A natural non-toxic approach to reversing hair loss.

Hypertension & Androgenetic Alopecia

Researchers in Paris, France had found that androgenetic alopecia is strongly associated with high blood pressure. Two blood pressure medications have been known to increase hair growth, such as Minoxidil and Spironolactone. The researchers stated that the cause of high blood pressure is probably related to an over production of the hormone aldosterone, although they say it warrants further study.

Eur J Dermatol. 2007 May-Jun;17(3):220-2. 

As a result of the finding, creating new drugs targeting the mineralocorticoid receptors is the proposed solution. 

There are a variety of factors that contribute to high blood pressure (hypertension). Many physicians are unaware that high glucose levels, per intake of refined starches, grains and sugars leads to increased stimulation of aldosterone. Typically a physician will prescribe an aldosterone receptor blocker, such as spironolactone. 

All too often, we are told to cut back on salt, yet salt induced hypertension is not common, in fact sodium intake is inversely correlated with cardiovascular mortality; the less sodium the greater the cause of death from heart disease. 

Am J Med 06;119(3):275 

Free radicals, which result from consumption of cooked foods, particularly fried foods, consumption of refined and/or processed foods etc, can activate the mineralocorticoid (MR) receptor, in an aldosterone-independent fashion. Hence, aldosterone/MR activation plays a role in the development of salt-sensitive hypertension.  It isn't the salt that's at fault, it is oxidative stress or an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS). 

J Mol Med. 2008 Jun;86(6):729-34 

Aldosterone is produced by the adrenal glands, which manage the body's balance of sodium, water, and potassium. When your body produces too much aldosterone, you retain sodium and lose potassium, a condition known as aldosteronism or hyperaldosteronism. Correcting sodium, potassium and magnesium imbalances should be done first with supplementation of oral magnesium, such as magnesium orotate and an adequate diet of potassium foods. Low sodium V-8 juice, Pomegranate juice and even apple cider vinegar make good sources of potassium.


Pathophysiology. 2007 Dec;14(3-4):205-11. 

Just as important, is to keep glucose levels under control by maintaining a high intake of antioxidants, especially plant-based polyphenols and tannins.  Some may suggest decreasing the intake of cooked and refined foods, however this is not a practical option for many. 

Recently, it's been shown that chronic elevation of circulating levels of aldosterone leads to increased anxiety. This may explain why some who suffer from male pattern baldness can occasionally exhibit heightened anxiety levels. 

Horm Behav. 2008 Jun;54(1):90-7. 

To blindly submit to the doctor's request to take spironolactone increases susceptibility to acquire "age-related" hearing loss, as the hormone aldosterone is intimately involved in the sodium-potassium interaction in the inner ear.  Many of those who start to lose their hearing could be deficient in aldosterone, or they could be taking an aldosterone receptor blocker like spironolactone. 

Laryngoscope. 2002 Feb;112(2):298-303.

If one is not taking spirolactone, the hearing loss could result from a deficiency of aldosterone, which is remedied by bio-identical aldosterone and would require the services of a qualified physician, preferably one educated in nutritional medicine. 

The logic behind using spirolactone is simple enough, reducing excess aldosterone. After all, the correct balance of sodium and potassium in your body helps maintain the fluids in your body, transmits nerve impulses, and contracts and relaxes your muscles. Too much aldosterone causes sodium retention, which then causes water retention. This combination increases blood pressure and blood volume. However, reducing insulin will address the cause of excessive aldosterone.

Another cause of hypertension is heavy metal toxicity. 

Altern Med Rev. 2006 Mar;11(1):2-22.

Heavy metal accumulation is extremely common.  As you might expect, heavy metal toxicity is another often-overlooked cause of "essential" hypertension. Whether or not you have these toxic metals in your body isn't the question. The question is: how much?  But even if your doctor does test you for heavy metal toxicity, chances are the results won't be accurate. That's because blood tests for heavy metals are virtually useless.

Since these toxic substances are damaging to so many different cell structures, your body clears them from your bloodstream as rapidly as possible. If there's too much toxic metal to be immediately excreted through your liver and kidneys (and there usually is), it gets tucked away in your bones or other less metabolically active tissue where it causes less immediate damage.  During bone remodeling or bone turnover, metals such as lead are released into the bloodstream.

Blood tests will pick up toxicity only immediately following exposure. Unfortunately, wherever the unexcreted toxic metal is stored, it still does some damage, and if and when it's finally released from storage, it can do further damage.

Don't bother testing your hair for toxic minerals either; it's not much better than blood tests. If one or more metals are found to be high based on a hair test, there's definitely a toxic mineral problem. But if the hair test comes back negative, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're free from heavy metal toxicity.  The best test for the presence of heavy metals is a chelation test. According to some integrative physicians, more than 50 percent of individuals with blood pressure higher than 140/90 have significant excretion of toxic metals found by a chelation test.  If you do have heavy metal toxicity, chelation therapy will usually help lower your blood pressure.  What is Chelation therapy?  It is an intravenous process that binds to the heavy metals and removes them from the body.

There are oral methods to remove toxic metal build-up, such as Chlorella and Lipoic acid.  A product derived from Hungarian peat moss called Humifulvate, made up of humic and fulvic acid has a profound metal chelating properties.  It has an affinity for attracting mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium and iron.  

Doctors love to prescribe ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure. This medication blocks angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE).  In simple terms it reverses the narrowing of the kidney artery possibly lowering blood pressure, however, at the expense of some unpleasant side-effects like feeling dizzy.

Recently, a few natural, non-prescription ACE inhibitors have come to market.  Still, not even one these are needed, when you can eliminate your "requirement" for an ACE inhibitor with vitamin D.  Vitamin D is really a hormone that is synthesized in your body with a lot of help from UVB exposure from the sun.

Statistics have shown for years that there's less hypertension in tropical latitudes than in polar latitudes and that the prevalence of hypertension rises for all ethnic groups the farther away they

are from the equator. 

Klin Med (Mosk). 2006;84(5):34-7.

In the natural medicine world, I have suspected for a long time that vitamin D is behind these good results--and now there's a study confirming that suspicion.  In 2002, the Journal of Clinical Investigation published a detailed explanation of exactly how vitamin D helps lower blood pressure. 

J Clin Invest, July 2002, Volume 110, Number 2, 229-238

Vitamin D up until recently, has been one of the most underrated nutrients, as it is especially useful in the prevention of many very deadly cancers.  Without adequate vitamin D, a molecule called renin is produced in excess.  Renin breaks down another molecule, called angiotensinogen, into angiotensin I. Angiotensin I is converted into angiotensin II by angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE).  Ultimately too much angiotensin II means high blood pressure.  There's little "need" for the over prescribed blood pressure medicine, ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) when vitamin D is superior on a number of fronts.

In its fully activated form, vitamin D persuades the gene that controls renin production to become less active. When less renin is produced, less of all the "intermediates" mentioned are produced, and the end result is less angiotensin II and lower blood pressure. 

Benefits from vitamin D supplementation do not occur overnight and while it is possible to take too much vitamin D, recent research has reevaluated the safe upper limit for this vitamin, many experts now agree that it's 10,000 IU daily.

What about sun exposure?  One can boost their vitamin D levels more than adequately from standing in the sun cumulatively for about 15 to 20 minutes. Your body will tell you how much vitamin D you need.  Seek cover the moment your skin turns a mild pink--you've now soaked up enough.  Over time your skin pigment will build-up, eventually allowing you to accommodate more sun exposure.  The further away from the equator, particularly in the northern latitudes, the more likely vitamin D3 supplementation is necessary, since there may not be adequate UVB exposure throughout the year.  Obviously vitamin D supplementation may be necessary if your access to the outdoors is limited.  More and more supplement manufactures are offering larger dosages of vitamin D.  

The vast majority of those who have been diagnosed with essential hypertension have tested positive for insulin resistance, heavy metal toxicity, or both, and most of them have had less than ideal blood levels of vitamin D.  Odds are your chances of eliminating essential hypertension are very good.  Patented molecules are alien to your body, if they even do one thing "right," and like a broken clock get everything else wrong. 

Am J Med. 2006 Apr;119(4):318-26. 

Magnesium plays a major role in the regulation of blood pressure and is inversely correlated with related conditions such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. 

Nutr Clin Pract. 2008 Apr-May;23(2):142-51. 

Magnesium acts as a calcium channel blocker, it stimulates production of vasodilator prostacyclins and nitric oxide and it alters vascular responses to vasoactive substances.   Keep in mind that pharmaceutical calcium channel blockers are the most deadly form of blood pressure drugs.  Why the medical establishment does not use Magnesium is probably due to the lack of patent rights on the use of an inexpensive mineral. 

Magnesium's effect on cells is not entirely understood, but it is absolutely certain that Magnesium deficient cells play a significant role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. 

Pathophysiology. 2007 Dec;14(3-4):205-11. 

It's been recently discovered that Magnesium supplementation reduces accumulations of toxic lead and cadmium.  Conversely, Magnesium depleted cells carry higher toxic levels of these metals.

After just three months supplementing Magnesium and vitamin B6, caused a statistically significant decrease in concentrations of lead and cadmium. 

Magnes Res. 2004 Sep;17(3):183-8. 

Human hair follicles contain ATP-sensitive potassium channels, which increase hair growth through the dermal papilla.  This is believed to be part of the mechanism of how the drug, minoxidil works, yet increasing the uptake of Potassium is a healthier way to accomplish this. 

Some foods are loaded with potassium, such as Pomegranate juice, low-sodium V8 Juice and many dark green vegetables.   

FASEB J. 2008 Jun;22(6):1725-36.  

Adenosine has been found to stimulate fibroblast growth factor-7 (FGF-7) gene expression.  Minoxidil stimulates this increase of Adenosine, which exerts positive influences on potassium channels as previously discussed.  When Magnesium levels are sufficient, fibroblast growth factor-7 is positively associated with its increase.  It is believed that this increases hair fiber elongation in the human scalp. 

J Invest Dermatol. 2007 Jun;127(6):1318-25.

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