Keratin is a protein that is found naturally in hair, nails, teeth and skin. Several types of keratins work together to make strong, tough fibrous proteins. For instance, keratin 5 works with keratin 14 to support elasticity and flexibility in the skin, according to the National Institutes of Health. Other keratins work together to form the hard fibrous strands found in hair and nails. Keratin supplements are taken to support healthy hair, skin and nails. However, supplements do have the potential to cause side effects. Before taking this supplement, your health care provider should be consulted.
Hair loss has been reported with liquid keratin hair products. One such product called Brazillian Blowout is being investigated by the California Attorney General Jerry Brown, as reported in the Sacramento Bee. This hair liquid is marketed as having keratin as its dominant ingredient and being formaldehyde free. The goal is to tame frizzy hair so smooth, wavy hair results. But, reports of hair loss has been the result . It is questioned if formaldehyde is in this product as this chemical can result in hair loss. When purchasing keratin products for the hair, thoroughly read the ingredient list or bring it to a reputable salon to verify the ingredients.
Excess Keratin in the Body
Too much keratin in the body is a condition called hyperkeratosis. This is when the body makes too much keratin. In the skin, this may manifest as rough, thick, dry skin. The hair may have a course texture to it. Currently, there are not any recommended daily allowance guidelines of keratin intake nor are there studies done showing the effects of excess keratin via supplements. However, if taking keratin and these signs and symptoms occur, stop taking the product and contact your health care provider.
Keratin is a protein, so taking keratin supplements may lead to excess protein in the body called proteinuria. Specifically, proteinuria is the measurement of protein excreted from the urine. Too much protein in the body means the kidneys have to work harder to metabolize it. Over time, this can take its toll on the kidneys and lead to a condition called renal insufficiency, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If this condition is diagnosed, the treatment is limiting protein intake. If elevated protein levels continue in the body, the kidneys eventually fail. The only treatment for this is dialysis or a kidney transplant.