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Food and Hair Loss

vegetables.jpgAs much as America's fast food culture wishes life were a box of chocolates, the fact is strong, healthy hair requires more than most vending machines and drive thru's can offer. 

Excessive weight and clogged arteries aren't the only thing poor eating habits can cause: thin hair, susceptible to the damaging effects of DHT is just as likely.  If you are experiencing hair loss your diet can play a profound role in reversing this condition.  By using the medicinal properties of the food you eat, your body can defend itself against balding and hair loss.  With a diet rich in vitamins, proteins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and trace elements, your hair will be more capable to withstand the bi-product of testosterone: DHT (Dihydrotestosterone, the main culprit in male and female pattern baldness). 

Studies have shown that diets rich with animal fats cause excessive amounts of testosterone to be released into the blood stream.  Similarly, people who eat diets low in fat have significantly less testosterone released in their system.  High levels of testosterone directly affect the amount of hair loss a person experiences. 

Research also indicates that high-fat diets limit vital protein binding globulins.  These globulins keep testosterone inactive in the body until it is required.  A bloodstream without such globulins means that more testosterone is ready to be transformed by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase (present in hair glands) into DHT.  With larger amounts of testosterone circulating in the blood, oil glands can increase activity, thereby providing the system with more harmful DHT.  Interestingly enough, areas that frequently have problems with balding contain larger oil glands than areas not associated with balding.  

In a noted study, researcher Masui Inaba documented his findings in a report illustrating this phenomenon in action.  The study observed higher incidents of hair loss among Japanese men who ate Westernized diets (i.e. far more red meat than their peers).  With more animal fat in their diets, Inaba illustrated that the dramatic increase led to an increased incidence of hair loss.  His research indicated that higher levels of fat cause oil glands in the hair follicle to grow, thereby producing more DHT and more damage to hair follicles.  From a molecular point of view, baldness is seen as a hormonal imbalance.  It is widely accepted that the hormone DHT is the principal factor in hair loss. As a result, compounds capable of lowering DHT levels are viewe

blackberry-for-hair-loss-care.jpgAlthough controlling dietary intake is more challenging than using medication, it doesn't have any negative side effects.  Many individuals have reported that changing their diet has resulted in helping to control hair loss, especially when it was done in combination with compounds that limit the production of  testosterone DHT.  d as having a beneficial effect in the treatment of baldness, including dietary restrictions that aid in reducing the effects of DHT. 

1) Steering clear of the Western diet is one of the best ways to avoid and defend against baldness.  By introducing low-fat protein sources, such as non-fatty fish, chicken, turkey, and soy products as well as complex carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and beans, into a diet rich in fatty acids can be effective in helping control hair loss.  By utilizing a healthy diet in tandem with drug and herbal therapies, individuals can greatly increase the odds of their success.  

2) Eat sizeable portions of fruits, vegetables, and beans.  Don't emphasize potatoes, pasta, and bread.  These foods quickly turn to glucose, spinning insulin levels out of control as blood sugar levels rise rapidly and fall just as quickly.  This compromises the body's ability to regulate hormone levels in the blood.  Such foods should be kept to a minimum.  

3) Caffine, nicotine, alcohol, and sugar affect the body with a similar effects on the blood.  These stimulants steal nutrients from the body while passing through the system, disrupting blood-sugar and hormone levels.  Adrenal glands are adversely affected.  Significant use of stimulants disturb and deplete the glands, which in turn affects the level of nutrients in the blood stream and eventually levels of hair damaging DHT.

4) By eating five to six smaller sized meals a day, the body will be able to maintain proper hormone levels. This provides hair with the nutrients needed for proper hair growth and maintenance.

5) It is best to avoid processed or refined foods.  Natural and organic foods are digested and utilized by the body in a more even fashion, allowing for better regulated hormone and blood-sugar levels.  Refined grains lack the best source of  vitamin B, an important building block in hair growth.  This deficit is further exacerbated by the lack of green leafy vegetables in the American diet. 

People in Mexico, India, China, and Japan have beautiful, strong hair well into old age.  A huge difference in diet is the amount of protein they eat.  Compared to the average American, protein intake is extremely low.  The habits of the people in such countries show a variety of foods rich in nutritious vitamins and minerals required for strong, healthy hair growth.  The Chinese diet is complete with an emphasis on vegetables, seafood, rice, and soybeans.  Their diet is rich in fatty acids that are essential for healthy hair.  The Japanese include large amounts of seaweed rich with Iodine, a crucial nutrient in the production of strong hair.  The diets in India and Mexico are replete with beans and rice, as well as leafy green vegetables and a wide variety of fruit. 

It should go without saying, but in terms of hair care, you are what you eat.