Male Pattern Baldness Iron Connection : How Excess Iron Triggers Calcification and Fibrosis Switch ?

In previous blog post, you learned that how I accidentally discovered Iron Connection to hair loss.

Iron : Hair Loss Wunderkind or Arbiter of Doom

In this blog post, I am going to describe how Iron activates the Fibrosis and Calcification Switch and causes Hair Loss and many more Chronic Problems.

But to explain the mechanism to you, I need to simplify things for you.

As you know Pattern Hair Loss is a result of Fibrosis and Calcification.

What’s Fibrosis ? (According to Wikipedia)

Fibrosis is the formation of excess Fibrous Connective Tissue in Organ/Tissue in reparative or reactive process. Fibrosis can interfere with or totally inhibit the function of Organ and Tissue.

What’s Calcification ? (According to Wikipedia)

Accumulation of Calcium Salts in Tissues.

In order to understand the Mechanism of how Iron initiates Fibrosis and Calcification Switch, you need to understand basis of Cellular Respiration, Energy Metabolism and Anti-Oxidant Defense System.

Dr. Chris Masterjohn has done wonderful job in explaining this in simple language.

There is a study connecting Tissue Hypoxia linked to Male Pattern Baldness. They found tissue hypoxia in bald scalp compared with hair-bearing scalp.

What’s Hypoxia according to Standard Definition ?

It’s low saturation of Oxygen in Tissues but do you know it also could be because of Mitochondrial ETC (Electron Chain Transport) Dysfunction.

Hypoxia = Low Oxygen Levels = Low Levels of Iron (because Iron carries Oxygen)

But low levels of Copper (Bio-available) can also cause Hypoxia because Copper activates Oxygen. Look at Complex IV of ETC.

It’s also called Cytochrome C Oxidase. It’s function is to transfer the electrons from reduced cytochrome C molecules to Oxygen.

It contains

a. Two Heme groups
b. 3 Copper Atoms

Copper is essential for three key steps in the process to make these new blood cells:
a) make energy
Copper (I) is responsible for 90% energy production in Electron Transport Chain.

b) make {Fe-S] Clusters
c) make Heme

(Role of Copper in Mitochondrial Iron Metabolism)

Defects in Iron metabolism causes

  1. Impaired Mobilization of Iron to Transferin (Requires Ceruloplasmin)
  2. Impaired synthesis of Heme from Fe(III) (Requires Cytochrome Oxidase

Both of them are Copper Dependent.

So new definition of Hypoxia is

Hypoxia = Low Oxygen Activation = Lack of Bio-available Copper

Why Copper is so important here ?

Because Copper mobilizes Iron from Tissues/Organs to where it needs to be.

Ceruloplasmin is Copper binding Protein and without it Copper can cause Oxidative damage just like Iron. It oxidizes Ferrous to Ferric and gets reduced from Cupric to Cuprous.

For body to utilize Copper, it has to be in Cu (I) state. For Iron used for Storage purpose (like Ferritin) or Heme Synthesis, Iron has to be in Fe (II) state and for Transport purpose, it has to be Fe (III) state.

Ferrous i.e. Fe (II), Ferric i.e. Fe (III), Cuprous i.e. Cu (I), Cupric i.e. Cu (II)

When there is no Cu (I) available in last step of Cytochrome C Complex IV, 90% of energy is not made (34 out of 38 ATP) Instead ETC dysfunction causes ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) formation giving rise to oxidative stress through formation of Super oxide , Hydrogen Peroxide, Hydoroxyl Radical etc etc.

Superoxides initiates Fenton reaction in presence of Fe (II)

To stop the propagation of free radicals, anti-oxidant defense system in our body starts working

(Reference : Fenton Reaction)

This is how Fibrosis and Calcification takes place

How Hypoxia induces Hair Loss ?

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NF‐κB and HIF crosstalk in immune responses

In those experiencing Hair Loss, level of SOD (Superoxide Dismutase) is significantly lower compared to those who don’t have AGA.

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The conclusion of papers says that

Significantly decreased SOD activity but no change in catalase, glutathione peroxidase, non-protein thiols level and total antioxidant activity in erythrocytes suggest the presence of a compensatory mechanism for SOD dysfunction in red blood cells of patients with androgenetic alopecia.

Oxidative stress in androgenetic alopecia

A recent paper “Copper Deficiency a New Reason of Androgenetic Alopecia?

It clearly indicates the Copper levels in Men and Women who have Androgenic Alopecia is significantly lower than those who don’t have it.

Copper and Ceruloplasmin levels in men and women with Androgenic Alopecia are significantly lesser than those who don’t have it.

More in depth explanation will be added soon.

If you want to reverse your pattern hair loss using Diet changes and Lab Testing, check Hair Regrowth Blueprint.

 

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Iron : Hair Loss Wunderkind or Arbiter of Doom

This title is adopted from “Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Hair Loss Wunderkind or Arbiter of Doom?” by Danny Roddy

http://www.dannyroddy.com/weblog/omega3fattyacidsmalepatternbaldness

and the theme is adopted from“Iron Overload, Perturbed Redox Balance, and Meddling Serotonin
http://www.dannyroddy.com/weblog/ironoverloadredoxbalanceserotonin

I came across Danny Roddy in 2015 when I was searching for solution to my hair loss problems. I was tired of reading Reddit threads, watching clickbait youtube videos, Forums where people just preached Big 3 and Transplant.

So when I saw someone who has totally different take on reversing hair loss,I immediately bought his book “Hair like a Fox” because his ideas made sense. I followed many of his ideas. Danny talked about lowering Ferritin values in the body, I didn’t pay attention to it back then because I never thought excess Iron would play so much of role in Hair Loss and other Chronic Conditions.

I followed all the advice Danny Roddy/Ray Peat except taking Aspirin, Antibiotics and Hormones.

Check my photos here

I saw great improvement in my frontal 1/3rd following Egg Yolks, Shell Fish, Milk, Vitamin D supplements, Orange Juice (Citrus Fruits), Avoiding Fish and Fish Oils, Gluten, Beans, Nuts and Seeds.

Although I saw good improvement, I felt very restrictive following this diet. I didn’t want to continue with this because it wasn’t responding rest of 2/3rd area of my scalp. Drinking tons of milk even sent me several times to the Washroom. I still continued with the Diet for 6-8 months but I didn’t see continued improvement in rest of my hairs.

Then I started Vitamin D supplements, I started taking gallops of Vitamin D in my body. Should you ever take Vitamin D supplements ?

Read Vitamin D Hair Loss Connection : A Double Edged Sword

Then meanwhile, I was also researching how to reverse grey hair and started watching few videos that made sense and I was told that I should get more copper.

I had already tried different avenues for getting more copper from Copper Supplements (One of the worst experiences, it made me feel worse I ever felt in my life) , Multivitamin (It had highest ratings on Amazon,after I started it, suddenly started seeing more and more hairs on my bed for the first time in my life and I got fever and whenever I would take it, I would feel almost nauseous so I had to stop it) drinking water from Copper Vessel for long time, I had no effect except turning some of my hairs red (My hairs are Black, so it wasn’t even transition back to normal hairs)

While, I was researching more, I saw a video on Side

Rethinking Vitamin D Supplementation
You are not Copper Toxic
Rethinking Iron Supplements

The titles were interesting and controversial enough to grab my attention. I just started watching it. I didn’t expect that it would change my whole thinking process afterwards.

These videos were from Morley Robbins.

Take Baldness Risk Factor Quiz Now

I came across this overwhelming research 18 months ago. To be precise in April 2017. I started following it slowly and started seeing the results then I started applying it on others and they too started seeing the results.

I mentioned about it in my Journey here

Read my Entire Hair Loss and Regrowth Journey here

I started studying this phenomenon in depth and analyzing reports according to his methodology and started seeing Iron problems in almost 50-60% people. After analyzing over 500 plus lab reports. I can reasonably assert that Iron is somehow related to Hair Loss. The connection no one has explored yet.

I went through substantial research and started putting together evidence to finally connect the dots. After 18 months, I am beginning to understand, grasp and simplify these concepts for you.

I am writing this piece after I get substantial evidence in research and personal experience.

This subject is huge and quite complex to understand, although I haven’t understood it fully because it’s so huge and continually evolving. But whatever I have learned, I have tried to simplify it for you.

In this 3 part series, I am going to tell you how Iron is major lever contributing to Pattern hair loss and if you want to stop this cascade, you need to stop this Iron Elephant before you do anything else.

I had good success with Danny Roddy proposed diet but then I came across Morley Robbins whose research became foremost important in getting results on rest of my hairs. It’s research behind Root Cause Protocol helped me create so many success stories I created afterwards. More on that later.

Before I discovered this, I had several health challenges as I explained

Indigestion

Multiple Bowel Movements

Fatigue

Problems with Sleep

Constant recurring infections

Migraines

Low/No sex drive

Skin Rashes/Allergies

I referred everything I can find, youtube, video, forum, book, course. You name it, I have used it or at least I know of it.

I followed Izabella Wentz, Danny Roddy, Ray Peat, Chris Masterjohn, Jordan Reasoner (http://solvingleakygut.com), Joe Cohen (https://selfhacked.com), Rob (http://www.functionalps.com), Tom (http://forefronthealth.com), Joel Wallach, Paul Jaminet (http://perfecthealthdiet.com)

Their ideas helped me to great extent especially temporary improvement in some of the symptoms and permanent improvement in some others. I liked some of their ideas but I didn’t like or resonate with some of their other ideas.

Especially, I liked Ray Peat/Danny Roddy Diet and but I didn’t want to take drugs to reverse fibrosis, antibiotics to kill pathogens or use Thyroid or Progesterone Hormone.

I liked Izabella Wentz’s book Hashimoto’s Thyroid, her lucid explanation and simplification. I adopted this flow chart based on her book but I didn’t quite like the no of supplements she suggested. It is not even too much of unnecessary expense for me but some of the supplements even damaged me (Especially Vitamin D, Zinc)

I don’t want to blame any of them, their suggestions helped me more than it damaged me so this is not a Tirade against any of them.

But almost every one of them except Ray Peat missed the very important point. They undermined importance of Excess Iron in manifestation of chronic conditions.

Once Danny Roddy asked Dr. Peat about good tests to evaluate the iron burden in 2012 and he replied:

I think the copper/iron ratio is under hormonal-developmental control, and I have never seen an attempt to use ceruloplasmin to guide nutrition. Regular good light exposure is probably important for preventing the displacement of copper by iron. —Raymond Peat, PhD

Ray Peat has written great stuff about Iron Dangers here

http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/iron-dangers.shtml

Morley Robbins developed Full Fledged Protocol based on this one statement, it’s called Root Cause Protocol

Check Root Cause Protocol here

He didn’t just theorized it, he used it on close to 3000 clients to validate it in real life and then used Research all along to connect the Dots.

So I thought instead of just writing a blog post on my theoretical understanding, I should use it to validate it before writing anything about it.

Because I was done with trying Low Carb, Paleo, Fruit Only Diet, Gluten Free diet. I didn’t want to restrict any or many foods just to get my hairs back.

No expert advice working for me. I was extremely tired of following their advice. Frankly, I had given up on my health. I had no hopes. I had so many health problems, I started suspecting that I might have got some incurable disease.

Backstory : My mother got Cancer

On November 13th 2007, just 2 days before my final exams, she succumbed to Death by Cancer at the age of 48… and I miss her every single day.

In 2002, she was diagnosed with Cancer for the first time and then she underwent a Surgery, again diagnosed with Cancer in 2007& Cancer spread
throughout her body and she died within 9 months of diagnosis.
That left deep scar on my mind, many of my health issues started and worsened within 1-2 years of her death.

I was devastated. How could this happen?

But looking back, the signs leading up to her cancer revealed a pattern:

Lifelong Acid Reflux and stomach pain, Fertility problems, Hyperthyroid, Hair thinning, Migraines, Depression, PMS symptoms, Bipolar disorder, Fatigue, Anxiety, Acne, Breast cancer and finally Ovarian cancer which spread throughout her body before taking her life.

My mother is a prime example of what can happen when this hidden epidemic goes on for years, all the while modern medicine is chasing the symptoms. She suffered through years of thyroid medication, Antacids, Painkillers and finally, Surgery.

And because I had started developing all these symptoms, I thought whether I am developing some incurable disease like Cancer.

I used to pray to God everyday to get me out of this mess. There was no light at the end of tunnel. I had exhausted all my options.

Out of all these diets, Gluten free diet worked well for me, not because Grains have Gluten and Gluten is bad.

Because Gluten is not the problem , Iron is the problem

Watch this video
Iron and Gluten, The Toxic Tandem – Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUjmwTwNCAI
Why did I see the benefit ?

I see the connection now.

It’s Government Policy to add Iron in Wheat. Food Fortification is curse on Mankind. The iron they add is Ferrous Salt which is most toxic form of Iron. More on that in next part of the series.

I have countless people telling me their hair loss reduced when they switched to non-fortified flour. I thought it was Gluten but in hindsight I realized it wasn’t gluten. It was Iron.

If you have severe gluten problems, then it’s good to stay away from Gluten for a while. But don’t ever think that Gluten is your enemy. There are hundred if not thousands of books written on this topic. The most famous book is “Wheat Belly” by William Davis but even he didn’t mention anything about Iron.

Check Ray Peat’s article for more information on this. Food Fortification is more common in US, Canada, Australia, UK, India and many other countries.

Read this blog

Iron, Food Enrichment and The Theory of Everything

As I started reading all this material, things really started falling in place. I didn’t listen to Ray Peat/Danny Roddy about lowering my Iron levels but now I really needed to get my iron levels checked.

My blood Test Results : Shock of my life

Parameter October 2017 December 2017 June 2018
Serum Iron 144.5 ug/dL 100.5 84.3
Transferrin Saturation 51% 32.74 % 28.97 %
Ferritin 219 ng/ml 39.4 ng/ml 39.1 ng/ml
Haemoglobin 16.2 g/dL 16.6 g/dL 16 g/dL
Vitamin D 20 ng/ml 12.21 ng/ml 14.87 ng/ml

My Ferritin was very high including Transferrin Saturation. My Vitamin D levels were good because I had swallowed 3000-5000 IUs of Vitamin D for 3-4 months but that came with big cost. Read this

Vitamin D Hair Loss Connection

Whatever Morley Robbins stated was spot on now it was time to implement his ideas in my practice. I went for blood donation twice and started Wheatgrass, Magnesium and other foods and ditched all supplements except (Transdermal Magnesium and Trace Mineral Supplement)

I talk in depth about my journey here

Because I wasn’t getting Magnesium and didn’t ingest Vitamin D supplements, my Vitamin D levels dropped precipitously and revealed true levels. Never try to elevate your Vitamin D levels by injections or supplements even if it’s very low.

I was suggesting my findings to others because I saw that it was very promising but nobody would listen to me. They thought this is me drinking another koolaid like before.

There was someone from Germany who was also facing a lot of problems along with Hair thinning, he checked for all the markers and he did go for blood donation. He followed

In right side photo, the hair length is little more. The improvement is although not very much, but it’s visible (at least that person thought it was improvement)

Not very impressive but it’s there.

2 months changes (Not very huge but noticeable)

There are many other photos including my photos, check them here

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