Can Probiotics Help Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disorder characterized by sudden hair loss in round or oval patches on the scalp or other parts of the body. Alopecia areata affects nearly 6.7 million people in the US according to the NAAF.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when consumed in adequate amounts, provide health benefits by improving the balance of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. Probiotics may improve blood flow to the scalp and have a positive impact on the immune system according to a 2011 study authored by F Yan.
What Is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that results in patchy hair loss. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, causing hair to fall out. While it can affect any part of the body, it is most commonly observed on the scalp and face. Although the condition itself is not medically serious, it can have emotional and psychological effects on individuals.
While there is currently no known cure for alopecia areata, various treatment options are available to manage the symptoms and promote hair regrowth. These may include corticosteroids, topical treatments, immunotherapy, and hair restoration procedures. The effectiveness of treatment can vary from person to person, and regrowth may not be permanent in all cases depending on the cause.
What Causes Alopecia Areata?
The exact cause of alopecia areata is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors according to a 2013 study authored by KJ McElwee. It is thought to be an autoimmune response where the immune system mistakenly targets hair follicles. Stress is often cited as a potential trigger for the condition.
Can Probiotics Help With Stress?
Probiotic consumption can alleviate stress and anxiety symptoms by modulating the neuroactive potential of the gut microbiota according to a 2021 study authored by T Ma. Ingesting the probiotic strain Lactobacillus plantarum P-8 for 12 weeks was found to improve stress and anxiety levels in stressed adults.
Which Bacteria Causes Alopecia Areata?
The bacterium Propionibacterium acnes was found to be increased in subjects with Alopecia Areata compared to healthy individuals according to a 2019 authored by D Pinto. On the other hand, there was a decrease in the abundance of Staphylococcus epidermidis in AA subjects. No significant changes were observed for Staphylococcus aureus. The study suggests that the imbalance between Propionibacterium and Staphylococcus may play a role in AA.
Can Probiotics Help With Alopecia Areata?
Yes, Probiotics found in Kimchi can help with hair growth in Alopecia Areata according to a 2020 study authored by DW Park. The administration of a kimchi and cheonggukjang probiotic resulted in improved hair growth and reversal of hair loss in patients with alopecia. Kimchi and Cheonggukjang are traditional Korean fermented food's that contains probiotic bacteria beneficial for gut health.
The study found that after 1 month (30 days) and 4 months (122 days) of probiotic supplementation, there was a significant increase in hair count and thickness compared to baseline measurements. These improvements in hair parameters were observed in a majority of the patients.
Best Probiotic For Hair Growth?
The best probiotic for hair growth is Lactobacillus probiotic bacteria, since it can promote hair growth and reduce hair loss by supporting scalp health and improving gut function. Probiotics can be found in foods that have undergone fermentation processes, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, and pickles, which contain various strains of Lactobacillus bacteria.
A 2022 study authored by H Lee, found that the treatment with Lactobacillus paracasei HY7015 and Lycopus lucidus Turcz extract promotes hair regrowth by enhancing cytoprotective effects and expressions of growth factors. Lycopus lucidus Turcz extract is a natural plant extract derived from the Lycopus lucidus Turcz. plant, known for its potential health benefits and its content of bioactive compounds but is not a probiotic strain.
Can Lactobacillus Reuteri Help With Hair Growth?
There are currently no studies that show Lactobacillus Reuteri can help with hair growth in humans. A 2013 study authored by T Levkovich, did however find that L. Reuteri probiotics were able to improve fur luster in mice.
Can Probiotics Cause Hair Loss?
Probiotics cannot cause hair loss or any type of hair shedding according to the latest research. As mentioned previously, Propionibacterium a gram-positive bacteria was associated with Alopecia but Propionibacterium is not found in probiotic supplements or fermented foods.
Is Kefir Good For Hair Growth?
Yes, kefir which contains Lactobacillus probiotics is believed to be good for hair loss and hair growth. It contains key vitamins such as vitamin B7, which is recommended for hair health and specifically for conditions like male and female pattern baldness according to Harvard University.
Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in promoting healthy hair, skin, and nails. It is also rich in B-complex vitamins, calcium, vitamin K2, and biotin, all of which contribute to hair health according to a 2019 study authored by HM Almohanna.
How To Take Probiotics For Hair Growth?
To take probiotics for hair growth, take lactobacillus probiotics first thing in the morning on an empty stomach 30 minutes before breakfast. Support and resources are available for individuals with alopecia areata, including organizations such as the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, which provides information, advocacy, and community support.
Dr. Sara Mesilhy has a Master’s degree in Gastroenterology and holds a membership with the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom. She completed her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at Cairo University and is currently part of the ProbioticReviewGirl medical team.