Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in red wine with studied benefits for heart health, memory, and cancer prevention. However, resveratrol may also support healthy hair growth! In this article, we’ll review the benefits of taking resveratrol for hair loss.
Root Causes of Hair Loss
In order to stop hair loss, we have to treat the root cause of the problem. Before we review the benefits of taking resveratrol for healthy hair, let’s discuss a few potential root causes of hair loss in women.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is one of the most common hormonal disorders affecting women of reproductive age. While the name may lead you to believe PCOS only affects the ovaries, it involves many different hormones as well. Elevated levels of insulin, testosterone, and DHEA-S can lead to unwanted hair loss
, hair thinning, and/or stunted hair growth. Read more about the different types of PCOS
Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormones to meet the body’s demand. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include brittle nails, fatigue, weight gain, and thinning hair. An autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s
is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States and occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your thyroid gland.
An autoimmune disease is when your immune system mistakenly attacks your body. There are numerous autoimmune conditions, all of which are classified by the tissue, organ, or gland affected. Many autoimmune diseases can cause hair loss due to the inflammatory nature of these conditions and possible nutrient deficiencies that occur as a result. However, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks hair follicles and causes hair loss.
Vitamins and minerals play an important role in normal hair follicle development and may cause hair loss when they are deficient. Research shows that deficiencies in vitamin D, iron, various B vitamins (namely riboflavin, biotin, folate, and B12), and zinc can all cause hair loss (1
). We include many of these vitamins in the lab draw you get as a member of our functional medicine program.
During pregnancy, increases in estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid hormone leads to a reduction in the normal amount of hair shed on a daily basis. Once these hormones drop after delivery, these hairs that were originally retained during pregnancy begin to shed. Hair loss is a natural response to hormonal changes that occur in the postpartum period! However, nutrient depletion, stress, and Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism after pregnancy
can all exacerbate normal hair loss and lead to excessive hair loss postpartum.
What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a plant compound, or polyphenol, that has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants work to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which can otherwise have damaging effects in the body.
Food sources that contain rich sources of resveratrol include:
- Red wine
- Cocoa (especially dark chocolate)
We always recommend a “food first” approach with our members. An anti-inflammatory diet rich in colorful vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and high-quality protein goes a long way in treating many of the conditions we see at Root. However, when it comes to resveratrol, the amount needed to see results is generally higher than what you can reasonably obtain from food. In these scenarios, we may use a resveratrol supplement to support our treatment plan.
Resveratrol for Hair Loss
There are a few ways in which resveratrol can address some of the root causes of hair loss and reduce this often devastating symptom.
First of all, resveratrol may lower androgens known to cause hair loss in certain scenarios.
Androgens are sex hormones produced by both men and women, with higher levels naturally found in men. Two androgens commonly elevated in women with PCOS include DHEA-S and testosterone. In one study, women with PCOS were given resveratrol supplements for three months and experienced a 22 percent decrease in DHEA-S and testosterone (4
In this same study, resveratrol also decreased fasting insulin levels by 32 percent. High insulin levels can drive high androgen levels in women. Therefore, lowering androgen and fasting insulin levels supports a healthy hair cycle and addresses two root causes of hair loss.
Resveratrol may also support hair regrowth by lowering levels of inflammation in the body (5).
Certain conditions, like PCOS and autoimmune diseases, are prone to higher levels of inflammation which may contribute to a wide variety of symptoms, like hair loss.
Our Resveratrol Plus
supplement contains 200 milligrams (mg) of trans resveratrol and 200 mg of quercetin, another powerful polyphenol known to enhance the insulin lowering benefits of resveratrol (6
Root Hair Loss Bundle
We developed an effective supplement bundle with resveratrol to address the major root causes of hair loss. This bundle contains:
- Resveratrol to reduce inflammation and lower androgens
- Ashwagandha to support a healthy stress response
- Zinc to help balance blood sugar and replete an essential mineral for hair growth and thyroid function
Oftentimes, we may also recommend a gentle iron
supplement and prenatal to cover all necessary bases.
Hair loss is a devastating symptom for many women. Yet, conventional medicine, creams, and special shampoos usually fail to produce meaningful results. Using resveratrol for hair loss may support healthy hair growth by lowering androgen levels, balancing blood sugar levels, and reducing inflammation. Remember, hair loss is a symptom of a deeper, underlying condition. A functional medicine treatment
for hair loss identifies and treats the root cause to produce effective, long term results.