High Cholesterol and Hair Loss
Is there a link between High Cholesterol and Hair Loss?
Yes there is!
In order to understand why high cholesterol and hair loss are related, it is important to understand that there are two main types of cholesterol:
1. Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL): referred to as “bad” cholesterol. This type of cholesterol is what can result in cardiovascular issues such as heart attack and stroke.
2. High Density Lipoproteins (HDL): are referred to as “good” cholesterol. Our bodies rely upon a healthy supply of HDL cholesterol to make important hormones like testosterone.
The hair loss industry places a large importance on DHT when treating genetic hair loss.
• DHT stands for Di Hydro Testosterone.
• DHT forms when Testosterone joins with an enzyme
• The enzyme is called 5 alpha reductaze
• Most medications or hair loss supplements aim to STOP testosterone from bonding with the enzyme
• Some people suggest that you should NOT inflate your testosterone levels, because doing so can increase DHT levels, leading to increased hair loss.
It’s not all about testosterone!
There plenty of hair loss websites that talk about the importance of not artificially push up your testosterone levels with steriods, supplements or exercise programs if you are wanting to treat your hair loss at the same time. However, there is another way to think about it, if your body produces lower levels of the 5 alpha reductaze enzyme, then there will be less enzyme available to bond with testosterone = resulting in less DHT.
5ar Enzyme is made from Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) = Bad Cholesterol levels may increase the amount of the 5 alpha reductaze enzyme in your body!
Studies have shown that patients with a healthy level of LDL cholesterol experience less hair loss, as compared with patients with higher LDL levels. Furthermore, patients who were experiencing higher rates of hair loss and thinning experienced improvements and stabilisation of their hair loss when they reduced their LDL levels to under 2.5mmol/L. The Heart Active Organisation (Australian) recommends people should aim to keep their cholesterol levels at:
• Total Cholesterol Levels: Less than 4mmol/L,
• LDL Cholesterol Levels: Under 2.5mmol/L
• HDL Cholesterol Levels: Above 1.0mmol/L.
The most important thing to remember, LDL Cholesterol is linked to heart disease, heart attacks, stroke and also HAIR LOSS, because the body relies on LDL cholesterol to make the enzyme which bonds with testosterone to create DHT.
What to do next?
Testing your cholesterol levels is a simple procedure that your local doctor / GP can perform for you. Remember, the doctor is looking to see if you are eligible for medication, however you want to aim to ensure your LDL levels are in optimum levels, whereas the doctor is looking to see if you are BAD enough for medication. I hope that makes sense!
Whilst you are getting your cholesterol tested, ask for the following to be tested as well:
• Total Cholesterol: Plus levels for the 3 main types of cholesterol
• Complete Blood Count
• Liver Function Test
• Kidney Function Test
• Comprehensive Thyroid Study
• Prostate-Specific Antagen
• Male or Female Hormone Profiles
• Vitamin + Mineral Analysis
• Total Protein Test
• Comprehensive Melatonin Profile
• Adrenocortex Stress Profile
• Amino Acid Analysis
And remember, your doctor is looking at your results to see if you need to be taking medication, this does NOT mean you are within optimum levels. It means that you are not BAD ENOUGH to need medication yet. And whenever you are speaking to any doctor/health professional or consultant, make sure you are asking the following questions. I respect ALL doctors, however you should NEVER be afraid to ask the doctor who is recommending ANY medication;
1. Are there any potential side effects in taking the recommended treatment?
2. Is there any other possible diagnosis we should be considering?
3. Is there anything I should be avoiding whilst I am sick/ill/injured?
4. Are there any non-drug related options? And do these options have side effects?
If you doctor gets “shitty” with you for asking these questions – get a second opinion immediately! At the end of the day, the only person who is ULTIMATELY accountable for your own health….. is you! It is important that you respect your doctor at the same time, I would like to think they all care and love their patients… but even doctors have a bad day from time to time. And asking these questions can help you towards ensuring you GET THE FACTS!