L-valine, L-leucine and L-isoleucine are collectively called as branch chain amino acids. Branch chain amino acids serve as fuel source for hair cells during periods of metabolic stress. They form the primary constituents of potassium ion channels found in human hair follicles. Potassium ion channels are essential for maintaining complete biological activity and functionality of hair follicle. Branched chain amino acids (BCAA) are amino acids having aliphatic side chains with a branch. BCAA is found as effective in combating hair loss and stimulating new hair growth. The amino acid arginine helps to minimize disease related hair loss. Research studies have shown that amino acid can help to shield the hair from damaging effects of hair coloring and bleaching.
Arginine is vital for improving blood circulation and nutrient supply to hair loss that facilitates healthy hair. Dairy, fish, beef, oatmeal, sesame seeds and soybeans are good food sources of arginine. When the body is suffering from illness or insufficient nutrition, demands for arginine increases. Elevating arginine concentration through diet will help to treat hair loss. Cysteine amino acid can reduce the symptoms of androgenic alopecia and it indirectly assists with protection of hair follicles from stress. Ideal food sources of cystiene are poultry, pork, broccoli, whole grains, as well as dairy. I would like to mention that a quarter of keratin is made from amino acid. It is a vital amino acid required for the production of powerful antioxidant glutathione. As human body is unable to produce amino acid of methionine, it is necessary to include methionine rich food in diet including fish, eggs, and leafy greens. Our body manufactures cysteine on their own just like arginine.
Branched chain amino acids enhance protein synthesis and thereby hair growth. They can be oxidized in the hair cell’s mitochondria. Ability to increase growth hormone production makes branch chain amino acid preferred ingredient of hair loss products. Stimulation of potassium ion channels is established to be the hair growth mechanism of topically applied Minoxidil (Rogaine). Mechanism of Rogaine can be readily replicated using an internal combination of ingredients forming a foundation. Hair requires sufficient access to certain amino acids for producing structural proteins.
Important amino acids for healthy hair growth can be synthesized by human body. Hair loss treatments involving amino acids boost the availability of keratin and collagen. BCCA also have an important role in slowing hair graying and hair thinning. Hair follicles need lysine to properly function and hair loss can be reduced with lysine supplementation.