Oracle of Delphi

Going gray? Scientists uncover the root cause

21 posts in this topic

Attention parents: It's not your kids that are making you go gray. Your hair is simply building up too much hydrogen peroxide.

Bottle-blondes may be a fan, but hydrogen peroxide, which is produced naturally in the human body, interferes with melanin, the pigment that colors our hair and skin.

The body also produces the enzyme catalase, which breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. Or at least it does for a while. As we age, catalase production tails off, leaving nothing to transform the hydrogen peroxide into chemicals the body can release.

So, as hydrogen peroxide builds up, we go gray, concluded researchers at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom, who last week published the results of a study in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology's online journal.

Reversing the process

"This new insight could open new strategies for intervention and reversal of the hair graying process," wrote the study's lead author John Wood, who died last month.

The studies were based on analysis of cell cultures of human hair follicles.

In addition to lacking catalase, the follicles of gray-haired people also had far fewer hair-repair enzymes, which in turn drove down production of melanin, the scientists found.

Genetics play a role as well, causing some people, such as Caucasians, to gray earlier than others, like Asians.

Scientists suspect the same mechanism also may be responsible for a condition known as vitiligo, where white spots appear in the skin.

"It gives you insight into how we age in general," Gerald Weissmann, professor of medicine at New York University, told Discovery News. "They got the molecular basis of aging down pat."

Skin cells produce small amounts of hydrogen peroxide as part of the body's oxygen cycle. The chemical serves to kill bacteria.

Scientists are hopeful there may be a way to remix the chemical soup to keep color in our hair, which no doubt is of interest to a hair-care industry that will be worth about $42.5 billion worldwide by 2010, according to a market report published last year by Global Industry Analysts.

Weissmann predicts it won't be long before products to remove hydrogen peroxide from the hair — and the body in general — are created.

"The rule goes when basic science is discovered it is quickly followed by a product," he said.

Link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29468796/

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Gee thanks, John Borger Mellancamp IV. :confused0071:
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Gee thanks, John Borger Mellancamp IV. :confused0071:

I have a few gray hairs of my own in my goatee and in my unibrow, very few though ... :P

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I predict massive investment from Jon Bon Jovi. Oh wait, he's going bald, nevermind.

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Jon Bon Jovi suffered a fatal gunshot wound this week after a concert in Trenton, New Jersey. Police say the murder was committed by, Marie Reynolds, a rabid fan of the band. "Security at the concert was tight, but it looks like she go past the security guards by hiding the gun in her big hair," said Chief Bernie Collins. "A murder like this really gives people who love the band a bad name." Witnesses say that Bon Jovi collapsed after they heard a gunshot. "He pointed at [Marie] and said, 'And she's to blame!'" said one witness. "I did think it was funny at the time, but looking back, it's the most tragic pun I've ever heard."

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Jon Bon Jovi suffered a fatal gunshot wound this week after a concert in Trenton, New Jersey. Police say the murder was committed by, Marie Reynolds, a rabid fan of the band. "Security at the concert was tight, but it looks like she go past the security guards by hiding the gun in her big hair," said Chief Bernie Collins. "A murder like this really gives people who love the band a bad name." Witnesses say that Bon Jovi collapsed after they heard a gunshot. "He pointed at [Marie] and said, 'And she's to blame!'" said one witness. "I did think it was funny at the time, but looking back, it's the most tragic pun I've ever heard."

Was he really?

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Weird. My mother is 66 and still has no gray hair.

I'm 32 and I'm starting to get a few gray chest hairs.

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Jon Bon Jovi suffered a fatal gunshot wound this week after a concert in Trenton, New Jersey. Police say the murder was committed by, Marie Reynolds, a rabid fan of the band. "Security at the concert was tight, but it looks like she go past the security guards by hiding the gun in her big hair," said Chief Bernie Collins. "A murder like this really gives people who love the band a bad name." Witnesses say that Bon Jovi collapsed after they heard a gunshot. "He pointed at [Marie] and said, 'And she's to blame!'" said one witness. "I did think it was funny at the time, but looking back, it's the most tragic pun I've ever heard."

Shot down in a blaze of glory?

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I had classmates who were going gray... in 10th grade.

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Jon Bon Jovi suffered a fatal gunshot wound this week after a concert in Trenton, New Jersey. Police say the murder was committed by, Marie Reynolds, a rabid fan of the band. "Security at the concert was tight, but it looks like she go past the security guards by hiding the gun in her big hair," said Chief Bernie Collins. "A murder like this really gives people who love the band a bad name." Witnesses say that Bon Jovi collapsed after they heard a gunshot. "He pointed at [Marie] and said, 'And she's to blame!'" said one witness. "I did think it was funny at the time, but looking back, it's the most tragic pun I've ever heard."

:mind-blowing::yikes::bs::lol:

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I want to be one of those guys who has silver hair in their 40s and then stays looking exactly the same until i die, kinda like ole Leslie Nielsen

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It started at age 18 for me. I'm just thankful I have hair. Why have we never seen a pic of PCS from the back? Is there something hiding on the back side of that hedge? A BALD SPOT, perhaps?:scratchchin:
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It started at age 18 for me. I'm just thankful I have hair. Why have we never seen a pic of PCS from the back? Is there something hiding on the back side of that hedge? A BALD SPOT, perhaps?:scratchchin:

Don't worry OCN - I've heard from the gay community around here that those may-december relationships are getting more popular. Going gray early just means you can pick out your twink earlier!

:AH-HA_wink: :smilewide:

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Ohhhhh, the pain... a yellow dart to the heart!
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It started at age 18 for me. I'm just thankful I have hair. Why have we never seen a pic of PCS from the back? Is there something hiding on the back side of that hedge? A BALD SPOT, perhaps?:scratchchin:

I learned through the years, to keep my back to the wall when you're near ... :P

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You should be more scurred of Bobbi, I understand he's got keys.
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Jon Bon Jovi suffered a fatal gunshot wound this week after a concert in Trenton, New Jersey. Police say the murder was committed by, Marie Reynolds, a rabid fan of the band. "Security at the concert was tight, but it looks like she go past the security guards by hiding the gun in her big hair," said Chief Bernie Collins. "A murder like this really gives people who love the band a bad name." Witnesses say that Bon Jovi collapsed after they heard a gunshot. "He pointed at [Marie] and said, 'And she's to blame!'" said one witness. "I did think it was funny at the time, but looking back, it's the most tragic pun I've ever heard."

Shot to the heart?

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"Keys to what?"

Duh, the gate.

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