Vitamin D, say scientists, may offer baldness cure
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/08/2012 -- Researchers may be closing in on a cure for baldness. Scientists recently discovered that vitamin D may awaken receptors in hair follicles that cease to work in those with hair loss, giving the medical community hope that there may be a cure for baldness one day.
“It’s how the vitamin D is being handled by the receptors in the follicles that may be part of the puzzle of why we begin to lose our hair as we get older,” Dr. Marc Avram, a professor of dermatology at New York’s Weill Cornell Medical College, told TODAY. “In the next few years, we will have many other options that ultimately one day will make hair loss a voluntary thing.”
More than half of men over 50 experience hair loss. Surgeons perform more than 100,000 hair transplant operations per year. The procedure ranges in cost from $8,000 to $12,000.
"What I see in my patients is when we can restore the hair, not only does it make them feel better about themselves but it restores their self-confidence,” said Dr. Marc Dauer, a Los Angeles hair transplant specialist. “This research that we've come up with is fantastic news for us.”
Dermatologist Dr. Susan Taylor told TODAY that baldness is often a result of the hair’s “sleep phase,” a period that normally lasts weeks or months, becoming permanent. In such instances, the follicle shuts down permanently.
Vitamin comes into play as the key that fits into the follicle receptor’s lock, said Taylor. “That seems to cause hair to grow and can help generate stem cells, cells that can turn into follicles.”
Drugs such as Propecia and Rogaine keep hair loss from continuing. Taylor said she hopes new treatments will go a step further, turning receptors back on and allowing hair to resume growing.
“There are a lot of bald men out there who want their hair back,” said TODAY’s Matt Lauer in an interview with Taylor. “Are we suggesting that at one point you’re going to get this vitamin D into your system and those hair follicles are going to be turned on immediately again? Are you just going to start sprouting hair? Is this going to take months, years?”
Taylor responded that it is too early to know.
“We hope this is going to be a potential cure but there’s much work that needs to be done to translate what we’ve learned in the lab to humans,” she said.
Taylor discouraged bald men from overdoing vitamin D consumption as a result of the news.
Excessive amounts of vitamin D can cause calcium to accumulate in the body, causing a variety of harmful conditions including kidney stones, nausea, constipation, and abnormal heart rhythm.
Lauer ended the segment with a “fun fact for our friends without hair. You lose about 100 hairs from your scalp every single day, which means that in about 2 1/2 weeks, I’m Mr. Clean.”
HairTransplantReno.com (http://www.hairtransplantreno.com/) allows people suffering from baldness a solution through a Nevada hair transplant surgeon. The website connects future patients with medical professionals for free hair restoration consultations in Hair Transplant RENO NV along with hair surgery Reno NV and also allows them to see previous Nevada hair transplants done.
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