Carnitine & Caffeine Topical Hair Growth Stimulant - 4 oz (120 mL)

Our new combination product, Carnitine & Caffeine Topical Hair Growth Stimulant, blends two powerful ingredients into one topical solution. Review the data below for both Carnitine and Caffeine, and you will understand why the two ingredients work synergistically to stimulate and nourish hair follicles when used as directed.

Contains:

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine 5%
  • Caffeine 1%
  • Inactive Ingredients: Purified water, propylene glycol

Carnitine

In a well known German controlled study, L-carnitine extended the growth phase in hair follicles, stimulated the development of cells and inhibited the dying off of cells. According to the study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science, L-carnitine also works in real live humans. The researchers performed their experiment on 51 subjects, aged between 21 and 60, all of whom had mild to severe hair loss.

The researchers got half of their subjects to apply a solution that consisted of 2 percent L-carnitine-L-tartrate to the skin on their head twice a day. The other half used a placebo.

After six months the researchers noticed that, in the experimental group, the number of hairs per square centimetre of skin on the head had increased by 15 percent. There was no increase in the number of hairs in the placebo group.

Hair is produced in the hair follicles, in a process that involves a number of phases. The growth phase is referred to as the anagen phase, and the phase in which hair no longer grows is called the telogen phase. The researchers discovered that applying the fluid that contained L-carnitine L-tartrate caused a shift from the telogen to the anagen phase in the hair follicles.

The trimethylated amino acid l-carnitine plays a key role in the intramitochondrial transport of fatty acids for beta-oxidation and thus serves important functions in energy metabolism. Here, we have tested the hypothesis that l-carnitine, a frequently employed dietary supplement, may also stimulate hair growth by increasing energy supply to the massively proliferating and energy-consuming anagen hair matrix. 

Hair follicles (HFs) in the anagen VI stage of the hair cycle were cultured in the presence of 0.5-50 microm of l-carnitine-l-tartrate (CT) for 9 days. At day 9, HFs treated with 5 microm or 0.5 microm of CT showed a moderate, but significant stimulation of hair shaft elongation compared with vehicle-treated controls (P < 0.05). Also, CT prolonged the duration of anagen VI, down regulated apoptosis (as measured by TUNEL assay) and up regulated proliferation (as measured by Ki67 immunohistology) of hair matrix keratinocytes (P < 0.5). 

By immunohistology, intrafollicular immunoreactivity for TGFbeta2, a key catagen-promoting growth factor, in the dermal papilla and TGF-beta II receptor protein in the outer root sheath and dermal papilla was down regulated. As shown by caspase activity assay, caspase 3 and 7, which are known to initiate apoptosis, are down regulated at day 2 and day 4 after treatment of HFs with CT compared with vehicle-treated control indicating that CT has an immediate protective effect on HFs to undergo programmed cell death. 

Our findings suggest that l-carnitine stimulates human scalp hair growth by up regulation of proliferation and down regulation of apoptosis in follicular keratinocytes in vitro. They further encourage one to explore topical and nutraceutical administration of l-carnitine as a well-tolerated, relatively safe adjuvant treatment in the management of androgenetic alopecia and other forms of hair loss.

Given the superior delivery and bioavailability of the acetylated form of l-carnitine, acetyl-l-carnitine is likely to result in enhanced effects.

Directions For Use

Apply liberally to a dry scalp using the accompanying applicator. Massage into scalp and allow to remain for several hours or overnight. Discontinue if irritation occurs.

Reference

Caffeine

Recently, certain newer advances have shown caffeine to have beneficial effects in patients suffering from AGA. The proposed mechanism which would counteract DHT-induced miniaturization of the hair follicle include inhibition of phosphodiesterase by caffeine, which increases cAMP levels in cells and therefore promotes proliferation by stimulating cell metabolism.[5

A study conducted by Fischer et al. used hair organ culture model to investigate the effects of testosterone and caffeine on hair follicle growth stimulation. This in vitro study used scalp biopsy samples from male AGA patients which were cultivated using different concentrations of testosterone and/or caffeine for a period of 120-192 hours. Addition of caffeine in concentrations of 0.001% and 0.005% were found to counteract the suppressive effects of testosterone on hair growth, with a higher hair shaft elongation seen at 120 h after caffeine administration, compared to control group. This in vitro study thus clearly demonstrates that caffeine is a stimulator of human hair growth which may have importance in the treatment of AGA.[5

A recent study which assessed the follicular penetration of topical caffeine in hair follicles proved hair follicles to be faster route of drug delivery for topically applied drugs.[7] An important requirement for the treatment of AGA is follicular drug delivery. 

A recent study assessed the follicular penetration of caffeine on topical application in a shampoo formulation for 2 min and showed that penetration via hair follicles was faster and higher compared with the interfollicular route and that hair follicles were the only pathway for faster caffeine absorption during the first 20 min after application.[8]

The beneficial effects of topical application of caffeine in AGA can thus be attributed to inhibition of phosphodiesterase, improvement in barrier function, follicular penetration, stimulation and promotion of hair growth. Thus it appears to be a useful adjuvant in the management of AGA. 

References

1. Ellis JA, Sinclair R, Harrap SB. Androgenetic alopecia: pathogenesis and potential for therapy. Expert Rev Mol Med. 2002;2:1–11.  [PubMed]

2. Trüeb RM. Molecular mechanisms of androgenetic alopecia. Exp Gerontol. 2002;37:981–90.  [PubMed]

3. Kaufman KD, Olsen EA, Whiting D, Savin R, DeVillez R, Bergfeld W, et al. Finasteride in the treatment of men with androgenetic alopecia. Finasteride male pattern hair loss Study Group. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998;39(4 Pt 1):578–89.  [PubMed]

4. Price VH. Treatment of hair loss. N Engl J Med. 1999;341:964–73.  [PubMed]

5. Fischer TW, Hipler UC, Elsner P. Effect of caffeine and testosterone on the proliferation of human hair follicles in vitro. Int J Dermatol. 2007;46:27–35.  [PubMed]

6. Brandner JM, Behne MJ, Huesing B, Moll I. Caffeine improves barrier function in male skin. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2006;28:343–7.  [PubMed]

7. Otberg N, Patzelt A, Rasulev U, Hagemeister T, Linscheid M, Sinkgraven R, et al. The role of hair follicles in the percutaneous absorption of caffeine. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2007;65:488–92.[PMC free article]  [PubMed]

8. Otberg N, Teichmann A, Rasuljev U, Sinkgraven R, Sterry W, Lademann J. Follicular penetration of topically applied caffeine via a shampoo formulation. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2007;20:195–8.  [PubMed]

Brandner et al. proved by their double-blind placebo-controlled trial that caffeine application causes a substantial reduction in the transepidermal water loss in men compared to women, thus improving barrier function in men.[6] Regarding the route of delivery of caffeine, hair follicles are considered an important route for drug delivery. 

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