Does Carnitine Help Hair Growth?

With every additional birthday cake candle that’s blown out, chances are you’re also counting more gray hairs and lamenting the loss of that lush crowning glory of your youth.

You are not alone. In the U.S., 35 million men and 21 million women experience hair loss. By age 35, 40% of men have noticeable hair loss. Hair loss treatment is a $7 billion global industry. Besides a disconcerting, age-related hair loss trend, the lion’s share of Americans observe that their hair isn’t as shiny and thick as it was in younger years.

Beautiful Healthy Hair

A sad fact of life is that as we age, everything slows down to some degree. And unfortunately, this doesn’t exclude the process of our hair growth and its subsequent quality. In many ways, hair (and skin) is a reflection of what is transpiring in our bodies at a cellular level. In fact, natural changes that occur over time, including our blood flow, the loss of cellular reproduction, hormone changes and diet can all impact the health of our hair.

But don’t go wig shopping just yet. The solution to this aging conundrum may lie in carnitine derivatives that can be taken orally or applied topically. A Google search on the words “carnitine” and “shampoo” indicates that carnitine for hair growth has become a big business. Amazon.com carries about nine different brands of shampoo and even styling mousses that incorporate carnitine into their formulations. There haven’t been any formal follow up studies on the carnitine shampoos so the scientific jury is still out, but consumers seem satisfied.

Improve Hair From The Inside Out
Might taking carnitine orally produce the same or even better results? The theory behind the Juvenon ALC + ALA nutraceutical combination is that it improves cell metabolism and energy production in every cell of the body. Therefore, if certain forms of hair loss are due to insufficient cellular energy in the hair follicle, Juvenon might help.

Over the years Juvenon has received numerous customer testimonials about improvements in their hair. For example:

“I noticed that there’s much more of my natural dark color growing in the gray that had been for many years. I’m nearly 60 and have been graying since I was 18.”
 Verna V., Los Altos, CA

“After just two weeks on Juvenon, I need less sleep and my hair is noticeably shinier.”
– Delores S. age 66, Ohio

“My husband notices is that his fingernails are harder and his hair grows faster.”
– Peggy R. age 58, Georgia

The Science Behind Customer Claims
In 1995, a Japanese group filed a patent titled “Hair-growing agent”¹, which “relates to a hair-growing (restoration) agent and a carnitine derivative having a hair-growing action.” The patent explains “as energy required for growth of hair, there has generally been used ATP which is generated by metabolism of glucose through glycolysis system and a TCA cycle. However, in male pattern alopecia, phosphofructokinase (PFKase) which is one of enzymes catalyzing glycolysis system is prohibited by male hormones to cause a state that supply of energy is suppressed.” The theory is that carnitine improves the energy production in the hair follicle cell enabling more hair to grow. The data in the patent looked promising. The shaved hair on the back of mice grew back twice as fast with the carnitine topical application.

Hair Follicle Findings
More recently, as published in 2007², researchers cultured human hair follicles. They incubated the cells with very low levels of L-carnitine tartrate for nine days. At the end of that time, the follicles treated with l-carnitine showed significant growth of hair. The treatment also slowed follicle cell death (apoptosis) and it improved follicle cell growth (proliferation). It also improved local cell growth proteins in the outer root sheath.

The same group followed this in vitro study with an in vivo study³. Specifically, researchers completed a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled observational study of topical application of the carnitine on real people with moderate-level androgenetic alopecia (hair loss). Fifty-one subjects finished the trial, and confirmed their vitro results, which were that topical carnitine application helps grow hair.

While these and other studies are promising, additional research is warranted. In the coming months, the Juvenon Health Journal will continue to feature research that will help you stay informed and healthy. By offering effective, all-natural supplements and health news you can use, Juvenon provides an essential toolkit to battle aging enemies.

¹ EP 0688555 A2, “Hair-growing agent” , Kenji Tsujihara, Kunio Saito, Satoshi Furuuchi, Tanabe Seiyaku Co., Ltd.

² “L-Carnitine-L-tartrate promotes human hair growth in vitro,” Foitzik K, Paus R, et al, Exp Dermatol, 2007; 16(11): 936-45.

³ “Indications that topical L-carnitin-L tartrate promotes human hair growth in vivo”, Foitzika K, Hoting E, Heinric U, Tronnier H, Paus R, Journal of Dermatological Science (2007) 48, 141-144