DAINIK NATION BUREAU
Who doesn’t like a pumpkin pudding? But, the humble fruit, which is generally considered healthy, might be the reason for your hair fall.
It is actually scarier than it sounds. A woman had clumps of hair falling out of her head, armpits and pubic region after consuming a food made with pumpkin. Another woman experienced “substantial hair loss,” according to an observation, published in JAMA Dermatology.
These two women, scientists believe, are the world’s first two patients who suffered from alopecia, triggered by a toxic chemical present in pumpkins and squash. Alopecia can be defined as sudden loss of hair from the head and different parts of the body.
Scientists studied the cases and concluded that these fruits contain a chemical known as cucurbitacin, that triggered cucurbit poisoning in these two women, Newsweek reported.
Cucurbitacin is responsible for giving the fruits a bitter flavor and are generally bred out to make them tastier. However, sometimes accidental cross-pollination can spike the levels of cucurbitacin in them.
“It seems important and useful to be aware of this toxic association of alopecia with a common plant,” the authors said.
One of the women, who suffered cucurbit poisoning, consumed a meal containing a bitter-tasting squash. After three weeks, she experienced alarming hair loss from different parts of her body.
The other woman and her family had consumed bitter-tasting pumpkin soup and started vomiting and suffering from diarrhea for days. After a week, she, who reportedly had more of the soup than her family, started having hair fall.
However, hair started growing back in both the patients after several months, according to the research team at the Centre Sabouraud, Saint Louis Hospital, in Paris.