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How to reverse hair loss

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 Posted 10/30/2011 6:56:19 AM
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Tom. (10/29/2011)
docholiday (10/28/2011)
This debate between Tom and Brad is classic!  Who knew hair loss would bring out such passionate responses.  Forum ratings will be up this week for sure.


Doc, I think you mean Bryann.  

This can happen on any topic.  It's very common to find that new people on forums don't really read they skim. They have a tendency to pick bits of information out of context and harp on it in a petty manner just like what Bryaan did.  His unwillingness to accept new knowledge is bewildering. I guess perhaps it's because he cherishes, and can't get beyond, his research that is a decade-and-half old. Who knows?!

But in all sincerity, Bryaan is welcome to stay here but he needs to refrain from arrogant, condemning, knee-jerk reactions to information and read things in context and most importantly contribute respectfully. If he choose to stay he will most definitely learn a thing or two. 

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Tom, You do have a way with words that I very much admire. This forum needs people like you. I know you to be a dedicated forum member that makes a lot of effort to make this forum all it can be. Keep up your good work when you can and feel like it.   ...Oscar    Post Script: The one thing I can add regarding the issue of hair loss is: I have been taking prescribed pain medication for a long time off and on. When I was in my mid 40s a doctor switched me from codeine to trade name DARVON. Within a couple of months I developed a bald spot on the top of my head. I requested that I be prescribed the codeine once again, and the bald spot went away or disappeared after I stopped taking the DARVON. I am 62 years old now and the bald spot has not come back.
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 Posted 10/30/2011 9:50:40 AM
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Tom. (10/12/2011)
Hair loss affects millions of people of all ages and almost everyone will experience some degree of noticeable hair loss within their lifetime.  There are many causes of hair loss and pattern baldness, or androgenic alopecia, is a common disorder and although not life threatening it is often associated with extreme psychological morbidity. Research in this area is advancing, mostly serendipitously, but physicians are often astounded with how little is pharmacologically available to effectively treat this condition. 

To date, topical Minoxidil and oral Finasteride are the only FDA approved drugs to treat
androgenic alopecia, and the only surgical treatment is costly hair transplant surgery.  The mentioned drug therapies have limited success for many men and woman, and can only slow and/or stop hair loss on certain areas of the scalp. On the downside, Finasteride can not be used by women, and numerous side effects have been reported by people using these two drug treatments.

What are your thoughts about hair loss?  What personal experience and/or regimens have you tried?  What has worked and didn't work?  What personal and/or published research do you know about that you can share?

With your contribution we can make this thread the foremost repository for the latest, cutting-edge research, findings and personal experience related to reversing hair loss. 

I will start this thread by posting one of the most promising discoveries to date—Stem cell research.  Stem cells may have a very good chance at curing baldness says George Cotsarelis, M.D. — a physician, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Read more about the research HERE


Interesting post, as usual, Tom. I wonder what exists here in Europe on stem cell therapy for baldness. No time to search but Germany seem more advanced on stem cells therapies than other countries.

As far as I am concerned I leverage some knowledge about DHT and have been basically relying on what I use for my prostate protection with (supposedly) DHT inhibitors such as saw palmetto and nettle root (in the LEF prostate formula) and pumpkin seed oil (in an European product fighting hair loss called Oenobiol - I posted in the old forum its composition). I use 1-2 times per week 2% ketokonazole shampoo (Nizoral). However, best results (rough counting of hairs falling when combing) were definitively obtained when during ~6 months I used minoxidil (5%, i think the highest potency available off the shelf) 1x/day (vs the 2x/d recommended,  I believed in some sort of synergy as I was using all the other substances). The problem with minoxidil is that problems seem resuming when you stop it. I also regularly use SOD (Superoxide Dismutase) for other reasons, it is also supposed to fight hair loss. I hope this helps.


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 Posted 10/30/2011 3:32:57 PM
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oscar2u (10/30/2011)[hr}
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Tom, You do have a way with words that I very much admire. This forum needs people like you. I know you to be a dedicated forum member that makes a lot of effort to make this forum all it can be. Keep up your good work when you can and feel like it.   ...Oscar    Post Script: The one thing I can add regarding the issue of hair loss is: I have been taking prescribed pain medication for a long time off and on. When I was in my mid 40s a doctor switched me from codeine to trade name DARVON. Within a couple of months I developed a bald spot on the top of my head. I requested that I be prescribed the codeine once again, and the bald spot went away or disappeared after I stopped taking the DARVON. I am 62 years old now and the bald spot has not come back.


Thanks Oscar. Much appreciated. I will look into that connection, maybe there is some connection there.  Thanks for sharing.


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 Posted 10/30/2011 3:42:45 PM
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albedo (10/30/2011)


Interesting post, as usual, Tom. I wonder what exists here in Europe on stem cell therapy for baldness. No time to search but Germany seem more advanced on stem cells therapies than other countries.

As far as I am concerned I leverage some knowledge about DHT and have been basically relying on what I use for my prostate protection with (supposedly) DHT inhibitors such as saw palmetto and nettle root (in the LEF prostate formula) and pumpkin seed oil (in an European product fighting hair loss called Oenobiol - I posted in the old forum its composition). I use 1-2 times per week 2% ketokonazole shampoo (Nizoral). However, best results (rough counting of hairs falling when combing) were definitively obtained when during ~6 months I used minoxidil (5%, i think the highest potency available off the shelf) 1x/day (vs the 2x/d recommended,  I believed in some sort of synergy as I was using all the other substances). The problem with minoxidil is that problems seem resuming when you stop it. I also regularly use SOD (Superoxide Dismutase) for other reasons, it is also supposed to fight hair loss. I hope this helps.


Stem cell research is really growing, not just for hair loss but for other diseases. Of course there is always the chance of cancer when increasing cellular growth. But I think in all, stem cell research will make a huge impact on the quality of all of our lives.

I know there is the European Consortium for Stem Cell Research,

http://www.eurostemcell.org/

Thanks for the link. I tried looking for the ingredient list but couldn't find it. Do you have the link to that?


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 Posted 10/30/2011 3:55:12 PM
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More in-depth research regarding the mode of action of ketoconazole against and hair loss:

Ketoconazole and reduction of follicular dermatophyte-mediated alopecia.

There is one mode of action of topical Ketoconazole—it kills dermatophytes such as malassezia that play a pathogenic role in various skin conditions including folliculitis, pityriasis verslccolor and seborrhoeic dermatitis (1), and trichomycoses—diseases of the hair (2), among others.

Based on scientific observations malassezia resides on the skin and in upper part of the follicle, called the follicular infundibulum and are unique among the fungus as the only species to form part of the normal, human cutaneous microbial flora.(3), (4).

Dermatophytes, such as malassezia, have an affinity to hair and this can be witnessed in the laboratory. For example when isolating fungal cultures from soil to conduct research, scientists use what is called the hair-bait technique, whereby they place sterile hair in soil and observe as dermatophytes in the soil start invading the hair, producing colonies using hair as the substrate.(5).

For many people malassezia can exist on the skin and follicles as commensals, (living on or within another organism, and deriving benefit without harming or benefiting the host) with minimum immune system stimulation. For others however, malassezia is either able to cause or exacerbate various skin conditions.(6)

Malassezia's influence on IL-4 and TNF-α in the pathogenisis of alopecia

Exosomes, or nano-vesicles, are small 30-90 nanometer vesicles that are released from cells.(7) They play a key role in cell communication and signaling but are significantly elevated in a number of diseases.(8)

Just recently (2011) it has been scientifically demonstrated and published that malassezia, which resides in the follicle infundibulum, releases exosomes that carry allergens that induce Interleukin-4 (IL-4) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) (9). TNF-α specifically can induce inflammation and cell apptosis.

TNF-α and loss of follicular immune privileges.

As far as the connection between malassezia to TNF-α induced inflammation is concerned, the slow, subtle process of micro-inflammation is highly regarded as the cause. Since there is little or no pain associated with micro-inflammation, in contrast to scarring alopecias,(10) it is very easy to disassociate the possibility of micro-inflammation in the pathogenesis of hair loss.  Reports of dermatological studies have noted that follicular micro-inflammation plays an integral role in the pathogenesis of androgenic alopecia (11).

The hair follicle is known to possess immune privileges by producing immunosuppressive cytokines.(12) Active, healthy follicle stem cells maintain this type of immunosuppressive mechanism that appears to restrict immune system injury. It is written that micro-inflammation may cause damage to follicle stem cells and the follicles loose their "no danger" immunosuppressive attributes and are no longer protected from immune-mediated attack, which can lead to permanent loss of follicles (13) (14) as seen in common baldness.(15)

IL-4 Interlinking cascade & tissue damage.

IL-4 is an immunomodulatory cytokine that produces various biological effects. Traditionally, IL-4 was regarded mainly as a protective, anti-inflammatory cytokine.(16) However early studies have shown that serum levels of IL-4 are notably elevated in those with localized alopecia areata.(17) Recent research has demonstrated the dual roles of IL-4 as both a suppressive and pro-inflammatory cytokine.(18)  Most interestingly through a variety of mechanisms, IL-4 expression has been shown to increase TNF-α.(19)

Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell produced by bone marrow and circulate at relatively low levels (1-3%) in the blood and their job is to protect the body by killing microogranisms. They can excessively accumulate in tissues in response to antigenic stimulation or tissue damage.(20) Eosinophils are also considered to play an important role in allergic disease by causing tissue damage through the release of toxic proteases, lipid mediators, cytokines and oxygen free radicals.(21)

Human eotaxin is an amino acid residue polypeptide that is produced by a number of normal cells and cell lines.  Eotaxin has been shown to directly prime and direct the migration of eosinophils.(22)

TNF-α & IL-4 and the eotaxin relationship

What is interesting to note here is that when both TNF-α and IL-4 are expressed together there is a dramatic increase in eotaxin production, e.g.  In a culture medium experiment when keratocytes were incubated with TNF-α or IL-4 alone there was only a small effect on eotaxin release. However exposure to the cells with TNF-α in combination with IL-4 resulted in a marked increase in eotaxin production.(23)

Immunoglobulin E (IgE) - antibodies that fight malassezia

The following question begs to be answered: Since malassezia is common in human skin and hair why do only certain people experience the associated diseases?

For one, there are many species of malassezia, and each or a combination of them may be specific to certain skin diseases. (24)  

Secondly, the immune system plays a protective role. It was demonstrated when comparing healthy subject to those affected by atopic dermatitis, a more common disease associated with malassezia, healthy subjects had specific serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies against malassezia.(25)

Dietary and lifestyle habits play an import part in health and disease. Interventions that strengthen the immune system may be a logical adjunct therapy. It has been demonstrated that Vitamin D strengthens the human immune system,(26) and that vitamin D deficiency is associated with the severity of atopic dermatitis.(27)

An underdeveloped or compromised immune system might cause or increase cutaneous and follicular dermatophyte activity and could explain one reason why young children (27) and older adults (28) and AIDS patients experience immune-mediated dermatophyte-associated diseases such as dermatitis.(29)

Conclusion - Connecting the dots

What can be extrapolated from my research is that dermatophytes do in fact have an affinity to hair, and malassezia specifically can be found the the human hair follicle residing as a commensal or an allergenic. Malasseza induces the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-4. IL4 also induces TNF-a, creating an even greater expression of TNF-a.  Both together increase eotaxin significantly which in turn primes and directs the migration of eosinophils (white blood cells) to the follicles where malasseza resides.  Micro-inflammation induced by TNF-a damages follicle stem cells which in turn loose their immunosuppressive attributes being left open to attack and tissue damage by eosinophils of the innate immune system.

The clearance of malassezia via topical anti-fungal agents such as ketoconazole would in-turn eliminate the associated release of exosomes and resulting inflammation, restoring normal, follicle stem cell activity, follicular immune privileges and immune reactions. Hair loss from malassezias' cascade of events could be reduced or thwarted.

I present this very probable mode of action of malassezia and one reason why topical anti-fungal agents like ketoconazole has become an effective adjunct therapy for attenuating or reversing the associated, cutaneous and follicular diseases.

___________________________________________
References:

(1) Recenti Prog Med. 2011 Mar;102(3):126-33.
(2) Int J Trichology. 2009 Jul;1(2):100-7.
(3) Br J Dermatol. 2011 Oct;165 Suppl 2:2-8.
(4) Clin Microbiol Rev. 2002 January; 15(1): 21–57.
(5) Mycoses. 2011 Nov;54(6):e789-94.
(6) The Yeast Handbook, 2010; Chapter 10: Malassezia - H. Ruth Ashbee and Annika Scheynius
(7) Commun Integr Biol. 2010 Sep-Oct; 3(5): 447–450.
(8) Immunol Lett. 2006 Nov 15;107(2):102-8.
(9) PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e21480 - Ulf Gehrmann, et al. Clinical Allergy Research Unit, Stockholm, Sweden.
(10) Int J Dermatol. 2000 Aug;39(8):576-84.
(11) J Cosmet Dermatol. 2009 Jun;8(2):83-91.
(12) J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2003 Oct;8(2):168-72.
(13) Autoimmun Rev. 2009 May;8(6):474-7.
(14) Clin Exp Dermatol. 2010 Aug;35(6):637-44.
(15) Nature biotechnology 2004, R.J Morris, et al.
(16) Immunol Today. 1996 May;17(5):225-3.
(17) Acta Derm Venereol. 1996 Nov;76(6):421-3.
(18) Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2010 May;6(5):519-31.
(19) J Immunol. 2002 Mar 1;168(5):2456-63.
(20) American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders / apfed.org / accessed:10/30/2011
(21) Gac Med Mex. 2006 Mar-Apr;142(2):139-44.
(22) J Exp Med. 1994 Mar 1;179(3):881-7.
(23) Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2000 May;41(6):1448-53.
(24) J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2009 November; 2(11): 14–17.
(25) J Clin Microbiol. 2001 October; 39(10): 3486–3490.
(26) Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2011 Oct 13.
(27) Br J Dermatol. 2011 May;164(5):1078-82.
(28) Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2009 Dec;8(5):398-404.
(29) J Immunotoxicol. 2008 Apr;5(2):159-62.


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 Posted 10/31/2011 5:32:38 AM
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How poignant and timely. I open my email this morning and my Google alert sends me this..

Antifungal efficacy of topical Brazilian green propolis

As well as follicular diseases, malassezia is also associated with Tinea versicolor


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Tom. (10/30/2011)
albedo (10/30/2011)

......called Oenobiol - I posted in the old forum its composition) ....

......
Thanks for the link. I tried looking for the ingredient list but couldn't find it. Do you have the link to that?


I tried but could not find a simple link so I posted in the old forum a picture scan of the nutritional facts on the box (scroll a little down the thread, post 10/4/2009, can you see the picture?).  I wanted to reattach it here but for some reason (available space?) was rejected.
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 Posted 11/2/2011 5:58:54 AM
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Keep an eye on this company. It looks promising.

11/2/2011 - http://www.replicel.com/

"RepliCel has created a proprietary method for extracting and, replicating dermal sheath cup cells, with the goal of developing a safe minimally invasive procedure for inducing natural hair growth in men and women suffering from various types of hair loss. The procedure has shown promise in pre-clinical trials, based on tissue engineering and laboratory models.

The procedure is now undergoing further rigorous study to establish safety and determine effectiveness. The first human clinical trial (Phase I/IIa) began in the country of Georgia in December 2010. Further clinical trials are planned for 2012 in Canada with European trials to follow."






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 Posted 11/3/2011 4:02:02 AM
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I just 5 starred this posting by Tom, The information he has provided here is extensive, up to date, and cutting edge. For those interested there is a process that involves stem cells in posting # 4131 of Tom`s. It does seem a true cure for baldness is at hand or already available. I have a question for you Tom or anyone else. Why is this sort of stem cell treatment allowed and NOT stem cell treatments for heart disease like forum member JusTaTaco is seeking ? That makes no sense to me.
   The only answer I can come up with is: That if a medical procedure involves a vanity issue for some politician, THE RULES WILL BE CHANGED !
   Please, someone explain to me the opposition of so many influencial politicians to STEM CELL technology. Is this some pandering to religious fundamentalists or not ? It seems to me it is. It is also apparent to me that when this stem cell technology can help THEM, they avail themselves of it. Well if this is true, it is further proof to me of the fact that these same politicians NEVER let their so called FAMILY VALUES and religious beliefs get in their way of pursuing their own self interests and their pursuit of happiness. That list  just keeps growing: Newt Gingrich [ left at least one wife when she had cancer for another woman ]. That guy, S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford who took a hike on the Appalachian Trail to meet a woman in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sarah Palin with her leaving her post as Gov. of Alaska for greener pastures, and on and on. These hippocritters don`t give a second thought to their DEEPLY HELD beliefs when said beliefs get in their way of what they desire.
   I can see I am getting on a rant here and will stop.   ...Oscar
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 Posted 11/6/2011 9:58:31 AM
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oscar2u (11/3/2011)
Why is this sort of stem cell treatment allowed and NOT stem cell treatments for heart disease like forum member JusTaTaco is seeking ? That makes no sense to me.   ...Oscar


Ya know Oscar it's hard to say.  But I'll give you my take on it.  Products and procedures that address our outward appearance or "vanity" is a multi-million dollar a year industry.  Money is a big motivator.  Many people will forgo routine health care because they don't have the money but yet those same people can be seen spending hundreds of dollars a year on personal care items or procedures.  Knowing this, companies are eager to take technology and bring it to market where it can make the most profit.

So, I think if we can but a stronger value on the quality of our health, the internal workings of our body, and get people to revere and covet whole-body health, then I think it will become a money making business because people will seek it.

The other issue is, drug companies would like to "manage" all diseases if they could. This would mean long-term profits and billions of ongoing dollars per year for them.  If we cure diseases that pharmaceutical drugs can "manage" those companies will go out of business. 

So, there could be billionaires at the head of managed care organizations and drug companies that may be putting road blocks in place to keep stem cell technology away as long as possible.

Let me give you an example.  A complete blood chemistry or (CBC) is no longer considered preventative medicine from hospitals and managed care companies.  This means they don't cover the cost of that test.

A Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test is the next test to go bye-bye, and not be covered by health insurance, because "they" don't feel that it is preventative care.   It all comes down to money.  These tests cost money and so they're trying to cut costs.

But then again, think about all the diseases you can catch early and perhaps cure with a CBC and PSA test?  Think of all the diseases that stem cell technology could cure? Diseases that drugs are now "managing".

But the real reason is anybody's guess.


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