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A few weeks ago I wrote about the dangers of the prescription drug Propecia for male patttern baldness. Essentially, Propecia has been linked to long-term male sexual dysfunction including low libido, ejaculation problems, and erection disorders for some users. The FDA has since ordered Merck, the maker of the drug, to change the warning label to reflect these serious side effects.

This may be disappointing news for the 35 million American men out there who suffer from male pattern baldness. Scientists are actively pursuing the use of Vitamin D to prevent hair loss, or even help men that are already bald regrow their hair. Now, don't go out and buy Vitamin D in bulk in the hopes that you start sprouting hair, but there is a link between the vitamin and hair growth.

The science behind hair growth is this: your hair follicles produce a hair every two to six years and then lie dormant for a few weeks or months. In those with hair loss, the hair follicles will eventually lay dormant permanently and stop "switching on" to produce new hair. Eventually a breakdown in communication stops the skin cells from becoming hair cells and become skin cells instead. In order to switch these receptors back into hair growth mode, Vitamin D is a key component. One group of researchers found that blocking a molecule called MED, which suppresses Vitamin D receptors, helped to produce hair in mice. Japanese researchers have also found success by injecting stem cells with Vitamin D to produce hair growth. This type of research could equate to big bucks and a lot less dangerous side effects than those associated with Propecia or other prescription drugs for baldness.

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