Meeting a man with a bald head is a very common thing. This is because there are so many men who lose their hair at a very young age and we all think it’s purely genetic.
We cannot deny the fact that most of these men lose their hair because of the genes, but there is more to it than what we’re made to believe.
Although most people think that baldness is an aesthetic issue and not a health problem, studies have found that most male pattern baldness happens because of the role of chronic hyperinsulinemia.
The role of insulin in male pattern baldness is more evident in young men, and this should act as a warning sign.
An analysis of hormonal profiles done in young men who showed signs of early-onset androgenetic alopecia (AGA), found that young men with the condition had higher fasting insulin, HOMA-IR, and triglycerides, slightly higher BMI and lower HDL showing that they are strongly affected by insulin. The authors of the study also indicated that Early-onset AGA might also mean a phenotypic sign of the male PCOS-equivalent.
Another case-control study of young men aged 19-30 showed that fasting insulin was slightly higher in men with AGA than in those without.
The men with AGA also had higher mean levels of testosterone, luteinizing hormone and DHEA-sulfate. They showed decreased mean levels of FSH and SHBG which are also some of the observations seen in women with PCOS.
The study concluded that men with early AGA could be considered as male phenotypic same as women with PCOS. They are likely to develop complications associated with PCOS which are obesity, metabolic syndrome, infertility, cardiovascular disease or IR (insulin resistance).
This associate baldness with metabolic syndrome which also means men with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome are at a greater risk of developing early baldness.
A paper written by Paleo diet authority Loren Cordain, low Carb advocates Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, male baldness has a genetic component. It also has an androgen-dependent trait that occurs as a result of increased androgenesis after puberty.
This means not all men lose their hair because of hyperinsulinemia. It simply increases the chances of men with a genetic propensity for alopecia losing their hair. It’s all a matter of genetics and lifestyle.
Other researchers proposed a mechanism specific to hair follicle rather than the effect of the altered androgen hormone levels. They say that insulin resistance plays a pathogenic role in shrinking the hair follicle.
Additionally, hyperinsulinemia alters the blood vessel function resulting in the advanced effects on local circulation hence affects the hair follicle. This, therefore, leads to shrinking of the follicles hence hair loss.
Another case study that compared men with early-onset AGA with those without found that men with AGA had higher fasting glucose, HOMA-IR, insulin, blood pressure and triglycerides. All these suggest chronic hyperinsulinemia.
Body weight, waist circumference and BMI were also high in men with alopecia. This might suggest that the higher weights could be a contributing factor, but also could be concluded that the higher insulin contributed to the higher weight, waist circumference and the alopecia.
Another evidence that shows the relationship between baldness and insulin is a study that found that HOMA-IR was higher in men with early-onset AGA than in those without.
The authors of this study recommended that young men with AGA should be screened for insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. Epidemiological studies associated AGA with severe young age coronary disease and hypertension, which are linked to insulin resistance.
The young men will, therefore, not have to wait until they lose their hair before realizing they have serious complications which may include cardiovascular disease.