New caffeine-based shampoo includes warning for competitive athletes

New caffeine-based shampoo includes warning for competitive athletes

SINGAPORE - Alpecin, a anti hair-loss shampoo product popular in Europe, is now being sold in Singapore. However, competitive athletes should be warned that the product contains dignificant doses of an active caffeine complex that may show up on performance enhancement or "doping" tests.

Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug, used as a stimulant and energiser. Caffeine also has the ability to inhibit dihydrotestosterone, a form of testosterone that is among the causes of hair loss.

When used as directed, the caffeine in Alpecin shampoo penetrates into hair roots to combat dihydrotestosterone and can be detected in hair follicles for up to 24 hours. The caffeine dose is so high that in order to achieve a similar effect at the hair roots, the average person would have to drink more than 50 cups of coffee at one go, the company behind the product said.

While caffeine has been removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of prohibited substances since 2004, it continues to be monitored to identify trends and ensure that the drug is not misused. As a result, Dr Kurt Wolff GmbH, makers of Alpecin, decided to include a caffeine warning label, despite not being required to.

Mr Eduard Dörrenberg, Managing Director of Dr. Kurt Wolff GmbH, said: "Competitive athletes who are administered regular drug tests should be aware that using Alpecin may cause spikes of caffeine levels in hair follicles, which may unfairly prejudice these tests. Because of this, we felt it was important for us to point out the high caffeine content in Alpecin, to prevent any undue concern about doping."

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