If you're experiencing hair loss and are unhappy about it, there is good news: According to new research, a cure for balding may be in our future.
Scientists believe they have discovered how to activate hair stem cells in mice in order to get them growing and have even devised two experimental drugs that could be the ultimate cure to baldness, reports a study published in Nature Cell Biology. The secret to activation? The amount of a substance in cells called lactate. Confused? All you really need to know is that scientists genetically altered mice and discovered that increasing lactate in follicle stem cells stimulates hair follicle stem cell activation and boosts the production of hair. Amazing!
"Before this, no one knew that increasing or decreasing the lactate would have an effect on hair follicle stem cells," explains co-author of the study William Lowry, a professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. "Once we saw how altering lactate production in the mice influenced hair growth, it led us to look for potential drugs that could be applied to the skin and have the same effect."
Researchers have identified two drugs that encouraged hair follicle stem cells to promote lactate production when applied to the skin of mice: The first (called RCGD423) directly increases the production of lactate. The other drug (called UK5099) works in the opposite way. It blocks another cell substance called pyruvate from entering the mitochondria, which in turn results in lactate production in the hair follicle stem cell and hair growth.
Keep in mind that neither experimental drug has been tested on humans or approved by the FDA. But scientists hope this research may eventually help the millions of men and women who suffer from hair loss, which can be caused by a multitude of factors, including nutrition, genetics, hormones and aging.
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Hopefully, researchers will find the cure for baldness and hair loss in the near future, but until then, here are the top 10 best hair-loss treatments.
What Do YOU Think?
Do you think the cure for baldness is near? Are you excited about this new research? If you suffer from hair loss, what do you use to treat it?