Broccoli sprouts may help grow hair

broccoli sproutsJapanese scientists say broccoli sprouts may hold out hope for hair loss sufferers, although those seeking a miracle cure shouldn’t head to the grocery store just yet.

A study jointly conducted by Kinki University and Hair Clinic Reve 21 Corp., a producer of hair growth products, has found that broccoli sprouts help hair growth, raising hopes for the development of new treatments.

“We want to pin down the components in the sprouts that help promote hair growth,” said Naohito Kawasaki, a professor of environmental science at Kinki University and a member of the research team. “We are not yet sure whether eating them produces a similar effect.”

Their joint finding will be presented at a four-day conference being held by the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan from March 27 in Kumamoto.

The scientists produced a broccoli extract by dissolving the sprouts in water. The extract was then sprinkled over a culture of human dermal papilla cells, which facilitate hair growth. The number of dermal papilla cells increased by 80 percent, the researchers said.

Moreover, it helped trigger a 40 percent increase in the production of bone morphogenetic protein 4, a substance that is secreted by hair papillae during the hair growth process.

An official with Reve 21 said the company is considering incorporating the sprout extract into hair growth products if the research produces more positive results.

Broccoli sprouts, harvested in the early stage of germination, are available at supermarkets. They are believed to lower the risk of cancer, among other health benefits.