Is male hair loss a risk factor for having a severe infection with COVID-19? An international group of researchers (in a joint letter in Dermatologic Therapy) hypothesize that the reason some people have severe infections of COVID-19 and others only mild symptoms, may be related to the male hormones (androgens) linked to hair loss.
"Male pattern baldness" is considered androgen-dependent hair loss and is known as androgenetic alopecia. Androgens increase in boys at puberty.
As support for their hypothesis of androgen involvement, the researchers point out that a greater proportion of men get severe COVID-19 and also die from it. They propose this possibility as an additional risk factor to consider besides the known ones of older age (over 60) and underlying conditions.
And of course they say that research is now needed to look into this possibility. In a nutshell, their hypothesis is "...the scientific evidence gives us reason to believe that beardy, bald men may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 than other individuals." At this point, who knows?
From Futurity: Hypothesis: Is COVID-19 Severity Tied to Hair Loss?
Researchers hypothesize that the same male hormones that cause hair loss may be linked to the vulnerability of patients to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. ...continue reading "Is There A Link Between Severe COVID-19 and Male Hair Loss?"
Finding endocrine disrupting chemicals in 2 out of 10 baby teethers, which are supposedly safe products for babies, is disturbing. Unfortunately the study did not give the manufacturers names. There was even an 11th teether made of natural rubber that was found to leach compounds that were "cytotoxic"(toxic to living cells), but the manufacturer recalled the product before the study results were published. One of the teethers leaching parabens was made of EVA plastic filled with a cooling gel, and the researchers thought the parabens came from the gel used. Note that this study occurred in Europe where the regulations regarding endocrine disrupting chemicals are stricter than in the USA. The researchers themselves suggest that manufacturers should use "green chemistry" when manufacturing products - that is, design products without using problem ingredients right from the start. Problem solved. From Science Daily:
Endocrine disrupting chemicals in baby teethers
In laboratory tests, two out of ten teethers, plastic toys used to sooth babies' teething ache, release endocrine disrupting chemicals. One product contains parabens, which are normally used as preservatives in cosmetics, while the second contains six so-far unidentified endocrine disruptors.
"The good news is that most of the teethers we analyzed did not contain any endocrine disrupting chemicals. However, the presence of parabens in one of the products is striking because these additives are normally not used in plastic toys," says Dr. Martin Wagner, of the Department Aquatic Ecotoxicology at the Goethe University. The substances detected -- methyl, ethyl and propyl parabens -- can act like natural oestrogen in the body and, in addition, inhibit the effects of androgens such as testosterone. The EU Commission recently banned two parabens in certain baby cosmetics, because of concerns over their health effects.
"Our study shows that plastic toys are a source of undesirable chemicals. Manufacturers, regulatory agencies and scientists should investigate the chemical exposure from plastic toys more thoroughly," Wagner concludes from the study. The additives have only limited benefits for the quality of the product, but can represent a potential health issue. This is especially true for babies and infants, whose development is orchestrated by a delicately balanced hormonal control and who are more susceptible to chemicals exposures than adults.