Hair loss: Dr Ranj discusses causes of male pattern baldness
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From a poor diet to underlying medical conditions, various causes can lay the groundwork for hair loss. But certain hair loss triggers can be addressed and modified. The latest research suggests that popular drinks could play a role in excessive shedding.
Whether you opt for a chilled glass of lemonade with your meal or pop a can of an energy drink open to beat the midday slump, everyone has a go-to sugar-sweetened drink.
While pouring yourself a glass of a fizzy beverage from time to time is perfectly fine, you don’t want this to become a daily occurrence.
A new study, published in the journal Nutrients, warns that chugging sugar-sweetened drinks can increase the risk of hair loss in men by a whopping 42 percent.
From energy drinks to fizzy drinks and sports drinks to sweetened tea, the research suggested that sweet beverages can accelerate hair shedding.
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Looking at more than 1,000 men, the research team from Tsinghua University in Beijing asked the participants to consume between one and three litres of the drinks each week.
Those who enjoyed more than one sweetened drink each day had a 42 percent higher risk of hair loss.
Men, who admitted that they were experiencing hair loss, also said that they consumed on average 12 sweetened drinks per week.
However, men aren’t the only ones who should “be careful” with their sugar-sweetened beverage intake, according to Dr Balwi, hair surgeon and medical director at Europe’s leading hair loss clinic Elithair.
The doctor said: “Women should also be cautious about drinking energy drinks.
“The caffeine and sugar content in energy drinks can have the same effect on women as they do on men.”
The expert shared that one of the reasons why these drinks are harmful for your hair comes down to high levels of caffeine.
Dr Balwi said: “Caffeine can reduce blood flow to the hair follicles by constricting the blood vessels in the scalp. This can cause the hair to become weak and fall out.
“It’s essential for everyone, both men and women, to be aware of their caffeine intake and not exceed the recommended daily limit of 400mg.”
The new research also warned that added sugars in these popular drinks take part of the blame.
“Energy drinks contain high amounts of sugar, which can lead to an increase in testosterone levels and DHT, a hormone that is known to cause hair loss,” the expert added.
Worryingly, it’s currently unclear how many sugar-sweetened beverages you need to drink to put yourself at risk.
Dr Balwi said: “There is no specific amount of energy drinks that will lead you to being at risk of losing your hair.
“How caffeine affects your body and your sensitivity to the increase in testosterone and DHT will determine the extent to which any quantity of energy drinks will contribute to hair loss.”
However, the research team reported that those who enjoyed more than one of these drinks each day had the 42 percent higher risk.
To play it safe, Balwi recommended other ways to boost your energy, such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet that includes complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.
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