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  Zinc Oxide, is it a legitimate hair loss treatment?  

There has been a lot of talk about using Zinc Oxide as a hair loss remedy, much of this originating from Waseda, a hair loss sufferer in Japan who has had a lot of success with it. In order to determine whether it's a viable option or not we looked to see if there was any science behind Zinc Oxide.

So what is Zinc Oxide?

Zinc Oxide is a form of Zinc, an important trace mineral second only to iron in its concentration in the body. Zinc is found in various foods, including lean red meats, seafood, peas, and beans. High-protein foods contain high amounts of zinc, beef, pork, and lamb contain more zinc than fish. Zinc is also found in whole grains; however, large amounts of whole-grains have been found to decrease the amount of zinc that is absorbed.

Why do we need it?

The body needs zinc for normal growth and health. It is required for the enzyme activities necessary for cell division, cell growth, and wound healing. A lack of zinc may lead to poor night vision and wound-healing, a decrease in sense of taste and smell, a reduced ability to fight infections, and poor development of reproductive organs and interestingly enough hair loss (not MPB). Most people do get sufficient zinc from their diet, but some health conditions can cause a lack of zinc. These include: alcoholism, burns, sugar diabetes, skin disorders, ongoing stress, kidney disease and liver disease.

How Zinc works

Zinc performs many different functions in the body. One of them is to allow for the correct functioning of the sexual organs in men and for the production of Testosterone. Infertile men have been successfully treated with zinc supplements. Topically however, zinc appears to inhibit DHT production and lowers DHT levels. In a study conducted on human skin, Zinc Sulfate and Azelaic acid were shown to reduce 5 alpha-reductase activity by 90%.

In another study on a rat prostate, Zinc Gluconate and Arginine were shown to significantly reduce the level of 5 alpha-reductase activity.

Zinc is also widely used as a topical wound healing treatment. Its wound healing properties have been well documented in various clinical studies. In a double-blind trial involving 37 leg ulcer patients with low serum zinc levels, topical zinc oxide promoted cleansing and re-epithelialization. Infections and deteriorations of ulcers were less common in zinc oxide treated patients. In addition it also reduced inflammation and bacterial growth. In this study Zinc Oxide performed better than Zinc Sulfate as it dissolved more slowly but constantly.

In another study on rats, a local application of zinc oxide from a zinc tape to wounds was performed on 80 male Sprague-Dawley rats. Tapes with or without zinc oxide were applied on excisional wounds of both zinc-deficient and zinc-sufficient animals. The reduction in wound area was more pronounced in zinc-tape-treated animals given both a zinc-deficient and zinc-sufficient diet. The results of the study indicated that topically absorbed zinc from wounds promotes both the early wound healing phase and growth in both zinc-deficient and zinc-sufficient rats.

Another study was done on humans, a randomized, double-blind study of the efficacy of locally applied zinc oxide on the healing of leg ulcers. Thirty-seven geriatric patients, nineteen with arterial and eighteen with venous leg ulcers, were treated either with a gauze compress medicated with zinc oxide (400 micrograms ZnO/cm2) or with an identical compress without zinc oxide. The treatment was assessed from ulcer size measurements and the presence or absence of granulation and ulcer debridement over a period of 8 weeks. The zinc-treated patients (83% success rate) responded significantly better than the placebo-treated patients (42% success rate). The results suggested that healing of leg ulcers is improved after the addition of zinc oxide to the local regimen.

From these studies and several other that are not included here, its conclusively shown that Zinc Oxide does increase wound healing which is good news since that is how Tricomin was developed. Tricomin originated as a copper wound healing preparation where it was shown to stimulate hair growth. It was then developed as a product specifically for stimulating hair growth. Wound healing properties and hair growth properties are closely related.

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