Anti-Inflammatory Diet

All health care starts with diet. My recommendations for a healthy diet are here:
Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle.
There are over 190 articles on diet, inflammation and disease on this blog
(find topics using search [upper left] or index [lower right]), and
more articles by Prof. Ayers on Suite101 .

Monday, August 29, 2011

Baldness Cure: Low Dose Naltrexone?

Naltrexone can be used to block opioids and provide the basis for treatment for drug abuse, but in low doses (LDN) it provides a paradoxical increase in natural endorphins that reverses inflammation and provides an effective treatment for autoimmune diseases, e.g. MS.

A recent anonymous post brought the role of cannabinoid and opioid receptors in baldness to my attention. The relationship between these receptors, inflammation and autoimmunity is very complex. The heat and cold sensors, which also bind capsaicin and menthol, appear to be mediated by endorphins. Acupuncture also seems to function by similar mechanisms and is inhibited by high dose Naltrexone.

Low Dose Naltrexone
A side effect of high dose Naltrexone (e.g. 50 mg/d) is hair loss. Low dose Naltrexone (e.g. 1 mg/day, taken at night) appears to stimulate hair production and it may reverse the effects of Finasteride, since LDN improves libido.

Endorphin-Suppressed Inflammation
I would expect hair loss to be prevented/reversed by topical treatments that block inflammation and autoimmune attack on hair follicles. Curcumin, from turmeric, blocks NFkB and appears to help hair loss. Capsaicin can block inflammation via endorphin production and also helps hair loss. I would also expect that topical menthol and castor oil would reduce hair loss.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet
The anti-inflammatory diet that I recommend, may not be sufficient to block hair loss, but it may provide a good foundation for other anti-inflammatory treatments. In fact, other topical treatments may not be effective unless chronic, diet-based inflammation is eliminated. It may also be important to reduce oxidative stress by optimizing glutathione and vitamin C.

I would appreciate comments by others who may have experience with LDN and balding.