By Paul Taylor
Can Nourkrin cause side effects?
Reviews suggest that the supplement ingredient Marilex might. However, this shark cartilage extract can benefit hair growth. So, no doubt that's a good reason why many men and women take these tablets for their hair loss.
This review examines the effectiveness, safety and possible risks of the ingredients in Nourkrin (on this page) and the very similar* range of products called Viviscal (on the next page).
* Both brands contain marine protein extract to promote hair regrowth.
As with virtually all other manufacturers, there are a several products in the Nourkrin range.
However, the main products are two food
supplements – one for men and one for women. But, if you take a
close look at the ingredients of these two products, you’ll see that
there’s not a great deal of difference between them.
Nourkrin Man has identical ingredients to Nourkrin Woman except that it also contains cod liver oil* and the spice fenugreek.
* The cod liver oil provides vitamins A and D, as well as the essential fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which are known collectively as omega 3.
The product information pages on the official website states that both products contain acerola extract – a fruit which, along with several other nutrients, also provides vitamin A.
So obviously the cod liver oil will provide an extra dose of vitamin A for men in their product.
Although there’s only a few small differences between the ingredients of these two products, you might nevertheless wonder why the product for men has additional ingredients to the product for women?
The answer is most likely because, hair loss is usually much more severe in men than it is in women, and so, can be more difficult to treat.
So that raises another question:
What is it about cod liver oil and fenugreek which gives extra help towards hair regrowth?
Cod Liver Oil – the omega 3 content in cod liver oil acts as a powerful DHT blocker. And since DHT levels are higher in men than in women, it makes sense to try and keep DHT levels down (DHT, of course, being the hormone with a big link to hair loss).
Fenugreek seeds – a phytoestrogen with high antioxidant content and a number of beneficial qualities including blood vessel dilation – something that should improve blood circulation and so encourage healthy hair growth.
It should also be pointed out that there's nothing about these extra nutrients that’s specific to men. In other words, there's no reason why women shouldn't take vitamins A and D, omega 3 and fenugreek too.
In fact, a fenugreek seed study (1) has shown some positive effect on hair growth in both men and women with low to moderate hair loss when taken as a food supplement.
But quite apart from these two ingredients, according to the website,
what makes Nourkrin different from other similar hair regrowth
supplements is another ingredient, Marilex.
This is a special blend of marine proteins extracted from shellfish and fish (shark cartilage) which (it is claimed) can have a beneficial effect on the hair growth cycle.
It should be noted that Marilex is not just collagen (marine-sourced collagen being another protein that’s sometimes found in food supplements).
Hair is made almost entirely from protein, so perhaps you might think that you can help your hair regrow simply by taking extra protein?
No, that’s not true at all. From a nutritional point of view, you should be getting enough protein from the foods you eat, as highlighted by the fact that the hair all over the rest of your body, your face and your scalp (i.e., outside of the affected hair loss region) continues to grow perfectly well.
So, for that reason, I’m not really convinced that marine protein extract can especially help to encourage hair regrowth.
And this belief is perhaps supported by user experience.
Like most other hair loss products, reviews are both positive and negative:
Some people say in online reviews that it helps. And there has also been clinical study of Nourkrin which showed positive results (2):
In one study, 55 people with hair loss took Nourkrin for 6 months. The results showed a "significant positive effect of treatment on hair growth". And also reported that "tolerability was good and no side-effects were reported".
However, what I did find slightly puzzling about this study is that it involved people with hair loss of "different aetiologies". This means they had different types of hair loss. But, later on it states only that Nourkrin may provide an alternative in the "treatment of androgenetic alopecia", i.e., just one type of hair loss (male and female pattern hair loss).
Although online reviews are mixed, many state that Nourkrin didn’t help at all (even after six months or more), that they had side effects including a "nasty effect on my stomach" (this might well be a reaction to the shark or shellfish content), and that they wouldn’t recommend it.
However, I found no evidence that Nourkrin ingredients cause weight gain, as many people seem to question.
Although these tablets do contain totally natural-occurring ingredients and, as such, may sound like they should be healthy* for you, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be worth your while taking it for hair loss.
* Anyone allergic to fish or shellfish should not take Nourkrin tablets. It's best to consult with a health advisor before taking food supplements.
This is especially true of vitamins A and D (both of which are contained in Nourkrin tablets). That’s because, along with vitamin E, these fat soluble vitamins can
slowly accumulate inside your body if you take more than you need (something which will not happen with water soluble vitamins). And,
in excess, side effects and health issues caused by toxicity can then develop.
This is page 1 of 2.
Read final page? Nourkrin vs. Viviscal.
(1) Fenugreek+micronutrients: Efficacy of a food supplement against hair loss. Schulz C, Bielfeldt S, et al. 27(4). January 2006. Source: Researchgate
(2) Nourkrin: objective and subjective effects and tolerability in
persons with hair loss. Thom E. J Int Med Res. 2006 Sep-Oct;34(5):514-9.
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