Question: Hi there. I saw an article about beetroots improving blood flow and read on your website that hair growth boosters increase blood flow so I wondered if eating more beetroots might help my hair loss?
Answer: Hi Ric. Sadly eating beetroots will have no effect on treating your hair loss. However, they are very good for promoting healthy hair and growth.
The only medically-proven hair loss treatments for male pattern baldness are Propecia and minoxidil. These tackle the underlying cause of male hair loss by inhibiting DHT from attacking the hair around the top of the head which leads to thinning hair in those with a predisposed genetic sensitivity, then spurring on new regrowth. So, if you are looking for a solution to your shedding, it is best to seek professional advice on male hair loss treatments, including hair growth boosters.
Once you have dealt with the cause of your hair loss it is worth adding beetroot to your diet – whether in root vegetable or juice form – to help your hair’s condition as, not only is beetroot good for the cardiovascular system, it’s also one of the few vegetables that contains both betalain and carotenoid anti-oxidants. These have anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties which are useful in auto-immune conditions such as alopecia. In addition, beetroot contains protein, iron and nutrients such as manganese, copper, Vitamin B6 and folic acid – all of which are essential for a healthy hair condition and hair growth.
Beetroot juice is thought to boost sports performance by increasing blood flow to the limbs during exercise but this has not been proven and is based on the fact that beetroots are rich in nitrates. The journal ‘Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism’ recently published findings from a small trial into beetroots and blood flow, which is likely to be the subject of the article you mention.
This study involved testing 12 healthy men in their early 20’s who were all given beetroot juice – some had the regular nitrate-rich version, whilst others were given a placebo with the nitrates removed – three hours after consuming the drink. Researchers then measured the size of the men’s arteries and blood flow speed when they were at rest as well as during six different hand grip exercises of varying intensities.
Unexpectedly, the findings showed that the beetroot juice had absolutely no effect on either blood flow or artery size at any point whilst resting or during active periods. What they did discover was that the juice lowered the pressure in blood vessels whilst the test subjects were at rest. Previous studies have also shown that beets have a positive influence on blood pressure and cardiovascular health, although more research on a broader scale is required to determine whether these results would also apply under other conditions, for instance if the subjects were older, less healthy or underwent more rigorous exercise. Whilst these findings show that beetroots can have a positive effect on men’s health, there are no clear links to be drawn between this study and hair loss.
In addition to beetroots, there are a number of other foods which are natural sources of the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy hair. These include leafy green vegetables such as kale, carrots, tomatoes, berries, nuts and seeds. The key is to have a varied diet that takes in the full spectrum of natural colours, from green and yellow to red and purple, and to eat local, seasonal produce as this is likely to be far denser in hair-friendly nutrients than out-of-season, imported foods.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.