New research has found that pea sprout extract, used topically or taken orally as a food supplement may have hair growth benefits which help to reduce hair loss.
Scientists studying AnaGain – a topical ingredient made from pea sprout extract that was developed by Swiss biochemistry group, Mibelle AG to promote hair growth – in its usual formulation, decided to investigate its efficacy when taken in an oral form.
The small-scale clinical trial found the 2 per cent topical pea sprout extract preparation (AnaGain) as well as the 100mg-per-day dose of oral pea sprout extract (AnaGain Nu) both resulted in less hairloss and solid hair growth.
It did not, however, disclose which specific hair loss conditions these products were intended to treat, although natural hair thinning associated with old age was mentioned in relation to the topical form.
Enhances ‘hair genes’ expression
A short communication article regarding the clinical trial into AnaGain and AnaGain Nu pea sprout extract products was authored by three researchers from Mibelle Group Biochemistry and published on 3rd November 2019 in the Phytotherapy Research journal.
It explains how they discovered the “expression of defined genes relevant for hair, namely fibroblast growth factor -7 (FGF7) and noggin” was enhanced by 56 and 85 per cent respectively in the 10 trial participants, aged between 46 and 60 years, who applied a 2 per cent pea sprout extract solution to their scalp each day.
FGF7 and noggin (NOG) both play a role in ensuring the normal formation of hair follicles.
The study authors summarised their investigational findings from the AnaGain Nu oral pea sprout extract trial, where 21 Caucasian volunteers aged 22 to 63 years, were administered a 100 mg dose per day for 8 weeks in the form of a dietary supplement.
They note this “significantly reduced hair loss already after 28 days of treatment (p < 0.002). No adverse events were reported. Consequently, pea sprout extract may be an effective means to safely promote hair growth and reduce hair loss in individuals experiencing excessive hair shedding.”
As the research was funded by the same company that developed and owns AnaGain and AnaGain Nu, randomised, blind, independent testing is required, as well as larger scale clinical trials, to establish a fuller picture as to their efficacy, safety and tolerability for a range of age groups, races and durations.
Hair growth product, food supplement or hair loss treatment?
Another aspect that is crucial to clarify is which hair loss conditions the product is designed to treat or ‘address’.
Should the topical or oral products be deemed medical hair loss treatments – clinically-proven to treat certain specified hair loss conditions – they would need appropriate authorisations from the relevant medical regulatory authorities in each country in order to claim to treat hair loss. In the UK, this would mean being MHRA-licensed, and, in the USA, this would involve getting FDA-approved.
Currently the only genetic hair loss treatments to have gained the status of being both MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved are high strength minoxidil, a unisex topical solution used to promote hair growth, and finasteride 1mg, an oral DHT-blocker which can be taken by medically-suitable men aged 18 and over.
If the products do not gain these authorisations, they cannot claim to treat hair loss, be ‘hair loss products‘ or make any hair growth claims either. Without the official licenses and approvals, these types of products are essentially considered cosmetic, non-medicinal items.
The oral AnaGain Nu appears to be leaning towards ‘food supplement’ status. This also means it is not authorised as a ‘hair loss treatment’ or medicine of any kind so it cannot make official claims about treating hair loss or promoting hair growth; products in the food supplement category can be largely unregulated, and should not be used in place of a balanced, healthy diet.
When using food supplements it is always wise to stick to trustworthy, professional brands to give yourself the best chance of getting a high quality product. For example, Belgravia hair specialists have used their 25-plus years of experience to develop an exclusive range of highly-targeted food supplements – Hair Vitalics – which are available in For Men and For Women formulations.
These contain a bespoke blend of hair-friendly vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts to support the maintenance of normal healthy hair growth and can be taken on their own or used alongside hair loss medications.
“Although these trials into the potential use of pea sprout extract to help encourage hair growth and reduce hairloss are certainly interesting, it is findings from larger, independent trials that should provide the most compelling data, so I look forward to seeing this in due course as a safe, tolerable and effective natural hair loss solution is definitely something we would welcome,” says Belgravia superintendent pharmacist prescriber and senior hair loss specialist, Christina Chikaher.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. 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 world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.