Can diet affect male balding?

Our Food Choices May Slow Male Balding

We are just beginning to understand the role of inflammatory factors in male balding (androgenetic alopecia). Although the story of male balding has focused on the role of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) for almost 40 years, new avenues are being explored / especially those pertaining to inflammation.

It’s clear that reducing inflammation helps male balding. (Drug companies like Aclaris hope it helps a lot as they go about studying JAK inhibitors to fight inflammation in male balding). The problem is still that we don’t fully understand how best to reduce inflammation. Eating an aspirin with dinner as a means to block inflammation won’t help. However, new data suggests filling the dinner plate with a giant salad rich in raw vegetables and herbs just might.

New Study Suggests Raw Vegetables and Herbs May Have a Role to Slow Balding

A 2018 study from Italy examined factors that could be relevant to balding in males. Researchers performed a case control study of 104 males with balding and 108 controls without balding. The study revealed that diets rich in raw vegetables and fresh herbs reduced the risk of balding. The authors of the study suggested that eating raw vegetables and herbs could potentially have a role to reduce the onset and progression of male balding.


I really enjoyed discovering and reading this study. All dietary studies have their flaws (and in fact all studies). Critics will love to pounce on this one (and in fact pounce on all studies). But this is a study which sets the stage for some further carefully designed studies moving forward. If a drug was available that could safely reduce the onset and progression of male balding to the degree shown in this study, it would be a big seller. It would receive approval in no time and would be a household name. The good news is that the supermarket rather than the pharmacy may in fact be the place to find such products already. More studies are needed.


Fortes et al. Mediterranean diet: fresh herbs and vegetables decrease the risk if Androgenetic alopecia in males. Arch Dermatol Research 2018; 310;71-76

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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