Hair loss in men: Study uncovers new cause

There may be a connection between hair loss in men and the consumption of sugary drinks. That shows a new study.

Thinning hair, a receding hairline or even a bald head can scratch male self-confidence. A study by Tsinghua University in Beijing has now linked male pattern hair loss to the consumption of sugary drinks.

The more sweet drinks, the stronger the hair loss

The study, published in the journal Nutrients, is based on the analysis of 1,000 Chinese men aged 18 to 45 who were observed over a period of around three months.

It was found that hair loss was 30 percent more common in men who drank at least one sugary drink a day. These included cola, juice, energy drinks and sports drinks, as well as sweetened coffee or tea. Those who consumed more than one of these drinks even had a 42 percent higher risk of hair loss.

Hair loss: a men’s issue

Men are more prone to hair loss than women. In around 80 percent of cases, congenital androgenetic alopecia is behind it. It usually begins with a receding hairline and thinning areas at the temples.

Later, a bald head is added, which over time expands further and further to the top of the head and can develop into a completely bald head.

Diet and stress also play a role

In addition to the drinking habits, the researchers also looked at the diet of the study participants. They found that men who complained of hair loss consumed more fried foods and fewer vegetables overall than those without hair problems. It was also noted that a history of illness or anxiety was associated with a higher risk of hair loss.

How is the study classified?

Whether and to what extent the consumption of sugary drinks is causally related to hair loss and what role other factors play cannot be conclusively clarified by one study alone. In order to make scientifically sound statements about this, further studies with a larger number of participants are necessary.

However, reducing sweetened drinks makes sense in principle, and not just for the sake of your hair. Too much sugar is bad for your health in many ways. It leads to obesity, promotes metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and damages the heart and blood vessels.

How much hair loss is normal?

Every second man over the age of 20 has to reckon with losing hair. However, losing up to 100 hairs a day is no reason to panic. Doctors only speak of pathological hair loss when this amount is significantly exceeded over a longer period of time or the hair no longer grows back.

The extent of hair loss can be estimated using the envelope method: First you wash your hair. The next day you comb your hair over a sink, collect the hair that has fallen out and got stuck in the brush and put it in an envelope. On this you note the number of hairs that have fallen out with the respective date.

You do the same thing the day after next and again two days later. It is important not to wash your hair in the meantime. If you find that the average hair loss is more than 100 hairs per day, it is advisable to consult a doctor for further treatment.

What nutrition strengthens men’s hair

A balanced, vitamin-rich diet is an essential prerequisite for healthy hair growth. Since hair consists largely of the protein keratin, a protein-rich diet can strengthen the hair and prevent hair loss.

Protein-rich foods such as chicken, fish, eggs, lentils and cheese should not be missing from men who are struggling with thinning hair or sparse patches. Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which are also good for the scalp and hair growth.

Certain vitamins and minerals also strengthen the hair. B vitamins are known to strengthen skin, hair and nails. They are found in legumes, nuts and whole grains. Minerals such as zinc and iron support the hair roots and promote cell formation. Iron or zinc deficiency is therefore often associated with hair loss.

Better keep your hands off this

Nicotine, on the other hand, is pure poison not only for organs and blood vessels, but also for the hair. In addition, nicotine can block the absorption of vitamins and nutrients. Men with hair loss should therefore refrain from smoking. Alcohol consumption and the excessive consumption of animal fats and products made from white flour also promote hair loss.

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