Alopecia – hair loss; autoimmune & other reasons

Male pattern baldness, thinning at the forehead scalp line, can have genetic reasons and can be more likely when autoimmunity is a factor. The hair follicles become dysfunctional due to autoimmune changes. Malnutrition of adequate protein, trace minerals, and B vitamins, methylated forms, may also be involved, and also essential fatty acids and phospholipids play a role.

Nutrients that play a role in hair growth or other growth and energy pathways:

  • Methyl folate, methyl B12, choline, other B vitamins,
  • Magnesium, especially Epsom salt soaks, which provides sulfate also,
  • Trace minerals including boron, silicon, manganese, molybdenum, copper, and especially zinc, and inadequate Iodine in ratio to excess halides (bromide, fluoride, chloride), is likely involved,
  • Nrf2 promoting foods (page G10)/herbals, especially sulfur containing foods like onions and cruciferous vegetables. Herbs and Spices adds more of the Nrf2 promoting phytonutrients in addition to trace minerals and other vitamins. See page G10. Nrf2 Promoting Foods, on the site:
  • p53 promoting foods is a similar list with some more specific herbals.
  • Fennel seeds or fennel oil, seem to particularly help hair growth, and other
  • Phospholipid rich foods also can help build strong flexible membranes which are needed for strong hair or healthy cells: seeds, nuts, whole grains, cumin, coriander, cardamom,
  • Protein adequacy – hair is made of protein,
  • Omega 3, EPA/DHA, is also involved in having strong flexible membranes,
  • Moderate carb, higher fat from coconut & olive oil & pumpkin seeds/blanched almonds, can help reduce inflammation.

Low stomach acid may be factor in low B vitamin level. 2 spoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice with a meal can help low stomach acidity & increase B vitamin intake. It is similar type of acidity.

Fennel seeds or Fennel oil (how to make it yourself link)

Fennel seeds – eat them and are used in a scalp and hair oil by making your own or buying some Make your own, link: How to make Saunf – Fennel Oil and use for Hair Growth Benefits; Prevents Hair Loss Cleanses Scalp. (

Fennel Seed Oil product page, *unaffiliated: Fennel Seed Oil Benefits.

  • Free radicals are detrimental to the hair. Without enough antioxidants in the body, free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which impedes hair growth and causes thinning. Fennel seeds are packed with antioxidants, as well as nutrients like pantothenic acid, iron, molybdenum, copper, folate, iron, and niacin that stimulate hair growth.” (

Magnesium, protein & phospholipids are needed for reducing oxidative stress whether it is from fear, worry, physical work or exercise, or from an infection or chronic illness. Volatile chemicals from new vinyl furnishings or smoke or smog may also increase inflammation. Poor sleep quality, bright lights in the evening, or EMF exposure anytime, may be increasing low level chronic inflammation.…

This site has my main magnesium blogs: To have optimal magnesium needs protein and phospholipids too (Food sources and supplement types of magnesium and food sources of phospholipids and the basic protein minimal requirements for a healthy diet. We can not have electrically active ions of magnesium present in excess, or other ions.

Protein transport proteins carry magnesium and other trace minerals and may be shared. So too much of one type can cause a deficiency of another type of trace mineral – as seen with the interaction between high intakes of zinc leading to low copper, or high intakes of copper leading to low zinc. (to-have-optimal-magnesium-needs-protein-and-phospholipids-too/)

A personal success story – low oxolates, gluten free, moderate carb Paleo approach:

Carla Coulson shares about her own strategies that helped with her autoimmune and alopecia hair loss symptoms – she uses a Paleo approach which may be a higher protein balance than I tend to recommend (Moderate carb calorie diet: 30% carb/45-50% fat/20-25% protein). Lower carbohydrate intake and adequate protein is likely helpful for reducing inflammation and improving mitochondrial health and cytokine balance.

Cutting out gluten and going on a low oxalate diet were also important steps she says in the article: Cutting out gluten and going on a low oxalate diet were also important steps she says in the article: Auto-immune – going, going, almost gone!

Immune Cell – cytokines and myokines

Cytokines or myokines (like cytokines but formed by muscle cells during activity) are inflammatory signals made in response to physical or emotional stress and they cause junior immune cells to differentiate into more specialized types. The types vary to respond to different types of pathogens, or other needs.

Excessive numbers of active immune cells may be created during an infection or stressful time of life from the increased amounts of inflammatory cytokines, or for people with very strenuous physical work or exercise as more myokines form with increased muscle activity. Having an excess of myokines from muscle overwork, or excess cytokines from EMF exposure, infection, or a really stressful day, can lead to more junior immune cells converting into whatever active form the specific type of cytokine or myokine causes.

This increase in immune cells may lead to more risk of antibodies forming against food proteins that also resemble one of our own proteins. These antibodies then attach to our tissue and our own immune cells then attack one of our own cells. This leads to autoimmune damage to cells and tissues that have a lot of that type of protein. The gluten protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains is similar thyroid tissue and can be a factor in autoimmune thyroid disease. Molecular mimicry – dietary molecules mimicking a body protein can cause the immune antibodies to be formed against the body protein.

In the case of spike lodged in a receptor, the numerous immune cells may make autoimmune antibodies against that type of receptors. Video—Dr.-Sherri-Tenpenny:d

The risk of antibodies forming against food proteins is also more likely if leaky bowel membranes are a problem – leaky in the sense that larger size proteins can slip through gaps between cells (called tight junctions). The mucus or jelly like glycocalyx layer that coats our mucus membranes and intestinal lining, helps close that gap between cells. Eating more foods like okra, or slippery elm powder in tea, can help add to the fibrous structure of the glycocalyx.

As a bonus for eating more fiber rich foods, including the gooey ones (mucilaginous starches – can attract and hold water kind of like a sponge), the hair follicle is also supported. The glycocalyx, extracellular matrix (semi-solid fluid environment surrounding our cells), and the hair follicle which grows and supports our individual hairs, are all made in part with proteoglycans. (4)

  • The proteoglycans are part of membrane cell,
  • they are part of the glycocalyx and the extracellular matrix,
  • they are compound by carbohydrates and sulfated amino acids
  • that confers negative charges able to attract water and form gels that resist mechanical forces in the connective tissue,
  • as well as function as a semipermeable and selective membrane to various cationic molecules [positive charged ions or other larger molecules with a positive charge],
  • its direct and indirect interaction with membrane receptors and growth factors regulates several transcription ways involved in the development of multiple pro-oncogenic processes.” (4)

Sulfur containing produce can help promote Nrf2 and provide bioavailable sulfur compounds for our proteoglycan needs. Baths, foot or hand-soaks with Epsom salt, magnesium sulfate, would also help.

Nrf2 is the short name for a gene and the protein it encodes. It helps promote the activation of genes that make antioxidants and promote growth and repair. Sulfarophane is another sulfur containing phytonutrient found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. It is also an Nrf2 promoter. Any of the Nrf2 promoting molecules also tend to be inhibitors of inflammatory pathways as there are circadian cycle proteins that are shared. Simplified example: An assembly line might make one product on the night shift and another on the day shift using the same machine – so the two products can not be made at exactly same time – because the machine is busy.

The membrane control of the positively charged cationic molecules is an important function of proteoglycans and their presence in hair follicles might help explain why radiation poisoning causes hair to fall out. Proteoglycan replacement therapy was found helpful for reducing hair loss in male or female pattern balding. (5)

Research shows that bioactive proteoglycans, e.g., versican and decorin, can actively trigger follicular phase shift by their anagen-inducing, anagen-maintaining, and immunoregulatory properties. This emerging insight has led to the recognition of “dysregulated proteoglycan metabolism” as a plausible causal or mediating pathology in hair growth disorders in both men and women. In support of this, declined expression of proteoglycans has been reported in cases of anagen shortening and follicular miniaturisation.

To facilitate scientific communication, we propose designating this pathology “follicular hypoglycania (FHG),” which results from an impaired ability of follicular cells to replenish and maintain a minimum relative concentration of key proteoglycans during anagen. Lasting FHG may advance to structural decay, called proteoglycan follicular atrophy (PFA). This process is suggested to be an integral pathogenetic factor in pattern hair loss (PHL) and telogen effluvium (TE).” (5)

Low carb diets or moderate low (30% calories from carbohydrates) can help fight inflammation.

Higher carbohydrate diets, such as the standard American diet, cause the body to use B vitamins and magnesium in greater amounts which can lead to deficiency, and store excess carbohydrates as fats throughout the body or excess fructose is converted into fats stored in the liver. When the body is busy making and storing fats in adipose/fat cells, then it can’t be doing other things like growing hair.

Our body needs us to be efficiency experts for it and our microbiome and part of that efficiency is detox and moisture. The glycocalyx or extracellular matrix or our hair follicles can not work well if to dry. We are about 60-70% water and it helps move nutrients to cells and take away toxins. Thick congestion that makes it hard to breathe is glycocalyx that is too dry while a drippy nose with allergy season thin watery mucus is too wet. Health generally is a balance. Drinking plenty of water and moving regularly can use our motion to help the blood vessels circulate nutrients to all of our cells and our lymphatic system to remove toxins.

Disclaimer: This information is being provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of Fair Use and is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please seek a functional health practitioner for individual health guidance.

Reference List

  1. Haslam IS, Jadkauskaite L, Szabó IL, Staege S, Hesebeck-Brinckmann J, Jenkins G, Bhogal RK, Lim FL, Farjo N, Farjo B, Bíró T, Schäfer M, Paus R. Oxidative Damage Control in a Human (Mini-) Organ: Nrf2 Activation Protects against Oxidative Stress-Induced Hair Growth Inhibition. J Invest Dermatol. 2017 Feb;137(2):295-304. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2016.08.035. Epub 2016 Oct 1. PMID: 27702566.
  2. Pham CT, Romero K, Almohanna HM, Griggs J, Ahmed A, Tosti A. The Role of Diet as an Adjuvant Treatment in Scarring and Nonscarring Alopecia. Skin Appendage Disord. 2020;6(2):88-96. doi:10.1159/000504786
  3. European Medicines Agency. 2008. Assessment Report on Foeniculum Vulgare Miller. Available:
  4. Sánchez-álvarez, I. & Ponce-Olivera, R.M.. (2017). Role of proteoglycans in the hair follicle. Dermatologia Revista Mexicana. 61. 474-486.
  5. Wadstein, Jan & Thom, Erling & Gadzhigoroeva, Aida. (2020). Integral Roles of Specific Proteoglycans in Hair Growth and Hair Loss: Mechanisms behind the Bioactivity of Proteoglycan Replacement Therapy with Nourkrin® with Marilex® in Pattern Hair Loss and Telogen Effluvium. Dermatology Research and Practice. 2020. 1-17. 10.1155/2020/8125081.

Quantum biology, microtubules – antennae for energy?

Theoretically our bodies have quantum energy fields that permit rapid movement of subatomic particles and possibly other very small atoms or molecules – at a lower total energy cost, so to speak. Fewer calories of glucose or other biological energy sources would be needed than might be expected for transport within or between cells. Study of this intersecting area of physics and microbiology is still in early stages.

One theory about quantum energy fields within biological systems involves cellular structures such as microtubules and nerve axons. They are straight cylinders formed of protein or a combination of proteins and fats which add stability to cell structure and provide tunnel like access from one area of a cell to another. Axons are the branching parts of brain and nerve cells that form connections between pairs or groups of cells. These straight cylinder like structures may also be acting somewhat like antennae (think cellphone towers receiving and transmitting energy in the form of Radiofrequency waves), to orient or stabilize quantum energy fields within the cells or in clusters of cells. Quantum energy fields are described in fairly simple terms by a NOVA story on pbs_org: The Good Vibrations of Quantum Field Theories, (

The quantum physics of the microtubule theory is complicated, see:

  • Quantum Antenna Hypothesis, by M. Pitkanen, April 26, 2018 (
  • Quantum mechanical aspects of cell microtubules: science fiction or realistic possibility? by Nick E Mavromatos, CERN – Theory Division, Journal of Physics: Conference Series 306, 2011, (
  • Or for an overview description of the discovery of electrical vibrations in microtubules see this article about a research paper: Discovery of quantum vibrations in ‘microtubules’ inside brain neurons supports controversial theory of consciousness, 2014, (ScienceDaily).
  • Or a video lecture on the topic is available: Quantum Consciousness _ And its Nature In Microtubules. Dr. Stuart Hameroff, (youtube). *microtubules and Tau protein seem to be involved in Alzheimer’s disease – more on this planned for another post. See~8-9 minutes into the video, but more recent research has reached different conclusions. Initial info for those who like the links:
    1) Tau does not stabilize microtubules, challenges approach to treating Alzheimer’s /it stabilizes the dynamic/growing area of the microtubules, MAP6 stabilizes the microtubule more after Tau is lost & -> neurofibrillary tangles. 2) The dynamic region of the microtubule is important for plasticity of nerve cell – ability for form new or dissolve unneeded connections between brain cells – so learning ability is affected by loss of Tau.- Microtubules in neurons as information carriers .
  • 3) Glycine is an amino acid that helps stabilize amyloid protein ( 4) Glyphosate may be substituting in place of glycine, forming a misfolded protein that doesn’t stabilize the amyloid protein in the same way. (

A simpler article discusses the possibility of quantum physics playing a role within the brain describing research that does not include the microtubule theory. See: A New Spin on the Quantum Brain, by Jennifer Ouellette, 2016, (

Video of microtubules within the body:

Some types of straight cylinder proteins can be seen in a live action video, Strolling through the skin, which shows living tissue in normal motion. The fibrous collagen network that supports our skin and other ligaments, blood vessels and organs can be seen, (youtube). Microtubules within axons or in more close up views showing kinesin protein movement along the outside of a microtubule can be seen in a few videos within this group of links: (Kinesin protein). A variety of other links about quantum effects in biology are available in this group of links: (quantum tunneling).

Use of ionic plasma energy fields for wound healing:

The electrical/energy nature of our bodies has been found to be involved in wound healing. Ionic plasma fields (electrical fields, not blood plasma) are being experimentally tested to help wound healing in diabetics. Activation of Nrf2 pathways and rebalancing levels of oxidative stress chemicals seems to be involved in the mechanism of the electrically active ionic plasma treatment. The treatment also helps stabilize the cellular matrix of the healing wound. The cellular matrix is the intracellular fluid and includes the glycocalyx layer that coats the inner and outer membranes of cells and organs. It is made up of a gelatinous mixture of fluid and fibrous protein cylinders, some of which could be seen in the Strolling through the skin video, (youtube).

  • For more about ionic plasma in wound healing see: Redox for Repair: Cold Physical Plasmas and Nrf2 Signaling Promoting Wound Healing, (

Brain waves, sleep and relaxation:

Better understanding of the energy patterns in our bodies may also help us improve our health in a more general way – with mood and sleep. Sleep and more relaxed states of wakefulness have slower, cooler energy wave patterns while more active thinking has faster hotter energy waves. (See: On the Temperature and Energy of the Brain Waves Is there Any Connection with Early Universe?, byMiroslaw Kozlowski and Janina Marciak-Kozlowska, NeuroQuantology 2012; 3: 443-452 (pdf) ) Learning and regularly practicing some sort of meditative activity can help train the brain patterns towards slower wave energy, even if the meditative activity is simply zoning out while washing dishes or going for a walk instead of doing dishes with a grumpy resentful attitude or listening to a stimulating podcast on the walk. (See: Brain Waves and Meditation, (ScienceDaily)) Physically cooling the forehead/top of the head has been found to help people with insomnia fall asleep more easily. Insomnia is associated with the brain remaining more stimulated into of drifting into the cooler more relaxed lower activity brain waves. (See a previous post: Sleep and Health/reference, Sleep, Neurobiology, Medicine and

Life in the oceans and our cells have many similarities:

This area of study, quantum energy fields in living organisms, is important within all types of biology. Basic cellular processes have many similarities from microbes to plants and animals and humans. Marine algae were the life form used to study quantum fields in the second link mentioned earlier: Quantum mechanical aspects of cell microtubules: science fiction or realistic possibility? by Nick E Mavromatos, CERN – Theory Division, Journal of Physics: Conference Series 306, 2011, (

From a health perspective it is also important to increase our understanding of how non natural electrical fields or nanoparticles in air or water pollution might be negatively effecting health of living species. (Nanoparticles were discussed in two previous posts, Air or Water Filters for Nanoparticles, and in the second part of Inventions Occur in Stages.)

What makes marine algae healthy or less healthy may help us understand our own health better or help us to better protect the health of the ocean and other forms of life on Earth.

Macro-tubules – logs.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. It is not intended to provide individual health care guidance. Please see a health care professional for individualized health care needs.

Glycocalyx – What’s Mucous All About?

*This post was written in 2010 as the second chapter of a book that I had started writing about nutrition and my own struggles with health. I’ve shared other sections from the book but I had never shared the following chapter because of the taboo nature of nasal mucous — common sense suggested that it is just too controversial a topic to write about nasal congestion — but snot’s all right, we need it to help stabilize the thin layers of membranous cell walls that surround all of our cells and organs.

A more recent article from All About That Mucus: How it keeps us healthy.

Good behavior is attained at a young age.”                            – Burkino Faso proverb

[1, African wisdom desk calendars, Annetta Miller]

To sniff or blow? When is nasal discharge too much of a good thing? When allergies cause thin watery discharge that continually drips or causes congestion and difficulty breathing. Nasal discharge does typically drain to the back of the throat where it may be swallowed naturally. Childhood is too often filled with shaming about runny noises and dirty faces or sleeves or fingers. Is picking it and eating it a disgusting and filthy habit or an oral vaccination boost to the immune system? Traditional Eskimo cultures conserved fluid and heat by picking and eating it. [3] My mother tried to teach me good manners, as mothers do in Africa and all around the world, but I had allergies and wasn’t good at always having a fresh tissue with me.

Just what is snot, or more politely – mucus/mucous? It may be described as a freeform gelatinous matrix of glycolipids and glycoproteins that covers our internal surfaces and is known as the glycocalyx.

Good snot, bad snot, it’s not all the same. Healthy mucous layers are two millimeters thick — about the same width as a piece of thread or single strand of hair. Obviously we can produce a lot more than that in response to sickness or allergies. Over the course of my life I have had a lot of experience with nasal mucous and congestion. Most of my childhood was spent breathing through my mouth because I was so congested, so often. On a good day I would be able to breath through one or the other nostril but usually both were congested – and messy. Eventually I learned how to tell whether I needed antibiotics or more antihistamine based on the color, texture, and smell of my nasal mucous.

Gross yellowish-green mucous that had a rotten smell and a stringy, sticky texture meant go to the doctor and get antibiotics because the congestion has become a lung infection.

Thin, watery, clear or whitish mucous is produced in large amounts during allergy attacks. Mucous produced due to allergies didn’t have smell associated with it in my experience. The thin fluid mucous produced in such large amounts during allergies may be helping the body carry the allergen debris up and out of the lungs. Constantly suppressing this response with medications may produce short term symptom relief, however in the long run using medications that dry up mucous may be allowing the allergens full access to deeper lung tissue made accessible through the artificially opened airways. The mucous is part of our body’s defense system.

Coughing and sneezing and moving the mucous out may be better for your health than regularly using an over the counter medication. Cleaning up the environment and removing dust and allergens would also probably be better for your health, when possible, ie: you can stop smoking but you have little control over smog alert days beyond wearing a face mask and voting for environmental protection; or you can vacuum and wash your bedding weekly but you may not be able to give away the family pet as easily.

I tried a nasal steroid spray for the first time recently and discovered myself producing a brand new type of mucous. My airways felt more open than usual but I also developed a new cough that felt like I had something stuck in my throat that I was choking on, like a cat with a hairball. When I successfully cleared the mucous, it appeared a typical whitish color but the texture was much stickier and slimier — more like my childhood toy can of Slime. I stopped using the steroid nasal spray fairly quickly; free flowing snot’s all right — sticky, slimy snot is not — it isn’t able to be expelled as easily. Free flowing mucous allows the body to carry allergens and pathogens up and out of the lungs when the mucous is thin enough to allow productive coughing.

Occasionally I would blow my nose and find little round globule of clear semi-solid mucous — fascinating for an easily amused and not easily disgusted child — they looked just like a gelatin dessert without the bright food coloring. The chemical structure of mucous is similar to a gelatin dessert or fruit jams and jelly. Fruit jams and jelly thickens when the pectin fiber is cooked. Heating the pectin fibers cause them to change shape and form the semi-solid structure of the jam or jelly. Gelatinous mixtures are all fairly chemically unstable and minor changes in acidity or hydration may cause changes in the structure or cause the gelatinous mixture to dissolve back into a fluid.

Chemical mixtures are made when we cook food. Tiny chemical changes can produce big changes in a “free-form gelatinous matrix.” You could experiment by adding a little lemon juice or carbonated beverage to a bowl of a gelatinous dessert or scoop of jam. The acidity should cause the gelatinous structure to break apart and get watery looking again.

The glycocalyx may act a little like glue between cells or like a sealant coating pipes in a plumbing repair. The jelly-like glycocalyx helps protect our inner surfaces around cells and in the lining of blood vessels and throughout the intestinal tract. A healthy glycocalyx layer may help prevent allergens from leaking through the intestinal lining into the bloodstream. Pectin is important for making jam or jelly and eating fiber rich foods everyday is probably just as important for maintaining a healthy glycocalyx. Good sources of fiber include any whole plant foods such as: vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices. There is also a healthy type of fiber in edible insects called chitin.

Happy dining!

— on fiber rich foods of course.     ;-)

Read more about which types of fiber are beneficial within the GI tract and which types of foods and fiber might help with nasal congestion:  Nasal congestion and fiber; a glycocalyx clarification

A gelatin dessert.

*Having enough water every day is also important for healthy mucous. And the electrically active minerals sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium are also important in fluid balance and healthy mucous .

Read more: Electrolytes are essential, magnesium helps protect brain cells 

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Bioslime is another word that is used specifically to describe the gelatinous glycocalyx layer produced by pathogens on the surfaces of transplant devices and tubing used in patient’s wounds for drainage or tube feedings.

Fringe Report: The glycocalyx, fiber rich produce, and intestinal health

The term glycocalyx may be used to refer to the surface area of membranes that surround a single human or bacterial cell, or to the surface area of the membranes that form the interior or exterior of an organ, blood vessel, or the gastrointestinal tract. The fiber found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, mushrooms and a few other foods helps us form the glycocalyx. Pectin in fruit is a type of fiber that thickens into gelatin when the fruit is cooked. The fiber works together in our intestines to form a jelly like layer that lines and helps stabilize the intestinal walls. White blood cells can move around in the jelly layer patrolling for allergens or infectious agents.

Some of the fibers that are found in the glycocalyx layer are electrically active. The electric charge coating the interior of vessels and the intestine help to keep the area open because it acts like two magnets that are held together so the repel each other instead of joining – the electrically  active chemicals lining the intestine push each other away rather than attracting each other and it helps keep the interior of the vessel wide open and flowing freely. Adequate fiber and water helps prevent constipation. See  “Neuraminic acid was known first as sialic acid” (8/21/2013) for more information about electrically active sugars.


[The Glycocalyx, Our Jelly Filling, ]

[Glyco-compounds – essential sugar building blocks, ]

[We are what we eat., ]

[Alp Luachra, an old name for edematous malnutrition, ]

And four posts that lost their paragraph breaks when I copied them onto one page:

Sugars give energy and structure to life (July 16, 2013)

Neuraminic acid was known first as sialic acid (8/21/2013)

To termites, trees are kind of like giant sugar cubes (8/21/2013)

GPI anchors are cell membrane glycoproteins (8/27/13)

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./