Many have claimed over the years that supplementing with Zinc and/or Biotin has reduced or stopped shedding, in both Telogen Effluvium, which is acute type of shedding caused by either biological or environmental stressors, and Androgenetic Alopecia. This study, the first we found evaluating zinc levels on those with male pattern baldness vs controls, looks to add some veracity to these claims. It found that those with male androgenetic alopecia had significantly lower blood levels of Zinc and Biotin, compared to non-balding controls, actually recommending Zinc supplementation.
Plasma Zinc Levels in Males with Androgenetic Alopecia as possible Predictors of the Subsequent Conservative Therapy’s Effectiveness
Androgenic alopecia (AGA) is the most common type of progressive hair loss in man. The search for reliable predictors of the conservative treatment’s effectiveness is an urgent problem today. Forty-eight patients with AGA, stages I-IV by the Norwood-Hamilton scale, were treated for 4 months with 5% topical minoxidil joints with corrections for trace element and vitamin imbalances. In most cases, the positive therapy’s effect was shown in the parietal but not in the occipital area, whereas that effect was observed in others. The attempts to associate the therapy’s effectiveness with initially defined genetic, hormonal, and metabolic parameters showed the absence of differences between groups with positive and negative outcomes. Among the studied nutrient parameters (Zn, Cu, Mg, Ca, Fe, and Se, as well as vitamins B12, E, D, and folic acid), differences between these groups was shown in zinc content only. The starting point from a zinc plasma level above 10 µmol/L likely provides the success of the subsequent conservative therapy and correlates with an increase in the hair density and diameter in the parietal area. The integral predictive value of the Zn plasma level was assessed as 72.3% (positive predictive value: -88%; and negative predictive value: -55%).
Research shows that zinc deficiency is widespread, especially in the elderly, the majority of whom exhibit age related hair miniaturization, known as senescent thinning. Supplementing with zinc is an effective way to support aging immune systems. It is also an essential component of superoxide dismutase, one of your body’s most powerful natural antioxidants. Zinc-containing proteins are vital for hormone production (has been shown to increase testosterone in males) and regulate protein and DNA synthesis, which is essential for healthy hair growth.
Most multivitamins, including mine, have 15-20 mg of Zinc, which is sufficient to prevent any deficiency per se. Based on the blood levels analyzed in this study, it would be prudent for anyone with a hair loss condition to supplement with some additional Zinc on top of the amount used in most multivitamins.
Again, we are not recommending Zinc supplementation as a standalone treatment for hair loss. We are recommending Zinc supplementation as an adjunct to any existing regime. Since absorption of most forms of Zinc is problematic, we have a low-cost formulation available that combines the highly bioavailable Zinc Caps® with zinc citrate to provide a potent 50 milligram dose of zinc in each capsule. Supplementing with Zinc, even in it’s most bio-available forms is cost negligible.
It is generally advised to take Zinc supplements with a meal as they can occasionally cause transient nausea if taken on an empty stomach.