Navigation Links
No longer a gray area: Our hair bleaches itself as we grow older
Date:2/23/2009

Wash away your gray? Maybe. A team of European scientists have finally solved a mystery that has perplexed humans throughout the ages: why we turn gray. Despite the notion that gray hair is a sign of wisdom, these researchers show in a research report published online in The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org) that wisdom has nothing to do with it. Going gray is caused by a massive build up of hydrogen peroxide due to wear and tear of our hair follicles. The peroxide winds up blocking the normal synthesis of melanin, our hair's natural pigment.

"Not only blondes change their hair color with hydrogen peroxide," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "All of our hair cells make a tiny bit of hydrogen peroxide, but as we get older, this little bit becomes a lot. We bleach our hair pigment from within, and our hair turns gray and then white. This research, however, is an important first step to get at the root of the problem, so to speak."

The researchers made this discovery by examining cell cultures of human hair follicles. They found that the build up of hydrogen peroxide was caused by a reduction of an enzyme that breaks up hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen (catalase). They also discovered that hair follicles could not repair the damage caused by the hydrogen peroxide because of low levels of enzymes that normally serve this function (MSR A and B). Further complicating matters, the high levels of hydrogen peroxide and low levels of MSR A and B, disrupt the formation of an enzyme (tyrosinase) that leads to the production of melanin in hair follicles. Melanin is the pigment responsible for hair color, skin color, and eye color. The researchers speculate that a similar breakdown in the skin could be the root cause of vitiligo.

"As any blue-haired lady will attest, sometimes hair dyes don't quite work as anticipated," Weissmann added. "This study is a prime example of how basic research in biology can benefit us in ways never imagined."


'/>"/>

Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
cmooneyhan@faseb.org
301-634-7104
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Meteor no longer prime suspect in great extinction
2. Antioxidant users dont live longer, analysis of studies concludes
3. Mouse study: When it comes to living longer, its better to go hungry than go running
4. The mystery of mass extinctions is no longer murky
5. Formula discovered for longer plant life
6. Deprived of a sense of smell, worms live longer
7. For fats, longer may not be better
8. Living longer thanks to the longevity gene
9. Shorter wait means longer life for kidney transplant candidates
10. Virus weaves itself into the DNA transferred from parents to babies
11. Scripps scientists develop first examples of RNA that replicates itself indefinitely
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/12/2016)... , Dec. 12, 2016  Researchers at ... possibilities for graphene by combining the material with ... highly sensitive pressure detector able to sense pulse, ... a small spider.  The research ... can be read here:  http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6317/1257 ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... 7, 2016 According to a new market research report ... (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition), Service, Application Area, End User, And Region - Global ... from USD 6.72 Billion in 2016 to USD 36.07 Billion by 2021, at ... Continue Reading ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:12/7/2016)...   Veridium , a leader in biometrics-based ... CEO James Stickland . Stickland, a seasoned ... has served in senior executive roles for HSBC, ... expanding a pipeline of venture capital and accelerating ... served as managing director of U.K.-based fintech firm ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/12/2017)... ... January 12, 2017 , ... ... short response times capable of performing routine electrochemical biosensing has increased dramatically. ... provide fast, sensitive detection and quantification of various analytes in complex samples. ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... Conn. , Jan. 12, 2017   ... company and maker of Flublok Influenza Vaccine ... Zika vaccine candidate had good safety results and ... in preclinical studies. The product is expected to ... few months.  In addition, the Institute of Technology ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... Colo. (PRWEB) , ... January 11, 2017 , ... ... the journal Clinical Cancer Research show early promise of the investigational anti-cancer agent ... despite a median 5 previous treatment regimens. Twenty-seven percent of these heavily pretreated ...
(Date:1/11/2017)...  Brian Mehling, M.D., world-renowned stem cell researcher, board-certified ... (BHI), will be attending the 47th Annual World Economic ... January 17-20, 2017. This will be Dr. Mehling,s fifth ... of this year,s forum is Responsive and Responsible Leadership; ... strategies for fostering greater social inclusion and human development. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: