sugary drinks would promote baldness in young men
- A 33 cl can of soda contains about 35 grams of sugar, or 7 pieces.
- According to an IFOP survey, 13% of French people say they have baldness.
- Baldness usually appears around the age of 40.
Male pattern baldness seems to appear earlier and earlier, but also to be more frequent. Many studies have established a link between hair loss and the Western diet. Scientists from Tsinghua University (Beijing, China) point the finger more precisely at sugary drinks: sodas, iced teas and industrial fruit juices, energy drinks, etc.
Drinking too much soda promotes baldness
The researchers recruited 1,951 men aged 18 to 45 from 31 Chinese provinces. Participants had to answer questionnaires about their eating habits as well as their health and hair. Data analysis shows that high consumption of sugary drinks is associated with an increased risk of developing baldness.
“Several potential direct and indirect mechanisms could explain this association”write the authors of the article published in Nutrients, on January 1, 2023.
According to scientists, the high sugar content in sodas or even industrial iced teas triggers a higher serum glucose concentration. This then activates the polyol pathway (a metabolic pathway transforming glucose into sorbitol, then sorbitol into fructose, editor’s note) and consequently reduces the amount of glucose available to the keratinocytes of the outer sheath of the hair follicles. The latter then have more difficulty in pushing, causing baldness.
In addition, a high sugar intake is also often associated with a high fat intake. However, it has been found that a diet high in fat promotes hair loss.
A study that could convince young people to drink less soda?
Heart disease, overweight, liver disorder… drinking too much sugary beverages has been linked to many health problems.
“Reducing the consumption of sugary drinks has become a thorny issue, perplexing governments and healthcare institutions around the world,” write the authors. Their discovery could, according to them, offer a lever for prevention among young people.
“Highlighting that the consumption of sugary drinks could have a potential negative effect on appearance could attract the attention of the young population and promote a decrease in the consumption of sugary drinks”they advance. However, they acknowledge that additional longitudinal and interventional studies are needed to confirm the association between hair loss and sugary drinks that they found.
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