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Obesity and baldness: is there a correlation?

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Not just diabetes and cardiovascular disease: according to a study published in Nature, obesity is also linked to hair loss. A high-fat diet would in fact target the stem cells of the hair follicles (abbreviated in English with HFSC, hair follicle stem cells), blocking its regeneration and ultimately causing hair loss.

Failure to renew. Normally stem cells renew themselves at each hair follicle life cycle, to allow hair to grow back after falling out. With age, some HFSCs stop renewing themselves and therefore hair begins to thin out. According to what was found in the studies carried out on mice, obesity seems to accelerate this process: “By comparing mice that followed a standard diet and mice that followed a high-fat diet, it emerged that the latter lost much more hair than the former. », We read in the study.

Way (not) free! HFSCs of obese mice showed great oxidative stress (excessive production of the most common free radicals, ROS – reactive oxygen species), which in turn blocked the activation of the protein signaling pathway. Sonic hedgehog, responsible for the regeneration of hair follicles, and caused hair loss. This effect, even more evident in older mice, would however be reversible: to block hair loss, the researchers say, it would be enough to reactivate the signaling pathway of the protein. But since prevention is better than cure, it is advisable to adopt a low-fat diet – and not just to be able to show off thick hair!

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