Do Kimchi and Cheonggukjang Probiotics as a Functional Food Improve Androgenetic Alopecia? A Clinical Pilot Study

World J Mens Health. 2020 Jan;38(1):95-102. doi: 10.5534/wjmh.180119. Epub 2019 Aug 5.


Purpose: Probiotic supplementation demonstrates beneficial effects on serum lipid profiles. We hypothesized that probiotics could benefit patients presenting with alopecia, secondary to improved blood flow to the scalp.

Materials and methods: Our study included men with stage II to V patterns of hair loss based on the Hamilton-Norwood classification and women with stage I to III patterns of hair loss based on the Ludwig classification. All patients were administered 80 mL of Mogut® (a kimchi and cheonggukjang probiotic product) twice a day. Hair growth and numbers were measured using the Triple Scope System® (KC Technology, Korea) at baseline and after 1 and 4 months of administration of a kimchi and cheonggukjang probiotic product.

Results: At baseline, the mean hair count was 85.98±20.54 hairs/cm² and the mean thickness was 0.062±0.011 mm in all patients (n=46). Hair count and thickness had significantly increased at 1 month (90.28±16.13 hairs/cm² and 0.068±0.008 mm, respectively) and at 4 months (91.54±16.29 hairs/cm² and 0.066±0.009 mm, respectively). In this study, we found that a kimchi and cheonggukjang probiotic product could promote hair growth and reverse hair loss without associated adverse effects such as diarrhea.

Conclusions: We suggest that the observed improvements in hair count and thickness resulted from initiation of the anagen phase in hair follicles in response to probiotics.

Keywords: Alopecia; Functional food; Leuconostoc; Probiotics; Scalp; Soybeans.

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