Do genetics, diet and stress effect greying hair, and is it possible to prevent grey hair? Research shows that a primary cause of grey hair is the excess accumulation of hydrogen peroxide that literally bleaches the hair from the inside out.
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Low antioxidant status and enzymatic activity through the catalase and glutathione peroxidase enzymes have also been measured and shown to be low people with grey hair.
While there is nothing wrong with grey hair, many people would choose to prevent going grey early if given the opportunity.
Can stress cause grey hair?
Stress is a primary cause of grey hair! Yes, I know stress is always the culprit for many health problems but hear this out.
When you are stressed your body produces stress neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and norepinephrine which needs to be broken down by the body so that you no longer feel stressed.
The MAO (monoamine oxidase) enzyme breaks down the stress neurotransmitters and as a by-product hydrogen peroxide is produced.
High levels of hydrogen peroxide have been shown to cause grey hair as the build-up of hydrogen peroxide bleaches the hair from the inside out and damages the melanocyte melanin-producing cells responsible for maintaining pigment in the hair.
Chronic stress produces excess hydrogen peroxide overwhelming the body's internal antioxidant enzymes responsible for further breaking down hydrogen peroxide into water.
How to prevent grey hair
Hydrogen peroxide is further broken down into water by an enzyme called catalase or via glutathione which is the body's most potent antioxidant.
When antioxidant levels of glutathione and catalase are high grey hair can be prevented.
Unfortunately, antioxidant status generally declines with age making it increasingly important to eat an antioxidant-rich diet high in fruits and vegetables to help neutralize and combat excess hydrogen peroxide.
Supplementing with glutathione and catalase can also be beneficial for preventing grey hair and maintaining optimal antioxidant status.
Reducing stress levels by meditating, laughing, gardening, and doing activities that you love is key to preventing the excess accumulation of hydrogen peroxide which contributes to early greying of the hair.
What is the most effective method that you practice to relieve stress?
I love baths, going for walks, and calling or hanging with my best friends and family.
Genetics can also play a role in early greying of the hair as SNPs in various genes including the catalase and glutathione peroxidase enzymes can result in a decreased ability to break down hydrogen peroxide.
Glutathione Plus by seeking health contains glutathione in a liposomal form to provide optimal delivery with vitamin B2 and selenium.
Selenium and B2 are key nutrients that act as co-factors for enzymes that support the recycling of oxidized glutathione back into reduced glutathione so that glutathione can continue to break down hydrogen peroxide.
Vitamin B2 is also a cofactor for the MAO gene which is responsible for breaking down stress neurotransmitters. The MAO gene produces hydrogen peroxide as a by-product which requires glutathione to further break down the hydrogen peroxide into water.
Glutathione Plus which contains vitamin B2 is one of the best supplements to prevent grey hair by providing the nutrients required to help break down the stress neurotransmitters and hydrogen peroxide that causes grey hair.
Foods to prevent grey hair
The best foods to prevent grey hair are high in antioxidants and catalase found in fruits and vegetables.
Foods high in catalase include:
Beef liver, avocado, leeks, onion, radishes, kale, carrots, spinach, cucumbers, parsnips, celery, red cabbage, pineapple, cherries, apricots, bananas, watermelon, kiwi, peaches, and newly sprouted plants such as wheat sprouts and Brussel sprouts.
Foods that are high in B2 such as yeast extract, liver, eggs, cheese, shitake mushrooms, peppers, dried seaweed and spirulina help to support the recycling of glutathione and the breakdown of stress neurotransmitters to prevent grey hair.
Glutathione is comprised of the 3 amino acids cysteine, glutamine, and glycine.
Some foods that support the body's production of glutathione include garlic and onion for cysteine.
Whey protein powder has also been shown to increase glutathione levels in the body.
To prevent grey hair it is always best to take a multi-prong approach by eating an antioxidant-rich diet high in catalase, foods required for glutathione production and recycling, practice stress-reducing techniques, and supplement with glutathione and catalase to maintain optimal antioxidants status to breakdown hydrogen peroxide which causes grey hair.