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Does High Cholesterol Cause Hair Loss?

By Jonathan Croswell ; Updated August 14, 2017

Hair loss and high cholesterol are two developments commonly associated with aging. And while it is less common for these conditions to be linked, there could be some connections. While you shouldn't be concerned that one could lead to the other, some experts have argued that high levels of blood cholesterol may influence hair loss in some people.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is found in the body in two forms: low-density lipoproteins--LDL--and high-density lipoproteins--HDL. LDL is considered the unhealthy form of cholesterol that can be damaging to your health. HDL, on the other hand, improves the health of your arteries and cardiovascular system. When people discuss having high cholesterol, it is in reference to the high count of LDL cholesterol found in the blood.

High Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol has many health risks. It can develop over the course of time in persons consuming high amounts of saturated fats. These are difficult for the body to break down and remove, and they can accumulate over time in the arteries near the heart. This can raise blood pressure and put added strain on the arteries. Over time, a blockage can form and cause a heart attack. According to some research, cholesterol may also factor in to hair loss.

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Hair Loss

Hair loss tends to be much more common in men than women, and there are many risk factors that can influence how your hair recedes over time. Inheritance is a significant influence, but diet can also factor in to your hair's health. Some pharmaceuticals can also inhibit hair growth or cause hair loss.

Expert Insight

According to AmericanHairLoss.org, cholesterol medications can contribute to hair loss. Among these medications are clofibrate and gemfibrozil. If you are taking either of these medications and notice hair loss, it is possible that the medications are contributing to your hair loss. Additionally, research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine identified a relationship between cholesterol levels and baldness through a bald individual's increased risk of a heart attack as well as cholesterol's chemical effects in the body, stimulating other bodily chemicals that cause hair loss, according to Centre-Clauderer.com.

Considerations

You should talk to your doctor about the potential link between hair loss and high cholesterol levels before attempting to treat either condition on your own. Cholesterol levels can be lowered through an improved diet and regular exercise. Some treatments may also restore hair growth or curb hair loss, but the results of these treatments can vary widely and are not guaranteed.

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