What You Eat Is What You Grow How Nutrition Affects Your Hair Loss

By Adam Milewski

People always say “you are what you eat,” and in many ways, it is true. What you eat affects your body, its production of enzymes, and the amount of nutrients the cells absorb. Some of the stuff that you eat can even change your cell receptors, changing your body’s ability to absorb certain types of nutrients. How does this affect your hair? Well, first and foremost, your nutrition can “boost” your natural tendency to Male Pattern Baldness. Second, if you don’t eat enough foods with the vitamins and minerals your hair needs, your hair can grow weak, and the growth-cycle can be damaged. Anorexics and Bulimics often lose hair due to lack of nutrients.

Male Pattern Baldness is caused by DHT (a derivative form of testosterone produced in your body). The naturally produced testosterone in your body binds with the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, creating DHT. The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase exists in two forms, one, which is concentrated in liver cells and prostate cell membranes, and a second, which is concentrated in the skin and scalp. DHT then binds to the androgen receptor in hair follicles, and when present at a high enough level in the body, the DHT in effect “turns off” hair growth in that particular hair follicle. High levels of fats in the diet contribute to increased activity of both forms of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme and the subsequent conversion of testosterone to DHT.

Which foods promote increased activity of the enzyme ultimately responsible for your DHT production? It has been established that DHT levels are higher in people who eat a lot of trans fats. Red meat, processed convenience foods, pastries and margarine are all rich in trans fats, and can increase levels of testosterone in the body. The more processed fat you eat, especially fats chemically altered by adding a hydrogen molecule to unsaturated fat (creating those trans fats so aversely affecting your body), the more hair you’re likely to lose.

There are other causes and contributory factors of Male Pattern Baldness. Local inflammation of hair follicles, often caused by poor diet or an allergic reaction, can promote hair loss. Additionally, people’s dietary fat intake has pronounced effects on the presence of androgens, and a high presence of trans fatty acids has particularly adverse effects.

On the other hand, not all fats are bad for you. There is a lot you can do with your nutrition to promote hair growth. People with higher levels of essential fatty acids in their diets tend to have a lower level of testosterone and DHT in their bodies, as these “good” fats help reduce the harmful effects of trans fatty acids on testosterone hormone levels. Some theories state that these essential fatty acids have a dampening effect on levels of activity of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, and therefore blood levels of DHT.

Unfortunately, most foods containing essential fatty acids are cooked or fried in high temperatures, and most of the essential fatty acids will be lost, as heat, pasteurization or hydrogenation will have metamorphosed most of the essential fatty acids into trans-fatty acids. Avoid deep fried foods, and try to eat as much unprocessed, natural foods and fats that you can.


Which foods have essential fatty acids that you can eat to help lower DHT levels? Olives, whole grains and fish all contain the essential fatty acids so necessary to combat the amount of trans fat acids in your body. Most essential fatty acids are removed from foods during processing to increase shelf life, so eat as much fresh food as possible.

Nutrition affects more than DHT levels in your scalp. Hair has an extremely active cell system. The cells in the hair bulb are second only to bone marrow in the frequency at which they generate themselves. Hair is actually simply hardened protein. This protein is formed from amino acids in the hair bulb. Thus, a shortage of amino acids will directly affect hair growth and characteristics by reducing the amount of quality of protein used to make hair.

Without amino acids, cells cannot maintain or repair themselves, nor will certain crucial enzymes and hormones be manufactured. Without sufficient amino acids, human hair color and texture can change dramatically. Protein deficiency, even short-term, results in dramatic changes in the hair roots. These changes include a reduction in hair diameter, slowed growth, and increased breakage under stress and strain, like brushing. A deficient diet can also cause atrophy of the bulb and loss of the inner root sheaths. Make sure that your avoidance of trans fatty acids doesn’t kill your protein intake!

The two most important amino acids for your hair health are L-Cysteine and L-Methionine. These two amino acids improve hair quality, texture, and growth. A primary source for both is MSM (Methyl sulphonyl methionine), which is found naturally in almost all plant derived foods, and is highly water soluble. Increasing your MSM intake in your diet merely requires you to increase your intake of raw, uncooked vegetables and plant materials. Increasing your MSM intake will have marked benefits on the strength, health and rate of growth of hair as well as a host of other metabolic functions where the amino acids cysteine and methionine are used.

Some basic Do’s and Don’ts:

* Eat fresh fish, whole grains, and increase essential fatty acids.

* Reduce trans fatty acids intake: avoid processed, deep fried and preserved foods.

* Make sure you have enough intake of vitamins and minerals.

* Increase fiber intake – stimulating your digestive tract helps your body deliver nutrients to your cells.

* Eat raw and uncooked vegetables to increase your MSM (Methyl sulphonyl methionine) levels.

* Make sure you’re eating enough protein.

Ultimately, your hair grown can be aided or aversely affected by what you eat. Nutrition and hair loss are intrinsically linked, and in the case of your hair, you really are what you eat!!

About the Author: Adam Milewski is co-founder of AMG, a company that provides a revolutionary

hair loss herbal treatment

and a medically proven

thinning hair cure

made of rare ancient Indian herbs.


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