It’s evident that obesity can trigger numerous diseases in the human body but what most people may not know is that one of those diseases is hair thinning. This phenomenon was first observed by researchers when they were experimenting on mice hair follicles.
It is not fully clear to the researchers how body organs and cells may behave differently when a human being is suffering from chronic obesity. But, the experiment conducted on mice hair follicles showcased that stem cells in the hair which are responsible for hair growth do behave differently in mice with high-fat diets than mice with low-fat diets.
The key is depletion of the hair follicle bulge (group of stem cells), which triggers hair thinning and ultimately results in hair loss. Ever wondered how your hair grows back? That is because the hair follicle stem cells, also known as HFSCs, constantly self-renew after every follicle cycle.
As human beings grow older, the follicles fail to self-renew or replenish, which results in hair follicle loss and hair thinning. Obese people are more likely to develop hair problems and diseases like androgenic alopecia.
Specifically, in older people, if they are overweight, the hair follicles might fail to replenish earlier than usual, resulting in hair thinning; the TMDU (Tokyo Medical And Dental University) research group explained after observing the behavior of hair follicles and their course of depletion in older mice.
They explained that high-fat diets accelerate the depletion of hair follicles, and old age is just a contributing factor to that process. Not just that, the researchers observed that high-fat diet-fed mice also begin developing smaller hair follicles as compared to other mice of the same age but with low-fat diets.
In just four consecutive days of feeding the mice a high-fat diet, their hair follicles were observed to have developed some oxidative stress. The outer layer of the skin surrounding the follicles (epidermal layer) showed signs of differentiation. In conclusion, there’s an apparent change in the molecular mechanism of hair when an organism is repeatedly consuming a high-fat diet.
This discovery has also provoked many hopes of fixing hair problems like hair thinning in humans, although there’s no definite exposition just yet. It also provided new insights into tissue dysfunction and cellular changes.