Nutrition. Education. Transformation.

Diet Plan and Supplements for Alopecia (Hair Loss)

July 5, 2013

Alopecia Diet PlanAlopecia Diet Plan – Alopecia is a medical term used to define an autoimmune skin disease that causes one to loose patches of bodily hair that evolves into alopecia universalis (complete bodily hair loss). Although it is neither a life threatening nor permanent disease, Alopecia includes various psychological side effects on its victims such as depression and embarrassment. There are three different types of Alopecia:

Alopecia universalis means the loss of all hair from the body.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition causing a recurrent non-scarring type of hair loss all over the body. It is not a life-threatening condition; however there are social and psychological implications on the individual. It affects an estimated four million Americans, with the peak time between 15-29 years old. A common family history also involves thyroid disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, pernicious anemia or Addison’s disease.

Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is also known as male pattern baldness. AGA is common in men and carries a genetic predisposition. Research indicates that the hair follicles of individuals prone to AGA may have certain receptors that are influenced by androgens (male sex hormones) to slow down or shut down hair production. Women can experience the same type of hair loss after menopause, although it is not as common.

 

What are the Causes?

  • Poor circulation
  • Nutritional deficiencies (such as B-complex, protein and iron)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperadrenocorticism
  • Excessive estrogen production (synthetic estrogen)
  • Environmental triggers (common with autoimmune health-issues)
  • Oral Contraceptives (There are reports of alopecia areata developing after the use of synthetic estrogens in oral contraceptives and permanent remission occurring once the medications are stopped)
  • Viruses: No identified viruses have been confirmed, but some are suspected.
  • Mites: A species of a tiny mite may be a contributing factor, or possibly even a cause of balding. The species Demodex follicularum is present in all hair follicles by the time someone reaches middle age. Some researchers believe that the scalps of certain individuals react to these mites with an inflammatory response, killing off the hair follicles with friendly fire
  • Stress: Stressful life events within six months prior to the development of AA were higher in patients with AA compared to patients with androgenic alopecia.
  • Parasites
  • Lyme Disease
  • Genetics: The National Alopecia Areata Foundation is currently working to discover an effective and FDA approved treatment for Alopecia through their Treatment Development Program over the past thirty years. Their most recent publication includes the discovery of eight genes that contribute to Alopecia, and one that is a potential cause of the onset of the disease.

A clean organic diet is important to eliminate possible triggers like xenoestrogens, pesticides and synthetic hormones. Including lots of raw fresh vegetables and fruits for flavonoids, clean protein sources like wild salmon, free range chicken, turkey and grass-fed beef or lamb, fermented soy like tempeh, natto or miso (soy inhibits the formation of dihydrotestosterone, a hormone connected to hair loss) and nuts and seeds are the best foods for alopecia.

Recommended Supplementation for Alopecia

1. Pro-Optimal Grass-fed Whey Protein by Dr. Mercola

Protein and methylated B-vitamins for the foundation for hair growth.
Amount: Use at breakfast and at 3:00 in the afternoon

2. B-complex Plus by Pure Encapsulations

Extra methylated B-vitamins are crucial for healthy hair.

3. Saw Palmetto by Shaklee (This is the only saw palmetto we have found to be successful. It is found in the Swanson Health Center Office): Very successful for hair growth in men and women.

 

Sources:

1. Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Nutritional Healing

2. “National Alopecia Areata Foundation: Research | Genetic Research.” National Alopecia Areata Foundation:. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. http://www.naaf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=research_Columbia

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