I found this text on a website recently “If you look at Japan, male pattern baldness was almost unheard of prior to World War II. The Japanese diet is now far more fatty and Westernized, and Japanese men are going bald everywhere. It’s clear that a high-fat, meat-based diet raises testosterone levels, and that may adversely affect hair follicles.”
- Do you have any information about this? Could this be true?
While it is true to some degree that we are what we eat, hair loss comes about because of four components. Our food intake (if normal nutrients are ingested) is not one of those four. They are:
- Genetic elements for balding
- The male hormone in adequate quantities for healthy men
- The time the hormones and the genetic defect interact
- The amount of stress in the life of the person
I have a problem when someone is comparing early 20th century assessments of hair loss and modern 21st century assessments of hair loss. I also have a problem with the comment that ties healthy diets to hair loss in any way. The “authority” seems to originate from a talented man and nutritionist, Michael A. Klaper, M.D. He does not cite any evidence for his opinions and uses the term “may” when commenting on the connection between meat in the diet, testosterone, and hair loss. In my opinion, a statement like, “male pattern baldness was almost unheard of prior to World War II,” really can not be based upon any reasonable scientific observation and if I am wrong, I would want to see it. Who would be making such an assessment in a closed, almost feudal society like pre-war Japan? Balding is big business in modern Japan, which supports the largest hair wig manufacturer in the world. Many of the people of Japan still maintain the more traditional diets (they are not hamburger freaks) yet they lose hair. Studies have shown that there is little difference in balding statistics between races.
The website which originated these comments appears to be MotherNature.com and it does not show any convincing evidence to support the posted statement. Show me the science and I would be willing to change my mind.
However, it is documented that daily vigorous exercise (like endurance training) and lower fat/total calorie intake will decrease the free testosterone and DHT levels, and you can assume that this can decrease hair loss (see Relationship between stress hormones and testosterone with prolonged endurance exercise). Does a low fat diet alone decrease the levels of testosterone and DHT? That is not clear.