Many individuals all around the world suffer from hair loss. However, despite the fact that this illness is quite prevalent, it can cause a great deal of frustration. Yes, you can attempt numerous therapies to slow down the process or purchase cosmetics to cover up the loss itself, but hair loss can be tough to control in the end. A recent study has discovered that drinking sugar-sweetened drinks may potentially increase the risk of hair loss in males.
According to the Mayo Clinic, genetics, certain drugs, health difficulties, hormonal changes, and stress are all potential reasons for hair loss.
According to the National Library of Medicine, androgenetic alopecia is one of the most frequent kinds of hair loss that, while affecting both men and women, is more prevalent in males; roughly 30 million women in the United States suffer from the condition, compared to 50 million men. Androgenetic alopecia is also known as male-pattern hair loss (MPHL) or male-pattern baldness in males. However, according to a recent study published in Nutrients, researchers may have discovered a relationship between drinking sugar-sweetened beverages—such as sodas, juices with added sugar, sports drinks, and sugary coffee drinks—and hair loss, particularly in young males.
About the study
The findings of this new study, which were published on January 1, 2023, indicated that there is a probable link between increased intake of sugar-sweetened drinks and hair loss in young males. Researchers examined self-reported survey findings from 1028 Chinese people from 31 different provinces, all of whom were between the ages of 18 and 45. Almost half of these individuals (459) reported drinking sugar-sweetened beverages more than once per day, with roughly 25% drinking them four to seven times per week. Meanwhile, 18.5% drank them only one to three times per week, and 10% reported not drinking any sugar-sweetened drinks in the previous month.
After analysing these findings, researchers discovered that people who consumed more sugar-sweetened drinks had a higher chance of male-patterned hair loss.
The connection between sugary drinks and hair loss
There are predicted direct and indirect impacts when it comes to the link between drinking sugar-sweetened drinks and increased hair loss risk.
The extraordinarily high quantities of added sugar in sugar-sweetened drinks have a direct influence on the risk of hair loss in males. According to the study, more sugar intake can result in higher blood glucose concentrations, which can result in an overactive polyol pathway. This route is recognised as a site where glucose is converted to fructose, but if it becomes overly active, it might be damaging to your health.
According to the study, hair loss symptoms are strongly symptomatic of a “overactive polyol pathway.”
However, this isn’t the first research to find a link between high sugar levels and hair loss. There is a correlation between androgenetic alopecia and high-sugar, high-cholesterol diets, according to a 2017 research published in Trends in Food Science & Technology.
There are a few alternatives for more indirect links to examine. For example, the report states that high sugar intake is frequently associated with a high-fat diet, which may also be associated with hair loss. Furthermore, there may be a relationship between the emotional repercussions of excessive sugar consumption and hair loss.
For example, the paper references research claiming that SSB use might contribute to emotional difficulties, notably increasing a person’s risk of depression. According to studies, these mental difficulties might raise the risk of MPHL.
What does this mean?
When we spoke with Dr. Victor Sun, MD & Medical Consultant at SuperPill about these new research findings and their validity, Dr. Sun stated that while these findings are generally true, there are a few limitations to consider.
“Although the latest study reveals an association between sugar-sweetened drinks and hair loss, additional research is needed to substantiate the results.
“The study is restricted in its capacity to assess whether sugary drinks contribute mechanistically to hair loss due to the cross-sectional aspect of the study, the complexity of confounding variables, and the lack of physical exam data,” adds Dr. Sun. “However, the study suggests some probable reasons if correct. They believe that elevated sugar levels may disrupt metabolic processes involved in androgenic alopecia. Alternatively, excessive sugar consumption may trigger mood disorders or other chronic illness states that might result in hair loss.”
Finally, the findings of this study may not be enough to convince you to stop drinking soda. These findings, however, can help you evaluate whether or not you can benefit from lowering your weekly consumption.