Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, from which hair is grown. They are sequenced in the correct order by stem cells to form keratin, a hair protein, with amazing tensile strength. Amino acids require continual replacement. They can be replaced dietarily and in therapeutic dosages in their free and branched chain forms that have significant benefits for hair growth via several mechanisms. As with the majority of our hair loss treatment recommendations, they have a plethora of cross over health benefits as well. Here we will summarize the Amino acids best for hair loss intervention and give a brief synopsis of their mechanisms in regards to hair growth.
N-Acetyl- Cysteine, (NAC)– Speeds up hair growth when consumed at a dose of 1,000mg or more a day. NAC is also reported to facilitate longer hair growth-beyond that which is individually genetically programmed. It also provides potent anti-oxidant protection to the hair follicle.
Branched Chain Amino Acids-(L-Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine)-replenishes membrane potential, enhances cellular protein synthesis, and like Minoxidil, stimulates the synthesis of potassium channels in hair cells.
Carnitine– Stimulates hair shaft elongation and reduces hair cell death. Facilitates hair growth by up-regulation of proliferation and down regulation of apoptosis in follicular keratinocytes. It was quoted by a German research team as being a “well tolerated, relatively safe adjuvant treatment in the management of Androgenetic Alopecia and other forms of hair loss.
Taurine– Down-regulates the oxidation of Cysteine to taurine, leaving more cysteine for the hair, improving both its growth rate and shaft diameter. Inhibits fibrosis and the effects of Tgf-b on the hair follicle seen in MPB. Patented in combination with Green Tea Extract, Grape Seed Extract, and Zinc ia an oral treatment for Androgenetic Alopecia in Europe by L’Oreal.
Lysine– A patent excerpt from Dr. Rushton a many times published researcher states, “Studies involving the administration according to the present invention of L-lysine to those suffering from increased hair shedding show a remarkable increase in scalp hair growth.” “Typically, the L-lysine is administered in a daily dose of from 200 to 2000 mg, and more usually in a daily dose of 500 to 1500 mg, e.g. in the form of a 500 mg dose administered orally once, twice or three times a day. L-lysine may conveniently be administered orally, for example as tablets, capsules.”
Dr. Rushton patented a 500 mg. dose of L-Lysine, along with Iron and Vitamin C as a stand alone or adjunctive hair loss treatment.
Amino acids are as a general rule, are absorbed better on an empty stomach. The above mentioned Amino acids can be used either singularly, or in any combination. They are economical and have well established cross over health benefits.