The popular Korean dish kimchi has recently garnered international attention after researchers reported that it could hold the secret to curing hair loss. In this blog, we take a closer look at their findings.
Probiotics, Kimchi & Hair Loss
Researchers at Dankook University, Korea published a paper about their clinical pilot study on probiotics in The World Journal of Men’s Health. Evidence from previous research showed that probiotics can have beneficial effects on serum lipid profiles and improve blood circulation. The Seoul-based researchers wanted to know whether these effects could be helpful in treating hair loss, more specifically, androgenetic alopecia.
The study took place in 2017 and had a total of 46 participants with a 50/50 split of men and women. The male participants had hair loss between stage two and five on the Norwood Scale, while female participants had Ludwig Classification Type I to III hair loss.
The Korean team decided to use traditional sources of probiotics for their tests. Kimchi is a delicacy made by fermenting cabbage with fish sauce, onions, garlic and spices, while cheonggukjang is a fermented soy bean product. These ingredients were provided to participants as an 80ml drink to be taken daily, before breakfast and at bedtime.
Does Kimchi Restore Hair?
The Dankook University researchers reported that after four months, 29 of the participants showed significant improvement in hair count and strand thickness. They observed that overall results were slightly better for women than men. However, they also noted the limitations of the study – amongst them, the small test group, short observation period and lack of placebo control group. They concluded that further research would be needed to confirm the effects of the kimchi and cheonggukjang drink on hair loss.
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