Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?

If you are taking this famous and infamous supplement, then you are bound to wonder does creatine cause hair loss. The world of health, dietary and nutritional supplements is fascinating. Very few food products or even medicines have been as well researched, studied, investigated and debated as supplements like creatine monohydrate. Yet, there is no dearth of misinformation and ambiguity, fear and misleading. It is necessary to look at facts.

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Creatine supplements are widely recommended and also used by sportspersons, athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. Are all sportspersons, athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts who take creatine bald or balding right now? The answer is no but a side effect does not necessarily affect everyone so one must delve into the scientific foundation of a potential connection between creatine and hair loss or baldness.

Creatine monohydrate, which is the primary and the major ingredient in such supplements, is found in the human body. This naturally occurring compound is mostly stored in our skeletal muscles. Creatine is the ATP amplifier that can provide our cells the explosive energy we need during short but intense workouts and for athletic events. The short bursts of energy may not be sufficient for everyone to attain their best, which is why people go for creatine supplements.

The whole debate about does creatine cause hair loss stems from the fact that the supplement does lead to an increase of DHT or dihydrotestosterone levels in the human body. The potent androgen called dihydrotestosterone is converted from testosterone by the enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase. DHT or increasing levels of DHT has been linked with hair loss and to an extent baldness. This does not dismiss other factors, including genetics, that have an active, causal or facilitative role in hair loss or baldness. Since DHT is connected to baldness and creatine causes a spike in the levels of dihydrotestosterone, some people assume creatine is associated with hair loss. This is not true.

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Only one study till date has focused on the level of increase in DHT levels in the human body after consuming creatine supplement for a substantial period of time. The same study also recorded the sustained high levels of DHT even after stopping creatine supplement wherein they were much beyond the base line in normal people who did not take creatine. However, this study has not established any relation between creatine and hair loss or even DHT and baldness. Those studied were not balding or suffering from hair loss. Such an issue was not explored at all. The study did mention that further research and evidence were necessary to establish other correlations.

There is no other study that establishes any causal effect of creatine pertaining to hair loss. It is quite possible that very high levels of DHT can cause some hair loss but temporarily and other factors can always play a role in baldness. Creatine as a standalone supplement cannot be held responsible for hair loss or baldness. Genetics, health, lifestyle and many other factors play a much greater role.

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