The consumption of sugary drinks is linked to baldness and depression

The consumption of sugary drinks is linked to baldness and depression

Androgenic alopecia, better known as common baldness, affects men and women of all ages; however, a newly released study links the consumption of sugary drinks with an increased risk of men going bald. Soft drinks and energy drinks are two of the most consumed products in Spain at an average of 39.2 litres per person per year, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Scientists at Tsinghua University in Beijing who have published the results of their research, Nutrients, conclude that men who consume sugary drinks daily increase the probability of experiencing hair loss by 57% compared to those who avoid it, because sugar causes insulin resistance and, consequently, hinders blood circulation, which damages hair follicles, according to the research.

They hypothesized that any beverage high in added sugar could contribute to the condition except for diet-type or zero-type drinks. For this reason, the warning is extended to include alcoholic drinks, sweetened coffee, and sweetened tea, among others.

The data verifies that half of men tend to lose their hair by the age of 50, but of these, 25% of bald people see the first signs of hair loss before the age of 21. With this in mind, the researchers looked for links between sweet drink consumption and hair loss by analyzing responses to a survey of 1,028 Chinese men between the ages of 18 and 45.

The participants in the survey had to answer questions related to their baldness, but also about their eating habits and their mental health. They also investigated the frequency of consumption of certain foods and beverages, such as sugary drinks.

Based on their answers, they were able to establish a "significant association" between the high consumption of sugary drinks and hair loss in men who, especially in their youth, had a higher consumption due to "being unaware of the harmful effects".

Nutritionist Saúl Sánchez is one of the experts who has helped disseminate the study in Spain, assessing that "the greater the consumption of sugary drinks, the greater the hair loss" and highlighting that "pattern hair loss in men, has increased its prevalence from 21.3% in 2010 to 27.5% in 2021”.

He added that: "chronic disease and death are so distant for young people that they are unwilling to give up the satisfaction provided by sugary drinks for the sake of their long-term health." In addition, he maintains that consuming soft drinks one to three times a week increases the risk of hair loss by 21% and four to seven times by 26%.

Scientists say that they also found a link between sugary drink intake and psychological health, as they increase anxiety and symptoms of depression, a disease that is also made worse by hair loss.

In numbers, the study determines that consuming three soft drinks a day provided a 25% increased risk of depression. However, the scientific team from Beijing advocates a healthy eating routine to protect against alopecia, although they warn that more studies must be carried out to confirm these conclusions.