Many women in various phases of menopause are devastated by hair loss. However, findings from a study presented at a recent annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society suggest that a nutritional supplement formulated with bioactive compounds might help address this problem, reports a press release from the organization, which advocates for awareness and education about menopause and healthy aging.

Bioactive compounds are chemicals, such as curcumin (found in turmeric), tocotrienol/tocopherol complex and capsaicin (found in various hot peppers), found in small amounts in plants and certain foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, and whole grains. These botanicals play an important role in human nutrition and may have protective effects on health.

For the study, 60 adult women with an average age of 55 volunteered to take Nutrafol Women’s Balance or receive a placebo. (The manufacturer of the product funded the trials.)

Scientists administered the supplement to 33 participants and gave 27 others the placebo. During the first six months, the women did not know whether they were receiving the supplement or a placebo. After six months, researchers gave the supplement to women who took the placebo.

After the first six months, results showed statistically significant hair growth among women on the supplement, meaning it could not have occurred by chance. In addition, the women who initially took the placebo and then switched to the supplement also experienced hair growth compared with the period during which they took the placebo.

After 12 months of therapy, scientists noted that women’s total hair counts had increased.

“With the aging of our society and the fact that women now spend approximately one third of their lives in the postmenopausal period, research into interventions for menopause symptoms, including hair thinning, is critical, especially with therapeutic options being so limited,” said Glynis Ablon, MD, a board-certified aesthetic dermatologist of the Ablon Skin Institute and Research Center in California and lead author of the study.

To learn more about hair loss, read “Why Do People Suffer Hair Loss?”