Apple Juice For Hair Loss?
Bald men who don't like the side effects of conventional hair growth medicines may soon be slathering apple juice on their heads instead. A recently released study shows that an ingredient in apples and apple juice--procyanidin B-2--significantly increases hair growth in men with male pattern baldness.
Proanthocyanidins are natural chemicals that have a wide range of benefits, including skin protection and hair growth. Previous studies in mice have showed that procyanidin B-2, a type of proanthocyanidin, causes hair growth at a rate that is 300 percent faster than a similar placebo.
In this study, authors from the Tsukuba Research Laboratories and the Watanabe Dermatological Clinic in Japan investigated the hair growth and side effects of a 1 percent procyanidin B-2 solution extracted from commercially available apple juice. For 6 months, 19 men received a daily topical dose of 30 mg of the procyanidin-B2 hair tonic, while another 10 received a placebo that looked and smelled the same. Hair growth--including hair density and diameter--were measured using microscopes and photographs.
Results revealed that men who received procyanidin B-2 grew more total hairs and more dense hairs than the placebo group. When the researchers compared their results with those of currently available medications, they found that procyanidin B-2 caused less hair growth than minoxidil (Rogaine), but a greater increase in total hairs than finasteride (Proscar). Unlike these prescription drugs, procyanidin B-2 produced no side effects such as itching or irritation.
The scientists speculated that antioxidants in procyanidin B-2 defeat male baldness by decreasing the scalp swelling that may cause hair loss. "The suppression of inflammation mediated by procyanidin B-2 returns the scalp to a healthy condition, consequently leading to a cure for baldness," they said. The authors are now planning further research on the length of time and the dose at which procyanidin B-2 is most effective. And they've figured out a way to get this natural chemical to bald men without using apple juice off the grocery shelf--by extracting it from green apples.
Kamimura A, Takahashi T, Watanabe Y. Investigation of topical application of procyanidin B-2 from apple to identify its potential use as a hair growing agent. Phytomedicine. 2000;7(6):529-536.
© 2001 by Integrative Medicine Communications.
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