Can Drinking 1 Soda a Day Causes Hair Loss?
The researchers looked at data gathered from 1,028 Chinese men between the ages of 18 and 45 that was collected between January and April 2022.
The men were asked to provide information about their lifestyle habits, including their consumption of sweetened drinks, as well as any hair loss that they might have experienced.
What the team found upon analysis of the data is that there was a significant association between drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and male hair loss, even with consumption as low as one drink per day. Also, higher consumption levels appeared to increase this risk even further.
Dr. Susan Massick, associate professor of dermatology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, urges caution in interpreting what these results mean.
“The study findings do not support the misleading conclusion that sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of male pattern hair loss …,” she said, pointing out that there are limitations in the study’s design.
“Diet does play a critical role in your overall health, particularly regarding risk for developing obesity, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and hypertension; however, male-pattern hair loss is multifactorial. This study does not prove a causal effect that indulging in sugar-sweetened drinks induces male pattern thinning.”
The study authors concede this point as well, noting that additional research is necessary to confirm a direct link between sugar-laden drinks and hair loss.
At this point, there is only a statistical association between these two variables. It’s not clear whether one causes the other.
Prevention and early treatment of male pattern hair loss make a difference
Massick explained that a holistic approach to treatment should be the primary goal in dealing with MPHL.
“Male pattern hair loss can be treated, but timing and early intervention are important,” she said.
One important step is to seek out a board certified dermatologist and start treatment early, said Massick. Drugs like topical minoxidil and/or oral finasteride can help to preserve your hair before you lose a significant amount.
Massick further points to generally looking after your physical health as an important step you can take.
“Reverse anything that is reversible and focus on preventive care and treatment management of any underlying medical issues, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, thyroid conditions, and poor nutrition,” she said.
Your diet plays a major role in your overall health
While it remains uncertain what role a reduction in sugar consumption might play in preventing hair loss, Shereen Jegtvig, who teaches nutrition at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, indicates that eating and drinking less sugar is an important part of being healthy.
Cutting out empty calories with little or no nutritional value like sugary soft drinks and energy drinks can improve your health in several ways, she said.
“This can help a man reach and maintain a healthy weight. Reducing sugar is better for teeth and can lower a young guy’s risk of tooth decay. It can also help settle down bouts of acne. And while a young man might not think about it much right now, reducing sugar can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease later on in life.”
Jegtvig added that one way to reduce your sugar intake is to swap out sugary sodas and energy drinks for non-caloric versions or water.
“Vegetable juice is another good option with good nutrition,” said Jegtvig.
Jegtvig further advised that instead of snacking on candy or cookies, you can opt for whole fruits and vegetables which are low in calories but packed with nutrients.
You can also make a trail mix with nuts, granola, or dried fruits, she suggested.
“A lot of processed foods have added sugars too,” she concluded. “Check the ingredients label and grams of sugar on the nutrition label.”
She also advises men to stop smoking and follow a well-balanced diet.