Nutraceuticals may be secret to full head of hair for women at midlife

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

Hair thinning is one of the many symptoms that accompanies the menopause transition. Roughly 40% of women over 60 will experience what’s known as female pattern hair loss (also known as androgenetic alopecia). However, a new study suggests that a nutraceutical supplement may improve hair growth and quality. The study results will be presented during The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, September 22-25, 2021.

Hair shedding or thinning is a devastating reality for most women as they age, as it can have a strong impact on self-esteem and emotional well-being. Unfortunately, the therapeutic options on the market are limited.

The new study out of California suggests that a nutraceutical supplement — with nutrient-derived bioactive compounds derived from food sources — may effectively promote hair growth in peri-, menopausal, and postmenopausal women whose hormone changes are associated with decreased hair growth, as well as percentage of hairs and time spent in the anagen phase (when hair follicles form a new hair shaft). These findings offer hope for women near the menopause transition who are experiencing hair shedding or loss.

Researchers compared results at 6 months and 12 months of treatment and found that mean total hair counts increased significantly and progressively. Global hair quality improvements significantly increased by 40% with few or no side effects, along with a decrease in hair shedding.

“With the aging of our society and the fact that women now spend approximately one-third of their lives in the postmenopausal period, research into interventions for menopause symptoms, including hair thinning, is critical, especially with therapeutic options being so limited,” says Dr. Glynis Ablon of the Ablon Skin Institute and Research Center in California and lead author of the study.

“Hair loss is a significant concern for midlife women,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director. “Additional research will help confirm the long-term efficacy of nutraceutical supplements.”

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