Bovine colostrum & hair growth

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Bovine colostrum & hair growth
Some people say bovine colostrum can help to regrow or thicken hair. (calf image by max from Fotolia.com)

There are a variety of reasons that hair loss occurs. Sometimes it’s because of a drastic physical or mental change, a pregnancy or genetics. Although a pill to regrow hair hasn’t yet been discovered, studies have shown that a growth factor in bovine colostrum contributes to hair growth.

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What Is Bovine Colostrum?

Bovine colostrum is produced in the first 24 hours after a calf is born. It’s a yellow, milky substance that contains a lot of nutrition and immune-enhancing factors for the newborn calf. Bovine colostrum is collected in the first five milkings. According to the Institute of Colostrum Research website, "the use of colostrum for the treatment of illness and for the maintenance of well-being dates back thousands of years. ... Prior to the development of sulpha drugs and antibiotics colostrum was used for its antibiotic properties."

Hair Loss

It's normal to lose 30 to 75 strands of hair daily. Hair should also grow 1/4 to 1/2 inch a month. If your hair loss is more than this or if your hair isn't growing enough, this might be a sign of a health issue or another problem. Hair loss can occur because of a hormone imbalance, a nutrient deficiency, too much or too little protein, substance abuse, lack of sleep, a scalp infection, or hair products with too many chemicals.

Increased Levels of Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1)

Bovine colostrum contains many growth factors. A study conducted in Japan at The Department of Translational Medical Science Research at Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences on mice reported that insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-1), which bovine colostrum contains, contributed to “significant enhancements of hair follicle morphogenesis, hair regrowth and hair pigmentation.”

A later study conducted in Japan at the same school reported that IGF-1 “plays an important role in hair growth.” The study was conducted over five months, and its goal was to increase levels of IGF-1 in volunteers. Seventeen of the volunteers got a placebo, and the remaining volunteers took active ingredients. The 14 volunteers who were given active ingredients showed promotion of hair growth significantly higher than the group given the placebo.

Nutrition

According to the Mayo Clinic website, “having inadequate protein or iron in your diet or poor nourishment in other ways can cause you to experience hair loss.” Bovine colostrum is a rich source of amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Typical vitamins in bovine colostrum that are associated with hair growth are vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin A and vitamin C. Typical minerals in bovine colostrum that are associated with hair growth are calcium and potassium.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Biochemical Mechanisms

According to The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery website, “Investigators have reported that platelet-rich plasma promotes hair growth from follicles by the action of platelet growth factors on hair follicle stem cells.” Platelet-rich plasma, when used in hair restoration, is administered by a professional in that field. The platelets are derived from the patient's blood.

According to the Center for Nutritional Research website, platelet-rich plasma biochemical mechanisms are found in bovine colostrum.

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