The much-documented link between hair loss and other conditions such as diabetes may mean that new research into the consequences of late-night eating has wider-reaching implications than scientists set out to find.
Experts at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania wanted to see how eating later in the day affected the body when set against more traditional meal times. To do this, they recruited nine adults to first eat three meals and two snacks between 8am and 7pm for eight weeks, and then switch this to a noon-11pm window for a similar time-frame.
Data from two stages analysed
Participants also undertook a two week “washout” period between the two to ensure there was no carry-over effect, and blood was drawn at key stages so that it could be analysed. Metabolic measures were taken, too, allowing researchers to assess changes in weight, metabolism and energy used.
The team found that eating later led to weight gain. Other tests showed that eating later led to metabolising fewer lipids and more carbs. Negative effects in terms of insulin, fasting glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels were also observed when participants were on the late-eating regime.
“These findings suggest that eating earlier in the day may be worth the effort to help prevent these detrimental chronic health effects,” said Kelly Allison, PhD, an associate professor of psychology in Psychiatry and director of Perelman’s Center for Weight and Eating Disorders.
The results of the study certainly don’t mean that a couple of late-night snacks will make your hair fall out; it’s more the idea that consistently eating late may lead to increased strain being placed on the body; in certain circumstances this cause adverse reactions including weight gain and hairloss.
Lifestyle and health issues play a part in hair loss
When the body is viewed holistically, there are several hair loss conditions that suddenly make a lot more sense. The food we eat, the way we exercise and a wide variety of other lifestyle-related elements all play a part in how the body – hair included – behaves.
Diabetes, the risk of which appears to increase when adopting a late night eating routine, can lead to a temporary hair loss condition named Telogen Effluvium. Whilst the all-over hair thinning this causes only usually lasts for up to six months, it can still be an extremely difficult thing to go through in the aftermath of a diabetes diagnosis. Various medications, including some diabetes drugs can also lead to Telogen Effluvium as a side effect until the body gets used to the new drugs, too.
What’s surprising, perhaps, is that diabetes and instances of telogen effluvium can also speed up or exacerbate the genetic hair thinning conditions Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss in people who are predisposed, because of the way it affects hormone levels. With poor diets and sugar spikes so often linked to both diabetes and hair loss, it’s not hard to see how unhealthy eating patterns, now proven to have adverse effects by the University of Pennsylvania team, could feasibly lead to thinning hair, too.
Hair loss conditions need to be thoroughly understood and correctly diagnosed in order for experts to offer the best chances of recovery. There are clinically-proven hair loss treatment options available for both men and women with thinning hair who want to stabilise their shedding and promote regrowth.
At Belgravia, treatment plans are tailored to each individual and include a number of elements besides the pharmaceutical elements such as high strength minoxidil, that are designed to further boost hair growth. It’s also true that treatment involves a conversation about a client’s lifestyle. Many people are surprised how small tweaks to their daily routines may also make a difference.
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.