Thai researchers claim to have found an extract from mangrove trees that can cure baldness.
The research team at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences found a substance in grey mangroves that can stop hair loss hormones.
The substance, Avicequinon-C, was found to have potentially stopped enzymes in the body from producing a hormone that causes unwanted bald spots.
The extract has been tested on 50 male and female participants suffering from Androgenic Alopecia who applied the substance on their scalp everyday.
Their progress were photographed over time and after a few weeks, visible improvements were recorded on the participants.
Professor Wanchai Deeknamkul, from the faculty of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Botany, said that aside from preventing hair loss, the substance also promotes hair growth.
He said: ‘We found out it had many benefits. First, it stops the enzymes from producing hair loss hormones and second, it could also help produce the protein that stimulates hair growth.’
A private company already bought the patent of their research project so they can develop a hair growth product.
Professor Wanchai said that the product is expected to be available in the market in around six months.
He said: ‘The mangrove extract will be tested on more volunteers before it can be officially approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration.’
The discovery has won an award from the National Research Council of Thailand this year.
“We took pictures of the volunteers’ heads in every corner and also used a microscope to look at the hair loss area to examine the nature of the hair loss and make an appointment after a month and repeat the same process for four consecutive months. We compared pictures of the same spot and found that only after a month, participants showed positive changes with improvement in hair strength that also sticks well to the scalp. While none of the participants showed any allergic reaction”
Professor Wanchai added: “We screened more than 50 herbal extracts and more than 20 pure substances and found that Avicennia Marin extract contains the active ingredient avicequinone C, which inhibits the enzyme that produces hair loss hormones. Also, Avicennia Marin extract helps to build proteins that can promote hair growth as well. Thus helping to solve the problem of hair loss completely.
“Several cosmeceutical products claiming to treat hair loss mostly consist of chemically synthesized drugs. Which may cause unwanted side effects especially allergic reactions and skin inflammation and affect the body’s system. Besides, almost all of them have not been scientifically proven or researched to determine the mechanism of action of the substances used.
“In the past, we’ve imported synthetic drugs from foreign countries both topical and oral medication but those only showed results at 30 percent and 48 percent respectively. Furthermore, the side effects were also much more. Therefore, extracts from the Avicennia Marin plants found in Thai mangrove forests will reduce the import of those synthetic drugs. It may also be an export product that creates market value for the country as well.”