No, A Dietary Supplement Probably Doesn’t Prevent Gray Hair

One of the fun things about working in the media is definitely reading the odd press releases and story pitches that cross my inbox every day. Our colleagues over at Consumer Reports received a pitch in their mailbox about a dietary supplement that’s supposed to “prevent and reverse” gray hair. Wait, that’s a thing? Not only is it a thing, but someone was pushing it as a great Mother’s Day gift.

Nothing shows your unconditional love for the person who raised you and/or gave you life like telling her that she looks super old.

The supplement is based on a simple principle that’s not necessarily true. A substance called catalase breaks down hydrogen peroxide, and hydrogen peroxide is the substance that lightens dark hair and makes us contemplate our own mortality. As we age, our bodies produce less catalase. Depending on your particular genetic makeup and body chemistry, this could result in more or less gray hair. Or it might not. The amount of catalase circulating in the body may not have anything to do with the color of your hair at all.

Since dietary supplements can claim to “encourage” the body to do pretty much whatever without needing FDA evaluation, this product continues to exist. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look at it, and other supplements, skeptically.

Gray hair cure? Go Away Gray is no fountain of youth [Consumer Reports]