Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tocotrienol for Hair Regrowth

A recent study led by Prof Yuen Kah Hay of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia found that supplementation with tocotrienol capsules increases hair number in volunteers suffering from hair loss as compared to the placebo group.

Twenty one volunteers were randomly assigned to orally receive 100 mg of mixed tocotrienols daily while 17 volunteers were assigned to receive placebo capsule orally.

The volunteers were monitored for the number of hairs in a pre-determined scalp area as well as the weight of 20 strands of 1 cm length hair clippings at 0 (before supplementation), 4 and 8 months.

The number of hairs of the volunteers in the tocotrienol supplementation group increased significantly as compared to the placebo group, with the former recording a 34.5% increase at the end of the 8-month supplementation as compared to a 0.1% decrease for the latter.

Nevertheless, the cumulative weight of 20 strands of hair clippings did not differ much from the baseline for both supplementation groups at the end of the study period.

Patients with alopecia generally exhibit lower levels of antioxidants in their scalp area as well as a higher lipid peroxidation index.

Tocotrienols belong to the vitamin E family and are known to be potent antioxidants.  The observed effect in this study was most likely to be due to the antioxidant activity of tocotrienols that helped to reduce lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress in the scalp, which are reported to be associated with alopecia.

Lim AB, Wong JW, Yuen KH. Effects of Tocotrienol Supplementation on Hair Growth in Human Volunteers. Tropical Life Sciences Research, 21(2), 91–99, 2010

Minoxidil reinvigorates shrunken hair follicles to increase their size and helps to regrow thicker-looking hair over time.

Minoxidil was introduced in the early 1970s as a treatment for hypertension. Hypertrichosis was a common side-effect in those taking minoxidil tablets and included the regrowth of hair in male balding. This led to the development of a topical formulation of minoxidil for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men and subsequently in women.

In animal studies, topical minoxidil shortens telogen, causing premature entry of resting hair follicles into anagen, and it probably has a similar action in humans. Messenger and Rundegren reviewed what is known about the pharmacology of minoxidil, with particular reference to its action on hair growth in humans.

Messenger AG, Rundegren J. Minoxidil: mechanisms of action on hair growth. British Journal of Dermatology 2004; 150: 186–194.  Click HERE to read the entire journal article.

Tocotrienol, Topical Minoxidil with a Scalp Cleanser thrown in for good measure!

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