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Tom Hagerty
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 09:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Here's a new page on which to post comments on this tread that was started by jpj. Ever since I read Can Human Hair Grow Again written by Dr. Masumi Inaba in 1985, I've been interested in this topic. Dr. Inaba theorized that it was the "Westernized" diet in the large cities, especially the consumption of red meat, that is causing Japanese men to start losing their hair in their early thirties.

Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 10:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I ran this by Bryan Shelton a while back. He said he was trying to "keep an open mind" on saturated animal fats from red meat and dairy, but was more interested in the glycemic index of foods because of the globulin decreases associated it/and the subsequent increase in available testosterone.

It seems there have been three big changes in the Japanese diet......less soy consumption.

more red meat/dairy

higher carbohydrates/sugar

Perhaps one does more damage than the other two, but Im wondering if all three couldnt be big contributors to the earlier onset of hair thinning in Japan.

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 12:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


Most people feel more comfortable focusing on one culprit (red meat) or on one cure (biotin), just like movies often focus on one good guy and one bad guy. Simplistic answers are satisfying but they are usually inadequate.

Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 04:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

having read all these posts ,i can remember at school a project on genetics,it was in year 9 so it was very basic ,but one of the things i remembered is the fact that chinese people have a massive intollerance to alcohol whereas europeans do not .this is because for hundreds of years europeans made grog (nasty beer)with poor quality water ,chinese people had tea,the european have changed the gene which makes you react to the alcohol.iknow it does not feel like that after a drinking session ,but the chinese are drunk after very little alcohol and get hot flushes.i know this is ahairloss forum but the fundamentals are the same,if in japan they are consuming fast quantities of big macs and non hair friendly food then the effects may be 10 fold on them,just a thought.

Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 10:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post ort&list_uids=217 I think that is what your looking for Pungent, aldehyde dehydrogenease is the major oxidative pathway to alchohol metablolism in the liver. There are two major forms of this enzyme in the liver.....the cytostolic and mitochondrial. 50% of Chinese are missing the they get drunk more easily than caucasians (lucky bastards, they can drink on the cheap and cop a buzz).

I have to be honest with ya' pungent.....despite what your ninth grade teacher said....that genetic difference proboably would not have "evolved" from drinking grog in Europe in the late middle ages, but was genetic difference inherent there.

On looking at the Japanese, who are balding more and earlier, but not as high as caucasoids still..................the diet has changed in three ways:

1> less soy. Soy isoflavones see less androgen
receptor production and if youre an
equol producer, handcuffs DHT

2> more high glycemic index foods. This prob-
oably leads to less SBHG (globulin)
Production, which "binds" test-
osterone and makes less of it
available to androgen receptors and
to alpha 5 reductase, so less DHT
is made also.

3> more saturated animal fats. This may lead to
more alpha 5 reductase enzyme
getting synthesized in the liver,
so more DHT-making happens.

I dont think the Japanese are "evolving" a bigger pre-disposition genetically in such a short time.......I think if the youth of Japan started TODAY eating the old fashioned diet.....their rates of pattern baldness would go DOWN as they age. I'd be shocked if Big Macs, fries, colas have MORE of an effect on them than us (even though they really do have better hair genes than us). I'd be interested to see just how much an old-style Japanese diet would help European and American hair. But there is no money in that for pharmecuetical companies, shampoo manufacturers, wig-sellers, hair transplant I wouldnt bet the house on this info getting out to the public through official channels anytime soon. But Im gonna do what I can online for the younger fellas.

Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 05:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I was thinking about Tom's comment on the blame being partially focused on red meat doing the damage. So I wondered..

There have been surveys of butchers and the higher statistical bias towards giving birth to girls. They concluded a positive correlation between butchers and the sex of their children. Then speculated as to it being the higher red meat consumption.

Does anyone know if they have looked at baldness and butchers? Or any general observations?

From those I have met over the years I would only be guessing that the amount of hair loss was about the same as the general population. But this is more a mental counting up of the numbers. Certainly it does not seem to be that they have all lost hair.

Might provide some indicator as the role of red meat.

Posted on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 09:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

The difference between levels of baldness in pre-war and post-war Japan shouldn't be overstated. Baldness wasn't all that rare before the war. Take a look at the photos on this page:
About half of the men in the prewar photos had considerable hairloss, which suggests that the traditional diet of tofu, rice, fish and vegetables was no guarantee of a full head of hair.

Even if it is true that post-war Japanese men suffer more baldness (and I suspect there might be some truth to it), there are many possible reasons other than a higher consumption of red meat. It could be any one of the following or a combination:
more toxins in the environment (big problem in modern Japan)
more processed foods
more deep-fried foods
more sugar and refined carbohydrates
less exercise
less fish
less tofu

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 10:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


Thanks for the information and the photos. That is a good point you made about the things other than red meat that might be responsible for male hair loss in Japan.

Did you notice that only one man in that array of photos had a faint smile? I wonder if it is important for men in Japan to look serious in a photo. Maybe Japanese men think it is sign of weakness and silliness if they are caught smiling.

Sanka, if you are Japanese, did you ever see the Akira Kurosawa film Ikiru? The actor Takashi Shimura in the last scene of the movie is sitting in a swing he built for the children of a poor neighborhood. He has an unforgettably contented smile on his face even though he is dying of stomach cancer.

Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 07:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


I'm not Japanese but I've lived in Japan for a long time - about 10 years altogether. You're right about Japanese men not smiling much, especially the older ones. I guess it's a relic of the samurai spirit. Those guys weren't known for their humor and easygoing ways. Maybe they were upset about having to shave their heads in a Norwood 5 pattern.

I saw Ikiru for the first time a few months ago. Very good movie. Kurosawa seems to have had a knack for getting the good side of human nature without being sentimental and without ignoring the bad stuff. That scene with the old guy sitting on the swing and smiling is one of the great images in movies.

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