Volume 87 Issue 10 | p. 27 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 9, 2009

Got Gray Hair? Blame Natural Bleaching

Loss of catalase activity leads to hydrogen peroxide build up, which instigates a biochemical cascade that turns hair gray, then white
Department: Science & Technology

It took a high-tech combination of Fourier transform Raman spectroscopy, computer simulations, and enzyme kinetics, but researchers have proven a long-standing presumption about why people's hair turns gray (FASEB J., DOI: 10.1096/fj.08-125435). The root of the problem, according to Karin U. Schallreuter of the University of Bradford, in England, and colleagues, is an excess of endogenous hydrogen peroxide. The researchers detected high levels of H2O2 in gray and white hair but found none . . .

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