Snack Size Science: Vitamin E and the quest for thick hair

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

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NutraIngredient’s Snack Size Science brings you the week's top science. This week we consider if vitamin E from palm oil can help men with thinning and receding hair. Malaysian researchers suggest there’s potential for the vitamin in mane-maintenance.

The following is a transcript of this podcast:

This is NutraIngredients’s Snack Size Science​. I’m Stephen Daniells - bringing you the week’s top science in digestible amounts.

This week we run our fingers through the science behind thinning hair.

Four out of every seven American men are said to inherit the baldness gene from, with about 40 million men in the US said to live with thinning and receding hair.

Various products are on the market claiming to help the follicle-challenged male regain his flowing mane, with varying levels of efficacy. Now Malaysian company Carotech has reported that its natural vitamin E ingredient may be able to slow and even reverse hair loss.

Researchers from the University of Science Malaysia performed an eight month randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving 28 volunteers with androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness to you and me.

The experiments used Carotech’s Tocomin SupraBio ingredient, which contains vitamin E in its tocotrienol forms. Vitamin E comes in eight forms, including four types of tocopherols, and four types of tocotrienols. The most well-known form, and the form mostly used in supplements, is alpha-tocopherol.

According to the company, the Malaysian researchers observed significant hair re-growth of about 42 per cent in the tocotrienol group, with eight volunteers experiencing greater than 50 per cent hair growth. No one in the placebo group experienced any hair growth benefits.

If further studies support the follicle-friendly potential of tocotrienols, it could offer nutritional relief to those whose hope for help is about as thin as their hair.

For NutraIngredients Snack Size Science, I’m Stephen Daniells.

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