Minoxidil Sulfotransferase Booster out in 2023

With oral Minoxidil becoming the most discussed hair loss treatment over the past year, now is a good time to discuss the Minoxidil Sulfotransferase (SULT1A1) enzyme.

The below diagram is from a Polish study published in 2022 covering Sulfotransferase activity in hair follicles and the response to Minoxidil treatment. Sulfotransferase 1A1 is encoded by the SULT1A1 gene.

Minoxidil Sulfotransferase (SULT1A1).
Minoxidil Sulfotransferase (SULT1A1) chemical structure.

The Minoxidil Sulfotransferase Enzyme

When Minoxidil is used topically on the scalp, it is converted into its active form (Minoxidil sulfate) by SULT1A1 enzymes, which are located in the follicular outer root sheath. However, many people’s hair follicles lack high levels of sulfotransferase. So these men (and women) are unable to convert even extra strength Minoxidil into its active form that stimulates hair growth.

Note that Retin-A (Tretinoin) enhances the response to Minoxidil in androgenetic alopecia patients by upregulating follicular sulfotransferase enzymes. No wonder so many blog readers have recommended the use of both products together.

Benefits for Oral Minoxidil too?

When it comes to oral Minoxidil, the body’s liver does the job of converting Minoxidil into Minoxidil sulfate (also spelled sulphate). Several articles that I read seem to suggest that the hair follicle does not need to do the conversion anymore. However, Dr. John Cole said the following to me:

“If you can’t sulfate it, Minoxidil will not work. Peripherally sulfated Minoxidil cannot enter the cell.”

Also, in this 2020 letter from Ramos et al (full version here), a key quote:

“Increasing the activity of SULT1A1 can improve the efficacy of topical and low dose oral minoxidil for the treatment of AGA.”

Moreover, the following quote in last year’s important article from the AAD in regards to LDOM suggests some uncertainty via the use of the word “may”:

“It has been suggested that oral minoxidil may also be converted by liver and platelet sulfotransferase, thereby reaching a higher follicular accumulation.”

It would be interesting to know if beard growth with topical Minoxidil is also impacted by SULT1A1.

Boosting SULT1A1

In recent years, there have been some significant efforts made to  develop products to boost the Sulfotransferase enzyme in order to improve the efficacy of Minoxidil. Leading the way is Dr. Andy Goren, who started a company called Applied Biology that created a Minoxidil Booster product.

However, in June 2021, Applied Biology was acquired by Jupiter Wellness. Luckily, while researching for this post, I came across Jupiter’s hair loss product page. Lo and behold, some interesting news on their Minoxidil Booster topical product:

  • It has been clinically shown to increase the sulfotransferase enzymes needed for minoxidil to work by up to 7x over a two-week period. I assume this 2021 study pertains to those findings. Co-authors include the well known hair researchers Dr. Rodney Sinclair and Dr. Rachita Dhurat.
  • The product has already been licensed to Taisho, which is Japan’s leading seller of Minoxidil products. They expect to launch the product commercially in 2023.
  • Licensed to Cosmofix Technovation and Sanpellegrino Cosmetics, both from India.

Note that in the study that I listed above, 75% of patients in the SULT1A1 group demonstrated a positive increase in hair growth; compared with only 33% of patients in the placebo group. However, the study limitations include its small sample and limited duration of follow up.

Update: Right after writing this post, I found out that compounded Minoxidil Sulfate (MXS) based topical formulations are available for medical use in some parts of the world such as Brazil.

39 thoughts on “Minoxidil Sulfotransferase Booster out in 2023”

  1. Hey HLC, been watching this space for a while now. I too was only recently checking Junipers site for any update lol. I was using tret and min in the past with great success, however have gotten smp since to darken my scalp and stopped tret afterwards due to the fact tret induces faster skin cell turnover therefor fading the pigment.
    I have been following news about this booster for a few years now as it uses a different ingredient, I believe sodium bicarbonate or something. Not sure if you knew but Daniel Alain for was selling this for a few months up until recently on his website but noticed it’s not available anymore. I wanted to purchase it but it was compulsory to buy his minoxidil with it which was too expensive. Looking forward to a standalone version of this coming out soon.

    1. Do you have any idea if you using tret would fade the pigment of SMP if you mix tret with minoxidil, rather than applying tret on its own? I doubt it but wondering.

  2. This is really interesting, especially if it improves the results of oral Minoxidil. If it starts selling in Japan, please let us know.

    1. Hi James, if you are very bald and oral Minoxidil just maintains, you may still be upset. Or not even notice the benefit.

  3. I just looked at the American dermatology association website, and while it says oral minox has hair benefits, it also says:

    “Minoxidil is indicated for refractory hypertension and carries a black box warning for the risk of developing a pericardial effusion that may progress to cardiac tamponade and angina pectoris exacerbation. (3) As an antihypertensive, oral minoxidil is usually dosed between 5 and 40 mg daily. The most common adverse reactions are generalized hypertrichosis, tachycardia, and pedal edema. Interestingly, the drug has a minimal hypotensive effect in normotensive patients. (1) Recently, there have been multiple studies exploring the use of low-dose oral minoxidil (LDOM, < 5mg daily) for treating many forms of alopecia, with the goal of gaining hair while keeping adverse reactions at bay.

    Interesting. Thanks for updating the hope medicine post, admin. Looks like he’s almost done (or getting close).

    1. Yes that’s the link I posted for you before since you were worried about the potential heart effects. But such warnings are likely for most high blood pressure medications. Might also show up for the Hope Medicine product.

      It is a judgement call between you and your doctor. I decided the risks were way too low for me to be worried. The only thing I am worried about with LDOM is getting an even higher and lower beard line and forehead hair!

  4. Oh yeah you’re right same link. Everything I’ve seen (not just on this link but others) said pretty much don’t take if you have heart issues or heart disease, otherwise low risk. I have heart issues so it’s a skip for me, unfortunately (not just blood pressure but it can impact the heart in other in other ways). But I’d probably take it if it wasn’t for my heart issues.

    Maybe with hope medicine there will be issues and side effects too, who knows. But at least with hope it’s 12 shots and done for good (not meds everyday forever). Unfortunately, I wasn’t impressed with that last update from the Reddit guy in the hope trial. But we’ll see.

    1. I wouldn’t focus on the results from reddit too much yet, because the monkey trials showed that the re-grow took well over a year to fully finalise, the result at the end of the 12 injections most likely won’t reflect the final potential of the treatment.

  5. This is interesting news, and I hope it helps people. For me, I’ll always just be waiting for the day where something says 100% efficacy. Even if it’s 90%, that’ll still leave me NW7 bald. Anyway, I appreciate hearing of the positive progress and being allowed to vent on here. I will not take internal medicine that alters hormones of my whole body for the sake of my hair, and I won’t risk a topical on my perfect SMP unless it’s 100% effective for everyone… But I’m always looking forward to the real cure and appreciate all progress that helps the more fortunate people.

  6. Kindly please someone help me with the name of any organic shampoo with mainly ingredients of Biotin AND DHT blocker.
    Please Please Please.

    KAPPO

  7. Can’t believe we’re still talking about minoxidil, finasteride, dutasteride, graft-limited hair transplants, hair tattoos and hairpieces in freaking 2023….

    COME ON SCIENCE! CURE THIS EPIDEMIC ALREADY!

    1. I know…it’s one reason minox discussions get me down. It’s old news, mostly. Been around forever and we (as a society) keep circling back to it even though we already know what it can and can’t do. I know why – it’s all we got. But it just feels like we’re stuck in a time loop. Some things are on the horizon so maybe someday soon we can leave “the great minox” in the past, once we have something better.

      1. Oral Minoxidil is the first drug that stopped my hair loss almost cold Turkey (albeit only two months so far). I would have never considered taking it were it not for the developments of the past year and some of the quotes from the impressed doctors. You should read my post on the subject and all the links in there very thoroughly before making any judgement. A miracle “new” treatment for some who only considered topical Minoxidil before.

        1. I read something “inspirational” about two guys that saw a sign for free beer, one was bitching about the line while the other was thankful for the free beer. One man’s bitching about the same old treatments is another’s gratefulness that we have weapons beyond only pluggy transplants and toupees when he started thinning over forty years ago (that’d be me). I’ve always seeked out the best versions of what’s available, while far from the “miracle cure” that only some will be happy with, I have cosmetically decent hair.

          1. Why should I be grateful? I took it for years and it did nothing. Not so apt for those it never worked for. For every person that says how great it is there is one (or more than one) saying it did nothing. So it’s really not so apt for a huge portion of people. Quite few I know it did nothing for. So they “stood in line” for no beer at all.

            1. Why did you say in the OM thread that if you didn’t have heart issues you’d take OM? No doubt OM doesn’t work for everyone, does that mean no one should take it? I can’t be grateful that I’ve had some level of results with current available treatments over the past 40 years? Beats the alternative of bitching about the line, waiting for a pluggy transplant with a ill-fitting toupee on.

          2. I started thinning around 40 years ago at the age of 15. Luckily not aggressive. I was grateful when Propecia (1999) became available and later Dutasteride. I never used topical minox. Ok, I did in 1989 and 1990. I bought it in the US on a holiday. But I hated the grease. After around 18 months I stopped as it didn’t do anything for me. Thus OM is heaven for me altough I expected a bit more.

            I simply can’t understand young people nowadays that hesitate to begin treatments. Everybody should know that the internet is full of misinformation and vicious trolls plus outrageous generalisations.

            On the other hand, balding and shaving is quite common these days. Thus a lower social disadvantage for balding people. But by observation, it was a different story 40 years ago.

            We all hope that the miracle treatment is about to be released. Everybody wants hair like Reinhold Messner.

            In the meantime, use what is available and be grateful for it.

            1. Great post of your experience MRKA. I didn’t realize you were an older guy too. I understand your hesitance to use topical minox due to the poor cosmetic effect. There are quicker drying ones that help to mitigate that problem. You might also just use at night. I believe that supplementing oral treatments with higher strength topical minox with dutsteride gives an extra boost.

              1. Hello Yoda, I am contemplating to use CosmeRNA due to ease of use. Apparently it will be released this spring in Europe. I am also contemplating to use the ManeBiotech device.
                Of course, only additional to proven treatments. Perhaps there are synergistic effects on top of it.

                Fingers crossed.

          1. I am taking 2.5mg per day. Just amazing to see so little scalp hair shedding.

            My already robust facial hair seems to be growing a bit faster and possibly some new upper cheek hairs…so I am reluctant to move up to 5mg per day. You can see some amazing results on Reddit Tressless when it comes to LDOM lately.

            1. Thanks for your response, at that dose, do you have any neg. side effects? I am taking 1.25 mg but thinking of moving to 2.5mg

  8. I didn’t say it’s not helping some. I’ve said many times it helps some people. But it’s not a new drug (very old in fact). And it’s not a cure (meaning it’s not going to grow a full head of hair on anyone). Indisputable facts here.

    New discussions on old topics can help, certainly, and I’m glad it’s helping you. I’ve know about oral minox for a very long time, though. It’s nothing new (I’ve been tried it and it did nada). I’m not saying we shouldn’t discuss it here (you’re the admin so we can discuss what you want, of course), only that it’s the same drug that’s been around for decades. Nothing new has come out in decades. Same thing Brian said. By all means, discuss it. Take it. I hope it helps many. It’s just old news to me and I’m looking forward to something new that will blow minox away. Like most others are.

    In the future I’ll just skip minox discussions. Didn’t mean to offend or annoy. I was just agreeing with Brian.

    1. It is helping many and not just “some”. Sinclair even says it maintains in 100 percent of people, though I have my doubts about that stat. I think you forget that for those in the early phase of hair loss, even maintenance and slight regrowth is a cure, especially if they pass the Sulfotransferase test. Oral Minoxidil as a hair loss treatment option is new for most people in the US. Most dermatologists only started discussing the option in the last year after the NY Times article. FYI — Reddit Tressless is a great place to vent in case you are not a member.

  9. I’ll check the Reddit. Thanks.

    Serious question. Only you know the foot traffic (visits) but I wonder why the minox threads get so few comments/interaction and the others (about trials and new meds) get so many more. I mean, take our mine and a few others like mine you’re left with a dozen maybe. Do you think it’s because the word/term minox just makes people go “eh” and that they don’t know the potential benefits of oral (they may feel it’s like topical)? Basically, they disregard minox right away having tried rogain already? Curious.

    Like you, I’m extremely doubtful about that 100% of people. I can see it having benefits for many, but to stop genetics dead in their tracks (permanently, not just slowing it down) for everyone just seems highly unlikely.

    1. The Oral Minox post has 257 comments. The Oral Dutasteride reviews post has a record 460 comments. These two medications work for numerous people per all studies out there.

      You even posted about LDOM in March 2022 in another post btw when a long time reader said it was a game changer for him. You basically said it is useless because it was useless for you. Time to move on like you said.

      1. Yeah, time to move on. Apparently if a treatment is old it’s of no use. Kind of like Yoda, I’m freaking old but still have cosmetically decent hair thinks to these outdated treatments. ;-) Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready for the next “game changer”, until then I’d prefer to keep my hair and strive for it to be the best version of it I can with what’s available. You know, focus on the beer, not the line.

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