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The Surprising Reason Why You Should WANT Gray Hair

Posted Jul 01 2009 5:47pm

Mid Brain muses: A1012X300

First we told you about a better way to get your gray hair dyed. Then we explained how stress causes gray hair. And most recently we we told you how to to get rid of gray hair forever.  Now  we’re blogging about why you should be HAPPY that you have gray hair. (Why all the posts about gray hair? Trust me, if you had to look at the Left Brain’s roots everyday you wouldn’t have to ask that question!) Anyway, the latest news is that gray hair may actually protect you from cancer!

Gray hair is good

Hair color is produced by cells called melanocytes which are in part controlled by stem cells. When the number of stem cells in hair follicles goes down, hair turns gray. Now researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Japan have discovered that radiation and chemicals that damage DNA can cause stem cells to permanently transform into melanocytes. Without the stem cells to produce more melanocytes, hair turns grey (Cell, vol 137, p 1088). Another researcher, David Fisher at Harvard Medical School, suggests this processes may help protect us from cancer, by preventing damaged stem cells from passing on mutated DNA.  “One likely beneficial effect is the removal of potentially dangerous cells that may contain pre-cancerous capabilities,” he says. So there you have it gals, it’s Gray Pride Day!

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