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Both curcumin and resveratrol have been studied extensively for their benefits to human health. Both curcumin and resveratrol have exceptionally powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may also have the ability to prevent hair loss and give a boost to hair growth.
In this article, I will go over some of the reasons why you should try to get both of these compounds in your diet, and even consider supplementing them as part of your hair loss prevention strategy.
Supplementing resveratrol is the only real way to get significant amounts in your diet because foods and wine contain very little of the compound. Curcumin is a bit easier, but supplements generally offer better absorption than eating turmeric which contains it.
This is a good resveratrol + curcumin supplement that gives you 250 mg of curcumin and 100 mg of resveratrol, as well as other potent antioxidants quercetin and sulforaphane.
What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is primarily found in Turmeric and is responsible for its yellow color. The amount of curcumin you get in turmeric, however, is very small.
Curcumin only makes up around two-percent of turmeric by weight, so in order to get a significant amount of curcumin every day, you need to consume quite a lot of it.
Health benefits associated with curcumin
- It acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory
- It suppresses growth factors which are involved in scarring
- Combats free radical damage
- Some evidence that it protects against common diseases: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer
Turmeric has remained an important ingredient in natural medicine and healing, especially in Asia for many hundreds of years.
It’s only in recent years that scientists have uncovered the mechanisms by which it is able to assist the human body in healing.
What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol shot to fame many years ago after a scientist named David Sinclair helped uncover the molecule and its effects on diseases of aging. The natural phenol that can be found in the skin of grapes, blueberries, Japenese Knotweed, and other plants.
It’s been known for years that consumption of certain types of red wine confers some health benefits, and scientists believed that this might be because of the resveratrol found in the wine.
Health benefits associated with resveratrol
- Heart disease
- Prevent and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
- Lifespan extension in animals (recent studies show it only works to reverse the effects of a bad diet in animals)
The resveratrol molecule, although not a silver-bullet that many hoped it to be in slowing down aging, is still an important and interest compound with a set of unique health benefits associated with it.
Best food sources of resveratrol (source)
- Red Wine:1.9 mg (average) of trans-resveratrol per liter
- Peanuts: 1 cup – 0.01 – 0. 26 mg
- Red Grapes 1 cup – 0.24 – 1.25 mg
- Cocoa Powder 1 cup 0.28 – 0.46 mg
Red wine is by far the best source of resveratrol, however, you would need to drink a lot of it to get significant amounts of it.
There are supplements available that can provide much higher doses of resveratrol.
How Curcumin and Resveratrol can promote hair growth
Hair loss in humans can be triggered by many different things, and researchers have been gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms behind different causes of hair loss in humans.
Types of hair loss
One of the most common types of hair loss is caused by androgenetic alopecia and is caused by the male hormone DHT. However, this usually just affects men.
Below are the different types of hair loss which can occur in both men and women.
- Androgenetic alopecia – Usually hereditary hair loss caused by sensitivity to DHT
- Involutional Alopecia – Hair loss caused by aging
- Alopecia Areata – Caused by an autoimmune disease and occurs in several forms
- Anagen Effluvium – Sudden loss of hair usually caused by shock, chemotherapy, hormone change, sudden weight loss
- Cicatricial Alopecia – A type of hair loss caused by scarring
- Scalp Folliculitis – Bacterial infection of the hair follicles caused inflammation and hair loss
These are a few of the main causes of hair loss which can occur in men and women. Some of them are reversible, but others can be permanent if not treated in time.
Blocking causes of hair loss
There are many common themes in all of these causes of hair loss: inflammation, free radical damage, elevation of TGF-β, and scarring.
Curcumin: The main effects of curcumin are in its powerful anti-inflammatory effect, regulation of immune system and downregulation of the androgen receptor and reduces the conversion of testosterone into DHT, by decreasing 5-alpha reductase.
It’s basically a natural DHT blocker and acts in a similar way as the popular hair loss drug Propecia, but with far less risk of any potential side effects that you can get from synthetic medications.
Curcumin is also a powerful inhibitor of TGF-beta signaling and therefore is useful in preventing fibrosis or scarring of the hair follicles, which will eventually lead to permanent hair loss.
And finally, curcumin is a wonder compound when it comes to blocking inflammation. The inflammatory process behind hair loss is well understood to be an important factor in its progression.
Curcumin from the herb turmeric is able to inhibit multiple pro-inflammatory cytokines and proteins which are upregulated in hair loss.
Resveratrol: This compound has many beneficial effects such as increased angiogenesis (blood vessel formation) in wound healing, and an anti-angiogenesis effect in tumors.
As we age, the blood supply and creation of new blood vessels to supply our skin and hair follicles with nutrients decreases. This effect has been shown to be prevented by resveratrol.
Resveratrol has also been found to be beneficial in preventing endothelial dysfunction. And we know that one of the events leading up to the death of hair follicles is the strangulation of blood vessels. And in this case, you end up with hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and lack of nutrients being delivered to the follicle, and eventual hair loss.
Resveratrol also is able to stimulate SIRT1, which is involved in DNA repair and up-regulation of antioxidant genes in the human cell. Oxidative stress to the hair follicles is one of the mechanisms by which hair follicles are gradually worn down and destroyed over time.
Resveratrol is able to stimulate the production of mitochondria in the cell, thus boosting the energy of the cell and health of the hair follicle.
The main beneficial effects of taking resveratrol and curcumin together for hair growth are:
- Blocking inflammatory mediators and cytokines which are increased during hair loss
- Increase resistance against oxidative stress from the formation of free radicals and aging
- Reduction of growth factors involved in scarring
- Increased blood vessel formation in the skin
- Increased cell energy via up-regulation of Sirtuin genes
So do I recommend that you try to get both of these compounds in your diet on a regular basis? Absolutely!
If not just for hair loss prevention and hair-boosting effects, both curcumin and resveratrol have profound beneficial effects on many of the diseases of aging.
For hair loss prevention, try to consume at least one or two foods that contain both of these compounds in your diet on a daily basis. Alternatively, you can also take resveratrol and curcumin supplements, which will provide you with a much higher dose.