Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
Q. Dear Terry, “My 13 year old daughter has Alopecia areata, which causes patches of hair on her head to fall out, as well as most of her eyebrows. Is there anything she can take to help her with this?” — Mark B., TX
A. Dear Mark, Alopecia areata is a condition that causes round patches of hair loss. While the hair loss can happen anywhere on the body, it usually occurs on the scalp. It is thought to be an autoimmune condition, whereby the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue – in this case a person’s hair.
I am glad to say I do have some recommendations. However, autoimmune diseases can be quite tricky to manage, so first and foremost, I encourage you to work with your daughter’s health care practitioner to decide which supplements are best in her unique situation. I can make some recommendations, but that never replaces a doctor’s care and oversight.
I would first recommend adding a thyroid support formula that contains iodine and the amino acid L-tyrosine to your daughter’s daily regimen. These two nutrients are required to produce thyroxin, the important hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Together, intake of iodine and L-tyrosine can keep the thyroid nourished and prevent a multitude of symptoms associated with low thyroid hormone levels. I suggest taking 1 capsule daily for two to three months. You could increase it to 2 capsules daily if no results after the previous trial.
I would also recommend taking a formula that contains a special blend of boswellia and curcumin. These two Indian plants exhibit very effective anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to promoting tissue repair. Take 1 softgel of this combination twice daily. When looking for a formula, keep in mind that standard curcumin is very poorly absorbed, so make sure to choose a curcumin with excellent absorption that has been proven in published human studies. The best form I have ever found uses micronized curcumin blended with turmeric essential oils in a patented process. This curcumin has been shown in published human studies to be up to 10 times better absorbed than standard curcumin. It’s also important to find a formula that features a boswellia extract that has filtered out the majority of beta-boswellic acid to 5% or less. Unlike most boswellic acids, beta-boswellic acid is actually pro-inflammatory. Removing it greatly enhances the potency of the boswellia extract. You also want a boswellia extract that includes at least 10% or more of acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA), the most active component of boswellia.
To encourage new hair growth, you may also want to consider adding a bioavailable silica product extracted from horsetail. Many people never think about silica when it comes to hair, nails and bone health, but it is one of the most important minerals we need. Because silica is poorly absorbed, look for a product that contains organic silica and bioflavonoids, blended with marine lipids. This greatly increases absorption to get the best benefits. I recommend taking 60 mg of silica daily for 2-3 weeks in order to build a foundation for new, stronger hair. After the initial 2-3 weeks, you can then take 10-20 mg daily.
Terry . . . Naturally