*This is a summary of the findings from a study conducted at the Rinaldi Dermatologic Clinic in Milan, Italy. Further information and details on this study are located in the link below*
Spermidine, a naturally occurring polyamine in our bodies, plays an important role in many bodily functions that keep us healthy for the majority of our life. It, along with several other polyamines are essential for survival and help to regulate gene expression, protein synthesis and cellular renewal. Hair follicles are some of the most rapidly regenerating organs and are directly affected by polyamines - normal growth, function and cycling are all processes dependent on polyamines. New research has investigated the role that spermidine supplementation plays in helping to reverse the results of hair loss that some may experience as a result of medical conditions or environmental factors. Polyamines have been used to alter hair growth in humans, specifically reducing excess hair growth in women. However, the effect of spermidine on the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle had never been studied in humans prior to the studies conducted at the Rinaldi Dermatologic Clinic in Milan, Italy.
In a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled experiment, 100 men and women were separated into two groups: a placebo group and a treatment group. Participants in the treatment group took an oral spermidine supplement after their main meal once a day. This study specifically looked at the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle - the phase in which hair growth occurs. Treatment (spermidine supplementation) was administered over a span of 90 days, with an initial evaluation of hair growth at T0 (beginning of the study), T1 (3 months after the beginning of the study) and lastly T2 (6 months after the beginning of the study). The study found that the number of anagen hair bulbs increased in the spermidine-group by more than 50%, whereas the placebo group saw a 20% decrease in anagen hair bulbs. Furthermore, the spermidine-group also saw an increase in proliferation levels. The increase in proliferation can be directly attributed to a reduction of apoptosis in the follicular cells.
The precise pathway in which spermidine displays it’s beneficial effects on hair growth is not fully understood, but it has been shown that the gene expression-modulation effects of spermidine combined with its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties help promote hair growth and health. Spermidine’s proven role in benefiting human longevity can also be seen within the hair follicles, promoting healthier hair growth for longer periods of time. Even though the study was only active for 90 days, the beneficial effects within the hair growth were seen for up to 3 months after. This research demonstrates that oral supplementation of spermidine can have beneficial effects on human hair follicles and help treat hair disorders like telogen effluvium and patterned hair loss.
A spermidine-based nutritional supplement prolongs the anagen phase of hair follicles in humans: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study Dermatol Pract Concept 2017;7(4):17-21. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5826/dpc.0704a05