Researchers at John Hopkins University have published results that tease the hope of a hair loss cure. We look closer.
Mice In The Cross Hairs
A team at the renowned John Hopkins University, consistently ranked among the world’s top 20, were looking into the effect of a Western diet on the hair and skin. Mice are invariably the test animal of choice for any hair loss research and these ones were fed a Western diet high in cholesterol and fat.. no ordinary mice though, these mice were genetically modified to develop atherosclerosis… which sees fat deposits form in the arteries.
The mice were split into two groups and from the age of 12 to 20 weeks one group was being fed something the team called “untreated rat chow” (we can only imagine what that might look like) and the other the high fat, high cholesterol diet aimed at copyng the eating habits of your typical westerner.
What Happened Next
As was expected the mice on the Western diet developed skin lesions and their hair turned white and began to fall out. The longer they were on the diet the worse the symptoms became and by week 36 three quarters of the mice in that group had developed skin lesions. They discovered that if they switched the diet, from western to rat chow, at 20 weeks the mice would make a full recovery to their original state.
Co-author of the study, and professor of pediatrics at John Hopkins, Dr Subroto Chatterjee, made a statement in which he said “Our findings show that a Western diet causes hair loss, hair whitening and skin inflammation in mice, and we believe a similar process occurs in men lose hair and experience hair whitening when they eat a diet high in fat and cholesterol.”
He went on “Further research is needed, but our findings show promise for someday using the drug we develop for skin diseases such as psoriasis and wounds resulting from diabetes or plastic surgery.”
HIS Hair Clinic
So there you have it. One of the world’s leading universities is hard at work developing an oral drug that might go some way to addressing hair loss caused by diet… We are not sure what proportion of hair loss sufferers that will work for but this is clearly important research, going way beyond a fix for diet related hair loss.
Rest assured, we will be watching, and reporting on, their progress. In the meantime, untreated rat chow anyone?
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