Cayenne, Soy Combo for Hairloss
This study identifies some unique, rarely elucidated mechanisms by which capsaicin, a constituent of cayenne pepper, combined with soy, can stimulate hair growth.
Growth Horm IGF Res. 2007 Jun 12; [Epub ahead of print] Administration of capsaicin and isoflavone promotes hair growth by increasing insulin-like growth factor-I production in mice and in humans with alopecia. Harada N, Okajima K, Arai M, Kurihara H, Nakagata N.
Department of Translational Medical Science Research, Nagoya City University, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kawasumi 1, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya 467-8601, Japan.
OBJECTIVE: Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) plays an important role in hair growth. Capsaicin activates vanilloid receptor-1, thereby increasing the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) from sensory neurons, and CGRP has been shown to increase IGF-I production. We recently reported that isoflavone, a phytoestrogen, increases production of CGRP by increasing its transcription in sensory neurons. These observations raise the possibility that administration of capsaicin and isoflavone might promote hair growth by increasing IGF-I production. In the present study, we examined this possibility in mice and humans with alopecia. DESIGN: Dermal IGF-I levels, immunohistochemical expression of IGF-I in the skin and hair regrowth were examined after capsaicin and isoflavone administration to wild-type (WT) mice and CGRP-knockout mice. Plasma levels of IGF-I and promotion of hair growth were evaluated in 48 volunteers with alopecia after administration of capsaicin and isoflavone for 5months. RESULTS: Subcutaneous administration of capsaicin significantly increased dermal IGF-I levels at 30min after administration in WT mice (p<0.01), but not in CGRP-knockout mice. Dermal levels of IGF-I were significantly higher in WT mice administered capsaicin and isoflavone for 4wks than in those administered capsaicin alone for 4wks (p<0.01) and in those administered neither of them (p<0.01). Immunohistochemical expression of IGF-I at dermal papillae in hair follicles was increased in WT mice administered capsaicin and isoflavone and in those administered capsaicin alone at 4wks. Hair regrowth was clearly more accelerated in WT mice administered capsaicin and isoflavone for 4wks than in those administered capsaicin alone for 4wks and in those administered neither of them. Plasma levels of IGF-I were significantly increased from baseline levels in 31 volunteers with alopecia at 5months after oral administration of capsaicin (6mg/day) and isoflavone (75mg/day) (p<0.01), while they were not increased in 17 volunteers with alopecia administered placebo. The number of volunteers with alopecia who showed promotion of hair growth at 5months after administration was significantly higher among volunteers administered capsaicin and isoflavone (20/31: 64.5%) than among those administered placebo (2/17: 11.8%) (p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: These observations strongly suggested that combined administration of capsaicin and isoflavone might increase IGF-I production in hair follicles in the skin, thereby promoting hair growth. Such effects of capsaicin and isoflavone might be mediated by sensory neuron activation in the skin.
Note: “Twenty-five people with Androgenetic Alopecia were included in the volunteers with alopecia who were administered capsaicin and isoflavone in the present study and promotion of hair growth was observed in 88.0% of the 25 patients with AGA.
The recommended amount of cayenne pepper would be 1-3 grams, and the recommended amount of soy would be 1 capsule of Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones,(approximately doubling the amount of isoflavones used in this study) for those looking to replicate this study for personal use. Cayenne pepper is widely and inexpensively available at most nutrition stores.
This article reinforces what has been stated by several published researchers over the years, most notably Dr. Rushton. That is, that that virtually all treatments for hair loss in both men and women are more efficacious with iron supplementation, whether you are “iron deficient” or not. Dr. Rushton maintains that this effect is dramatically enhanced when iron is used in conjunction with vitamin C and L-Lysine.
May 17, 2006 If you’re losing hair, you may have an iron deficiency.
A review of 40 years of research shows that iron deficiency has a much closer link to hair loss than most doctors realize. It may be the key to restoring hair growth, Cleveland Clinic dermatologists find.
“We believe that treatment for hair loss is enhanced when iron deficiency, with or without anemia, is treated,” Leonid Benjamin Trost, MD; Wilma Fowler Bergfeld, MD; and Ellen Calogeras, RD, MPH, write in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
It’s a controversial issue. Not every study shows a link between iron deficiency and hair loss. Trost says there’s not enough hard evidence — yet — to make iron-deficiency screening a routine procedure for people with hair loss.
But study researcher Bergfeld has been doing this for years. And she’s finding that whatever the cause of hair loss — for both women and men — having too little iron in the blood makes it worse.
“What Dr. Bergfeld has found in decades of experience, is when she treats patients for iron deficiency –even in the absence of anemia — it can maximize their ability to regrow hair,” Trost tells WebMD. “It is not the silver bullet for baldness, but it can definitely help maximize how a patient regrows hair.”
The Cleveland Clinic isn’t alone in doing this. George Cotsarelis, director of the University of Pennsylvania Hair and Scalp Clinic, has studied iron supplementation in women with various forms of hair loss.
“From our clinic’s experience, it is clear to me that if you replenish hair-loss patients’ iron stores with iron supplements, they are more likely to regrow hair, or at least stop hair shedding,” Cotsarelis tells WebMD. “And they don’t have to be anemic. That is the biggest mistake doctors make.”