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Green Tea Consumption Grows Hair, Protects Against UV Radiation in Animal Models
The following compilation of relatively recent studies underscore our longstanding recommendation to use Green Tea Extract for both hair growth and health benefits, Of particular interest is the possible aggravating effect of Sunlight on MPB. UV radiation has actually been used as a hair growth stimulant for Alopecia Areata in some treatment modalities. Recent research has indicated that at least some degree of daily sun exposure is necessary for Vitamin D production, and Vitamin D supplementation in the form of cholecaliferol has reportedly improved hair growth in some reports. Vitamin D and Hairloss
However beyond the moderate exposure required to stimulate the production of Vitamin D, overexposure to UV radiation could clearly worsen MPB via several mechanisms. A bad sunburn to the MPB affected area of the scalp could be a treatment setback. It is far better to prevent this from occurring than to have to deal with it after the fact. The most obvious and effective way to prevent this is to simply wear hats when out in the sun for any length of time. Of course this is not always practical,(especially when surfing !) so a reasonable second line of defense is to use nutrients and compounds which afford some measure of UV protection. There are quite a few. Lycopene, Beta Carotene, Curcumin and Grape Seed Extract all significantly reduce UV induced inflammation when internally consumed prior to UV exposure. The most potent and cost effective is Green Tea Extract, which provides immediate UV protective benefits and does not require sustained consumption over a few weeks to confer a UV protective benefit. As you can see in the following abstracts, the consumption of Green Tea also stimulates hair growth.
A word of caution about topical sunscreen on the scalp.The only active sunscreen ingredients you should even consider using are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Both stimulate skin repair mechanisms in addition to physically screening out all UV wavelengths, and are actually good for the skin and hair. The problem is that they are white and pasty, even in their micronized forms, and generally a visual nightmare to use. Virtually all other chemical sunscreen ingredients are unfortunately free radical catalysts, especially when interacting with UV light, and actually promote skin cancer and photoaging of the skin, even if they mange to stop visible tanning and burns. The vast majority of active sunscreen ingredients sold in the US by big companies have been banned in Europe for several years for this very reason. In fact you would be better off using no sunscreen than using what is largely sold in the US. Here is a comprehensive and objective rating of commercially available sunscreens that currently has the industry in an uproar: 2010 Sunscreen Rankings
If you happen to get sunburned on the scalp, or anywhere for that matter , there is no better treatment than the topical combination application of Aloe Vera and Emu Oil. Emu Oil itself has an SPF of 3-4, not a high degree of protection, but certainly better than nothing.
As you can surmise from one of the following studies, it would be especially prudent to use Green Tea Extract for both its hair growth and dermal UV protective properties in the summer months, particularly if you spend a lot of time outdoors. We recommend using Mega Green Tea Extract as the extract of choice due to it having the highest Catechin , Polyphenol and EGCG content of any commercially available extract. It is also far more economical and practical than attempting to obtain an equivalent amount of active constituents by drinking Green Tea, which by comparison, would require 10 cups a day.
It is also important to remember that no matter what Green Tea product you choose to consume, you should take it with either vitamin C, lemon or lime juice, (a few drops in a glass of water). Doing so significantly enhances the bioavailability of EGCG
Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2010 Jun 3;23(6):283-289
Beneficial Effect of Dietary Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate on Skin via Enhancement of Antioxidant Capacity in Both Blood and Skin.
Jeon HY, Kim JK, Seo DB, Cho SY, Lee SJ.
Food Research Institute, Amorepacific Corporation R&D Center, Yongin-si, Korea.
Is androgenetic alopecia a photoaggravated dermatosis?
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
Progressive thinning of the scalp hair in androgenetic alopecia (AGA) results in a gradual decline in natural protection of the scalp from ultraviolet radiation (UVR). A number of pathologic conditions of the scalp are evidently related to UVR, particularly photosensitive diseases and disorders of the chronically photodamaged bald scalp. The most important chronic effects of UVR are photocarcinogenesis and solar elastosis. Besides these, erosive pustular dermatosis and 'red scalp' are distinct disorders peculiar to the balding scalp. While the consequences of sustained UVR on the unprotected scalp are well appreciated, the effects of UVR on hair loss have widely been ignored. However, clinical observations and theoretical considerations suggest that UVR may have negative effects: acute telogen effluvium from UVR has been described, and the production of porphyrins by Propionibacterium sp. in the pilosebaceous duct, with photoactivation of porphyrins leading to oxidative tissue injury, has been implicated in follicular microinflammation. Alternatively, keratinocytes themselves may respond to physicochemical stress from UVR, besides irritants and pollutants, by producing radical oxygen species and nitric oxide and by releasing proinflammatory cytokines, eventually leading to injury of the putative site of follicular stem cells in the superficial portion of the hair follicle. Since all of these processes involved in hair loss share the common feature that they are induced or exacerbated by exposure to sunlight, it is proposed that AGA is a photoaggravated dermatosis that requires photoprotection.
J Natl Med Assoc. 2005 Aug;97(8):1165-9
The effects of tea polyphenolic compounds on hair loss among rodents
Esfandiari A, Kelly AP
Department of Otolaryngology,Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, USA.
The objective of this study was to examine the effects of polyphenolic compounds, present in noncommercially available green tea, on hair loss among rodentts. In an experimental study, we randomly assigned 60female Balb/black mice, which had developed spontaneous hair loss on the head, neck and dorsal areas into two equal groups; A (experimental) and B (control). Group A received 50% fraction of polyphenol extract from dehydrated green tea in their drinking water for six months. Group B received regular drinking water. Both groups were fed regular rodent diets (Purina Rodent Chow 5001) and housed individually in polycarbonate cages. The results showed that 33% of the mice in experimental Group A, who received polyphenol extract in their drinking water, had significant hair regrowth during six months of treatment (p = 0.014). No hair growth was observed among mice in the control group, which received regular water.
Phytomedicine. 2007 Aug;14(7-8):551-5. Epub 2006 Nov 7
Human hair growth enhancement in vitro by green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)
Department of Dermatology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Laboratory of Cutaneous Aging and Hair Research, Seoul National University Hospital, Institute of Dermatological Science, Seoul National University, 110-744 Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Green tea is a popular worldwide beverage, and its potential beneficial effects such as anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties are believed to be mediated by epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a major constituent of polyphenols. Recently, it was reported that EGCG might be useful in the prevention or treatment of androgenetic alopecia by selectively inhibiting 5alpha-reductase activity. However, no report has been issued to date on the effect of EGCG on human hair growth. This study was undertaken to measure the effect of EGCG on hair growth in vitro and to investigate its effect on human dermal papilla cells (DPCs) in vivo and in vitro. EGCG promoted hair growth in hair follicles ex vivo culture and the proliferation of cultured DPCs. The growth stimulation of DPCs by EGCG in vitro may be mediated through the upregulations of phosphorylated Erk and Akt and by an increase in the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax ratio. Similar results were also obtained in in vivo dermal papillae of human scalps. Thus, we suggest that EGCG stimulates human hair growth through these dual proliferative and anti-apoptotic effects on DPCs.