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December 09, 2022 | Hair Loss

Androgenic Alopecia: More Than Skin Deep

Written by Dr. Richard Harris

The narrative surrounding Androgenic Alopecia (AGA) is dominated by dihydrotestosterone (DHT); however, several risk factors related to AGA's development do not get enough attention. Alcohol intake of more than once a month was associated with a 50% to 60% increased risk of frontal and vertex AGA. 1 According to Gallup Polls, the average US adult drinks 3.6 drinks per week! 2

Our nutritional choices are associated with the development of AGA. Lower intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with early-onset AGA. 3 Only 12.3% of adults meet the recommended intake for fruits and 10% the recommendation for vegetable intake. 4 Most adults get the bulk of their calories from nutrient-poor, calorie-dense ultra-processed foods, resulting in inadequate intake of several vital nutrients. 5 Compared to healthy controls, patients with AGA have significantly reduced levels of zinc, copper, magnesium, selenium, and vitamin B12. 6

Psychological trauma, cigarette smoke exposure, and pollution all increase the risk of developing AGA. Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of symptoms characterized by high blood pressure, elevated blood sugars, increased abdominal body fat, and irregular blood lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, HDL). 34.7% of American adults meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome, and this number is increasing. 7 Having metabolic syndrome increases the chance of developing AGA. 8 The more criteria a person meets for metabolic syndrome, the higher the likelihood of developing AGA. AGA can be associated with negative outcomes in certain disease states. Having moderate or severe AGA is an independent risk factor for death from diabetes and heart disease. 9

Our approach to treating AGA involves utilizing genetically guided precision medicine, supplements, and lifestyle medicine. The holistic approach to AGA considers these risk factors and that AGA, like many other conditions, is a systemic process. Our comprehensive hair restoration system starts from the inside out, putting your body in the best possible place to have a healthy head of hair. Order your Nimbus DNA Hair test today to start your personalized hair restoration journey.


1 Severi G, Sinclair R, Hopper JL, English DR, McCredie MR, Boyle P, Giles GG. Androgenetic alopecia in men aged 40-69 years: prevalence and risk factors. The British journal of dermatology 2003; 149:1207-1213

2 https://news.gallup.com/poll/353858/alcohol-consumption-low-end-recent-readings.aspx

3 Agaoglu E, Kaya Erdogan H, Acer E, Atay E, Metintas S, Saracoglu ZN. Prevalence of early-onset androgenetic alopecia and its relationship with lifestyle and dietary habits. Ital J Dermatol Venerol. 2021;156(6):675-680. doi:10.23736/S2784-8671.21.06874-7

4 Lee SH, Moore LV, Park S, Harris DM, Blanck HM. Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations - United States, 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022;71(1):1-9. Published 2022 Jan 7. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7101a1

5 Reider CA, Chung RY, Devarshi PP, Grant RW, Hazels Mitmesser S. Inadequacy of Immune Health Nutrients: Intakes in US Adults, the 2005-2016 NHANES. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1735. Published 2020 Jun 10. doi:10.3390/nu12061735

6 Kondrakhina IN, Verbenko DA, Zatevalov AM, et al. A Cross-sectional Study of Plasma Trace Elements and Vitamins Content in Androgenetic Alopecia in Men. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2021;199(9):3232-3241. doi:10.1007/s12011-020-02468-2

7 Hirode G, Wong RJ. Trends in the Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome in the United States, 2011-2016. JAMA. 2020;323(24):2526-2528. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4501

8 Lolli F, Pallotti F, Rossi A, et al. Androgenetic alopecia: a review. Endocrine. 2017;57(1):9-17. doi:10.1007/s12020- 017-1280-y

9 Su LH, Chen LS, Lin SC, Chen HH. Association of androgenetic alopecia with mortality from diabetes mellitus and heart disease. JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(5):601-606. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.130

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