Artificial sweeteners and hair loss

Artificial sweeteners and hair loss

Artificial Sweeteners | Do they make your hair fall out?

It can sometimes feel like sugar-free or processed diet foods might be a healthy option, but, the opposite is actually true.
According to The Food and Drug Administration, aspartame – an artificial sweetener – has been linked to:

  • hair loss
  • bloating
  • Impotency
  • depression

Let’s talk about one of the most famous sweeteners - 

This is a low-calorie sweetener that’s in diet drinks and meal replacement shakes.

It was approved by the FDA in 1974 for use as a food additive, but what’s really interesting is the FDA really flip-flopped on this - they retracted their approval the following year in 1975 as more research came forward highlighting some unpleasant side effects.
Three scientific FDA advisors made severe warnings advising against the use of aspartame.
And then in 1983, the FDA Commissioner, Mark Novitch MD approved its use in
fizzy drinks
Check out this list of some of the 92 adverse side effects linked to aspartame:  

  • depression,  
  • memory loss,  
  • cancer 
  • cardiovascular disease 
  • Alzheimer’s disease, 
  • seizures 
  • stroke and dementia,  
  • intestinal dysbiosis 
  • mood disorders 
  • migraines and headaches 
  • Confusion, 
  • anxiety attacks, 
  • insomnia  

Hair loss, thinning hair and baldness were included on the list of 92 side effects.

The compound is made of two basic ingredients, phenoalanine and aspartic acid
The phenoalanine molecule has been lab-created, and it when it gets into our body it breaks off to form methanol.
Methanol is converted into formaldehyde which remains floating around our body, where it affects our DNA.

How Do Sweeteners Cause Hair Loss?

According to Janet Star Hull, the formaldehyde from the methanol breakdown creates a form of stress which causes follicles to enter the telogen resting phase.
On her website’s forum section, many of Dr. Hull’s users have reported experiences such as:

  • noticing more hair loss the more diet soda they drink 
  • improvement or complete cessation of hair loss by reducing the intake of diet soda or stopping it completely. 
At the moment,  there really isn’t enough research between aspartame and other artificial sweeteners and hair loss, but there is lots of anecdotal evidence out there. People on Dr Hull’s website share their experiences as well as people on Reddit forums.
Just recently I was listening to a podcast by Mike Skinner, a British musician and he was talking about how Diet Pepsi will f-ing kill you.
Dr Hull suggests keeping a food diary to keep track of what you are eating. At the same time, it is a helpful tool for documenting the time frames when you are noticing more hair loss than usual. 
Due to the hair growth cycle, hair loss might happen about three months after the stressful event.
How to reduce hair loss by Reducing Diet Drinks
The best thing to do to protect your hair is limit or stop drinking diet shakes and fizzy drinks. When you’re having a hot drink, avoid adding sweeteners, perhaps switch for honey or just go sugar-free.

This is likely to be an effect in those who are genetically predisposed to pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia). 
Don’t forget that there are lots of causes of hair loss  including
  • Stress 
  • Genetics 
  • Medication 
  • A number of Illnesses 
So it’s important to be open to the possibility of many different factors contributing to your condition, rather than just one.

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