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Does rice cause hair loss in women?

Answered on January 14, 2014
Created December 25, 2013 at 8:22 AM

I've noticed that many older Chinese and Indian women have hair loss or female pattern baldness. If you look closely, most Asian and Indian women over 40 have some degree of balding. Usually, Asian women have hair loss on the top of their head, while Indian women have hair loss at the front of their head. I have seen women who are as bald as men. Is this diet related? The common factor seems to be rice. Thoughts?

A19aa20b555184df4763c6cbd6ed025a

(0)

on January 14, 2014
at 04:17 PM

I would expect Indian women have a pretty high consumption of dairy?

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4 Answers

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F92f0b6a3fe3d45a489e020076904f2f

on January 14, 2014
at 04:27 PM

I am not Indian, but from observing my Indian-American friends, they have a very high-carb (from vegetables and legumes) and high-sugar diet. I've also observed this at Indian restaurants (and yes, I'm aware that this is Americanized and in India itself the consumption of sugar in food is probably less).

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on January 14, 2014
at 03:55 PM

Women with insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome have increased levels of androgens--especially testosterone, and with it, male pattern baldness often occurs. This is common in aging women with PCOS. So it might also be seen in women with high sugar and high starch diets, that cause metabolic syndrome.

Growing up on the island of Okinawa, I don't remember local women with thinning hair. But (despite so-called expert reports to the contrary) their diet included plenty of protein and quality fat from the meat, fish, and seafood they ate. While they also ate rice and FERMENTED soy, there was a lot of variety in their diets--it was not primarily starch-based.

0
10ec51c0e6e41939215a55316ad3d0b7

on January 14, 2014
at 01:52 PM

Another commonality seems to be low consumption of dairy. But in the Asian side of my family, rice is certainly the majority of the diet, while dairy is rare, and there are no hair issues.

A19aa20b555184df4763c6cbd6ed025a

(0)

on January 14, 2014
at 04:17 PM

I would expect Indian women have a pretty high consumption of dairy?

0
C16e2e3642960bfaabee1c1c7fbf9df1

(384)

on December 25, 2013
at 10:49 AM

There's probably a lot of factors involved. Even if the rice was brown, not soaked and made up 40% of calories, i'd be surprised if it would result in enough malnutrition to cause hair loss. Lack of proper nutrition and environmental factors are probably more likely causes.

Most asian people i've spoken to and from what i've read, rice isn't a huge part of meals. More of a small side dish or a palate cleanser. And it's arguably one of the easiest grains to digest even with the bran.

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