Does Alpha Lipoic Acid Cause Hair Loss?

2023-10-17 14:04:38

Nascence lipoic acid( ALA) has come a popular supplemental antioxidant due to its numerous purported health benefits. Some proponents claim ALA can ameliorate skin health, aid weight loss, regulate blood sugar situations, and indeed slow aging. But could this protean emulsion also contribute to hair loss in some individualities? Let's take a near look at the substantiation.


nascence Alpha Lipoic Acid Powder( ALA) is a naturally being emulsion that functions as a potent antioxidant in the body. It's made in small quantities and helps reclaim other antioxidants like vitamin C and glutathione. Supplementing with ALA may give defensive benefits by negativing free revolutionaries that can damage cells.

Some research also indicates ALA may help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and improve nerve health. It’s gaining popularity as an anti-aging supplement as well. Most research has focused on the potential systemic benefits of ALA, but there are also claims it can benefit the skin and hair.

This article will specifically examine the alleged link between ALA supplementation and hair loss. We’ll weigh the current evidence, look at the proposed mechanisms, and try to reach a conclusion about this potential side effect.

Understanding Alpha Lipoic Acid

ALA is an organic emulsion set up naturally in every cell of the body, with the loftiest situations in the liver, spinach, broccoli, incentive, order, heart, and cadaverous muscle. The mortal body only produces small quantities of ALA on its own, but it can also be introduced through certain foods or supplements.

As an antioxidant, ALA neutralizes free radicals that can damage cells through oxidation. The unique structure allows ALA to provide antioxidant benefits in both fatty and watery environments within the body. It also helps recycle other antioxidants like vitamins C and E to maximize antioxidant activity.

Research indicates ALA may confer a variety of health benefits:

- Improves insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control

- Reduces inflammation

- Protects nerve health and function

- Enhances skin health and wound healing

- Aids mitochondrial function and energy production

Supplemental ALA is available in doses of 50-600 mg per day, sometimes combined with other antioxidants. It’s generally considered safe when taken as recommended, but optimal dosing is still uncertain.

Hair Loss Causes and Factors

Hair loss is often a complex, multifactorial disorder that can have many contributing causes:

Genetics- Androgenetic alopecia related to genetics and natural hormone levels is the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women. Those with a family history are most susceptible.

Hormonal Imbalances- Fluctuations in androgens like testosterone, elevated stress hormones, and thyroid disorders can trigger excess hair shedding.

Medical Conditions - Nutritional deficiencies, autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata, skin conditions, and other disorders may cause hair loss.

Medications - Certain drugs used to treat conditions like cancer, arthritis, depression and heart disease are linked to hair loss.

Stress - Physical trauma, emotional stress, surgery, and illnesses can push more hair follicles into the shedding phase.

Poor Nutrition - Low protein, iron, vitamin, and mineral intake can starve follicles leading to increased shedding and impaired regrowth.

Aging- Hair loss often increases with age as growth slows and follicles shrink.

As we can see, hair loss arises from many different internal and external factors that can vary significantly among individuals. This makes studying the effects of specific compounds like ALA complex.

Examining the Claims

Most claims about ALA causing hair loss come from anecdotal reports rather than scientific research specifically analyzing the link.

However, some proponents argue that ALA may contribute to hair loss in those predisposed for the following reasons:

- Increases insulin sensitivity and lowers blood sugar, which can influence hormones and glucose availability to hair follicles

- Boosts thyroxine levels, which may accelerate hair growth cycles leading to excess shedding

- Acts as an androgen mimic, blocking receptors and altering hormone balances

- Improves skin health and circulation, possibly stimulating hair growth patterns

- Has only been shown to boost hair growth in those with deficiencies, not normal healthy individuals

Of course, many dispute these notions and contend that ALA has no effect on hair or may even improve growth by enhancing skin and follicle health. Much more research is needed to investigate the mechanisms.

Scientific Research and Evidence

Very few scientific studies have directly analyzed the effects of ALA supplementation on hair health and loss in humans. However, some related research provides insight.

One trial found that applying an ALA-based cream topically improved hair density in women with female pattern hair loss. After 6 months, those using the ALA cream had significantly increased hair density compared to placebo. This suggests ALA may boost hair growth when applied to the scalp.

Another study looked at insulin sensitivity and thyroid hormone levels in women taking oral ALA supplements. After 2 months, thyroxine levels and insulin sensitivity increased in overweight women. The effects on hair health weren’t analyzed, but provides clues on ALA’s influence on relevant hormones.

Overall, current research involving ALA is limited and larger controlled studies are still needed to determine the legitimacy of hair loss claims in different populations. The evidence does not clearly indicate oral ALA causes hair shedding, but more investigation is warranted.

Personal Experiences and Anecdotal Evidence

Online forums and reviews present mixed anecdotal experiences from ALA supplement users regarding hair loss. While not scientifically rigorous, firsthand accounts can provide insight.

Some users attribute new onset hair shedding or thinning soon after starting regular ALA supplementation. They report steady improvement after stopping ALA. Many suspect it alters hormone levels based on concurrent changes noticed in skin or menstrual cycles.

However, others take ALA supplements without issue and even notice faster hair growth. Individual metabolic differences may determine effects. Those already experiencing pattern baldness also seem more susceptible according to some reports.

Of course, personal testimonials can’t substitute for clinical research due to uncontrolled variables. But the variety of experiences highlights the need for more evidence regarding how oral ALA supplementation may interact differently among individuals.

What are the negative side effects of alpha-lipoic acid?

ALA is generally considered safe with minimal side effects at recommended doses, but potential risks can include:

- Rash or itching

- Nausea, diarrhea or upset stomach  

- Headache

- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet

- Fatigue

- Insomnia

- Hypoglycemia in diabetics

- Excessive thyroid stimulation

- Rare allergic reactions

ALA may also interact with certain medications like chemotherapy drugs, thyroid hormones and insulin. As with any supplement, it's important to consult your doctor before use.

Does ALA cause hair loss?

The limited evidence is conflicting on whether ALA oral supplements may contribute to hair loss in some predisposed individuals. The proposed mechanisms include shifts in thyroid hormones, blood sugar changes altering growth cycles, and androgenic effects.

However, current research has not conclusively established a link between ALA and hair loss. Small studies suggest it may improve topical hair growth, while anecdotal reports are mixed. More controlled human trials are needed to determine if oral ALA has any causative effects on shedding, thinning, or pattern baldness.

What to avoid when taking alpha-lipoic acid?

It's best to avoid certain medications and supplements when taking alpha-lipoic acid:

- Diabetes medications - Bulk Alpha Lipoic Acid may lower blood sugar already reduced by insulin or other drugs.

- Thyroid hormones - ALA can increase thyroid activity so requires monitoring.

- Cancer chemotherapy drugs - ALA's antioxidant effects may interfere with cell-damaging therapies.

- Vitamin C, E, D - High dose antioxidants combined with ALA may potentially have pro-oxidant effects.

It's also recommended to avoid taking ALA on an empty stomach, as it may cause nausea or stomach upset without food. Starting with lower doses and increasing gradually can minimize side effects.

Why take biotin with alpha-lipoic acid?

Some choose to supplement with biotin when taking alpha-lipoic acid to counter any potential hair thinning effects. Here's why combining them might help:

- Biotin is required for healthy hair growth and production of keratin. It may stimulate follicles.

- ALA increases glucose metabolism, while biotin helps regulate blood sugar levels.

- Biotin deficiency has been linked to hair loss, so replenishing stores may prevent shedding.

- As an antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid powder may improve scalp circulation. Biotin enhances this benefit.

However, there is limited scientific evidence showing biotin counteracts ALA's effects on hair. More research is needed on the combined efficacy and optimal dosing.

Does alpha-lipoic acid grow hair?

While ALA is not FDA approved for hair growth, there is some early evidence it may support healthier hair when applied topically. The potential mechanisms include:

- Neutralizing free radicals and inflammation damaging hair follicles

- Improving microcirculation in the scalp to stimulate growth

- Protecting against follicle aging and shrinking

- Regulating oil gland production to prevent clogged pores and hair damage

However, these benefits for topical ALA have only been observed in those with some types of hair loss and thinning. There is currently no proof that ALA oral supplements or topicals can grow new hair in individuals with no underlying deficiencies. More human studies are still needed.

Can I take biotin and alpha-lipoic acid together?

There are no known interactions or contraindications between biotin and alpha-lipoic acid supplements. However:

- Start with low doses of both supplements and increase gradually.

- Monitor for possible compounding side effects like digestive upset.

- Consider alternating between ALA and biotin each day rather than taking simultaneously.

- Consult your doctor before combining, especially if taking other medications.

Further research is still needed to establish effective dosing when combining the two supplements. Track your results and reactions at each dosage to optimize the benefits and minimize adverse effects.


While R Alpha Lipoic Acid Powder may offer certain health benefits from its antioxidant effects, current evidence does not conclusively link ALA supplementation with causing hair loss. Some proposed mechanisms exist, but robust clinical studies in humans are still lacking.

Anecdotal reports are mixed, highlighting the potential for individual differences in metabolic effects. More controlled research is needed to analyze the effects of oral ALA on hair health across different populations, particularly those predisposed to pattern baldness.

Topical ALA shows tentative promise for improving hair density, but claims about oral ALA stimulating significant new growth are unfounded presently. Those concerned with hair thinning can minimize risk by starting with low doses, monitoring changes, and consulting a doctor.

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