American psychiatrists and neurologists have come together to comprehend the truth of folk wisdom: stress leads to aging. Scientists have also found that this process can be reversible.
Researchers at Columbia University have found that reducing stress can prevent gray hair. It is hoped that drugs can be developed that would “treat” gray hair.
During the study, it turned out that the hair over the entire skin of the head can “forget” about the gray hair and return to the original “fresh” color. This is especially true for the beard – men are lucky.
Presumably, gray hair causes changes in the metabolism, during which proteins are formed. The effects of stress hormones have also been observed. So if you work on anxiety and excitement, you can avoid premature gray hair.
To come to this conclusion, the researchers studied the hair of the volunteers, tracing the gray hair progress from base to tip. This method of analysis is similar to the study of tree rings in a tree trunk to determine their age. But if a ring is formed in wood in a year, then a centimeter grows in hair in a month.
“Based on a methodology similar to dendrochronology, where the growth rings show years past, we took the hair length as a reflection of time, and the hair shaft as a physical time scale. The area close to the root is formed from a hair follicle, and this part stores the memory of weeks or months depending on the length of the shaft,” they said at Columbia University.
We evaluated the level of melanin, which gives the hair a color, and protein in various parts of the shaft. Scientists expected to see gray hair at the roots, but almost 400 hair from 14 volunteers convinced them. It turned out that the hair was gray at the ends. That is, the “whiteness” froze and the color returned with growth in an incomprehensible way.
Then psychologists joined in, they compared the gray hair with the period of time in which it appeared, and with the events in the life of the volunteers. So a correlation with the level of stress was found.
For example, one study participant went on vacation, had a good rest, and the spread of gray hair stopped.
It sounds good, but scientists can’t prove the obvious connection, although they consider their conclusions closest to the truth.
“Our evidence supports the notion that aging is non-linear and irreversible. Maybe, at least partially, it can be stopped and even its course completely changed,” the scientists add.