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Prevent Stress Related Hair Loss During the Holidays

      The holiday season is a perfect storm for stress induced hair loss. There are multiple reasons for this. For starters hair shedding, not unlike foliage, is established to be more pronounced in the late fall and winter, and comparatively minimal in the Spring and Summer. Add to that financial stressors, gift giving imperatives, visiting relatives, shopping crowds, sugar loaded drinks, starchy snacks and depression induced by the endlessly televised and broadcasted edicts that we are supposed to having a better time than we, in fact, actually are.

      All this can take quite a toll on your hair. Biochemically, stress causes an increase in cortisol, the “stress hormone," which is problematic for hair.

Hormonal Parameters in Androgenetic Hair Loss in the Male

J.B. Schmidta, A. Lindmaiera, J. Sponab

Department of Dermatology II and Division of Molecular Endocrinology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology I, University of Vienna, and Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Prenatal and Experimental Genome Analysis, Vienna, Austria

Dermatologica 1991;182:214-217


Alopecia in the male is considered as a genetically determined disorder. Increased local androgen metabolism and androgen receptor binding in the balding areas confirm the importance of the target organ hair follicle as regulative of androgen influences. In our study the hormonal parameters of 65 male patients with male pattern hair loss with a mean age of 24.31 years were compared with those of 58 age-matched controls. Determinations of the androgens, sex-hormone-binding globulin, the hypophyseal hormones luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and prolactin, 17β-estradiol and cortisol were performed by standard radioimmunoassay.Significant differences in serum levels of Cortisol, Androstenedione, 17β-estradiol and Luteinizing Hormone were noted between hair loss patients and control subjects. Suprarenal stimulation as well as hypophyseal feedback mechanisms therefore seem to be involved in male pattern alopecia.

      Cortisol, not surprisingly, is shown to be elevated in those who have MPB loss to begin with. Recent research done at UCLA found that Rats with which hair loss was induced via stress, were able to quickly regrow their hair in the presence of continued stress with the oral administration of a cortisol reducing compound, called Astressin B.

UCLA Stumbles on Cure for Hairloss

      As we featured in this previous update, Cortisol, and its effects on hair can be readily neutralized with the usage of the extracts of Rhodiola and Ashwagandha.

      A recent study identified a mechanism of Curcumin that would indicate that it can reduce depressive symptoms, and do so in a way that not only reduces cortisol, but address a direct neurogenic inflammatory mechanism that is central to the pathogenesis of Androgenetic Alopecia (MPB) as well.

Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB. Xu Y, Ku B, Tie L, Yao H, Jiang W, Ma X, Li X.

Department of Pharmacology, School of Basic Medical Science, Peking University, 38 Xueyuan Road, Beijing, 100083, PR China.


Curcuma longa is a major constituent of the traditional Chinese medicine Xiaoyao-san, which has been used to effectively manage stress and depression-related disorders in China. Curcumin is the active component of curcuma longa, and its antidepressant effects were described in our prior studies in mouse models of behavioral despair. We hypothesized that curcumin may also alleviate stress-induced depressive-like behaviors and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction. Thus in present study we assessed whether curcumin treatment (2.5, 5 and 10 mg/kg, p.o.) affects behavior in a chronic unpredictable stress model of depression in rats and examined what its molecular targets may be. We found that subjecting animals to the chronic stress protocol for 20days resulted in performance deficits in the shuttle-box task and several physiological effects, such as an abnormal adrenal gland weight to body weight (AG/B) ratio and increased thickness of the adrenal cortex as well as elevated serum corticosterone levels and reduced glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA expression. These changes were reversed by chronic curcumin administration (5 or 10 mg/kg, p.o.). In addition, we also found that the chronic stress procedure induced a down-regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein levels and reduced the ratio of phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB) to CREB levels (pCREB/CREB) in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of stressed rats. Furthermore, these stress-induced decreases in BDNF and pCREB/CREB were also blocked by chronic curcumin administration (5 or 10 mg/kg, p.o.). These results provide compelling evidence that the behavioral effects of curcumin in chronically stressed animals, and by extension humans, may be related to their modulating effects on the HPA axis and neurotrophin factor expressions.

      Previous studies by a team of Italian researchers identified neurogenic inflammation, a neurotrophic factor expression, as the primary mechanism of MPB, and that this inflammation could be readily ameliorated with the co-administration of Resveratrol and Curcumin.

Italian Patent for Resveratrol and Curcumin

      Independent studies on Resveratrol and Curcumin subsequent to these findings by the Italian research team have conclusively confirmed their proprosed mechanism of the hair growth effects of this combination; the neutralizing of neurogenic inflammation.

      Curcumin is believed to be the most potent health component of the spice turmeric. A significant barrier to using turmeric as a hair loss or health treatment is the poor bioavailability of curcumin in its raw form. In the last few years a few new, enhanced absorption extracts and analogues of curcumin have been formulated by the bio-tech industry. These breakthroughs have created an effective use of curcumin for medical issues in which its low bioavailability outside of the digestive tract has previously functioned as a significant barrier.

      Dolcas Biotech developed the proprietary turmeric extract called BCM-95 (also known as BioCurcumin 95) which improves the bioavailability of curcumin by around 7 to 8 times that of regular turmeric extracts and more than 6 times those of a 95% Curcumin extract using piperine. Both BCM -95, and the 95% extract with biopiperine yield significantly reduced levels of curcumin after about 12 hours after an oral dose. Thus you may need to take two capsules a day at 12 hour intervals to maintain relatively high levels of curcumin in the blood. A 400 mg dose of BCM-95 yields similar blood concentrations to taking 2800 mg of turmeric standardized to 95% curcumin. BCM-95, is the Curcumin extract used in Super BioCurcumin. For optimal absorption and other synergistic benefits, take Super BioCurcumin along with other beneficial oils and fats. Fish or Krill Oil, Olive Oil, and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil are particularly good choices.

      This latest finding regarding Curcumin lends more credence to these prior findings, and has positive implications for not only hair growth/ hair loss prevention, but for depression and stress management as well. Even more encouraging was these effects were found in doses that are readily replicable in humans. The dose administered in the study was the equivalent of 5- 10mg per kilogram of bodyweight, or 2, 400mg capsule for an average 150-200lb person. We recommend combining Super BioCurcumin in 2 divided daily doses with a potent dose of Resveratrol to optimize its adaptogenic, and hair growth effects.

Related Articles:

Curcumin, A 5 Alphna Reductase Type 2 Inhibitor

Curcumin Use Reinforced For Hairloss Treatment

Resveratrol, a Possible Hair Growth Mechanism

New Study Validates Hair Growth Mechanism of Resveratrol/Curcumin

Seasonal Stress and Hairloss


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