Can Creatine Cause Hair Loss?
Posted On April 24, 2020
Many athletes who use creatine wonder if it is possible that this supplement could cause hair loss. We will explain in this article where the doubt arose and what is known about it.
Creatine is widely used in sports, especially in gym exercise to gain muscle mass. But many of those who use it have raised the question of whether it could possibly cause hair loss.
Creatine is, in essence, an amino acid. That is, it is the raw material with which the human body can form proteins. In its natural state, it is found in the body\’s muscle tissue and actively participates in contraction, intervening in energy processes.
The amino acid was discovered in 1882 by a scientist named Michel Chevreul. Obviously, its discovery was not related to commercial use, which started much later, exploding in the 1990s. In those years it was postulated that ingested creatine could increase the amount of creatine within the muscle.
Experience has shown that, in a way, there is an effect of creatine on muscle mass. It is also possibly capable of increasing muscle strength, albeit progressively and not magically.
Its use has become popular in sports. Countries with large volumes of consumption of the substance sell millions of kilograms in a year. Among athletes, various surveys have recorded up to 40% frequency of use.
Its popularity has been accompanied by myths about its effects and adverse reactions. One question that became famous is whether creatine may be able to cause hair loss. We\’ll answer that later, but let\’s first understand how creatine works.
How does creatine work?
Creatine works by emulating the action of the natural substance in the muscle. By taking it as a supplement we force the body to use that surplus that did not exist before. If combined well with exercise, it can pay off.
Creatine improves muscle strength by up to 10%. This effect has been found to be greater in weightlifting gymnasts, and because their muscles work in that direction.
For other modalities, the data is more dispersed and smaller. It is calculated that the muscular strength in the pecs increases by up to 5% with the corresponding consumption and exercise. For the lower limbs, the increase would be 8%.
Its use in many sports and exercise modalities has been investigated. Studies were also run to find out if creatine was able to increase brain power. In general, the results showed some degree of decrease in mental fatigue, but no increase inabilities in this area.
Where did the question about hair loss start?
The question about whether creatine causes hair loss comes from a study published in 2009 in a sports medicine journal. The research evaluated the effect of creatine supplementation on twenty rugby players.
Subjects were divided into two groups. The first group received creatine and the second did not. At the end of the stipulated time, the dihydrotestosterone concentrations were measured in both groups. Among creatine users, the substance increased more than 50% in relation to the others.
The conclusion of the study, after running the corresponding mathematical formulas, was that a 5 grams daily creatine supplement was able to increase dihydrotestosterone by up to 40%. On the other hand, testosterone was unchanged. source: truehairstyle.com
The possible mechanism by which creatine causes hair loss
If we stick to the physiology of how creatine would be capable of causing hair loss, we would find the explanation in testosterone. This assuming that the majority of baldnesses are androgenic alopecia, that is, they occur in men due to the hormone in question.
In the male body, testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone and weakens the hair follicles. Not in all men, but in those who are already born with a genetic predisposition to baldness. Dihydrotestosterone does not cause the same effect at all.
Thus, by increasing muscle strength, creatine would cause hair loss by stimulating the increased manufacture of dihydrotestosterone. Again we emphasize, only in those individuals with sensitive genetics.