Study links sugary drinks to male hair loss

Male pattern baldness (MPHL) is progressive hair loss without scarring. Although the age of onset of MPHL is declining, its incidence is increasing. Several studies have established an association between Western dietary intake and nutrients A journal study investigated the association between sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption and MPHL in young Chinese men.

Study: Links between sugary drinks and male pattern baldness in young men. Image Credit: Landscapemania / Shutterstock


Various aspects of MPHL affect a person’s life, including self-confidence, psychological distress, and physical health. Many factors can play a role, including sleep duration, anxiety, genetics, age, and body mass index (BMI). Studies have linked increased amounts of added sugar in the Western diet to his MPHL.

Younger populations consume large amounts of SSB such as juices, soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, or sweetened tea/coffee. Consuming. The situation is similar in China, where the 13-29 year old group (22.38%) has the highest consumption of her SSB. SSB consumption is associated with many health problems, including tooth decay, obesity, and emotional problems. However, epidemiological studies on the association between MPHL and SSB intake are still scarce, especially with respect to younger populations. Therefore, this association should be confirmed in future studies.

About research

This cross-sectional study was conducted in mainland China from January to April 2022. A total of 1,951 men aged 18 to 45 were recruited from his 31 states. A self-reported online survey was used for data collection. Two attention check questions were intentionally added to the survey to ensure high survey quality. In addition, four types of participants were excluded: those with scalp infections, cancer, those with inadequate body data, and those who took him less than five minutes to complete the survey.

The association between amount/frequency of SSB consumption and MPHL was studied. The researchers used a binomial logistic regression model that adjusted for confounding factors such as sociodemographic factors, hair condition, dietary intake, lifestyle and psychological factors.

Main findings

Scientists have observed a significant association between high intake of SSB and MPHL. This finding may be rationalized by many potential direct and indirect mechanisms. Biochemical manifestations of androgenetic alopecia (AGA) of the scalp implicate an overactive polyol pathway. High sugar content of SSB leads to high serum glucose concentrations and subsequent activation of the polyol pathway. This reduces the amount of glucose available to the outer root sheath keratinocytes of the hair follicle, leading to MPHL.

High sugar intake is often associated with high fat intake, and MPHL has been found to be caused by a high-fat diet. This phenomenon has been demonstrated in animal studies in mice. However, the association between SSB and MPHL remained significant even after adjusting for the frequency of consumption of fats and fried foods. This suggests that SSB is an independent factor associated with his MPHL. According to this study, chronic illness and emotional factors also mediate the association between SSB intake and MPHL.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was found to be significantly associated with MPHL. However, after controlling for PTSD, the association between SSB intake and MPHL was no longer significant. This finding suggests that PTSD is a more important factor leading to MPHL than SSB intake.

Limitations of research

An important limitation of this study is its cross-sectional nature, which relies on self-reported data. Recall bias can make it difficult to consistently estimate the causal and temporal relationships between MPHL and SSB intakes. The issue of synchronicity, i.e., whether SSB affects her MPHL or whether her MPHL patient consumes more of her SSB, is unclear and needs to be investigated in future studies.

Furthermore, uneducated individuals and those without internet access were excluded from online surveys, so sampling bias cannot be ruled out. There was also no distinction between different degrees of MPHL. This was because few had her MPHL moderate or severe.

Because MPHL has not been clinically diagnosed, the results of this study are only suggestive. Finally, the researchers did not collect data on consumption of other sweetened products other than SSB. However, the findings of this study need to be confirmed through further longitudinal and interventional studies to provide accurate information for future evidence-based health education.

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