When people think of Japanese food, they don’t normally think of curry, but according to a recent report the country eats Indian food by the truckload and it might just be staving off hair loss
Japan Today reports that a survey carried out by a regional wig maker ranked Japan 14th on a list of countries with the highest percentage of Male Pattern Baldness
, the genetic condition that affects vast numbers of men around the world. India fared even better, not even making it into the top 20.
Low incidence of Male Pattern Baldness
Citing a Japanese nutritionist named Yoshiko Nakagawa, the newspaper says that a possible reason for the two countries’ relatively low incidence of Male Pattern Baldness could be their joint love of curry.
“Curry is available everywhere in Japan
,” says the article, “from kids’ restaurants to fast-food places to high-end restaurants. For whatever reason, the originally Indian dish underwent a Japanese transformation and is now super-popular all over the country
Nakagawa, the nutritionist, points out that the reason curry may be stopping Japanese men from going bald is because of the strong spices that are typically found in it everything from saffron and nutmeg to turmeric and capsaicin and states that these are good for the body’s metabolism and blood circulation, which is known to encourage hair growth.
It’s an interesting theory, and it is true that some foods can help promote a healthy scalp
. But does the story hold up to serious scientific scrutiny? Some people actually think that spicy foods like chilies and curry can stimulate the oil production
glands in the scalp, and that this can lead to hair loss.
Scalp and follicles are sensitive
The scalp and hair follicles are certainly sensitive to all sorts of things, from stress
to smoking and, yes, diet
. And while a healthy scalp is important for healthy hair, it won’t stop what nature has in mind if Male Pattern Baldness has been pre-programmed into a man’s DNA.
When a man’s genes dictate that he will lose his hair, what happens is that he develops a sensitivity to a testosterone by-product called DHT
, which causes follicles to shrink and, eventually, hair to fall out. There are currently only two proven medications for this; these MHRA licensed and FDA approved hair loss treatments
, which have been shown to inhibit DHT and promote hair growth, can be used individually or simultaneously.
Supplementary hair growth supporting products
ranging from follicle-stimulating low-level laser therapy devices cleared by the FDA, to food supplements targeted towards the maintenance of healthy hair growth, can be used in tandem with these established pharmaceutical hair loss solutions.
The Japanese article ultimately falls flat by virtue of sheer common sense. The UK is one of the greatest curry-loving nations in the world, and yet according to a TripAdvisor survey
, have the fifth highest incidence of Male Pattern Baldness in the world.
As one comment at the bottom of the Japan Today article points out: “British people eat a lot of curry. And the baldness rate is relatively high. Therefore, I can scientifically prove that this theory is a big steaming pile of nonsense.