Scientists May Have Discovered Gene That Causes Grey Hair

A gene that is thought to cause the greying of hair may have been discovered by a group of scientists, and if this study is anything to ponder on then the elusive fountain of youth may become reality in the near future, latest report show.

History has it that man has always looked for ways of slowing down aging hoping to live longer and stay youthful throughout life. And to achieve this, many methods and techniques have been invented and they entail working-out, eating healthy nutrition, using herbs and medications and many other options.

grey-hairHowever, the secret to remaining young and maintaining beautiful hair may be found inside a particular gene that is suspected to cause greying and thinning of hair as well as balding. Some genes are also responsible for glossy long hair, bushy beards, or curly hair.

According to Dr. Kaustubh Adhikari, lead author and researcher at the University College London, a gene known as IRF4 plays a big role in the hair turning grey or becoming scarce as someone ages. He further goes on to say that it was already known that genes contributed to greying hair; however, the specific gene had not yet been singled out.

In addition to making the hair turn grey or causing baldness, genes also influence the shape, density, and strength of the hair. This is why some people are naturally hairy while others have thin hair. Other factors such as environment, nutrition, as well as stress also contributed to grey hair.

Dr. Kaustubh together with his team examined 6,630 individuals from Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru. The volunteers were of mixed ancestry consisting of Native Americans, Europeans and also Africans. According to the scientists, working with a large sample of individuals from different ancestries provided more accurate findings.

This is not the first time such an experiment was carried out. An earlier study was conducted on 6,000 individuals of the Latin descent where the participants were put under observation for many years with the aim of ascertaining why some individuals though from the same race aged differently with main focus being greying of the hair.

The main difference between the two studies is that Dr. Kaustubh incorporated people from all ancestries whether pure or mixed. This ensured focus was placed on cosmetic applications as well as potential forensics hence providing more viable results.

At the end of the study which looked at the color, shape, density as well as balding of the hair, it was discovered that the IRF4 gene does influence the greying of hair. This was after examining the whole genomes as well as existing data.