Autophagy Hair Growth
Hair development by way of small molecule autophagy inducers. Source: Cell Reports.

Autophagy has been within the information so much in recent times. The phrase is derived from Greek and means “self-devouring” or “self-eating”. Autophagy is used to explain the human physique’s means of reusing outdated and broken cell components. i.e., it’s your physique’s cellular recycling system.

The major cause for the rising visibility of this phrase is due to the surge in reputation of caloric restriction, intermittent fasting and low carbohydrate diets. All of those can induce autophagy, as can exercise and hypooxia.

Autophagy and Hair Growth

Interestingly, autophagy may have an effect on hair development positively. Perhaps not too shocking contemplating the variety of well being circumstances which are impacted by inflammation and dysregulation of autophagy (and the associated concern of sensescent cells).

  • An attention-grabbing 2019 examine from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) discovered that hair development could be initiated by small molecules that activate autophagy. The scientists discovered that:

“Quiescent (telogen) hair follicles can be stimulated to initiate anagen and hair growth by small molecules that activate autophagy. Including the metabolites α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) and α-ketobutyrate (α-KB), and the prescription drugs rapamycin and metformin.”

  • Another newer examine from 2021 discovered that impairment of autophagy might be a possible mechanism in androgenetic alopecia. Interestingly, RIKEN (Japan) was concerned on this analysis.
  • Yet one other examine from 2018 concluded that autophagy performs an essential role in human hair development. Monasterium Laboratory was concerned on this work.

Metformin, Rapamycin and Autophagy

In the primary of the research I listed on high, it’s talked about that metformin and rapamycin each influence autophagy by way of inhibiting mTOR and AMPK signaling. I’ve lined each these well-known medicine in a few of my previous posts associated to longevity and anti-aging.

While metformin is taken by diabetics, numerous non-diabetics (together with Dr. David Sinclair) who’re attempting to extend their wholesome lifespan additionally take the drug. One main observational examine of 200,000 sufferers from 2014 discovered that diabetics who take metformin really outlived non-diabetics. However, this examine doesn’t suggest causation. Therefore, longevity specialists are eagerly awaiting outcomes of the Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) trials.

Rapamycin is a potent inducer of autophagy. Many individuals take the drug within the perception that it counters growing older in people. Of extra fast curiosity is the main “Dog Aging Project“, often known as The Test of Rapamycin In Aging Dogs (TRIAD). Of particular word, topical rapamycin may reverse hair greying and profit hair development. Perhaps much more so by way of microneedle delivery.


Irrespective of what you consider such esoteric findings associated to mouse hair, caloric restriction (underneath skilled steerage) and train are nearly actually going to enhance your total well being. And caloric restriction even grows hair/fur in mice (after all).

Even in case you see no discount in hair loss, experimenting with such longevity associated methods shouldn’t be a nasty thought. I’m very averse to taking medicine, however there’s a good probability that I’ll get on metformin within the coming years. Not but positive about rapamycin.


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