Hair loss impacts millions of people around the world. It’s a problem that so many men (and women) grapple with. When most men realize their hair is thinning, they begin to wonder whether they’ll lose their hair entirely. That’s a valid concern.
It’s true that the average person loses about 100 hair strands every day. It’s part of the natural process of aging and regenerative growth of hair strands.
However, about 6.8 million Americans suffer from alopecia (hair loss) at some point in their lives. Alopecia is a genetic disorder where the immune system attacks hair follicles, causing hair to fall off in patches or complete hair loss.
There are several medical reasons for hair loss such as genetic makeup, immune disorders, and hormonal imbalances. Medications such as antidepressants and blood thinners can also cause hair loss.
Medical professional and trichologists (hair and scalp specialists) have taken great interest in the relationship between vitamin deficiency and hair loss. They have proven that vitamins A, B3, B6, B12, C, D, and E all have a hand in influencing the health of your scalp and hair.
Here are six ways in which vitamin deficiency and hair loss are interlinked:
1. The Role of Vitamin A in Hair Loss
Vitamin A is essential in the production of sebum (natural oil) that moisturizes your scalp to ensure healthy, flexible and strong hair growth. Vitamin A also contains antioxidants that nourishing the scalp and prevents hair from falling off.
Nevertheless, you should check on the quantities of vitamin A you consume. An excess of vitamin A can cause hair loss by causing hair follicles to go into overdrive. This causes hair to grow fast, reach the end of the growth phase, and fall off.
In case the body is unable to replace the falling of hair, you may suffer thinning hair and even baldness. To treat vitamin A deficiency, you need to boost its levels by taking more spinach, liver, egg yolk, mangoes, milk, dark leafy vegetables, and dried apricots. A good supplement will be a better option.
2. Vitamin D Deficiency can Cause Hair Loss
Vitamin D stimulates the growth of hair follicles. Hair follicles are the pores that form the base for new hair to grow.
Deficiency in this important nutrient is also associated with alopecia areata- an autoimmune hair loss disorder. Research shows that people suffering from alopecia have lower levels of Vitamin D than those with healthy hair.
To treat hair loss caused by vitamin D deficiency, your doctor administers some lab tests done to reveal Vitamin D levels. Adults aged between 19-55 years need to receive 600 IU (International Units) of Vitamin daily.
In case you have deficient levels, you can increase your intake of the following Vitamin D rich foods- eggs, avocado, cheese, fish (sardines, trout, and salmon) and chia seeds. You can also take vitamin D supplements. These need to be taken according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. This can be daily, once a week or even once a month.
When taking supplements and vitamin D rich foods, it is advisable to have your Vit D levels checked regularly. Moreover, you need to walk the journey with a hair specialist. The specialist will establish whether vitamin D deficiency caused your hair loss or some other cause was responsible.
Lastly, the good old sunshine is still one of the best ways to raise vitamin D levels in your body. It is advisable that you expose your body to the sun without sunscreens. Sunscreens can prevent you from absorbing the right amount of vitamin D.
In case you have vitamin D deficiency spend about 15-20 minutes daily in the sun as you continue taking Vit D rich foods.
3. The Role of Vitamins C and E in Hair Health
Vitamins C and E prevent the damage of hair follicles by free radicals. Vitamin C is also instrumental in the absorption of iron into the body.
Iron is a formative mineral for red blood cells that carry oxygen. Iron deficiency causes inefficiency in the transport of oxygen by red blood cells. This means various body parts, including the scalp, receive inadequate oxygen.
The result is slowed hair growth, thinning and even hair loss. Men need to consume about 8 milligrams of iron daily while women need about 18 milligrams. You’ll need about 90 milligrams of Vitamin C and about 15 milligrams of Vitamin E to support proper overall health, including the health of your scalp and hair.
The best sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines), strawberries, broccoli, kiwi, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit and green peppers.
The best sources of Vitamin E are vegetable oils (soybean, wheat germ, corn, and sunflower), nuts (peanuts, almonds, filberts/hazelnuts), green leafy vegetables (spinach and broccoli) and seeds such as sunflower seeds.
4. Vitamin B7- Biotin
There is plenty of research showing that Vitamin B is essential for the proper health of your scalp and hair. The vitamin is important for better production of Keratin (the protein found naturally in hair strands).
Biotin helps in the production of glucose and in breaking down proteins into amino acids- the building blocks of protein that aid in hair growth. An adult ought to take about 30 micrograms of this vitamin daily. The vitamin is however common in a wide range of supplements for hair, skin and nail health.
Biotin is also essential in the conversion of food into energy. Deficiency of the vitamin leads to splitting, thinning and brittle hair and nails. Doctors mainly use symptoms such as brittleness, thinning or splitting hair to diagnose vitamin B7 deficiency.
Consumption of raw egg whites is one cause of biotin deficiency. Since raw egg whites contain something called Avidin, which is a protein that binds with biotin, eating them can inhibit its absorption!
Some of the foods you can eat to boost levels of biotin include egg yolks, fish, bananas, meat, organ meats, spinach, nuts, dairy products, and sweet potatoes. You can also address many hair problems by eating whole grains, yeast, cauliflower, and broccoli.
Your doctor may recommend supplements to boost very low levels of biotin. Intake of proper amounts of biotin can see you achieve thicker, and rapid growth of hair in addition to strengthening the hair.
5. The Role of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) in Hair Loss
Vitamin B3 deficiency is likely to lead to hair loss. This vitamin boosts blood flow and the oxygen-carrying capabilities of blood.
Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid converts carbohydrates into energy to retain proper structure and health of blood cells. Healthy red blood cells carry adequate nutrients and oxygen to various body parts including the scalp.
Nutritional experts recommend that adult men consume 16mg daily of Niacin while women ought to take about 14mg. Some of the most excellent sources of vitamin B3 include avocadoes, turkey, peanuts, chicken breast, tuna, and green peas.
6. The Roles of Vitamins B6 and B12 in Hair Health
Vitamins B6 and B12 are instrumental in cell growth and division. Hair cells are some of the fastest growing cells in the human body. As such, healthy hair growth is supported by vitamins that aid in effective cell growth and division.
Intake of high quantities of vitamin B6 and 12 raises your scalp’s capability to produce hair fast. Moreover, the hair retains strength and grows evenly on the entire scalp.
The two vitamins like many others are also instrumental in aiding the blood cells to carry adequate oxygen and nutrients to the scalp. Some of the foods rich in Vitamins B6 and B12 include pistachios, sunflower seeds, milk, almond, whole grains, and dark leafy vegetables.
Vitamin Deficiency and Hair Loss Among Middle-aged Men
Vitamin deficiencies are a major medical reason for hair loss among men aged between 45 and 65 years. As a man in this age bracket, you need to check on whether vitamin deficiencies are responsible for your premature hair loss.
It is also important to stop smoking, watch your stress levels and retain proper health of your scalp and to have your thyroid checked.
Although 85% of men will start to lose their hair by the time they are aged 50, you can beat baldness by adhering to proper intake of a range of vitamin-rich foods and supplements.
As you raise your vitamin intake, remember to raise your protein intake as well to address hair loss issues comprehensively. Proteins are the building blocks of all body tissues. Vitamins will come in to aid in protein absorption among other functions described above.
There is overwhelming evidence of a link between vitamin deficiency and hair loss. The good thing is that effective treatment is just a click away. Our simple online interface makes it easy to discreetly get a diagnosis and treatment for any form of hair loss.
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