Mineral, Protein and Vitamin Deficiency in Causing Hair Loss

There is a wide range of possible causes for hair loss, and one of them is specific nutrient deficiencies such as vitamins, minerals, and protein. If your dermatologist says that your thinning hair is caused by poor diet, your chance to improve your hair growth is much better than if the cause is inherited genes or certain medical conditions. Because a nutrient deficiency risk factor is usually controllable, once you addressed it – you hair should regrow back normally.

The role of vitamin deficiency in hair loss!

Both minerals and vitamins are medically grouped into a term called ‘micronutrients’. As the name implies ( micronutrients ), the body needs them in smaller quantities if compared with carbohydrates and protein.

Though the body needs micronutrients in small amounts, they are very essential and vital for the body to keep functioning as well.

The role of vitamin D for your hair health

It’s clear that vitamin D is essential to keep your bone strong and healthy since it helps the absorption of calcium. But it’s not clear yet whether vitamin D has a significant contribution to maintain the hair health.

However, some studies suggest that it may play a role for certain functions in stimulating hair growth.

A study in 2012, published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, showed that vitamin D may help stimulate new hair follicles, little pores that allow new hair growth. Also, it may work together with other chemicals to help stimulate a ‘wake-up’ follicle that has turned into dormant [1].

Still, there is no conclusive evidence that the vitamin can bring hair back, especially if you only rely on it. But it’s also important to get enough vitamin D since it is also potential (with other nutrients) to help promote hair growth.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a quite powerful anti-aging agent. Yap, it ‘s important for your skin health. In fact it is commonly found in many skin-care products.

Moreover, did you know that it is also important for your cardiovascular system? It is required in the formation of red blood cells, to help widen your blood vessels, and reduce the risk of blood clotting [2]. All these things are necessary to make sure your hair follicles get enough nutrients and oxygen from the circulation.

A healthy scalp is a must for healthy hairs. A potent antioxidant found in vitamin E, tocotrienols, may help promote a healthier scalp. One clinical study showed that this antioxidant might help improve the hair health and reduce hair loss in people with alopecia [3]

It seems vitamin E plays a role to stimulate healthy hair growth. So getting enough this vitamin is a must!

Vitamin C

Another essential vitamin for the construction of hair follicles is vitamin C. It is important for the construction of the collagen.

According to the Oregon State University, in extreme case of vitamin C deficiency, a medical problem called scurvy (a rare health condition) may occur. Hair loss is not a specific symptom of scurvy, but it’s possible to have hair loss with the condition,

Vitamin B and hair loss

Lack of B vitamins (such as B1 and B2) can lead to undernourishment of cells of hair follicles. As a result, the hair follicles don’t get what they need and tend to fall out easily.

Vitamin B-12 is also crucial. Chronic deficiency of this kind of vitamin B may factor into premature gray hair (gray hair that comes before the age of 40s).

Another important vitamin B for hair health is vitamin B7, also called biotin. Biotin plays a key role in the metabolism of amino acids. This is vital since you get your keratin from this metabolism. The good news, biotin deficiency is rare.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A, if compared with other vitamins mentioned earlier, is less likely associated with your hair health. It’s commonly associated with our vision health.

However, it’s also thought that vitamin A has several functions to support your hair growth. It’s required to maintain healthy sebum on the scalp and may help reduce hair breakage.

Also, hair damage could be a consequence of environmental factors, air pollution for example. Vitamin A may help protect your hair in such case.

However, it’s also important to take vitamin A in moderation. If you have too much vitamin A, this could be counterproductive, provoking hair loss! So before considering vitamin A supplement, ask your doctor first!

Mineral deficiency and hair loss?

As mentioned before, minerals with vitamins are required for numerous body functions, including hair growth! Having adequate vitamins and minerals would reduce your risk of hair loss.

Here are some important minerals for your healthy hair.

Iron

Iron deficiency has been thought to have a role in hair loss, though this is not fully understood yet. The results of studies on this are mixed.

Regardless the different results of the studies, most experts agree that getting enough iron is a must for everyone. In fact, your hair shaft is made from cells that grow rapidly. This mechanism may go awry if these cells don’t get adequate nutrients that they need (including iron).

Calcium

Calcium is commonly associated with the health and strength of your bones. In general, it’s less likely associated with hair loss problem. But this doesn’t mean you can ignore it!

Biotin and some hormones are required to stimulate hair growth. And this doesn’t work properly if you don’t have enough calcium in the body. Also, calcium is required to help stimulate cell mediators that apply on cell-membrane phospholipids in cells of your hair follicles.

Calcium deficiency may also impair the mechanism of the body in keeping hair in proper state [4].

Zinc

Zinc deficiency in people with hair loss is quite common. It’s involved in several functional activities to support your hair growth. It’s an essential co-factor for certain active enzymes in hair follicles. Also, your body needs it for tissue growth and repair.

One study in 2013 suggests that zinc disturbance might have an effect on hair loss [5]. In case of zinc deficiency is to blame, zinc supplement may help. But since too much zinc could be counterproductive, it’d be better to increase the level through diet. Pumpkin seeds, spinach, and wheat germ are some good sources for zinc.

Magnesium and iodine

You need magnesium to help support your body’s protein synthesis. Without magnesium, protein supply for your hair growth is likely affected. Protein synthesis is also responsible to help create melanin, a pigment that gives your hair color.

Then for iodine, lack of this mineral may increase your risk of having malfunction of thyroid gland. And as well we know, thyroid is important to regulate hormones of the body. If it doesn’t work as well as it should, your hair health is also likely affected.

Selenium

We usually need this mineral in a very small amount. But it is also important to support your hair health.

Selenium deficiency in long term may also increase the risk of some thyroid problems. Because it can help assist the metabolism of iodine in the body!

Protein and hair loss

It’s undeniable that there are a lot of functions of protein for our body. In fact it is part of every cell in your body. Therefore, the amounts of protein your body needs are much higher than vitamins and minerals.

Protein functions! There are many critical compounds (such as hormones, enzymes, etc) that are made with protein. It is a crucial substance for many body functions.

Your body needs adequate building blocks (medically called amino acids) to help make new cells & tissues. Amino acids are also needed to help the body to repair itself.

Protein deficiency and hair loss! Protein is also the most essential basic nutrient for your hair growth.

With protein deficiency and if you experience it frequently, your body is more likely to use protein efficiently and even save more protein by altering the anagen (growth) hair into the phase of resting (telogen). As a result, you tend to lose more hair.

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