FOXO4, Anti-Aging and Hair Growth

I previously wrote about FOXO4 in a post in March 2017 that covered Dr. Peter de Keizer and his groundbreaking findings. In brief, interference via a newly created modified FOXO4-p53 peptide caused senescent cell apoptosis (death) in mice. Subsequently, the mice became younger and healthier. Most importantly, the mice regrew thick and robust coats of fur.

In the above study, the FOXO4 peptide was created in a D-retro inverso (DRI)-isoform conformation and named FOXO4-DRI. The anti-aging and hair growth related findings of this work were widely covered by the media in 2017. Dr. Keizer thereafter started his own biotech company called Cleara Biotech.

Senescent Cells

I have written about senescent cells (undesirable) and senolytics a number of times in the past. In an interview with Dr. de Keizer, he mentioned the following:

“If you remove the senescent cells, it means the (neighboring) stem cells can differentiate again, supporting tissue rejuvenation.”

Also make sure to read my related post on NAD, NMN and Resveratrol for aging reversal.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

Earlier this week, an anti-aging breakthrough from Israel was widely covered in the media. Apparently, giving pure oxygen to older people while in a hyperbaric chamber increased the length of their telomeres by 20 percent. More details here.

This development is impressive because it resulted in both:

  1. Telomere Elongation. And:
  2. Senescent Cell Reduction.

There have already been other methods via which people have increased their telomere length, including TA-65, exercise, diet and caloric restriction. However, this new hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) protocol led to elongation of telomeres at higher rates in comparison to existing interventions.

Using FOXO4 for Hair Growth

I was not planning to write about the above findings from last week as there did not seem to be any connection to hair loss.

However, earlier today, reader “egghead” posted a new link to the same story. More importantly, he made an astute observation in regards to the video at the bottom of the just mentioned Aljazeera link. He watched it entirely, and found an example of hair growth from FOXO4-DRI in the second half of the video.

Unfortunately, I cannot embed the video here, but below is the most relevant screenshot:

FOXO4-DRI Hair Growth.
Using FOXO4-DRI for hair growth.

FOXO4-DRI

Apparently, many people have been taking commercially available versions of the FOXO4-DRI peptide. Both for longevity reasons and, in rare cases, for hair growth. The above screenshot is from someone named Darren Moore and you can read his story on his site. Also see this article on his before and after hair growth.

Although Darren initially regrew his hair and it became darker, it seems like he lost most of the gains per this interesting 2019 video about him. During a brief perusal of Darren’s blog, I noticed that several commentators posted that they saw darker and fuller hair when taking FOXO4-DRI. There is also a 29-page group buy thread on this subject on the longecity forum.

I am surprised that people trust this untested and expensive chemical. It is even on sale on Amazon. Who knows if there are any long term side effects. In an interview on Linkedin, Dr. Keizer stated the following:

“We have now also received emails from people from America, for example, who have already bought the drug, the anti-aging substance FOXO4-DRI. You can now get it on the market in China. For a thousand euros you can buy ten milligrams and that is enough for a third of one treatment.”

I am not sure how the product that Dr. Keizer and his team developed (and patented) can be replicated by these Chinese labs. Even US companies such as Bucky Labs sell FOXO4-DRI for “scientific research use”. I assume all commercial versions of the drug have minor differences.

My Thoughts

I would not take this product in the hopes of re-growing my hair. Too little anecdotal evidence for that as of right now. Not to mention that the price for a full dose treatment is quite prohibitive. However, this whole FOXO4 subject matter is worth following in the coming years.

In an e-mail, Dr. Keizer told me that they were certainly not going to ignore hair growth results during their future research. However, cancer treatment and anti-aging remain their top priorities.

Perhaps localized senescent cell destruction in the scalp region will be possible via topical products in the future? Maybe this could then regrow hair via enabling nearby hair cells to function properly again?

27 thoughts on “FOXO4, Anti-Aging and Hair Growth”

  1. It’s not really clear why you would want to localize destruction of senescent cells to the scalp. The main point of topical treatments is to prevent systemic side effects, but as far as we can tell, systemic destruction of senescent cells would be a good thing.

    1. Hey Brandon,

      I was just linking it to that first interview quote from Dr. Keizer about neighboring stem cells regenerating.

      Also, in case there is no approved oral product to destroy all senescent cells, it might still be possible and effective to destroy with a topical product localized to the scalp.

  2. Let’s not forget u want a senolytic which only takes out senescent cells not healthy ones, added to which u don’t want to remove all of them they actually play a healthy role in the body

  3. Orwell’s Road to Wigan Pier (1936) has a description of English men:

    It was impossible, looking about one then, not to be struck by the physical degeneracy of modern England. […] Puny limbs, sickly faces, under the weeping London sky! Hardly a well-built man or a decent-looking woman, and not a fresh complexion anywhere. As the King’s coffin went by, the men took off their hats, and a friend who was in the crowd at the other side of the Strand said to me afterwards, ’The only touch of colour anywhere was the bald heads.’

    and

    “The white man almost always goes bald.”

    Lest we think that rates of baldness are climbing and attributable to a modern lifestyle—it sounds like prospects were just as grim for the 1930’s man.

    1. In Asia, balding rates have definitely gone up big time, especially in younger men and women. And several studies from Japan blame a western diet to the rise in baldness rates since WW2.

      https://www.hairlosscure2020.com/are-men-and-women-losing-their-hair-earlier-than-in-past-generations/

      Diet and consumption of processed foods (e.g., hormone injected cows) can probably change male hormones significantly. And prolonged lack of Vitamin D/Sunlight exposure due to the modern lifestyles could causes premature hair loss in some.

      1. I’m talking Orwell’s white english men, not asians. Your previous post said as much: “Caucasians have had much higher rates of male pattern hair loss in comparison to other races.” [and of those rates] “it has not even been proven that hair loss rates are definitely higher in the current generation than in past generations.”

        According to Orwell’s account, most men were bald in 1930. To be fair, the past generations could just as well be deprived of vitamin D and adequate nourishment—and certainly chain smoking cigarettes as a child and then going off to war wouldn’t have helped stress levels.

        —But I’ve yet to see anyone reverse a high Norwood from lifestyle changes alone. Any credible evidence?

        1. Which previous article? The Tissuse one?

          I was not talking about inadequate nourishment at all. More about modern “over nourishing” food. e.g., cows who are force fed beef in place of their natural grass diet and who are injected hormones to make them produce more milk even when not pregnant. And animals forced to grow faster and larger via various injections. Then we indirectly eat all these added growth hormones and chemicals. Really no good way of comparing today’s diet to past diets as we are the first or second generation to go through this transformation.

          Also see:

          http://www.bodyfatguide.com/Baldness.htm#:~:text=It%20was%20Japanese%20researcher%20Masumi,WWII%20(Inaba%2C%201986).

          https://www.lifespan.io/news/hair-loss-related-to-western-diet-reversed-in-mice/

          FYI — East Indians, Persians, Armenians etc… are classified as Caucasians too as far as I know. And many articles suggest hair loss rates have increased significantly in India (population 1.3 billion).

          1. Which previous article? The article you linked for me to read in your first reply post. It was about Asian rates of hairloss. Now you’re posting about Indians. I’m talking about White Englishmen. That’s literally the post. The white, working-poor english men in Wigan Pier in the 1930s were ‘almost always’ bald. That’s Orwell’s observation. *It’s noteworthy because you never hear about baldness rates from a hundred years ago and it clearly contradicts the belief that most people had hair until our generation, our lifestyle.

            I wrote ‘nourishment’ not nutritiousness. The word nourishment means food. Inadequate nourishment means insufficient food—for whatever reason, not necessarily overnutrition. And Growth hormones have been prohibited for decades in my country and the UK so fortunately I’ve never been affected by your cows. : P

            People want to believe the cause stems from a combination of lifestyle factors because it gives a feeling of controllability that is not on offer if the problem is hereditary and inevitable. If it was as easy as eating a clean diet, reducing stress, and getting more sunlight none of us would be here. You know that perfectly well.

            That fitness trainer you linked that promotes a raw diet to cure alopecia is himself prematurely balding: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/WT6JMKJHiblROUPsyZLTsxBktwYGTohz1XRFkqkdDHL1csH8mwMWZZFaEfF-uji4qkAXPtJrx-1-P3QnL-uLc6TM2Q8

            Not a good look Admin.

            1. My bad! Since you said “previous post” before I thought you meant my previous blog post from a week ago.

              No arguments that genetics is by far and away the largest reason for AGA. Nothing else comes close.

              Perhaps your are right and in England balding rates have not gone up this century. I have never tried to research hair loss rates in England.

              However, in Asia, there is more than enough evidence (from both studies and many newspaper articles from different countries) to conclude that hair loss rates have increased in recent decades.

              Regarding Vitamin D deficiency, there are many studies linking it to higher rates of hair loss. e.g.,

              https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ijd.14982

              https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27151518/

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659730/

              https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10000872396390443921504577643442954317340

              I do not think that anyone is saying that modern diets and Vitamin D cause hair loss in more people in comparison to genetics. Just significantly increased rates of hair loss in comparison to 100 years ago. Perhaps Asians are far more affected than others so most articles are from that part of the world.

              My elaboration about “caucasians” was a general note, because in a quote in your comment the word “caucasians” made an appearance.

              I did not read up on that fitness trainer. Google just gave me his site link first when I searched for the Japanese western diet and hair loss studies. If that trainer is saying that a better diet will regrow hair on bald scalps, I do not buy it of course. If he is saying that modern western diets can increase balding rates, I would definitely consider it as a serious possibility, just like Dr. Inaba found.

            2. Tocata, your Orwell English example is useless. It says “The white man almost always goes bald”.

              But all men almost always go bald if they live past 80! Maybe only not Native Americans.

        2. Zero chance less vitamin D thsn in the past. We live indoors and in screens now Sometimes for days straight. My neighbor does not even go grocery shopping..just Amazon delivery and Ubereats haha who knows long term dangers of no sunlight and D vitamin in kids and it is scary.

      2. As someone who has taken Vitamin D daily for years and has an excellent diet, I remain skeptical. The overwhelming effect is, of course, via the genes. There may be a minority of people who would benefit from certain vitamins (hairwise), but it won’t stop or slow down the genetic destiny. As for Asia, I very much doubt that proper scientific sampling has been done for a long enough period to be sure that baldness is more prevalent now than in the past. When you consider the many tragedies that have afflicted that Continent in the past 100 years (e.g. 35 million Chinese starving to death due to Mao’s criminal negligence in the late 1950s) I suppose baldness was not high on their concerns list.

        1. I have many Chinese friends who say that hair loss in young Chinese is off the charts nowadays. Including in women. They are one polluted country though and eating much more meat and fat and junk food than ever before. Lot more diabetes too.

  4. From one of the news articles on Hair Transplants in Asia:

    “The amount on average people are willing to pay for this treatment is 5,000 yuan (US$745), while some are prepared to pay 30,000 to 50,000 yuan (US$7,585). ”

    Asians are willing to pay US$745 on average and yet people have argued it’s reasonable for Tsuji to charge US$300,000 ($31,333,500 Japanese yen and $1,977,570 Chinese yuan). Yikes!

  5. Man I really wanted to see like Oral jak inhibitor results on this guy. To be honest it just looks like he combed his hair.

  6. If I think of all the wasted potentials of bald people … and you know that it is so …
    A cure for baldness isn’t just a world with more hair … it’s also a better world.

  7. Very interesting post.
    I’m from Israel and although the hyperbaric chamber finding is indeed exciting it seems that the media took it way out of proportions. See this article to get perspective:
    https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2020/11/overhyping-the-effects-of-hyperbaric-oxygen-treatment-on-aging/

    Also of interest is the fact the the benefits if exist seem to stem not from the high oxygen level but rather from the return to baseline oxygen level following the previous high oxygen level within the hyperbaric chamber – which the body interprets as low oxygen level (relative to the previous highs) thusly activating repair mechanisms by means of hormesis.

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