Every day, millimeter by millimeter, hair collects information about the food that a person eats. Curls literally treacherously convey data about the burgers and bacon that are eaten. And the thing is that hair strands are made up of amino acids, which are enriched by the food supplied to the body, keeping traces of protein from food. The condition of hair and how it communicates data about diet is being studied by the experts at the University of Utah.
In the study, they were able to analyze various factors, ranging from social status and actual financial income of people, to genetic characteristics and properties of the concentration of protein formations.
In general, the results of the study indicate that diet affects the hair and thereby signals whether that food is suitable for a particular person and how it affects health. Professor Jim Ehleringer of the University's School of Biological Sciences noted that the information obtained can be used to quantify trends in diet. The conclusions can be the beginning of a new direction in medicine that can determine the state of health by the appearance of the hair.
It can be based on the isotope cues. The scientists started to study the ways of reflecting the diet with mammals and their fur. Different food sources have different stable isotope ratios. They are represented by atoms of the same element but with different weights. All isotopes are distributed throughout the body and hair is not an exception.
Back to 2008, the scientists conducted a research and the result of it showed how the isotopic composition can track the movement of a person due to the water used. Today, that technique has received a new direction, taking into account the extraction of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in human hair.
For example, poultry is often fed with corn, and its meat contains special amino acids that, when eaten regularly, will be reflected as certain isotopic compounds in the hair. If food protein comes from a plant-based diet, then the isotope pattern will be appropriate.
Given these circumstances, the scientists predict ways to get rid of people from hair loss and baldness. It is enough to know what amino acids are deficient in the body and make up for the loss through a certain diet.