South Korean medical scientists conducted a clinical study of the effectiveness of baldness treatment with a remedy derived from proteins secreted by adipose tissue stem cells. The results are published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.
Adipose tissue stem cells secrete several growth hormones that help cells develop and multiply. It is known that some growth factors associated with these hormones, such as hepatocyte growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, insulin-like growth factor and platelet growth factor, contribute to an increase in the size of the hair follicle during hair formation and growth.
Researchers from Busan National University decided to experimentally test whether an extract from adipose tissue stem cells will help in the treatment of androgenic alopecia — the most common type of baldness caused by genetic, hormonal and environmental factors and affecting more than half of all men over 50 and almost as many women.
Androgenic alopecia, although it does not belong to diseases dangerous to human health, adversely affects the psychological state and quality of life of people. There are several approved drugs for the treatment of hair loss, such as propecia or finpecia, but the most effective of them have unpleasant side effects, such as loss of libido and erectile dysfunction. Therefore, scientists continue to search for a safer and more effective treatment.
An extract from adipose tissue stem cells was obtained in the laboratory of Busan University by destroying the stem cell membrane using low-frequency ultrasound waves.
The study involved 38 patients – 29 men and nine middle-aged women with androgenic alopecia, who were divided into two groups. Representatives of one of the groups rubbed an extract containing adipose tissue stem cells into the scalp twice a day, and participants of the other, control group – a placebo.
After 16 weeks, patients who used stem cells had a significant increase in the number of hairs and the diameter of the follicles.
“It is known that adipose tissue stem cells promote hair growth in both men and women, however, no randomized, placebo-controlled human study has previously investigated the effects and safety of using an extract from adipose tissue stem cells for the treatment of alopecia,” the head of the study said in a press release from the publishing house. Dr. Sang Yeoup Lee from the Family Medicine Clinic and the Convergence Research Institute of Biomedical Sciences and Technologies of Busan National University.
The test results show that an extract from adipose tissue stem cells can become a new solution for restoring hair, increasing its density and density, and a safe alternative to existing therapeutic methods, scientists believe.
In the future, the authors plan to conduct similar studies with a large number of participants of different ages and from different population groups.