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Gray Hair: Cause and Cure

Middle age is fraught with many changes in our bodies, some welcome, some really baffling. Of course many women welcome menopause as a cessation of the monthly “curse.” Yet some have the monthly cycle replaced with anxiety, hot flashing and weight gain. Our skin becomes slack and saggy, we get brown age spots and our hair thins and turns white! When some white hair is mixed in with colored hair, it looks gray. So what’s happening to cause us to have those white hairs creeping in?

 

As you read on, please click on the links and read the various pages to get a broad background of information so you can make an educated choice. I am merely providing links to pages I found informative and I have chosen to experiment on myself, so stay tuned to hear about my progress.

 

It so happens that just a few short years ago the mystery of white hair was solved. In this article http://www.uni-mainz.de/eng/13060.php you will learn that a byproduct of metabolism is the creation of oxidative material, commonly known as hydrogen peroxide. As we age the amount of hydrogen peroxide builds up in the hair follicles and oxidizes or bleaches the hair pigment, so the hair can only be colorless, and appears white.

 

In youth, we have plenty of enzymes that specifically break down hydrogen peroxide, but as most of us age, our enzymes get tapped out and our hair suffers. The main enzyme that is responsible for breaking down hydrogen peroxide is called catalase or catalyse.

 

When researchers announced this discovery, they wondered if we could replace the enzymes either by putting something on our scalps or by ingesting enzyme supplements. Though there is controversy about supplementing the catalase enzyme, here’s one you can find at GNC: https://www.nograyhairs.com/about

 

Here’s a company that sells a combination of enzymes that work as anti oxidants and it can be used topically and taken orally: http://www.arrowheadhealthworks.com/sod_cat.htm

 

Some would say that you cannot augment your personal supply of catalase by taking it in supplement form…but you can stimulate your body to make more of its own enzymes. Read the excerpt below from: http://www.applepoly.com/catalase/

 

In March 2005, researchers in Madrid reported that high doses of apple polyphenols “increased glutathione concentration and gene expression of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase and catalase…” Increased gene expression of catalase. Exactly what the UW researchers engineered their long-lived mice to do. But in the Madrid study, they did it with polyphenols found in apples. And they didn’t just increase catalase. They increased concentration and gene expression of catalase, and all the other major antioxidant enzymes.

In 2004, Chinese researchers reported that a single apple polyphenol “significantly increased… the activity of  SOD.” (In anti-aging circles, SOD [superoxide dismutase] is considered even more important than catalase.)

 

I found all this to be so interesting I went looking for products that would support my body’s ability to manufacture high amounts of enzymes that would counter attack the oxidants resulting from normal metabolic functions. Life Extension http://www.lef.org/ has Apple Polyphenols from organic apples at a very reasonable price. Another of their products called SODzyme says this:

 

The SODzyme® formula also contains GliSODin®, a patented, plant-derived form of SOD. In an animal study, small amounts of orally administered GliSODin® raised blood levels of SOD by 89% and increased catalase levels by 171%!

 

http://www.lef.org/Vitamins-Supplements/item00961/SODzyme-with-GliSODin-Wolfberry

 

Since I am a member of Life Extension, I often try promising products with the comfort their guarantee offers me. I am taking both the Apple Polyphenols and SODzyme product. I am currently seeking more information about a product to apply topically called Pro-Follicleanse which you can learn more about at http://www.pro-follicleanse.com and hope to be trying it on my own scalp.

 

Now you must realize that hair grows, on average, only 1/2″ per month. For some it’s faster and for some it’s slower. That said, it would take a while to overcome the existing hydrogen peroxide in the base of the hair follicles. Then it would take some time for the newly pigmented hair to reach the surface of your scalp. It would then take another month for a half inch of pigmented hair to become visible if you looked very close to the scalp. What this all adds up to is that it would take time to gradually reverse the effects of your metabolically derived hydrogen peroxide. Most of us didn’t go gray or white over night.   So expect that any treatment protocol you try to take a long time to become obvious. Just know that anything worth having is worth your investment, your commitment and your patience! Good Luck!

 

This entry was composed on July 31, 2015

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