Minoxidil Could Have Heart and Brain Health Benefits

Since starting this blog, I have not made too many posts about Minoxidil and Finasteride. This despite the fact that these two drugs are, to date, the only two globally approved hair loss treatments (with the more powerful Dutasteride also approved in some Asian countries). Neither Minoxidil or Finasteride are anywhere close to being a hair loss cure.

While I have benefitted from both Minoxidil and Finasteride, I have not been impressed with either insofar as regrowing my lost hair goes. Minoxidil (via Rogaine foam) does make my hair look thicker and more manageable almost immediately after application, but I do not use it very often.

Minoxidil’s Heart and Brain Health Benefits

Oral Minoxidil was originally approved as an antihypertensive blood pressure treatment in 1979. However, scientists noticed a side effect of increased hair growth and approved topical Minoxidil to treat hair loss in 1988. There are number of theories on how Minoxidil works to grow hair. Most likely, it is via a combination of pathways and mechanisms.

Since oral Minoxidil reduces high blood pressure, one would think that it benefits heart health. High blood pressure can increase the chances of getting strokes (in the brain) and heart attacks. In March of this year, a new study concluded that Minoxidil may make stiff arteries and blood vessels significantly more flexible, thereby benefitting heart health and lowering blood pressure. Moreover, Minoxidil may also improve blood flow to key organs, including the brain.

The above findings were widely covered by the media, as seen in some of the links at the bottom of this page.  According to one of the co-authors of the study, Dr. Michael Shoykhet:

“Equally important, these beneficial changes persisted weeks after the drug was no longer in the bloodstream. The sustained improvements and the increased elastin gene expression suggest that minoxidil treatment may help remodel stiff arteries.”

Of related interest, men who suffer from male pattern baldness (aka androgenetic alopecia) tend to also have higher rates of heart disease.

Note that some people who take Minoxidil complain of chest pain and heart palpitations as side effects. Nothing is ever straightforward when you ingest a foreign drug:-(

Edit: Right after I published this article, I read an interesting new article: Fitbit’s massive user data related accumulated findings regarding resting heart rate and health implications.

Samumed to Initiate Phase 3 Clinical Trials

When it comes to a hair loss cure or groundbreaking new hair loss treatment, Samumed is one of the favorites to come out with something significant in the next several years. I have covered Samumed and its SM04554 hair loss product numerous times on this blog in the past. The product works via the activation of the Wnt signaling pathway and subsequent epithelial β-catenin signaling.

The company’s CEO Dr. Osman Kibar has been widely covered in the media, including a cover appearance on Forbes magazine in 2016. They also got publicity in 2018 in Business Insider after announcing plans to go public in 3-4 years.

Earlier today, reader “chris2” pointed out that Samumed is starting its final Phase 3 clinical trial for its SM04554 product. This news is provided in Samumed’s latest monthly newsletter (subscribe here). The best part of this story is that these trials will entail 625 patients, which is incredible. I do not remember hair loss companies ever testing their product on so many people in clinical trials. More often than not, they test on less than 50 human volunteers.

It is not surprising that Samumed can go all out with these trials. They have been valued at a massive $12 billion, and earlier this month, they received $438 million in new equity funding.

So in just this summer of 2018, we have received highly favorable news from: Samumed, CassiopeaHistogen, RiverTown, Follicum, Organ Technologies/RIKEN/Tsuji. I hope Follica and Shiseido are next in line.