Self Health Care

Articles about alternative ways of treatment and self health care

Research? You ain’t seen nuttin’ yet!

When people get the bit between their teeth, they can be driven to do good things. Hopefully staying on the right side of obsession, they devote their lives to asking questions and finding the answers. This is the “scientific method” at its best. In this case, as you can see from the title to this post, we are dealing with the “nut” which, in British English, means the head (when bald, it’s round and shiny like the shell of a nut). On this most important parts of the body, the best brains of Canada, England, Holland, Iceland and Switzerland have come together to solve the problem of male pattern baldness. No more “nut” in the British sense of the word, unless it’s a hairy nut. Until now, men have either had to tolerate hair loss or use propecia, the only really effective medication on the market that stops hair loss. Now there’s better hope for a “cure”. The international team has found a genetic combination that appears to multiply the risk of hair loss by a factor of seven. It’s another of these “accidental” breakthroughs. The research team was looking at cardiovascular diseases and they came across evidence that there’s a statistical link between heart disease and baldness. Searching for a clue to confirm this apparent relationship, the team scanned the human genome and came across an area that was incomplete in bald men who had heart disease. Nearly three thousand caucasian men were examined and this genetic gap was identified in more than half the sample. There is, however, no cause for immediate excitement. Like many advances in human knowledge, the fact that you make a discovery is no use unless you see how to take advantage of the knowledge. In this case, they can say we have found a gap. Whether that gap can be repaired and how science might engineer it is anyone’s guess. In the case of propecia, for example, hair loss is described as androgenic alopecia. It affects about 40% of men as they age. It is caused by an excess of Di-hydrotestosterone (DHT). Propecia prevents the body from producing 5-Alpha-Reductase, a chemical necessary to the production of DHT. It’s a magic bullet to remove the cause of baldness. For as long as a man takes the tablets, they will stop hair loss and sometimes allow some hair to regrow. When a man stops taking propecia, the hair loss resumes. Following this research breakthrough, hair loss will be characterized as a genetic deficiency and, in due course, a magic bullet may be devised to deliver replacement genes to the right place in the genetic sequence in your body. Until then, rely on propecia.

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