So there you are, minding your own business when you spot a few stray hairs on your pillow. Normally, this would not cause you any alarm, however, you did start taking a new supplement a few weeks ago. Before you start to panic you pick up the bottle and look at the side effects. You need to know if creatine can cause hair loss. While you don't find anything specific, you're still understandably skeptical. At this point, you need real information. For your own peace of mind, take a moment and find out if creatine causes hair loss.
What is Creatine?
Your body produces many natural chemicals and hormones that all serve a specific purpose to bodily function. Through modern day medicine, a few of these chemicals have been manufactured to boost effectiveness. Creatine is an amino acid that can be found in certain meats, eggs and fish. Many bodybuilders and athletes take the supplement to build lean muscle mass. There is also evidence that it can help with weight loss and can combat fatigue. It is considered to be safe although there are several known side effects including bloating, dehydration, muscle cramps, and digestive problems. The general consensus is that, when taken responsibly, the overall experience is usually a positive one.
Has Creatine Been Linked to Hair Loss?
There have been several accounts of people taking creatine and subsequently experiencing hair loss. Seeing as it is not listed as a known side effect, it is only natural that someone would want to look into these claims. The truth is somewhat inconclusive. One 2009 study published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine shows that creatine can cause an increase in Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a chemical which can actually speed up hair loss. DHT is known to bind itself to certain receptors found in hair follicles and causes them to miniaturize. Anyone worried about creatine causing hair loss could look at this study and swear off the supplement immediately. Before jumping to conclusions though, it is also important to note that this one study stands alone as the link between creatine and hair loss. On the one hand, it was conducted properly with no problems, but on the other, it has never been duplicated. When looking at all the facts, the best anyone can say is that creatine might cause hair loss is certain individuals.
Who Should be Concerned About Creatine and Hair Loss?
Like any drug or chemical, there are certain types of people who will be more susceptible to the side effects. In this case, it is important to know that male, and sometimes female, pattern baldness is genetic. If the gene has been passed down, a person will experience hair loss at some point in their life. An increase in DHT may speed up the process, but it would not be the cause. If you are worried about taking creatine for this reason, simply take a look into your family history. From there, you will be able to decide if risk is worth the reward.
To say that creatine causes hair loss cannot be definitively proven. The facts do show some evidence that says yes, but there has been very little conclusive proof. Looking into the science, we can see that creatine can spike levels of DHT in the body. That being said, this might not have the same effect on everyone.
If you have been considering taking a creatine supplement and are concerned about side effects, consult your doctor. For more information about hair loss contact us here to see what can be done for you. Always remember that any step you take toward self improvement is a good one, just make sure to have all the facts about the path you choose.
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