Androgenic alopecia (AGA), also called male-pattern baldness, is the most common form of hair loss and has been associated with other dysfunctions such as coronary heart disease and an enlarged prostate.
It seems that PGD2 prevents the hair follicles from maturing
There have been numerous studies concerning androgenic alopecia but more data is needed to clearly establish a true underlying cause — the key thing(s) that differentiate(s) those with a predisposition from those without.
In 2012, the University of Pennsylvania published a breakthrough study concluding that PGD2 was found in higher levels than normal in the scalps of balding men. It seems that PGD2 prevents the hair follicles from maturing. This means that the PGD2 inhibits the follicles from growing hair. In mice studies with explanted hair, when PGD2 was applied topically, it clearly inhibited hair growth. PGD2 causes hair loss when it binds to a receptor called GPR33; when activated by high levels of PGD2 the receptor inhibits hair growth. (Garza et al., 2012)
There are, however, supplements that are considered PGD2 blockers
There are many products marketed for hair loss prevention — some contain substances to improve circulation in the scalp, others contain DHT blockers.
Since PGD2’s relation to hair loss is a recent discovery, there haven’t been many products on the market to address this particular issue. There are, however, supplements that are considered PGD2 blockers and could be used by those experiencing hair loss.
A study has analyzed the 289 constituents of 12 selected herbs to see whether they would work as PDG2 inhibitors. The properties were analyzed for skin permeability, sensitization, irritation, corrosion, mutagenicity, tumorigenicity and reproductive effects. Although many were found to have PGD2 inhibition, many caused adverse reaction and also poor skin permeability. Among them, ricinoleic acid, acteorside, amentoflavone, quercetin and hinokiflavone were good inhibitors with minimal adverse skin reactions (Fong et al., 2015) and may be safe and efficient for hair loss treatments. But, without further studies regarding their efficacy in hair loss treatment or at least new research confirming their effect on PGD2, some of the inhibitors presented above remain a mystery.
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Fortunately, there are other PGD2 inhibitors that may have the answer to our hair loss problem, at least with more research behind them to support their effect as inhibitors.