Whey protein shakes are now a common drink for gym enthusiasts as whey protein promotes lean muscle mass growth. Weight loss and lower cholesterol levels are said to be the other benefits of whey protein. However, is there a downside to whey protein that we don’t know about? Does Whey Protein cause hair loss? Let's know the facts about it.
But, before that, first let's know what is Whey protein.
What is Whey Protein?
A derivative in the cheese-making process, whey protein has substantial quantities of vital amino acids necessary for the body’s functioning.
Whey protein is generally available in powder form and can be consumed in the form of protein shakes when added to milk or water. Whey protein can also be added to fresh fruit smoothies and soft foods.
What are the Benefits of Whey Protein?
Scientific studies show that whey protein has many health benefits. Let’s check out what these benefits are.
1) Promotes Muscle Growth
Adequate diet and strength training are essential for building muscle mass and toning the body. Foods high in protein, such as whey protein supplements, are a great option when your diet isn’t protein-rich. Whey protein is rich in leucine, a substance that promotes muscle growth. Whey protein may also help your muscles to recover after a workout.
2) Fights Malnutrition
Patients suffering from diseases such as HIV or AIDS have trouble gaining weight. This is also true for older people who lack muscle mass. Whey protein gives your body the boost it needs to gain weight.
3) Lowers Blood Pressure
Hypertension is a leading cause of heart disease. Studies have shown a strong link between a diet rich in dairy products and a reduction in blood pressure. This may be due to the presence of bioactive peptides known to lower blood pressure.
4) Helps in the Reduction of Inflammation
Inflammation is an indication that your body is responding to tissue damage. Chronic inflammation in the body increases the risk of many diseases. Whey protein supplements reduce inflammation considerably.
5) Accelerates Healing
Whey protein can be a boon for people suffering from chronic wounds and burns as it helps in healing.
6) Helps with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The main characteristic of IBD or inflammatory disease is an inflamed digestive tract. This term can include conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Whey protein supplements are said to be beneficial for this condition.
7) Satiates Hunger Pangs
Whey protein is very satiating; it reduces the urge to snack constantly. When compared to other proteins such as soy or casein, whey protein is found to be more effective at satiating hunger pangs.
8) May Reduce Blood Fats
Issues such as high cholesterol, LDL, or bad cholesterol, in particular, can increase your risk of heart disease. Studies show that whey protein can reduce blood cholesterol significantly.
Whey Protein and Hair
On average, you lose around 50-100 strands of hair a day. During a hair cycle, you lose some strands, and new strands replace them. However, when you have excessive hair fall and new hair doesn’t seem to be growing, there are chances of baldness if the cause is not resolved.
While there are many reasons for excessive hair loss, such as heredity, poor diet, or health issues, whey protein could also be a factor. It’s common knowledge that you need vitamins and protein for good hair growth.
So, How Does Whey Protein Cause Hair Loss?
According to recent studies, one of the main reasons for hair loss and baldness in men is due to the consumption of whey protein.
Minoxidil is well-known for its capacity to control hair loss and help in the regrowth of hair. One effective product that comes to mind is Minoxidil Topical Hair Growth Solution. Minoxidil 5% is a vasodilator solution that controls hair fall and encourages hair regrowth. When used topically, it slows down the balding process. It works because once Minoxidil widens the blood vessels, it’s easier to provide blood, nutrients, and oxygen to the hair follicles.
How Does Whey Protein Trigger Hair Fall?
DHEA and creatine are known to increase muscle mass and increase testosterone levels in the bloodstream. Whey protein contains good levels of these growth hormones. These hormones lead to an increase in your testosterone levels.
The body converts testosterone into a chemical called DHT. DHT restricts new hair follicles from growing, leading to baldness. When you are losing a lot of hair, and there is no new hair growth, your hair starts thinning, and eventually, you go bald.
When there is more testosterone in the blood, more of it gets converted to DHT. While you cannot say that protein shakes cause baldness, they speed up the process. This is especially true when there is a history of alopecia or male pattern baldness in the family.
So, Does Whey Protein Cause Hair Loss in Women?
Well, the jury is out on that one. However, it’s best to add natural protein food items to your diet to be on the safer side.
Whey Protein Concentrate vs Isolate
When shopping for whey protein, you may have noticed the words ‘whey isolate’ on the label. So, what is whey isolate, and how is it different from whey protein?
To understand what each of these terms means, let us take an in-depth look at milk and its proteins.
Cow’s milk contains the following eight proteins:
- Bovine serum albumin
During the cheese-making process, manufacturers curdle cow’s milk using enzymes. This process separates the solid curds from the liquid, called whey. While the curds are used to make cheese, the whey protein is pasteurized to destroy bacteria and then dried. The end product is whey powder. This whey powder is used to make various whey products.
The three types of whey products are:
- Concentrate: Concentrate whey powder is used to make various products, ranging from protein shakes to snack bars and baby food. Depending on how whey concentrate powder is to be used, a certain amount of lactose is added to the product. Lactose is a sugar present in milk.
So, does whey protein concentrate cause hair loss? As the levels of testosterone increase when you consume whey protein concentrate, chances are you will experience hair loss.
- Isolate: In this process, the fat and lactose content from the whey is reduced, leaving behind a protein product. This is the perfect product for people who are lactose intolerant or have milk allergies.
- Hydrolysate: Whey is hydrolyzed to break down the protein chains, making it easier to digest. This whey is used in infant baby food and formulas for better digestion.
When Should You Stop Taking Whey Protein?
The Indian vegetarian diet contains all major food groups, making it a balanced meal. Dal, a staple in the Indian diet, includes a good amount of protein. So, even if you follow a vegetarian diet and don’t consume milk, you will consume around 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight.
The figures may vary depending on how much dal you consume in a day—as such, introducing whey protein into your diet may not be such a good idea. Excess protein in the body can put a lot of pressure on your kidneys as they have to process your protein intake.
Why Whey Protein May be Unhealthy? – Main Reasons
- Awareness about the ingredients in any food product is essential, especially if you are lactose intolerant. As whey protein is derived from milk, if you are lactose intolerant, you will face digestion issues as your body will not be able to process the whey protein.
- Whey protein can spell disaster for people with weak kidneys or kidney disease. It can affect the functioning of your kidneys, causing severe health issues.
- Where pregnant and lactating women are concerned, an assessment needs to be conducted before prescribing whey protein. Supplementing their diet with food items that contain protein should be the first choice.
- Excess intake of protein can put a considerable load on your kidneys and can cause kidney damage.
- People who are working out in the gym for an hour or so a day don’t need a protein boost. Instead, you can introduce foods such as milk products, eggs, soy, and chicken to your diet.
- Your protein shake can contain banned substances such as dopamine. So, before you make your purchase, check the labels. The WADA List of Prohibited Substances is available online for your referral.
How Does Ayurveda Help with Hair Loss?
According to Ayurveda, it is essential to explore the possible causes of hair loss. Issues such as high levels of stress, acute illness, high fever, thyroid imbalance, and certain types of drugs can cause hair loss.
Here are some ayurvedic tips to combat hair loss:
- Check for the root cause of increasing pitta dosha in your body and make dietary and lifestyle changes.
- A diet rich in protein and iron is advocated for hair loss. You can add foods such as raw vegetables, fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, salads, and sprouts to your diet.
- Try to use natural shampoos to wash your hair. Ingredients such as Amla and Shikakai are good choices.
- Head massage with oil is excellent to control hair loss. You can massage your head three times a week with coconut oil. Head massage improves blood circulation and encourages hair growth. However, a gentle massage is advised to avoid uprooting more hair.
- You can try medicated ayurvedic oils such as Kunthala Kanthi oil, Neelibhringadi oil, or Kanjunnyadi oil for your hair. Massage your scalp with the oil, gently rubbing it into your hair roots.
- Try to maintain a regular bowel movement. If you have constipation, you can try taking triphala as a mild laxative.
- Physical exercise helps in balancing the doshas.
- Fenugreek hair masks are beneficial to many.
Foods for Hair Loss According to Ayurveda
- A smoothie made from spinach and lettuce leaves encourages hair growth.
- A mixture of carrot and lettuce juice is another option.
- Nuts such as almonds and peanuts are beneficial for hair growth.
It’s all about being comfortable in your skin. Exercise and a healthy lifestyle are all it takes to add lustre to your hair. Sometimes, hair loss is something that you have to take in your stride. But, if you want a lush growth of hair, here are some hair growth products that can help combat baldness.
You can also try the following ForMen Products to prevent hair loss and also to improve hair growth.
Formen Products for Healthy Hair Growth
1. ForMen Minoxidil Topical Hair Growth Solution
Minoxidil 5% topical solution controls hair fall and encourages hair regrowth when used regularly. What’s more, it slows down the balding process. Minoxidil is a vasodilator that controls hair fall and also helps generate hair regrowth. It prevents cell death, thus curbing further hair loss.
2. ForMen Hair Shampoo
This hair growth shampoo contains caffeine, tripeptide-1, biotinoyl, ceramides, watercress, argan oil, and aloe vera. This multi-functional hair growth shampoo stimulates hair growth and strengthens the roots, controlling further hair fall.
3. ForMen Derma Roller
This handheld device has 540 titanium alloy microneedles that stimulate hair growth. When used, the derma roller also facilitates the absorption of topical solutions such as Minoxidil. The derma roller improves blood circulation by its massaging action increasing the rate at which topical hair growth products are absorbed into the scalp.
4. ForMen Hair Growth Kit
This potent hair growth serum stimulates hair growth and hair follicles. It contains redensyl, kopexil, biotinoyl, Follicusan, tripeptide, saw palmetto, and caffeine. The derma roller has 540 titanium alloy microneedles that stimulate hair growth, including beard hair. It facilitates the absorption of topical hair growth solutions such as Minoxidil. The needles on the derma roller also massage the scalp, improving blood circulation.