How to get Started
Hair loss is not just rooted in targeted DHT. DHT that is exposed to hair follicles stimulates TGF-B1, which stimulates collagen degrading enzymes, which further stimulate apoptosis. Cytokines such as Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha, ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species), Superoxide, Prostaglandin imbalances and stress hormones, prolactin, HTPA and other factors play an important role as well. Moreover, diet plays a strong role in how much additionalã-alpha reductase and the above mentioned factors will be allowed wreak havoc on your hair. Much of this is due to the inflammatory nature of adulterated and/or processed foods.
Systemic DHT does not cause hair loss, it is elevated levels of 5-alpha reductase that can. This is because it increases DHT in local target tissue. Also, in men, an elevation of prolactin increases levels of 5-alpha reductase. Prolactin increases in men with low thyroid function.
A protein upregulated in balding scalps called DKK-1 is also triggered by DHT. Some research suggests that DKK-1 levels can be buffered by lowering Lp(a) levels. The most effective way to do this is to insure that thyroid hormone is balanced. I hypothesize that male pattern baldness is actually a result of thyroid hormone imbalance. Both insufficient and excess levels of thyroid hormones T3 and/or T4 can result in hair loss. For example, T3 (triiodothyronine) prolongs the anagen phase possibily due to the downregulation of TGF-beta2.
While thyroid problems are largely undiagnosed, even if they are a large proportion of these patients only receive synthetic T4, which can cause hair loss. However patients do much better when taking natural T4 and T3 (Triiodothyronine). It is estimated that as many as 70% of the world (perhaps more) have less than optimal levels of iodine. Note that iodine is required for proper conversion of T3 from T4. Complicating matters, since most patients only receive synthetic T4, this can inhibit iodine levels further. If you're willing to experiment, I would suggest taking 50 milligrams of lugol's solution daily. The easiest way to acheive this is by adding 8 drops of 5% Lugol's solution to your daily water intake.
Please read Dietary Factors for information concerning diet.
If you doubt the veracity of my statement concerning diet, try eating packaged, convenience foods day after day, especially those loaded with hydrogenated oils, cane sugar, wheat and other grain ingredients. What you may find is that in as little as days, a disturbance of the skin on the scalp can be seen.
Grains and sugars, processed oils, margarines, trans-fatty acids throw a wrench into healthy prostaglandins, enzymes related to skin and hair, liver & kidney health, hormonal balance, and various metabolic functions critical to health. Also, due to commonly over prescribed anti-biotics (Greek for anti-life), yeast overgrowths produce acetylides and other toxic substances, which result in Candida overgrowth. An imbalance in intestinal microflora gives rise to hormone imbalances. Please visit the physiology page for more information on Candida overgrowth, since this factor alone can prevent any benefit from the regimen from working.
Nutrients such as Vitamin C, Magnesium Selenium and natural sources of B-vitamins are important for optimizing thyroid health.
To manage most factors critical to staving off hair loss, covering the following areas are most important:
- Reducing insulin producing foods or the impact of such foods on glucose and insulin.
- Controlling over expressed DHT
- Removing heavy metals
- Correcting metabolic conundrums
- Reducing oxidative stress
- Improving glucose metabolism
- Optimizing thyroid function
- Normalizing estrogen metabolism
- Balancing prostaglandins
- Curtailing inflammation
- Balancing intestinal microflora
Taking Curcumin to reduce TGF-B1 and Ecklonia Cava to combat MMP-9 (Matrix Metalloproteinase), also referred to as Gelatinase B) stimulation is very important. Both Curcumin & Ecklonia Cava do so much more and will radically reduce inflammation. Stabilized R-Lipoic Acid will increase the body's antioxidant defense system and improve glucose and insulin regulation).
Balancing out prostaglandins is just as crucial as reducing oxidative stress. Krill oil is a very convenient way to supplement the diet to achieve optimal essential fatty acids to improve prostaglandin balance.
Other sources of essential fatty acids include Krill, cod liver oil, Borage Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil and Black Currant Oil.
Managing stress can be difficult, and what follows stress can be neurogenic inflammation. This maybe the most rapid way to lose one's hair. Adding resveratrol along with curcumin can help combat this type of inflammation.
Acetyl L-Carnitine is very helpful in reducing stress and the associated rise in cortisol. However, be certain to only take acetyl l-carnitine along with lipoic acid.
Additional help is with the bioflavonoid, Quercetin. Keeping a lid on this hormone will help preserve hair, as cortisol levels are increased due to stress, hair follicle levels of CRH (Corticotropin releasing hormone) which is a hypothalamic hormone that is responsible for secretion of Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) can spell disaster if it's not controlled. A very useful aid in controlling cortisol is Ashwagandha as Sensoril, a patented form that helps balance out copper levels as well; a potentially critical contributor to hair regrowth.