Vitamin D Deficiency and Hair Loss: What’s the Connection?
Hair loss, also known as alopecia, can occur for several reasons, including genetics, hormones, stress, and medication. Hair loss can sometimes signal a vitamin deficiency, including low vitamin D levels. Getting enough nutrition, protein, calories is important for hair health.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a nutrition that metabolized in the skin by keratinocytes. These are skin cells that process keratin, a protein in hair, nails, and skin. When the body doesn’t have enough vitamin D, keratinocytes in hair follicles have trouble regulating hair growth and shedding. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin or brittle. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets, osteomalacia and osteoporosis.
For more information on vitamin D, see https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Hair Loss?
Vitamin D deficiency is most notably connected to mood, bone health, and the immune system as a whole, plays a big role in hair health (loss) for men and women. Research in 2010 shows that a lack of vitamin D may lead to hair loss, as vitamin D play a role in stimulating hair follicles and encouraging hair growth; another study found that some women 18-45 years old who experienced alopecia or other types of hair loss had low levels of vitamin D, and associated with alopecia areata (an autoimmune disorder where hair falls out in clumps); and linked to telogen effluvium (excess hair shedding) according to a 2017 review in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
How to Treat Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D supplements
Vitamin D supplements could help if a vitamin D deficiency is contributing to your hair loss. Vitamin D can come in a pill, or it can be applied to the skin through creams like calcipotriol, a psoriasis drug that has shown promise in treating hair loss, however, excessive Vitamin D can be harmful as well. It’s suggested to ask your doctor or healthcare provider before adding supplement to your routine.
Eat Food with Vitamin D
Some foods are rich in vitamin D, such as fatty fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel), cheese, egg yolks, mushrooms and beef liver, or drink milk and orange juice to receive enough vitamin D in your diet. Vegan and vegetarian diets tend to lack enough vitamin D, so supplements may be needed if you follow that lifestyle.
Getting 10-30 minutes of sun exposure is a way to get vitamin D, but this could raise skin cancer risks. The amount of sun exposure needed to form Vitamin D will vary depending on your skin type, how much skin is exposed, and where you live. Too much sunlight can cause toxicity and other hair loss problems.” Some people require 5,000 IU daily to maintain optimum blood levels and Vitamin D
Hair loss is common, but it’s a problem that you can improve with vitamin and mineral supplementation.Vitamins and minerals are important for cell growth and function and may contribute to hair loss when they are deficient. The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to restore hair growth or prevent further hair loss. Take action and begin your journey to a fuller head of hair.
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