ALOPECIA AND BLACK CURRENT

ALOPECIA AND BLACK CURRENT

The purpose of this paper is to investigate a Black Currant product as remedy for alopecia (hair loss/baldness) in males over 55 years of age. The product is Viviscal and one of its primary active ingredients for arresting alopecia is said to be Black Currant which is a berry producing shrub that grows in Europe and has traditionally been used in brandy and other spirits (Grieve, 2003). In this paper, the product is described in detail along with its promises regarding alopecia. The description is followed by an examination of the scientific research on Black Currant in general and the Viviscal product in particular. Based on this research, conclusions are then formulated regarding the efficacy of the product and Black Currant in relation alopecia. The final section of the paper discusses consumer protection issues.

The specific product that is examined here is Viviscal which is billed as a safe, natural way to combat hair loss in both men and women from youth until well into their middle years (which would include people over 55 years of age). Viviscal is said to be a food supplement whose main ingredients are derived from fish; however, its key active ingredient is said to be the black currant extract used in the product. This claim is made based on early research said to show that when Viviscal is compared to the same fish derivatives without the Black Currant, the results are not as positive (see: Lassus, A. & Eskelinen, 1992).

Viviscal is manufactured by a European company. It’s authorized distributor is The Aurora Group. According to the Aurora Group (2003), the recommended dosage varies somewhat; however, it is suggested that 2 tablets be taken each day, one in the morning and one in the evening. If a person is above average weight, three tablets are recommended, one in the morning, one in the evening and one at lunch. The product is available in packs of 60 tablets for $89.95 which the manufacturer builds as “about the…

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