View Full Version : Caffeine Prevents Hair Loss

Thursday, December 23rd, 2004, 10:23 PM

Food: A caffeine cure for hair loss

By Julia Watson

Washington, DC, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Britain's Prince William -- the brother who looks like a fairy tale hero, not the carrot-topped tabloid-press bad boy -- needs more coffee in his life. On his head.

Concern about his receding hairline is apparently the reason the eventual heir to the English throne has taken up the baseball cap as his interim crown. Research shows he can safely cast it aside, to display tousled golden locks whose retreat will be stabilized -- so long as he rubs his head regularly with coffee.

A German study just published reveals that treating the scalp with caffeine products can stop men from going bald.

Professor Peter Elsner is part of the team at the Jena University in the state of Thuringia that has been working on the problem. The stimulant, he says, has the most effect on men whose hair roots are very sensitive to testosterone, one of the causes of hair loss. (You can expect the British tabloids to leap at the chance of writing "Prince William" and "testosterone" in the same sentence.)

However, before follicle-sensitive men start reaching for extra cups of Joe, just drinking more won't work. It would take 60 to 80 cups a day to equal the amount of caffeine found in caffeinated hair products now being developed to treat the problem. Yes, the prince will not need to rub the liquid into his scalp. Adolf Klenk of Kurt Wolff cosmetic research said that men who are frightened that they may lose their hair should start treating their scalps with caffeine while they are still young. Prince William take note.

It's not the first time caffeine has been promoted as a cure. Before 1000 AD, the nomad Galla tribe of Ethiopia realized their consumption of a local berry they ground into a ball with animal fat was giving them an energy charge. Later, Arab traders used the ground bean in a boiled drink they called "qahwa" -- "sleep preventer." By the 15th century, the habit of roasting and grinding coffee into a drink had spread to Egypt and Turkey, where a woman had the right to a divorce if her husband did not allow her a daily supply of coffee.

These days it's the Finns who drink the most per capita of the 400 billion cups that are consumed annually worldwide. In the United States, three quarters of caffeine consumption comes from coffee -- a surprisingly high figure when you consider how much caffeine appears in sodas. Men are slightly ahead of women, at 1.7 cups a day, against 1.5. Breakfast is the time when the most is drunk -- 57 percent, with 13 percent at other meals and another large percentage in between.

Of all coffee beans, Robusta, grown in low altitudes primarily in Central and West Africa, is the most common. It accounts for 75 percent of the world's coffee and is used as the base for higher-quality specialty blends and in canned and instant coffee. Arabica, more expensive, is the other familiar variety, a superior bean with greater flavor, grown at higher altitudes in East Africa, Indonesia and South America.

But the most expensive beans are Kopi Luwak, which can cost as much as $300 a pound. They are found in the droppings of a picky marsupial which will only eat the best beans on the bush.

Like so much of what we consume, coffee has had its ups and downs in the health stakes. Once cast as a cause of cellulite puckering on women's thighs, there is now strong support for it helping diminish that same fat. It is said to have been found to be to help newborn babies with breathing difficulties and to speed up post-operative recovery in those patients who drink the stuff regularly.

If Prince William does opt for pouring coffee over his receding locks, he should take care to make sure it contains no milk substitute. Coffee creamer is extremely flammable.

Scheiße, Njörd, wa? :D

Thursday, December 23rd, 2004, 11:56 PM

Yeah, I read that too. Unfortunately for the last 20 years I drank my coffee instead of pouring it on my head. Heck, this could have prevented my receding hair line. I am pissed. Almost killed myself with about 3 grams of caffeine each and every day - for nothing!

Friday, December 24th, 2004, 01:22 AM
That's interesting, stimulants increase the levels of stress hormones which are a major trigger for the rapid, aggressive kind of alopecia you see in the pre-disposed young, over-sensitizing the follicle to Di-Hydro Testosterone's activity in some fashion from what I could tell. Anti-epilepsy medication was found to be beneficial if applied topically too, out of range electro-chemical activity being stabilized, hmm...

Must be another case of the weird, paradoxical world of amphetamines (ala Methylphenidate for ADD).

The evolutionary aspect of pattern alopecia is another interesting topic all on its own!

If I were Prince William's Trichologist (had I completed the course:D) I'd advise him to obviate as much stress as possible, as strong MPB clearly runs in his family. Possibly some anti-catabolics along with mild dose/short term benzo diapines for acute stress episodes, along with that new type1&2 alpha reductase inhibitor. If he could ride out the hormonal storm and avoid stresses that might trigger cortisone induced massive telogen effluvia he might delay his inherited hairloss by a good decade or two IMO.

They'll be cloning non hormone dependant follicles from patients soon for site-injection transplant, which should be a simple long term solution for sufferers.

PS- I often wonder if Prince Harry is a victim of the ginger William The Conquerer gene thrown up again in the royal family (Angry, rufous boor :))

Saturday, December 25th, 2004, 06:15 AM
Yeah, I read that too. Unfortunately for the last 20 years I drank my coffee instead of pouring it on my head. Heck, this could have prevented my receding hair line. I am pissed. Almost killed myself with about 3 grams of caffeine each and every day - for nothing!

No need of abusing Dallmayr & Co. - Alpecin has already thrown a shampoo "with caffeine complex" on the market... :D


Saturday, December 25th, 2004, 10:27 AM
My savior!