Have you eaten any blueberries lately? If so, hair surgeons say you might be less likely to suffer from androgenetic alopecia, or pattern baldness. According to a new study, certain vitamins and bioflavonoids could enhance the health and functionality of hair follicles, creating long and beautiful hair that will last long into adulthood.
Free Radicals, Oxidative Stress, and Balding. The idea that antioxidant super foods could hold the key to preventing hair loss comes from leading research institutions in the United Kingdom. The Centre for Cutaneous Research at the Queen Mary’s University of London, along with the Farjo Medical Centre and Unilever R&D, have published the findings in an abstract titled Oxidative Stress and Cell Senescence in Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA).
In the report, researchers contrast two separate cultures of hair follicle dermal papilla (DP): One from scalp that has experienced pattern baldness, and one from scalp that exhibits normal hair growth. By contrasting these two selections of DP, researchers were able to make a number of fascinating discoveries:
1. The derma papilla (DP) of balding scalp exhibited higher levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS).
ROS molecules are a special type of free radical that is sometimes produced when the body metabolizes oxygen. As professor of nutrition at Tufts University, Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg has dedicated his professional career to the study and science of free radicals, oxidation, and cell damage. He explains:
“While the body metabolizes oxygen very efficiently, 1% or 2% of cells will get damaged in the process and turn into free radicals,” (i).
Once produced, free radicals are known to swarm the body in search of an extra electron. Numerous studies suggest that this process causes damage on the cellular level, referred to as free radical damage. According to health experts at the Harvard School of Public Health, free radical damage may contribute to cardiovascular disease, vision loss, and other chronic conditions (ii). Now, according to researchers in the UK, it seems free radicals might also lead to pattern baldness by damaging hair follicles.
2. Higher levels of ROS corresponded to decrease cell motility.
Cell motility refers to the ability of body cells to naturally reproduce in a dynamic fashion. Motility is vital for wound healing, tissue regeneration, a number of other important biological functions. When comparing DP cultured from balding scalp to that of normal scalp, researchers found cell motility to decrease as oxygen levels increased, indicating that increased ROS might significantly impair the DP’s ability to support healthy long-term hair growth.
3. DP from balding scalp exhibits higher levels of cell senescence.
Cell senescence occurs when a cell is alive but no longer able to divide and proliferate. As cell senescence increases, the ability of the hair follicle to support natural hair growth decreases.
As a result of the 3 main findings above, researchers now believe “oxidative stress may exacerbate the onset of androgenetic alopecia [pattern baldness],” (iii).
This exclusive health report has been published by the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. For additional information or appointment requests, please call toll-free 1-877-443-9070.
(i) “How Antioxidants Work.” WebMD. Accessed 8 July 2013.
(ii) “Antioxidants: Beyond the Hype.” Harvard School of Public Health. Accessed 8 July 2013.
(iii) “Oxidative Stress and Cell Senescence in Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA)”