Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gray Hairs: Causes and Correct Treatment

Words in some articles (highlight added by me):

"Premature graying has been associated with certain medical conditions such as thyroid disorders, vitiligo, vitamin B12 deficiency, and anemia. Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition in which the cells that make pigment (melanocytes) are destroyed, resulting in patches of hair and skin that become white."

"Contrary to popular belief, having kids or a stressful job won’t turn hair gray. But oxidation, the damaging effect of unstable oxygen molecules — which have been linked to many aspects of aging — may be one of the causes of gray hair. ... the process of synthesizing melanin generates a slew of unstable oxygen molecules. When the Humboldt team exposed healthy and productive pigment-producing hair follicle cells to oxidation, the cells began to die off."

"Of course heredity plays some role, ... [and race]...

Both articles talk about dyeing the hair as a way to "treat" this problem. That sounds surprisingly silly! They already have strong suspicion, if not proved theory, about the cause. And yet the treatment is still so superficial. Why not recommend the gray hair guys and gals go see an endocrinologist for possible thyroid disorder, take vitamin supplement or B12 fortified cereal for B12 deficiency, (and take less bananas for possible reduced B12 absorption caused by potassium), and eat fruits such as apples strong in antioxidation? Individual causes warrant their own attention. I'm not a doctor or trained dietician. So I'll leave it to you and your doctors to make decisions. But even as a non-medical professional, I'm absolutely sure dyeing hairs is not a real solution, not to mention body's absorption of the foreign, non-natural, dye chemical molecules.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Health News Review website

A friend emailed me the URL to Health News Review web site. The site posts daily reviews of medical articles or news broadcast on popular news media, magazines, web sites, or TV, and rate the articles on a few critiria. The reviews and ratings are made by medical professionals. I think it's a near perfect solution to the general public's frequent complaint that medical advice on news media is often confusing and contradicting. It does not replace directly reading research articles, which give you the original source of how the control study was done and what the raw data looks like. But it's a great site for general reading and provokes critical thinking for all of us. The topic selection is also attractive; it highlights those that catch most people's eyes, weight loss, cardiovascular problems, etc. Rare diseases are, well, rarely selected.