Procyanidin B-2 is a compound we have identified in apple which acts as a growth-promoting factor on murine hair epithelial cells. This report describes our investigation of the hair-growing effects of 1% procyanidin B-2 tonic after sequential use for 4 months. A double-blind clinical trial was performed, involving a total of 29 subjects (procyanidin B-2, 19 men; placebo, 10 men). No adverse side effects were observed in either group. In the procyanidin B-2 group, 78.9% showed an increased mean value of hair diameter, whereas only 30.0% in the placebo group showed any increase (p < 0.02, Fisher's exact probability test). The increased ratio of hairs measuring more than 40 microm in diameter after 4 months of procyanidin B-2 treatment was significantly higher than that of the placebo controls (p < 0.05, two-sample-t-test). The increase in number of total hairs in the designated scalp area (0.25 cm(2)) of procyanidin B-2 subjects after a 4 month trial was significantly greater than that of the placebo controls (procyanidin-B-2, 3.67 +/- 4.09 (mean +/- SD)/0.25 cm(2); placebo, -2.54 +/- 4.00/0.25 cm(2); p < 0.001, two-sample t-test). Procyanidin B-2 therapy shows potential as a promising cure for male pattern baldness.
Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.