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Fishing for Answers to Alopecia
By: Katie Schaefer, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine
Posted: January 5, 2009, from the January 2009 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
Alopecia or hair loss affects individuals globally, and although both men and women are affected by it, it is more commonly seen in men. In fact, according to James Murphy, CEO and general manager of Lifes2Good Natural Healthcare Inc., male pattern baldness affects nearly 65% of men.
Mechanisms of Action
Permanent hair loss in the form of male-pattern baldness has been attributed to high testosterone levels.1 “It has been found that the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) plays a large part in the inhibition of hair growth in men,” explained Murphy. DHT is a biologically active metabolite of testosterone that is formed in the hair follicles by the enzyme 5α-reductase via reduction of the 4,5 double-bond.1 DHT has been found to shorten the growth or anagen phase of the hair cycle. Thus, one way to prevent hair loss in men is to inhibit 5α-reductase, thereby reducing the production of DHT.
Men seeking treatment for pattern baldness, a form of androgenic alopecia, often are confronted with both topical preparations and oral supplements. Finasteride is a synthetic anti-androgen taken orally to help inhibit 5α-reductase. It is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat hair loss.2 Minoxidil is an approved topical treatment for hair loss that dilates the blood vessels, stimulating hair growth. “If the hair bulb is in place, finasteride and minoxidil get the hair to grow,” said Murphy. Both treatments are synthetic and can present some side effects.
Alternatively, the supplement from Lifes2Good Natural Healthcare Inc. aims to address thinning hair with nutrition. Murphy believes his company’s oral food supplement addresses hair loss both naturally and effectively-via fish.
Ingesting Hair Health
The company combined several natural actives including a marine protein extract, horsetail extract, flaxseed extract and cherry extract in its supplement to address not only androgenic alopecia but also the condition of hair.