Work by researchers at Tsinghua University in Beijing points out that a high concentration of glucose can influence hair growth in men.
In a study published on January 1 in the scientific journal nutrients, Chinese researchers have established a first link between excessive consumption of sugary drinks and baldness. Their work, conducted at Tsinghua University, Beijing, was unveiled in a document titled: The link between sugary drinks and hair loss in young men.
The conclusions of the study, based on a questionnaire completed by 1028 Chinese men aged between 18 and 45, are clear: “In the final analysis, we found that a high consumption of sugary drinks is associated with a increased risk of baldness”.
“Hair loss in men has become a global health problem. Its incidence continues to increase and the age at which the first hair loss appears continues to decline”, write the researchers to justify their work.
The survey conducted by the Chinese researchers took place from January to April 2022. The 1028 participants selected were asked to indicate their consumption of sugary drinks, and the existence of hair problems.
Certain socio-demographic, but also psychological or lifestyle factors of the participants were taken into account in the results. Similarly, respondents with a scalp disease, or people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy treatment were excluded.
The results, collected via online questionnaires, therefore establish a link between high consumption of sugary drinks and hair loss in men. A total of 57.6% of participants reported suffering from hair loss.
“The average daily consumption of sugary drinks in the group of participants characterized by hair loss was 4293ml, much higher than in the normal group, with 2513ml”, write the researchers.
Similarly, respondents who reported consuming sugar-sweetened beverages more than seven times per week are among the group of people most at risk of early hair loss.
Too much sugar kills hair?
To explain these results, the researchers put forward two main avenues. First of all, too high a concentration of glucose in the body, allowed by an increased consumption of sugar, can influence hair growth.
The researchers point out that paradoxically, too much sugar intake reduces the amount of glucose available to the hair follicles, the cavity in which the hair or hair originates. One of the possible causes of baldness.
“In addition, excessive sugar consumption is often accompanied by excess fat. However, a diet with a high fat intake is also blamed for baldness. Studies carried out on animals have shown that a diet fat can cause hair loss in mice,” the researchers said.
Other factors to consider
However, the study calls for caution. The only significant consumption of sugary drinks cannot completely explain the early loss of hair, and is very often part of an unhealthy lifestyle. This, however, does not call into question the role played by sugary drinks, assure the authors of the study.
Thus, people who have experienced hair loss are also more likely to be smokers, drinkers, exercise less and have an unstable sleep pattern.
Baldness is obviously not the only public health problem posed by sugary drinks, the study points out. The role of these in obesity, diabetes, dental problems but also on the mental health of consumers has already been mentioned in many other studies.
Faced with these initial results, researchers at Tsinghua University are calling for further research, this time based on results obtained in the laboratory, and not via online questionnaires.
Source: BFM TV