In this article, we are going to take on the question, “Does creatine cause hair loss?”
If you do not take creatine, you likely know someone who does. The sports supplement became very popular after British 100-meter gold medalist Linford Christie said it helped him train at the 1992 Olympics.
Even though it has been around for almost 30 years, it is still one of the market’s most popular and well-studied training supplements. Jose Antonio, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at Nova Southeastern University, says that more than 500 studies have been done on creatine. No other food or dietary supplement has comparable evidence.
Yet creatine continues to be the subject of persistent rumors and misconceptions. The assertion that creatine causes hair loss is among the strongest. According to Dr. Antonio’s ongoing research, the current body of evidence does not indicate that creatine causes hair loss or baldness.
No matter how old you are, hair loss is one of the most common things that happen to both men and women. Some types of hair loss are caused by the immune system (alopecia), while others are passed down from parent to child and show up with age. Numerous types of studies and research indicate that there may be a connection between creatine and hair loss.
Creatine is a popular dietary and athletic supplement. It is common for exercisers to take dietary supplements to improve their endurance, strength, and overall performance. Creatine is an organic acid that occurs naturally in the human body, and its concentration can be increased with supplements. The primary function of this creatine is to recycle adenosine triphosphate, the energy stores of muscle and brain cells.
Although there is evidence that creatine is also responsible for increasing DHT levels or affecting DHT levels in the body, which leads to hair loss.
You may have read that creatine consumption can cause hair loss. But is that the case?
Although creatine may not cause hair loss directly, it may affect the levels of a hormone that does. Continue reading to learn more about creatine, its benefits, side effects, and what the research reveals about its link to hair loss.
What Exactly Is Creatine?
Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the muscles and brain; it is also produced by the kidneys, pancreas, and liver. Weightlifters and athletes widely use it to increase muscle strength, enhance sprint performance, and improve cognitive function. Creatine-rich foods include seafood and red meat, which can also be synthesized and sold as dietary supplements.
Creatine is a well-known organic compound that facilitates ATP recycling in the brain and muscles. This compound produces phosphocreatine in the body which ultimately produces an instant energy by drawing energy phosphates to the muscles.
Creatine is an energy source for your cells. It is produced naturally by the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. In addition to acquiring creatine through diet, red meat and fish are also sources of creatine.
In your skeletal muscles, creatine is stored as phosphocreatine. This can be broken down and used as energy for muscle contractions during physical activity.
When creatine supplements are consumed, muscle creatine levels increase. Your muscles may generate more energy due to this increase in creatine levels.
Some individuals take creatine to increase muscle mass and enhance athletic performance. There are numerous forms of creatine supplements, including powders, liquids, and tablets.
How Does Creatine Function?
Topical creatine is used to treat issues associated with aging. Your body converts the creatine you consume into phosphocreatine, which is stored in your muscles and functions as readily available energy. Thus, athletes primarily utilize it to enhance exercise performance and increase muscle mass and strength. This makes it a very well-known and influential dietary supplement, especially among athletes who require additional support.
Numerous athletes, including those who play basketball, soccer, and rugby, take creatine. In addition to providing energy, it helps build muscle mass, enhancing overall performance and strength. In addition, numerous studies demonstrate that taking creatine can prevent neurological disorders.
Creatine is remarkable because the human body produces it in small amounts. Taking creatine supplements increases the amount of creatine in the body, which has positive and negative consequences. Before we discuss the possibility that it causes hair loss, let’s discuss its benefits.
Benefits of Creatine Use
1. Creatine Increases Muscle Cell Energy Levels:
As previously stated, creatine can increase the energy levels of muscle cells. Typically, phosphocreatine stores produce ATP during physical activity, but at a slow rate. This can affect your performance, but creatine allows you to produce energy for a longer per have time.
2. Enhances Muscle Mass:
In addition to enhancing performance by providing energy, it also increases the rate of muscle mass formation. In addition, it decreases myostatin levels, the hormone responsible for decreasing muscle mass.
3. Excellent For High-Intensity Workouts:
High-performance exercises necessitate a great deal of strength and stamina for proper execution. Aside from aiding in the production of ATP, creatine can also improve various aspects of exercise. You can increase your strength, endurance, recovery, resistance to fatigue, and mental acuity with creatine. According to research, it improves your performance by 15%.
Parkinson’s disease is caused by a decrease in dopamine levels, which leads to tremors, speech impairments, loss of muscle function, or even the death of brain cells. Numerous studies have concluded that creatine may aid in treating Parkinson’s disease after a test on mice with the disease revealed a 90% increase in dopamine levels. The results, however, are inconclusive.
4. It Might Help Fight Diabetes & Alzheimer’s
Studies indicate that creatine reduces blood sugar and prevents it from entering muscles, which may aid in the fight against diabetes. However, there are no conclusive findings regarding the prevention of diabetes.
Depleted phosphocreatine in the brain is one of the primary causes of neurological defects, which can be alleviated. Creatine use increased the percentage from 26% to 72%, according to a study with controlled mice. This could slow the development of ischemic stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurological conditions.
In addition to treating neurological disorders, it is also beneficial for enhancing brain function. According to scientific research, your brain needs a certain amount of ATP to function properly. With increased creatine concentration, dopamine concentration, and mitochondrial activity will increase. This results in enhanced memory and intelligence, among other advantages.
Creatine may also be advantageous for fatigue and overall body performance.
What Research Reveals Regarding Creatine and Hair Loss
There is little evidence to suggest that creatine supplementation causes hair loss. The majority of the evidence supporting the link is anecdotal. This indicates that it is based on the testimony or experiences of individuals.
Nonetheless, a 2009 study of college-aged rugby players found that three weeks of creatine supplementation increased hormone levels associated with hair loss. The name of this hormone is dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Why the myth that creatine causes hair loss persists
The hair loss rumor originated from a 2009 South African study in which a group of college-aged rugby players took creatine every day for three weeks. The study revealed a “statistically significant” increase in the participants’ levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a testosterone byproduct that, in high concentrations, can cause hair thinning, hair follicle shrinkage, and a shortened hair growth cycle.
According to Dr. Antonio, who, along with a team of internationally renowned researchers, reviewed the most common creatine myths for the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, none of the rugby players involved in the study faced the consequences of hair loss due to taking creatine.
The study concluded, “In addition, the baseline DHT levels of the study participants who received creatine were 23% lower than those of the placebo group, and their measured increase in DHT remained within normal clinical limits. In other words, their DHT levels began low and remained low. Dr. Antonio explains that “statistically significant” and “physiologically meaningful” are not synonymous.”
Twelve additional clinical trials have investigated the effects of creatine supplements on testosterone, but none have replicated the South African study’s results. Despite this, the study made its way to social media, and the creatine-causes-hair-loss urban legend was born.
The Positive Aspect of Creatine
Creatine is a derivative of amino acids. It aids in producing and storing the molecule phosphocreatine (Pcr), which the muscles use to generate energy during short, intense exercise. Dr. Antonio bemoans Creatine’s poor reputation. He states, “I’ve been taking it for 25 years.” He cites studies demonstrating that creatine may improve memory and brain function and benefit patients with neuromuscular disorders, Type II diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and traumatic brain injury.
The supplement may even reduce the severity of concussion-related damage. Creatine may also work synergistically with exercise to slow or even reverse age-related muscle wasting (sarcopenia).
What Else do you Need to Know About Creatine?
Although creatine is not FDA-approved as a drug, it is GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) according to the Food and Drug Administration. If used properly, creatine has few side effects other than modest weight gain, typically comprised of lean muscle mass.
Caffeine may reduce the effectiveness of creatine, according to a study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, though further investigation is required. Dietitian for the Kansas City Chiefs, Leslie Bonci, warns that creatine may not be effective for everyone.
Since creatine is a naturally occurring organic compound in most meats and fish, Bonci suggests that vegetarians “who do not already consume creatine as part of their daily diets” may benefit more from creatine supplements.
Adnan Nasir, MD, dermatology advisor for Men’s Health, recommends that any man considering supplementing his diet with creatine visit a reputable health food or vitamin and nutrition store. The dietary supplement is in powder, tablet, energy bar, and drink mix forms. Learn how to purchase an effective creatine supplement on this page. Before coming home with a barrel of powder, men with underlying kidney disease should consult their physician.
And adhere to the suggested daily allowance of 3 to 5 grams. Consuming 20 grams at a time will not transform you into the Hulk overnight. Creatine is water-soluble, so you will flush your money down the toilet if you take an excessive amount. You can be reasonably certain that creatine will not cause you to find your hair in the shower drain.
The Levels of Creatine and Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
DHT is a hormone derived from testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is produced from testosterone by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. It can also be synthesized from DHEA, a female hormone. Skin, hair follicles, and the prostate contain DHT. Hair loss causes DHT’s actions and the hair follicles’ sensitivity to DHT.
DHT acts in the prostate as well. The prostate does not develop normally in the absence of DHT. A man can develop benign prostate hypertrophy, also known as an enlarged prostate, if he has excessive DHT., which you may already be familiar with. Additionally, DHT is more potent than testosterone.
What Role Does DHT Play in Hair Loss?
Each hair follicle has its own life cycle. A phase of hair growth is followed by rest, after which the hair falls out.
DHT is capable of binding to certain hormone receptors in hair follicles. Due to diminished hair growth, more hairs fall out than are replaced. This can result in shorter hair growth cycles and thinner and shorter hair. Additionally, some individuals are genetically predisposed to hair loss. Variations in the AR gene can increase the activity of the hormone receptors found in hair follicles.
In addition, the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT may be more active in balding individuals.
You should be aware of potential side effects and safety concerns if you intend to use creatine. We will examine these topics in greater depth below.
Creatine can lead to temporary weight gain and water retention. There have been concerns that water retention may increase the risk of dehydration and cramps. However, the research does not support these worries.
A 2003 study on college football players found that creatine did not increase cramping or injury rates. In addition, a 2009 review reliable Source found no evidence that creatine consumption adversely affects fluid balance or heat tolerance.
There are also concerns that creatine may cause kidney damage. A 2018 review reliable Source determined that creatine had no adverse effects on the kidney function of healthy individuals.
However, you should avoid creatine supplements if you have kidney disease.
Safe for adults
Compared to other supplements, creatine’s ergogenic benefits have been extensively studied. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, creatine is safe for use in appropriate doses.
In addition, the International Society of Sports Nutrition asserts in a 2017 position statement that using creatine within the proper guidelines is safe, effective, and ethical.
Few studies have evaluated the effects of long-term creatine use. However, older studies (2001 and 2003) involving athletes indicate that long-term use of creatine has no negative health effects.
Use care around adolescents.
When considering creatine supReliable Source. plementation, adolescents ought to use caution. Due to the paucity of research on the safety of creatine supplementation in healthy adolescents, this is the case. Reliable Source.
However, consume creatine as part of their daily diet.
If you want to begin using creatine as a dietary supplement but have questions or concerns, you should first consult with your physician.
Can Creatine-Induced Hair Loss Be Regrown?
Creatine is known to increase testosterone levels, which are eventually converted into DHT by the body; as DHT causes the follicles to shrink, these supplements are likely to exacerbate hair loss.
If the hair loss you are experiencing is due to creatine, the shedding would likely begin two months after you began taking this supplement.
Assuming that your hair loss or hair thinning was caused by creatine consumption, your hair would grow back once you stopped taking it. However, if creatine acted as a catalyst for your genetic condition, your hair may not regrow without treatment.
It is essential to determine the cause of your hair loss, as one factor may be exacerbating another and exacerbating another and worsening; if you have a genetic predisposition to hair loss, consuming these supplements will accelerate your hair loss.
Treatment for Hair Loss Caused by Creatine
Numerous reports suggest that creatine causes baldness due to an increase in DHT levels. High levels of androgenic hormones in the body cause hair follicles to shrink and negatively affect their life cycle.
Commonly referred to as 5-reductase inhibitors, there are several drugs that balance DHT levels in e body and thus prevent hair loss caused by it. These medications increase scalp blood circulation and inhibit DHT production.
However, it is essential to consult a dermatologist before taking any medication, as everyone reacts differently to these medications. Inhibiting DHT production is the only way to combat the symptoms caused by an increase in DHT levels and improve blood flow.
The following treatments are commercially available; however, your choice should be based on your scalp condition and medication history:
Platelet-rich plasma is a highly effective acne treatment for promoting natural hair growth. This non-invasive and therapeutic treatment involves drawing your own blood, separating growth-rich blood platelets from it with a centrifuge, and injecting these activated blood platelets into your scalp. These platelets stimulate hair follicles and aid in hair restoration and regrowth. As blood platelets possess the ability to regenerate cells, PRP stimulates the growth of new hair.
Hair Transplantation – Creatine-induced hair loss and thinning can be treated permanently through hair transplantation. In this procedure, thin strips or grafts from a hair-rich region of the scalp are removed and then implanted into the affected area. This stimulates hair growth in areas with sparse hair.
Minoxidil – A 2% or 5% concenThe USFDA has approved its effectiveness in treating hair thinning and hair loss. The USFDA has approved its e oral medication, known as a type 2 inhibitor of 5-alpha reductase. Traction of this solution can lengthen the anagen phase and increase blood flow to hair follicles.
This topical treatment is known to be highly effective, but it takes four months from the initial application for results to appear. The USFDA has only approved it for hair loss treatment and has shown that it significantly reduces symptoms of androgenetic alopecia and stimulates hair regrowth. This medication should be taken indefinitely, as discontinuation can have adverse effects.
Vitamin H – is responsible for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Biotin – Also referred to as Biotin supplements, it is the most effective DHT inhibitor for hair regrowth. Biotin supplements have been with are omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants; however, consult your dermatologist before taking supplements for hair regrowth.
To combat hair loss, it is necessary to comprehend the situation. Creatine is medically proven to increase dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in the body, resulting in hair thinning/loss and receding hairline. Even though there are several treatments, several is essential to consult a dermatologist to determine the cat hair loss, as the factors that influence hair loss are interconnected and mesh-like.
When to see a Physician
As stated previously, creatine supplementation does not cause hair loss directly. However, if you are experiencing hair loss, you should consult your physician. Your physician will work closely with you to diagnose the cause of your hair loss and recommend an appropriate treatment. Additionally, if you experience sudden, pat you should consult a physician chy hair loss or lose a significant amount of hair when brushing or washing, you should consult a physics can be treated.
Creatine has not been shown to cause hair loss directly, but more research is needed in this area. According to one 2009 study, creatine monohydrate supplementation is associated with an increase in the hormone DHT, which may contribute to hair loss.
According to the available evidence, creatine is safe for most adults to use as a dietary supplement. If you are predisposed to hair loss, you may want to avoid using creatine or consult your doctor before using it, as it may increase DHT levels.
Watch the video below to learn more about the content.