What is Creatine?
Creatine is a compound formed in our body from three amino acids, glycine, arginine and methionine.
Creatine is found naturally in foods like fish and red meat. It helps supply energy to all cells in the body, primarily muscle. This energy supply is especially required for short bursts of energy like weightlifting, cardio, sprinting and other sports that require explosive movements. For this reason, athletes have used creatine as a supplement to improve performance.
Creatine is one of the most important substances that our body requires for numerous functions. The molecule of creatine is closely associated with the ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) molecule, which supplies energy to the entire body. It is a combination of 3 components- L-arginine, glycine and L-methionine.
In recent times, several different studies have been conducted on creatine. At the end of these studies, it was found that creatine was a great booster in muscle growth. This finding was completely new and could not be generalized to other muscle growth substances as well.
While creatine is known for building muscles, it is also used for other medical treatments such as liver disease and brain trauma. It is also beneficial in several sports and a useful tool in improving physical performance during exercise or in boosting endurance levels.
There is another type of creatine called creatine nitrate which originates from the combination of nitrate salt. In this article, I will try to explain how creatine can lead to elevated DHT and subsequent hair loss.
Creatine Hair Loss
Creatine is a substance that is found naturally in the body, and it is used by the body to aid in energy production. Creatine may also be consumed from foods containing high levels of creatine, including chicken, beef, and some fish. When supplementing with creatine, the goal is to increase the amount of creatine in the muscles, which will increase muscle mass and strength.
Use of creatine, a popular nutritional supplement used by endurance athletes, is associated with the development of hair loss.
The body produces Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from testosterone, and high levels of DHT are linked to male pattern baldness. DHT causes a reduction in blood flow to hair follicles, which leads to miniaturization of hair follicles and eventually causes baldness. In order to increase muscle mass after weightlifting, the body needs to produce more testosterone; this is why a high-protein diet may lead to an increase in DHT.
Many men use creatine as a means to build muscle, lose weight, or just enjoy the benefits of enhanced energy. However, there is a connection between creatine and hair loss in some people who have fine hair. Creatine can make your hair fall out, especially if you are using the supplement for an extended period of time. The truth is that creatine stimulates the production of the hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which can lead to excessive hair loss in men, especially those with fine and thinning hair.
Other Potential Causes of Hair Loss
The hair follicle is composed of two parts, an upper part called a bulb and the lower called the dermal papilla. The hair is lost when they are pushed out by new hair growth. This is known as the process of hair cycling or hair replacement.
Hair loss, also known as alopecia, is a condition that causes hair to fall out in patches. Hair loss can be caused by numerous factors, some of which are physical and some of which are biological.
About 80-90% of women experience some degree of hair loss after menopause (hirsutism). The follicles that form the hair are sensitive to testosterone. If there is too much of it, the follicles may shrink causing a thinning of scalp hair called androgenic alopecia.
Androgenetic alopecia is a genetic condition in which a person’s hair follicles are genetically programmed to shrink and eventually become dormant. Androgenetic alopecia is one of the most common types of hair loss in both men and women. In men, this type of hair loss usually occurs on the crown. In women, hair loss affects the entire scalp and can affect the eyebrows as well. Sudden baldness is also quite common in men with this form of hair loss.
How to Reverse Hair Loss caused by Creatine?
Many people consume creatine supplements to enhance their physique and strength. If you are someone who has been using creatine supplements to improve your performance, you need to know that it is not all good as there are some side effects.
Hair loss is one of the common side effects caused by the intake of creatine supplements. The hair loss can be extreme if you are not careful about your dosage and can lead to baldness. But there is an easy way to reverse this condition.
The intake of high doses of creatine causes hair loss, not because of the chemicals in the supplement but because of the change it causes in your body chemistry.
Quick fix: The good news is that there are simple ways to reverse the hair loss caused by creatine supplements. You just need to be a little patient and follow the below-mentioned tips:
Stop taking creatine supplements: The best solution to your problem is to stop taking the supplement.
- Take biotin supplements: Biotin is known to be a vital nutrient for hair growth and strengthening hair follicles. Biotin is a vitamin that can be found in foods like nuts, eggs, sweet potatoes, onions, oats, etc. You can also take biotin tablets for hair growth. Biotin is also thought to reduce inflammation, hair loss and improve cognitive function.
Creatine is a very popular anabolic supplement. It helps in increasing muscle mass and strength to a great extent. But research is still going on regarding the side effects of creatine on our body. Many studies suggest that an increase in creatine levels in the body can cause hair loss as well.
If you believe your hair loss can be due to creatine, just trace back the chain of events that leads to hair re-growth as soon as the creatine levels have subsided and the hair should grow back without any noticeable difference in the rate of growth.