arazi H, et al. Effects of short term creatine supplementation and resistance exercises on resting hormonal and cardiovascular responses. Science and Sports. (2015)
- Cooke MB, et al. Creatine supplementation post-exercise does not enhance training-induced adaptations in middle to older aged males. Eur J Appl Physiol. (2014)
- Cook CJ, et al. Skill execution and sleep deprivation: effects of acute caffeine or creatine supplementation - a randomized placebo-controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2011)
- Crowe MJ, O'Connor DM, Lukins JE. The effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) and HMB/creatine supplementation on indices of health in highly trained athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. (2003)
- Hoffman J, et al. Effect of creatine and beta-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. (2006)
- Eijnde BO, Hespel P. Short-term creatine supplementation does not alter the hormonal response to resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. (2001)
- Volek JS, et al. The effects of creatine supplementation on muscular performance and body composition responses to short-term resistance training overreaching. Eur J Appl Physiol. (2004)
- Faraji H, et al. The effects of creatine supplementation on sprint running performance and selected hormonal responses. SAJRSPER. (2010)
- Rahimi R, et al. Creatine supplementation alters the hormonal response to resistance exercise. Kinesiology. (2010)
- Volek JS, et al. Response of Testosterone and Cortisol Concentrations to High-Intensity Resistance Exercise Following Creatine Supplementation. JSCR. (1997)
- Tyka AK, et al. Effect of creatine malate supplementation on physical performance, body composition and selected hormone levels in spinters and long-distance runners. Acta Physiol Hung. (2015)
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"DHT," Examine.com, published on 7 August 2013, last updated on 29 April 2017, https://examine.com/topics/dht/