January 16, 2017
Alternative Medicine

Can Supplements Banish Gray Hair?

by Berkeley Wellness  |  

The marketplace is filled with supplements promising to banish gray hair. Do they work? Don't count on it.

Some anti-gray supplements contain the enzyme catalase, often along with an array of herbs, minerals, and vitamins. But there’s no evidence that taking the enzyme orally can affect catalase levels in the hair follicle (assuming the enzyme even survives the stomach’s acidic environment and is then absorbed). Earlier this year, in a settlement with the FTC, the manufacturers of Get Away Grey and Go Away Grey, both of which contain catalase, agreed to stop making false or unsubstantiated claims about their products. A third catalase supplement, Grey Defense, faces legal action from the agency.

Melancor-NH, which has been around for some time, claims to boost melanin with its blend of bromelain, collagen, biotin, inositol, and other ingredients. The supplement’s website says it is “clinically proven” but cites no evidence except testimonials. And expected soon is a fruit extract pill from L’Oreal that supposedly mimics another enzyme important for melanin production; the company says the product will protect melanocytes and prevent you from going gray in the first place—but we could find no published research backing its effectiveness (or safety).

Bottom line: No nutritional supplement is known to prevent or reverse age-related graying. The same goes for human growth hormone, yoga, removing mercury fillings, drinking carrot juice, and other touted remedies.