Management of Baldness - Lifestyle Modification

Lifestyle Modification

Several genetic factors determine susceptibility to male pattern baldness (MPB). These factors include androgen receptor polymorphisms and scalp 5-alpha-reductase levels. Other variables include androgen receptor density and distribution in the scalp. Vigorous aerobic exercise daily, as opposed to short workout periods designed to raise androgen levels and build muscle or more sporadic exercise, and a diet which is adequate, yet more moderate in fat and total calorie intake, have been shown to reduce baseline insulin levels as well as baseline total and free testosterone.

Lower insulin levels and reduced stress both result in raised levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG binds to testosterone. Only free testosterone improves muscle growth and insulin sensitivity, but free testosterone can also be converted to the ineffective (regarding insulin sensitivity) DHT. The levels of free androgens and not of total androgens are relevant to the levels of DHT in the scalp and the progression of male pattern baldness.

Androgenic alopecia occasionally correlates with metabolic syndrome. This may be because typically bald men have low testosterone levels (hypogonadism) which can easily trigger also diabetes mellitus and erectile dysfunction. Medically increasing androgen levels improves this condition, demonstrating that androgens do not cause metabolic syndrome. Instead, high insulin levels (and possibly chronic inflammation) seem the likely link in the demonstrated correlation between baldness and metabolic syndrome. This reinforces the notion that behaviors which help to keep insulin levels low and reduce chronic inflammation might also help to preserve hair.

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