A recent systematic review concluded that dietary supplements may play a role in treating hair loss.
Some nutritional supplements may help hair loss sufferers, according to a recent study published in . JAMA Dermatology.
A systematic review of 30 international studies found that supplements such as pumpkin seed oil capsules, zinc, capsaicin, and isoflavones promoted hair growth with minimal apparent side effects.
Recognizing that there are different options and discussing these with patients will help them make informed decisions about hair loss treatment, the authors said.
The researchers determined that these supplements, as well as tocotrienols, pantogar, biviscal, nouclin, nutrafol, and lambdapyr, had the highest quality evidence of demonstrated efficacy included in this study.
Although no systematic review was included in the analysis (which is the highest quality evidence available according to the scale used by the authors to measure quality), the evidence included was randomized controlled trials, substantial were from observational studies with significant effects or from initiation cohort studies. .
However, Australia’s leading hair expert and dermatologist Professor Rodney Sinclair has questioned the supplement’s use.
“Most of the evidence they refer to is low-quality data,” said Professor Sinclair of the University of Melbourne and Epworth Dermatology.
He said medical republic He usually used it only for patients who asked for nutritional supplements.
“Over the years, CSIRO has produced extensive literature on nutritional supplementation to promote wool growth,” he said.
“However, there is a lack of high-quality evidence that dietary supplements grow hair, stop hair loss, or prevent baldness in humans.”
One in two Australian men and women experience hair loss at some point in their lives, and many rely on nutritional supplements for support. But the safety and efficacy of supplements is highly variable, said Professor Sinclair.
He said he felt that research into human hair supplements could benefit from taking leaves from the animal literature, especially sheep’s wool growth.
“Unlike human hair studies, the methodology for investigating sheep nutrition is relatively straightforward,” he said.
“100 sheep in paddock A are supplemented. 100 sheep in paddock B are not supplemented. Weigh and compare the sheared wool clip and the wool clip.The role of the intervention can be established.”
Studies on wool supported the use of the essential amino acid cysteine. Zinc, copper, biotin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, folic acid, pantothenic acid, methionine, retinol, and cholecalciferol also affect follicle function and affect wool growth.
However, it is unclear whether these supplements are effective in animals other than sheep, said Professor Sinclair.
“It would cost millions of dollars to do the same quality research in humans,” he said.
“It is difficult to apply this sheep date to physiological human hair growth, and it may be a magical idea to apply it to scalp hair regrowth in pathological human hair diseases. .”
Vegetative hair loss treatments are also expensive, toxic when taken at high doses, and can interact with other drugs and clinical trial results, Professor Sinclair said.
An example of such an interaction is vitamin B. Biotin, or vitamin B7, can affect troponin measurements and lead to underdiagnosis of heart attacks.
author of JAMA Dermatology The paper analyzed data from 60 years of nutritional studies on healthy adults and children with alopecia.
In a randomized controlled trial, 76 men with androgenetic alopecia who received 400 mg of pumpkin seed oil per day reported improved hair growth and patient satisfaction compared to controls. I was.
Studies show that pumpkin seed oil inhibits 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydroxytestosterone, causing hair loss in both men and women.
Finasteride, one of two FDA-approved treatments for male pattern baldness, acts on the same pathway. Approved by the TGA for the treatment of. Contraindicated in women and children.
The researchers found few studies reporting adverse effects of dietary supplements. Nonetheless, the authors acknowledged that many studies were funded by manufacturers. He also expressed concern about the lack of federal oversight of how dietary supplements are marketed, as the FDA does not control products classified as food.
“Given the widespread use and considerable financial burden of dietary supplements, both physicians and patients should be aware of the lack of oversight by the FDA and exercise caution when choosing supplements. It is imperative that you pay.”
Despite these concerns, the safety, efficacy, and apparent mechanisms of dietary supplements have led the authors to be cautiously optimistic.
“Because it’s finasteride. [is an] Nutritional interventions, FDA-approved first-line treatments for many types of alopecia, should be evaluated as alternative or adjunctive treatments in future trials,” they wrote.
JAMA Dermatology 2022, Online 30 November