The Relation Between Hair Loss And Vitamin B12
The hair is made up of a protein called keratin. The keratin part of your hair is dead. However, the follicles are alive. The bottom part of the follicle, the bulb, has the fastest-growing cells in your body.
Your hair growth depends on healthy follicles. The blood vessels under your scalp feed the follicles and make the cells grow. In the end, vitamin B12 helps the blood cells and makes this process healthier. Due to B12 deficiency, your body tries to handle too many problems at once. This causes high-stress levels, and yes, stress causes hair loss too.
Whatever the reason is, if you start to notice bald spots on your hair out of nowhere, it is best to consult a doctor right away. After a detailed consultation, your doctor may give you prescription medications or may offer changes in your diet. In case of permanent hair loss, you may consider other solutions such as a hair transplant procedure.
Taking A B12 Supplement For Hair Loss
If youâre experiencing hair loss and suspect a B12 deficiency may be the culprit, talk to your doctor about ruling out any serious underlying health problems. Your doctor can also give you a blood test to check your B12 level and help you decide if a supplement is right for you. There are many different types of hair loss and only a medical professional can determine the exact cause.
Will Vitamin B12 Help With Hair Loss
Hair loss, receding hairlines, and baldness are problems for many people. These are the reasons a lot of people are looking for natural solutions. While this is not a medical emergency, individuals experiencing hair loss may feel socially anxious and even depressed. Before you end up losing your confidence, lets look at how vitamin B12 could help.
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Vitamin B12 And Hair Loss Whats The Connection
Vitamin B12 is absolutely crucial and you cannot live without it. It is part of the B-complex vitamins and plays many important roles in proper cell function and the human body overall. Since Im a vegan, I always make sure that I take a Vitamin B12 supplement.
Here are just a few reasons why Vitamin B12 is important
- It helps create new red blood cells that supply oxygen to every part of your body, including your hair!
- It allows nerves to function correctly and is an important co-factor in myelin formation which protects the nerves.
- It plays a critical role in creating DNA, which is the genetic material that is used to create proteins of which the body is made up of.
- It plays an important role in energy metabolism by allowing the body to produce energy from fats and proteins.
What are the main symptoms of a B12 deficiency?
- Nerve tingling and burning from neuropathy
- Hair loss
There are only just a few of the symptoms which can arise as you become critically low in vitamin B12 stores.
If caught in time, the majority of symptoms are reversible, however, once it starts damaging your nerves, it can be permanent if not reversed in time.
What Are B Vitamins
The vitamin B complex is a group of eight water-soluble vitamins that encourage your cell development and metabolism.
> While your daily allowance can be achieved through a well balanced and healthy diet, we live in a time of fast and convenient meals where those vitamins may be less than what our bodies need.
Through supplementation of B vitamins we assure ourselves that we will receive thiamine , riboflavin , niacin , pantothenic , vitamin B6, biotin , folate, and vitamin B12.
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Does Vitamin B12 Play A Role In Hair Loss
The body uses B12 in combination with folate to synthesize nucleic acid , which is needed for making red blood cells. Thus, vitamin B12 indirectly helps with the production of new blood.
The fresh blood carries oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles to support healthy hair growth. Conversely, the poor blood supply can starve your hair follicles of oxygen and nutrients, resulting in weak hair and stunted hair growth.
How Do You Know If You Have A Biotin Deficiency
Our bodies are beautiful masterpieces that speak to us through the outward appearance and or changes our bodies go through.
> Much like deficiencies in other areas your body can show you signs of biotin deficiency when you experience a change in your hair growth, hair loss, skin rashes, and brittle nails.
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What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Hair Loss
âIron Deficiency in pre-menopausal women is one the main causes ofhair loss and could indicate an underlying medical condition,â Abraham Armani, MD, a hair restoration surgeon and hair loss expert in Dallas, Texas, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
Iron contributes to hemoglobin production, which helps deliver nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles. Without enough iron, the hair wonât grow, causing progressively thinner hair. Women with heavy periods may also develop iron deficiency anemia. Some other potential causes of iron deficiency include:
- Not eating enough iron-rich foods, such as red meat, seafood, and beans
- Blood loss from ulcers
So Why Is A Deficiency In Vitamin B12 Sometimes Associated With Hair Loss
The vitamin B complex contains eight different kinds of water-soluble vitamin substances, all of which aid in cell metabolism. These eight vitamin substances include thiamine , riboflavin , niacin , pantothenic acid , vitamin B6, biotin , folate , and vitamin B12.
Of those eight, only riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss, but there have only been a few studies, and of those, they do not always prove this connection to be true.
For example, one study saw no significant difference in serum folate levels of patients with diffuse hair loss as compared to controls.
Similarly, Vitamin B12, like folate, plays a role in nucleic acid production which may stimulate hair follicle growth. However, in a study evaluating subjects with Vitamin B12 deficiency, it was found that the reduction in vitamin B12 levels had no adverse effects on hair shedding or hair growth.
While no significant link has been found between many of the Vitamin B substances and hair loss/growth, Biotin is a bit different. While biotin deficiency is rare, it may in fact cause alopecia. However, no large-scale clinical trials have proven that taking biotin supplements will help hair grow back.
B12 Deficiency Symptoms And Hair Loss
Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a cofactor involved in essential body processes such as cellular metabolism, DNA replication and red blood cell formation. Inadequate dietary B12, or poor absorption of vitamin B12 can cause a deficiency with a range of signs, symptoms and disorders. While the most notable impact of a deficiency involves the blood, gastrointestinal or nervous system, a shortfall of this vitamin can cause hair changes, including hair loss. Vitamin B12 deficiency is a serious health condition, so consult your doctor if you suspect you have a deficiency.
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Why Is Vitamin B12 Important For Hair
The body needs vitamin B to make red blood cells, DNA, and nerves and to perform other functions. For example, an adult needs 2.4 µg, and if the body cannot get it from food, it must be taken from supplements.
Vitamin B12 is needed to form red blood cells that carry oxygen and other nutrients and distribute them throughout the body. If there is an insufficient number of RBCs, then your hair follicles will suffer from nutrient deprivation.
Vitamin B12 has a big role to play in the production of nucleic acids, which means it also has a role to play in hair follicle health.
A sufficient amount of RBCs is needed to enhance your bodys natural functions, including hair growth. Vitamin B12 helps make your hair follicles healthier and more robust, resulting in better hair growth and stronger strands. Some studies reveal that a vitamin B12 deficiency hampers hair growth.
If you are experiencing hair loss, then try to resolve your vitamin B12 deficiency by taking 3 µg or more of B12 supplement per day to see tangible results in hair growth.
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Intake Of B12 Supplement For Hair Loss
You can find different forms of Vitamin B in the market. Manufacturer, dose and method of administration all differ.
Tablets, capsules and pills are the most frequent ways to get your daily dose of vitamin B12. There is no need for medical supervision or a prescription for these over-the-counter medications administered orally. As a reminder, not all vitamin B12 products absorb immediately into the blood. The supplement loses some of its potency during digestion.
Hair fall treatment may be helped by vitamin B12 administration. There will be no changes to the cycle of hair growth you are used to. Supplementing vitamin B12 will not result in hair growth within a few days or even weeks. Depending on where it is in the hair cycle, it might take up to 4 months for a strand of hair on your head to emerge on the scalp. Vitamin B12 is a long-term approach to hair development. To enhance the proliferation of your cells, you need to take a supplement or get an injection every day.
Vitamin B12 Hair Loss
Although it is not as well documented or supported in research studies, a deficiency in this vitamin has been linked to hair loss. Hair requires a mixture of both vitamins and minerals to grow, and vitamin B12 is one of the essential vitamins. Its vital role in cell division, red blood cell production, and metabolism explains why a B12 deficiency impacts hair quality. The vitamin is required to produce new hair cells and promote hair growth.
During menopause, you may experience hair loss in fact, this affects an estimated 40% of menopausal women. For most women, hair shedding is relatively mild, such as thinning around the temples. Many women have increased menstrual blood flow leading up to and during menopause, due to cycle changes and mid-cycle or heavy bleeding. This can lead to an increased risk of B12 or iron deficiency, both of which are known to contribute to hair loss. Moreover, some menopausal women struggle with weight gain, resulting in making dietary changes that can lead to a B12 deficiency.
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Vitamin B12 Deficiency: How Low Levels Of The Important Vitamin Can Cause Hair Loss And Early Greys
If you have noticed changes to the appearance and texture of your hair this could indicate low levels of B12 in the body, here are the symptoms you could experience
If you have noticed changes to the appearance and texture of your hair, the reason could be that you’re lacking in a very important vitamin. There are many common symptoms which could indicate low levels of B12 in your system.
Our bodies are unable to produce many different vitamins which are essential for good health- B12 is one of these. The vitamin plays a vital role in creating red blood cells and DNA, as well as in the function and development of nerve and brain cells.
Deficiency among vegans is particularly common, causing changes to skin, mouth and even hair. Since vitamin B12 helps produce red blood cells, having enough is essential for hair growth and general health, reports The Mirror
So what specifically happens to our hair if we dont get enough of it?
How Do I Correct Hair Loss From A B12 Deficiency
Correcting hair loss from a B12 deficiency requires that you treat the deficiency. At the same time, you must also take measures to support hair regrowth.
Increasing your food intake of B12
People who are borderline or diagnosed with a true deficiency can try to increase their levels naturally by eating more foods with this vitamin. To boost your intake, try eating any of the following products regularly:
- Fortified foods like breakfast cereal and nutritional yeasts.
If you are not a meat or dairy eater, look at the product labels of the foods you are interested in to see the if the manufacturer fortified it with B12.
Most multivitamins contain B12, but it is also available in its own supplements or in combination with other nutrients like folic acid.
There are sublingual forms of vitamin B12 that absorb in your mouth. These are a good option for people who cannot swallow well or who do not like to swallow pills. There is no current evidence that suggests the sublingual form is superior to the pill form of this nutrient.
If your doctor diagnoses you with a B12 deficiency, you may need to increase your B12 levels through a different route than your digestive tract. You can do this by having an injection of B12.
B12 nasal gel
Measures to support hair regrowth
Aside from treating the deficiency, you need to take steps to help your hair re-grow.
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Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anaemia
Lack of Vitamin B12 is known as Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia. This condition causes your body to produce fewer red blood cells, which are also larger than normal. These are unable to transport enough oxygen to your tissues. How does this affect your hair? When your body is short of oxygen, it channels its available supply to your vital organs to keep them alive, rather than to your hair follicles. Without oxygen, your hair follicles cease to function properly, and your hair may fall out.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur if you have a condition called pernicious anaemia, when your body is unable to absorb B12 through the foods you eat. It can also happen if your diet lacks foods rich in Vitamin B12, or if you are taking certain medications that block its absorption. Some contraceptive pills can also cause Vitamin B12 levels to become low.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency include :
- Extreme tiredness
- Diffuse hair loss from the scalp
- Premature greying of the hair
Will Hair Grow Back From B12 Deficiency
Yes! Your hair will grow back as soon as you treat the deficiency. On the restoration of vitamin b12 in your body, your hair cells will replicate adequately and support your hair follicles to grow healthy hair. It just takes a few months of following a systematic diet plan to reverse vitamin deficiency hair loss.
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Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
- Hair fall, diffuse hair loss or hair thinning, and premature greying of your hair
- Mouth ulcers
If the vitamin B12 deficiency isnt attended soon, it could have serious repercussions such as heart palpitations, shortness of breath, nerve problems and depression.
As you age, your body requires more b12. But your capacity to absorb adequate amounts of the vitamin also reduces. Generally your body stores 1,000 to 2,000 times as much vitamin B12 compared to your food intake in a day, so the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can take several years to appear.
What Are The Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
The common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include, weakness, fatigue, mood disorders, dizziness, shortness of breath, numbness, jaundice, blurry vision, hair loss, swollen tongue, mouth ulcers, burning sensation around the mouth, digestive issues, nausea, vomiting, gas, unhealthy weight loss. Premature greying can also indicate that your body is not getting enough Vitamin B12, which contributes to healthy hair growth and hair colour.
Early detection of Vitamin B12 deficiency can prevent neurological problems, blood diseases and physical impairments.
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What Is Vitamin B12
It is thought that Vitamin B12 plays a role in cell formation, as well as nerve function. It cant be made by the body, but it is found naturally in a wide variety of animal foods, like fish, eggs, meat, poultry and dairy products. Some breakfast cereals are also fortified with vitamin B12.
Most peoples everyday diet contains enough B12, but because its not produced in plants, strict vegetarians and vegans are at a higher risk of a B12 deficiency.
Additionally, some people have trouble absorbing vitamin B12. In fact, anywhere from 3% to 43% of older adults may have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Aside from vegetarians, people at risk for a deficiency include those with pernicious anemia, people who have had intestinal surgery such as gastric bypass, those with Crohns or celiac disease, and anyone whose stomach does not produce enough hydrochloric acid to absorb the vitamin B12 thats naturally present in food.
The Connection Between Vitamin B12 And Hair Loss
Vitamin B12 affects hair growth by affecting the health of the hair follicles. In order for hair to be strong and healthy, each strand of hair needs good access to blood and nutrient supply via a hair follicle.
B12 is responsible for creating and delivering oxygen-rich red blood cells to hair follicles, which keeps hair happy and healthy.
When your B12 levels are too low, and hair loss begins, itâs possible that your hair follicles arenât receiving adequate amounts of oxygen-rich blood, hindering their strength and their growth cycle.
Vitamin B12 deficiency may also be linked to premature greying.
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Where Can You Get B12 From
First of all, lets look at how much B12 you need to obtain from your diet in order to stay healthy!
- 0-6 months 0.4 mcg
- Pregnant women 2.6 mcg
- Breastfeeding women 2.8 mcg
As you can see, it doesnt look like you need to get a lot of B12 from your diet. You only need a very small amount, and thats why it might be surprised why some people are at risk of developing a deficiency. But studies show that it does happen quite often.