Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Could Coffee Cure Baldness?

Coffee may cure baldness!

New research from the University of Jena in Germany has concluded that caffeine blocks the effects of a chemical known to damage hair follicles and stimulates the growth of tiny follicles in the scalps of men who are just starting to lose their hair.

30 Day Free Trial!"Caffeine is a well-known substance, yet little is known about its effect on human hair follicle growth," lead study author Dr. Tobias Fischer told the publication This Is London. "But this study shows it's a promising candidate for hair growth stimulation."

About half of all men are balding by the time they reach their 50th birthday, something that many find distressing but about which they are too embarrassed to do anything. In a recent survey of five European countries, more than 50 percent said that going bald made them feel old and less attractive.

Men go bald when the hair follicles are exposed to too much DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a chemical that is produced by the male hormone testosterone. If there is too much DHT in a man's blood, his hair follicles will shrink. Eventually the hair becomes thinner and grows for less time than normal. It's thought that men who have the highest levels of testosterone are the ones who are most likely to lose their hair, especially if baldness already runs in the family. The newer anti-baldness drugs, which have to be taken for up to two years, work by stopping DHT from reaching the follicles and stunting hair growth.

To test the caffeine theory, Fischer's team took scalp biopsies from 14 men, all of whom where in the early stages of hair loss. The extracted hair follicles were placed in test tubes with solutions that contained different levels of caffeine. They were left in the solutions for up to eight days. By the end of that time, the caffeine had boosted the length of the hairs by between 33 percent and 40 percent, but showed a marked difference after only 24 hours. It appears that caffeine can resist the damaging effects of DHT, reports This Is London.

Unfortunately, you can't reap the benefits from just drinking more coffee since it would require a staggering 60 cups a day. But help may soon be on the way. This study has prompted the German cosmetics company Alpecin to develop a caffeine-rich solution that is rubbed on the scalp.

The study findings were published in the International Journal of Dermatology.
--From the Editors at Netscape

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