Findings from a literature review suggest there is a potential role for nutritional supplements and dietary interventions in the treatment of hair loss. However, the researchers caution the findings should be interpreted in the context of each study’s design and that future randomized controlled trials with active comparators are needed.
In the study, published in JAMA Dermatology, the authors write “Despite the widespread use of nutritional supplements and dietary interventions for treating hair loss, the safety and effectiveness of available products remain unclear.”
To address this lack of clarity, the researchers searched the MEDLINE, Embase, and CINAHL databases from their inception through Oct. 20, 2021, to identify articles that investigated dietary and nutritional interventions in individuals who had alopecia or hair loss but did not have a known nutritional deficiency.
From an initial list of 6,347 citations, 30 articles were included in the final review. These included 17 randomized clinical trials (RCTs), 11 clinical studies (non-RCT) and two case series studies. No diet-based interventional studies met the inclusion criteria.
From the studies of nutritional interventions that had the highest-quality evidence, a potential benefit was shown for:
Capsaicin and isoflavone
Omegas 3 and 6 with antioxidants
Total glucosides of paeony and compound glycyrrhizin tablets
Pumpkin seed oil
There was low-quality evidence of disease course improvement for kimchi and cheonggukjang, vitamin D3, and Forti5. Adverse effects were rare and mild for all the therapies evaluated