Adenosine and Adenovital from Shiseido

I originally wrote this post in 2014, when researching Shiseido and Replicel. At the time, I came across something interesting in their May 2013 partnership announcement document. I learnt about Shiseido’s very popular Adenosine based Adenovital hair growth products. Subsequently, I even added the Adenovital shampoo in my best hair loss shampoos page.

Edit: A new 2020 study found Adenosine to promote human hair growth. See the bottom of this post for more studies.

Update: August 30, 2020

Adenosine in Japan

Adenosine for Hair Growth
Adenosine is highly recommended for hair growth in Japan.

YoungJet just gave us an update on Dr. Takashi Tsuji and his August 25th Zoom conference. Apparently, Dr. T and his team at RIKEN have discovered 3 new hair growth compounds that are more effective than Minoxidil. I was very surprised that instead of giving us more information about his hair multiplication procedure, Dr. T talked about new compounds. YoungJet said this was because the lecture was mainly targeted at cosmetics manufacturers and salons.

The hair multiplication procedure will be extremely expensive, so perhaps cheaper hair growth products will always be popular. In any case, the most interesting thing in this latest video from YoungJet was Dr. T mentioning “Adenosine” as a recommended hair loss product. In the US and Western Europe, Adenosine is never mentioned as a hair growth product.

Shiseido’s Adenovital Hair Loss Shampoo

Getting back to the Shiseido’s document, they state the following:

Shiseido Adenovital Scalp Essence“We released “Medicated Flowline” in 1982 and “Medicated Adenogen” with a biogenic substance “adenosine” in 2005, and “THE HAIR CARE ADENOVITAL SCALP ESSENCE” became a huge hit in the entire Asian region, recording the sales of over 1 million bottles in 1.5 years after the release in February of 2011.”

This was interesting to me because I do not remember ever hearing much about adenosine. Nor this Shiseido Adenovital Vital Scalp Essence product here in the US. For more background information, see the following article on the products’s 2011 release in Asia.

Adenosine versus Minoxidil

Adenosine
Adenosine.

After doing some online research, I came across a few forum threads on adenosine from the mid-2000s. But not much more thereafter. Initially, there were expectations that adenosine based products would be even better than Minoxidil when it came to hair regrowth.

Both products are thought to share some similar characteristics insofar as the mechanism of action goes. We are even today continuing to learn about the various ways in which Minoxidil works to grow hair.

Note that Adenosine is related to Adenine and Adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Some surgeons use liposomal ATP spray after hair transplants in order to aid healing and graft survival.

Studies and References

— A 2001 study from Japan found that the positive effect of Minoxidil on hair is mediated by adenosine.

— For the female readers of this blog, a Japanese study from 2008 found adenosine to improve hair growth and thickness in women.

— A South Korean study from 2011 found that adenosine:

“Promoted the expression of several growth factors that are responsible for hair growth, including fibroblast growth factors (FGF)-7, (FGF)-2, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).”

— A 2013 study from Iran concluded that topical application of a 0.75% adenosine solution had the same effect as Minoxidil 5% in terms of hair growth. According to patient feedback, adenosine was superior to Minoxidil in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (AGA). It prevented further hair loss faster, and stimulated superior hair growth.

— More recently, a 2015 study from Japan concluded that topical adenosine increases the proportion of hair that is thick in Caucasian men with AGA. Another 2015 study from the same country found that topical adenosine increases thick hair ratio in Japanese men with AGA.

I wonder why we did not hear more on a product that sold over 1 million bottles in Asia in one and a half years after being introduced in 2011? My guess is that the results did not prove comparable to the results from Minoxidil. It is nevertheless encouraging to read about Shiseido’s lengthy history in hair loss related research and product development.

57 thoughts on “Adenosine and Adenovital from Shiseido”

  1. From the abstract it appears that satisfaction was greater for Adenosine (isn’t that part of ATP >_>) due to a faster cessation of hairloss, but its long-term usage was not superior to minoxidil. Meaning, same results, but faster. That’s what I got from it anyway.

  2. Believe me, the literature itself is all over the place in regards to precise grammar. However, to summarize the effectiveness of adenosine and minoxidil are quite similar (according to statistical analysis). But in the paper it shows a synergistic formula which was more effective across the board than the two by themselves. I will try to embed the pdf if possible on here shortly.

    1. Don’t see why not as the two products probably have significantly different impacts, and I would be surprised if they cancelled each other out in any way. I would trust Minoxidil more than Adenosine if you end up going with just one.

  3. Just wanted to briefly mention that the article (http://hrcak.srce.hr/file/162031) cited in this blog entry is available online.
    Actually, many articles that are usually restricted to open access can often be found to download on google scholar right next to the title. See example here:
    https://scholar.google.de/scholar?hl=en&q=Comparison+of+the+efficacy+of+topical+minoxidil+5%25+and+adenosine+0.75%25+solutions+on+male+androgenetic+alopecia+and+measuring+patient+satisfaction+rate&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C5&as_sdtp=

  4. That article that Admin reviewed in the Update and Ben hyperlinked was published in a very obscure local journal in Croatia. I can’t even get the full PDF to evaluate study design and conclusion. Suspect it will not add anything reliable to this topic:
    Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2013;21(3):155-9.
    Seems that minoxidil has been suggested to work by inducing adenosine release from dermal papilla cells, which then binds to receptors on the same cells to increase VEGF secretion. If Adenovital is showing lackluster results, maybe it’s no better than minoxidil because it doesn’t matter whether you use minoxidil or adenosine.

  5. Again to my point about minoxidil’s mechanism of action involving release of adenosine, this supports Admin’s suspicion that Adenovital kind of fizzed out because it was no better than minoxidil. Why should it be any better?

  6. Do you know if this product works at all like minox in the sense if you stop using it your hair loss will increase more than before use?

  7. I been using Adenosine mixed into minox for some time now. Over two years. Seems to make the minox work it’s magic better. I add 100mg to every 10ml of solution.

    1. Thanks for a personnal update Addicted. I just received 2 Adenosine bottle. Might restart the use of minox with it. Hope i’ll get the same magic !

  8. Please correct me if I’m wrong but apparently Shiseido have released two successors of adenovital scalp essence product since this article has been posted.

    They are:

    1. Shiseido Adenovital Vital Scalp Essence V 180ml
    2. Shiseido Adenovital Advanced Scalp Essence 180ml

    1. Beagle imo bad news, dr Tsuji is working not only on hair cloning, maybe they are not 100% sure it will be working properly, so they develope others products to make some money

      1. Where did you hear that? Think of everyone 20 years ago saying there will be something out there that cures or greatly improves people who suffer from hair loss and here we are stilling waiting. Pretty sad.

  9. If someone from Follica is on this site and you look at the comments please can you release another before and after picture? Preferably someone with a high Norwood so we can see there results. Thank you

  10. My hair line is so far back now. There’s absolutely no fix for it. Short hair, long hair, doesn’t matter what I do. So depressed , I need a miracle :(

    1. Alexander I know bud same my hairline looks terrible I’m a nw5! It’s very depressing and I don’t want a hair system because it wouldn’t look good so I’m stuck praying that Follica can get me my hair back or something.

        1. Alexander if Follica can can give us 100cm2 like mjones has said then we will be able to get out of this hell right now they are at 30cm2 and apparently they will continue to try and make the wound device better. Also if you get 30cm2 and it takes 85 days then you just repeat until that bald area has 100cm2 and no more bald spot.

            1. Alexander no firm date on release but I asked someone about the release date and they said “maybe Q1 of 2022 if they continue on there pace”

              1. No offense woofy but it feels like you are just mixing your hopes with real facts. Nobody ever talked about 100hair x cm2 regarding follica, thats just false. It’s not like using follica device all day is gonna take all of your hair back. Minoxidil gives what, average 13hair per cm2? Its not like using minoxidil boosts its effrct and gives you the hair you had when you were fifteen years old. Thats just not how it works

  11. Hi Admin / Forum Followers,

    This is a bit unrelated to the current post, but I remember that Dr. Tsuji and Riken were scheduled to give a presentation on August 24th/25th.

    Did anything of note come from that presentation? Possibly more information about human trials?

  12. No offense woofy but it feels like you are just mixing your hopes with real facts. Nobody ever talked about 100hair x cm2 regarding follica, thats just false. It’s not like using follica device all day is gonna take all of your hair back. Minoxidil gives what, average 13hair per cm2? Its not like using minoxidil ten times a dayboosts its effect and gives you the hair you had when you were fifteen years old. Thats just not how it works

  13. Shu no it isn’t false, mjones and I have talking about it… mjones told me that “if Follica can give us 100cm2 that’s basically a cure” and shu no offense lol but you can’t compare minoxidil to follica.

  14. If you add follica’s device and you add a stimulant like minoxidil then you will get 100cm2 if you keep doing it. They are already at 30cm2. Without follica’s device you would have seen the 30cm2 results

  15. And I know follica is using minoxidil I’m just saying you can’t get 30cm2 without the wound device. They can definitely go to 100cm2 shu.

  16. I think we just have opposite ways to see the thing. They are already using minoxidil and they aim to get 30hair per cm2, stating that they can reach 100cm2 is just something you want to believe in, cause it’s more than triple the efficacy it is supposed to have in the best responders, and they have been teesting it for what? 9 years already? 100 hair x cm2 is the hair density you are born with or at least it’s close to it so it would actually be a cure, but it’s just far from reality. Find me a statement from follica that claims they can reach that density and I’ll be the happiest man around, but you have to be careful with all these statements cause you set yourself and other people up for disappointment. Take care everyone and thank you Admin for your work, it’s much appreciated

    1. And shu I don’t mean to bring the user “that guy” into our conversation but admins last post “that guy” stated and I quote “But again, to get up to 100cm2 you can just go until you get it”. I think that makes sense I agree with “that guy” Tell me why it wouldn’t shu? I’m not trying to argue I just want to know why you think that if you keep doing it you will never get to 100cm2

      1. It is stated even on Puretech’s site that follica will be a “series of in-office procedures”.

        All the results they have released from Phase II were after just one passage though. But we know they absolutely intend to do it more than once and it is specifically stated to be intended as a direct competitor to hair transplants.

  17. Hi Shu. Follica stated 30cm2 terminal hairs and 100cm2 neogenic hairs. The big question is what does neogenic mean? Does it mean hairs that will turn terminal with their new compounds down the road? I dont know. The one thing I know is that their photo release several months was definitely not 100cm2 terminal. Normal head of hair is around 200cm2 or so.

  18. I cover Japanese equities…Shiseido is not doing great and there’s zero hype from any analyst on anything regarding hairloss.

  19. What in the world is with all this hype for Follica? It is a wounding device with minoxidil and perhaps some other off-brand hair growth agents. We’ve now had several years of self-experimentation with microneedling and minox with generally sub-optimal results for most users. Follica is not the calvary – it is not going to save us.

  20. ian micro needling does not cause hair follicle neogenesis it does not create new hair it only thickens hair i’m pretty sure. there is a reason why follica is getting into fda phase 3 trials, do you see that with a microneedle device you can buy online currently? no you don’t.

  21. I’m sorry boys I just don’t see a minoxidil + refined microneedle cure baldness. Even if you get multiple procedures it doesn’t mean the result is gonna esponentially improve, it’s not like gettint 50mg of propecia per day or 1 prp session per day is going to cure hair loss. I’d also like to know what’s Admin take on this.
    At the end of the day we are just speculating, all we know is that first pictures looked pretty bad and far from being a cure.
    For me personally the cure will come from the discovery at Pennsylvania university, after understanding how to push the “hair stem cells”, that a bald man still has in the same number of a guy with hair, to produce hair again. For the guy named nasa it would have come from jak inhibitors, for you Follica will deliver it, for some it might be tsuji, let’s just hope one of us is right :)

  22. Follica’s clinical trial called for vertex Norwood 3-5V—they specified the vertex as the treatment site. The exclusion criteria was ANY coinciding hairloss treatments (you weren’t even allowed to use caffeine-infused shampoo).

    So Follica’s data is coming from the vertex treatment site only, on individuals that were not previously being treated for hairloss.

    Things to consider: How much of the gain is a result of being a first-time Minoxidil user? How likely is it to work somewhere other than the vertex? How well can you respond in areas that are hopelessly slick—they specifically stated your vertex must have both normal and miniaturized hair.

    ***This part is hopeful: Follica also has proprietary amplification compounds in development and ongoing discovery efforts to expand its pipeline.***

    They are developing / discovering something beyond the microneedling + minoxidil from the trial. And maybe if you combine it with Fin, Minox, Breezula, Follicum, Samumed, a front hair transplant, and some concealer, you’ll have your cure. haha.

    1. They controlled for these things by also testing with just minoxidil, just microneedling, etc. It was in the big document from this year.

      Microneedling alone with their device produced superior results to compounds + wounding, but without the compounds the results will not be sustained. It is lame they only tested on the vertex, but the vertex is the standard treatment area for all hairloss therapies, so it’s really about consistency.

      Basically, IMO, it is looking that an average of 3 or so sessions of Follica + using Breezula as an anti-androgen is going to be the go-to hairloss treatment of foreseeable future.

  23. I believe the cause of hair loss is not the same for all, nor are the solutions for slowing, preventing or reversing, that said, the Adenosine product has been good for me in slowing hair loss, Minoxidil created many bad side effects for me – swelling, rapid heart rate etc. I’m disappointed that there is not a North American distributor for the more advance professional products that have higher concentration of adenosine.

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