Does Creatine Monohydrate Cause Hair Loss?
Posted on April 24 2023
he one supplement that is highly sought after from general gymgoers to seasoned bodybuilders is CREATINE.
Creatine is known for its purported ergogenic and anabolic properties. Our body produces Creatine endogenously from the amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine. Typically, our body produces about 1-2g of Creatine from our normal diet.
Creatine supplementation is particularly beneficial for vegetarians and vegans because Creatine is found in most meat products, hence vegetarians and vegans are found to have lower resting Creatine stores.
Energy production during high-intensity-short-term performance largely depends on anaerobic energy system pathways and Creatine’s main role is to increase the anaerobic power. Creatine facilitates the recycling of adenosine diphosphate back into adenosine triphosphate by increasing the phosphocreatine stores.
Creatine is known to increase the androgenic effects of resistance training, it helps you run faster, jump higher, and throw further than the competition.
Creatine supplementation helps with different areas of exercise, it increases the energy available to your muscles during strenuous activity, which enables you to powerful muscle contraction during exercise. Creatine improves muscle endurance, muscle strength, muscle mass, muscle recovery, and resistance to fatigue.
While your body keeps a healthy stock of Creatine on hand, it is not sufficient (your body’s production is too low) if you are someone who engages in high- intensity training. Creatine supplements help keep your Creatine stores topped up. The extra energy support provided by Creatine is particularly effective for athletes who engage in short- duration, high-intensity exercise, such as sprinters, and weight lifters.
We have kept you covered with most of the important topics on Creatine so far…
Creatine Enhances Energy & Performance, BCAA Vs Creatine – Which One To Choose?, Can You Use Creatine While Cutting – Does It Work?, Creatine Vs Carnitine – Which Pre-Workout Supplement To Choose?, Can Women Use Creatine Supplement? Or Is It Only For Men?, Creatine – Should You or Should Not Take On Rest Days?, Creatine Vs Arginine – Which Amino Supplement To Choose?, Is Creatine a Steroid – Fact or Misconception, Does Creatine Supplementation Make You Gain Weight, Whey Protein & Creatine Combination – How Do You Benefit?, Can You Use Creatine While Cutting?
In today’s blog post, we’ll try to clarify your clouds of doubts on whether Creatine causes hair loss…
The notion about whether Creatine causes hair loss stems from a study conducted where male rugby players were made to supplement with 25g Creatine per day for 7 days. This was followed by supplementing 5g of Creatine per day for an additional 14 days experienced an increase in serum dihydrotestosterone (DHT) concentrations. Given that increased DHT levels have been linked to some (but not all) occurrences of hair loss, the theory that Creatine supplementation leads to hair loss gained momentum and the link has led to confusion today.
Now, what’s this DHT all about? What’s the link between Creatine and DHT?, and What’s the connection between Creatine, DHT, and hair loss? These questions must be popping up in your mind now…go ahead and read the blog completely to get the answer…
WHAT IS TESTOSTERONE?
Testosterone is a precursor to dihydrotestosterone. Testosterone’s biological effect includes the promotion of muscle growth, muscle strength, and muscle hypertrophy in response to resistance training in men. Testosterone does this by stimulating amino acid uptake and protein synthesis and by inhibiting protein degradation by counteracting cortisol signaling.
WHAT IS DHT (DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE)?
DHT is the most potent androgenic hormone, formed primarily in the peripheral tissues of the body. DHT is a metabolite of testosterone, it is formed when the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase converts free testosterone to DHT.
DHT - HAIR LOSS – WHAT’S THE CONNECTION?
In males, DHT binds to the androgen receptors in susceptible hair follicles which forces the hair follicles to shrink and shut entirely. When the diameter of the hair follicle is slimmed, the hair that grows out becomes narrower and when hair follicles close, it leads to hair fall. DHT has double the binding affinity to the androgen receptor (AR) and a dissociated rate five times slower.
CREATINE – DHT – HAIRLOSS – WHAT’S THE CONNECTION?
Studies have found Creatine supplementation to lead to increased levels of DHT, and we have already explained the role of DHT in hair loss.
DOES IT MEAN CREATINE CAUSES HAIR LOSS?
Well, you require a bit more knowledge to crack this question.
DHT does not cause hair loss in everyone, instead, DHT triggers baldness in men who have a genetic predisposition for androgenic alopecia.
Some men would have inherited the gene for hair loss, in such men, follicular miniaturization is caused by an inherited sensitivity of scalp hair follicles to normal levels of circulating androgens.
Even without supplementation with Creatine, if a person engages in intense training, the acute endocrine response to your training would be increased secretion of catabolic and anabolic hormones.. Creatine cannot be held responsible for increasing testosterone, its job is to power your performance.
No study links the connection between Creatine and testosterone, Creatine may, in part, increase the rate of conversion of testosterone to DHT.
THE VERDICT – CREATINE DOES NOT CAUSE HAIR LOSS.
We mentioned in the very beginning of our blog, the word ‘some’, this is the keyword. If you don’t have a genetic predisposition for male pattern baldness, then Creatine supplements may increase your DHT levels, but will not have any impact on your hair.
The dose that was given in the study was extremely high, which makes it unclear whether the recommended daily dose of 3-5g has an impact on the concentration of DHT in the body or not.
One needs to consider here that hair loss can result from a number of factors, like age, hormonal imbalance, lifestyle, stress levels, nutritional deficiencies, oxidative stress, dehydration, and certain medications.
*The incidence of hair loss upon Creatine supplementation if noted in a few cases is only in those that consume Creatine in high doses and in the loading phase (25-30g/day).
*Taking Creatine supplements in low doses may not have an impact on DHT levels and is generally not noted to cause any side effects.
*Adequate hydration is very much important when on Creatine supplementation.
While it is possible that Creatine supplementation may have an influence on the formation of DHT, no study ever reported hair loss/baldness in humans…
The current body of evidence does not indicate that Creatine supplementation increases total testosterone, DHT and there is no scientific evidence to prove that Creatine causes hair loss…