Hair-Growth Potential of Ginseng and Its Major Metabolites: A Review on Its Molecular Mechanisms

    Bu Young Choi
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    TLDR Ginseng and its compounds may help hair growth and prevent hair loss, but more human trials are needed to confirm this.
    The document from 2018 reviews the potential of ginseng and its metabolites to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss by examining their molecular mechanisms. Ginsenosides, the active compounds in ginseng, were found to inhibit the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, which is involved in androgenic alopecia, and to modulate various cell-signaling pathways such as Wnt/β-catenin, Sonic Hedgehog (Shh), and JAK2-STAT3. These pathways are crucial for hair follicle function and hair cell proliferation. Ginsenoside Re, in particular, was shown to promote hair growth by affecting TGF-ß signaling and enhancing the proliferation of human hair dermal papilla cells and keratinocytes. In vivo studies on animals and limited human clinical trials suggest that Korean red ginseng may help treat alopecia areata and protect against chemotherapy-induced alopecia. The review concludes that while ginseng and its metabolites show promise in regulating hair follicle function and preventing hair loss, further extended human trials are necessary to confirm their effectiveness as a hair loss treatment.
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