How Common Is Vitamin D Deficiency As A Cause Of Hair Loss
Vitamin D deficiency is actually pretty common, with 1 in every 7 people having inadequate amounts of Vitamin D. Experts suggest that in the United States, 35% of women and 25% of men are Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficiency and hair loss are commonly link, with other symptoms of deficiency including depression, fatigue, back and muscle pain, bone loss and general weakness.
If you are overweight, have dark skin, are elderly or use sunscreen religiously, you are more likely to experience a Vitamin D deficiency. People of Hispanic or African-American descent are at higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency, and the use of sunscreen cuts Vitamin D absorption by 95%.
A Case Study: Vitamin D Hair Loss Regrowth
There is one interesting case study examining the effects of vitamin D supplementation on hair loss .
A 34-year-old woman with non-scarring, diffuse hair loss was evaluated by researchers. She presented with an extremely low vitamin D level.
Researchers werent able to identify the cause of her hair loss because she didnt consent to a scalp biopsy.
She was cleared for a weekly dose of 50,000IU of vitamin D3 for four weeks. This was followed by a daily dose of 1,000IU D3 for six months.
At the follow-up visit, the patients vitamin D levels had increased to the normal range. She had noticeable hair regrowth!
So, what does this mean?
Because the researchers werent able to diagnose the case, its unclear if vitamin D3 supplementation will benefit all forms of hair loss. However, this patient did have extremely low D3 levels.
This suggests that restoring vitamin D3 levels can lead to hair regrowth if that is the only factor involved.
Key Takeaway: One case study suggests vitamin D3 supplementation may lead to hair regrowth. However, researchers werent able to diagnose the patient. So, whether these results translate to all forms of hair loss warrants further research.
How Does Vitamin D Affect The Hair
Vitamin D affects the health of many parts of the body, including skin and hair, while vitamin D plays an important role in supporting the natural processes associated with hair growth. Vitamin D helps to create new hair follicles as part of the hair life cycle. Maintaining a healthy hair cycle is vital for thicker, fuller hair.
Some studies have found that vitamin D levels may be associated with hair loss in women, which is the most common cause of hair loss in women. However, more studies are needed to confirm this potential link.
More research is needed to confirm the benefits of vitamin D for hair growth.
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Is There A Link Between Hair Loss And Vitamin D
While vitamin D deficiency is most notably connected to mood, bone health, and the immune system as a whole, cosmetic dermatologist Michele Green says that it plays a role in hair health , too.
Vitamin D is metabolized in the skin by keratinocytes, she says, noting that keratinocytes are skin cells that produce keratin, a protein responsible for keeping hair, skin, and nails looking their best. When the body does not have enough Vitamin D, the keratinocytes in hair follicles have trouble facilitating hair growth resulting in shedding and hair loss, she explains.
While vitamin D deficiency is linked to hair loss, its not likely the cause of loss for most people who deal with hair loss. Ratherwhile the evidence is controversialseveral studies have found that vitamin D deficiency may play a role in various non-scarring alopecia, including telogen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia, and alopecia areata.
Dont think you have non-scarring alopecia? You might want to think again. According to dermatologist Scott Paviol, the non-scarring forms of alopecia mentioned above are caused by common occurrences such as hair thinning due to life stressors , age-related hair loss , and autoimmune hair loss .
How To Increase Your Vitamin D Levels
There are three ways you can increase your vitamin D levels: sun exposure, supplementation, and food.
Sun exposure is the most efficient and least expensive way to boost your vitamin D levels. However, take precaution when spending time in the sun to avoid burning.
Supplementation is also an effective way to obtain vitamin D. Be sure to supplement with vitamin D3 as opposed to vitamin D2.
Vitamin D2 has to be converted to vitamin D3 before it can be activated by the body. This means that it is less bioavailable and cant be utilized as efficiently by the body.
Always consult your doctor before including vitamin D3 supplements in your daily routine.
Food is a less efficient way to increase vitamin D levels because its not often found in high quantities. Some foods with a moderate amount of D3 include fatty fish, fortified milk and non-dairy alternatives, and egg yolks.
- There are three ways to obtain vitamin D: sun exposure, supplementation, and food.
- Sun exposure is efficient and inexpensive. Take precaution to avoid harmful burns.
- Supplementation is effective. Be sure to supplement with bioavailable D3 as opposed to D2.
- Food is less efficient because its not usually found in high quantities. D3 can be found infatty fish, fortified milk and non-dairy alternatives, and egg yolks.
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Most Common Cause: Male Pattern Baldness
Up to 95% of guys with thinning hair can blame it on this condition. Itâs caused by genes you get from your parents.
Scientists think the gene may affect how sensitive your hair follicles are to a hormone called DHT, which makes them shrink. As they get smaller, the hair that grows back tends to be finer, thinner, and shorter. Eventually, it takes longer for hair to grow back. Then, the follicles will shrink so that no hair grows at all.
Male pattern baldness shows up in a telltale shape: a receding hairline with thinning strands around the crown of your head. Over time, that area will go bald, but youâll still have a horseshoe pattern of hair above your ears circling to the lower back of the head.
Men with this trait can start to lose their locks as early as their early teens. In general, the sooner it starts, the greater the loss will be.
Other types of hair loss tend to happen faster than male pattern baldness.
Spot baldness, or alopecia areata, makes your hair fall out in smooth, round patches, but it usually grows back. The condition is a type of autoimmune disease, which means your body attacks itself. In this case, it destroys your hair.
Scarring alopecia is a rare disease that destroys your hair follicles and makes scar tissue form in their place. Hair will not grow back.
Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
These symptoms may indicate a lack of Vitamin D deficiency.
- Constant changes in mood
- Medications for HIV
If you do notice symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency after starting any of these medications, make it a point to tell your doctor about it.
Other diseases like celiac disease and Crohns disease may also cause a lack of Vitamin D as they prevent the absorption of nutrients by the body.
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What Kind Of Deficiency Causes Hair Loss
deficiency causes hair lossdeficiencycausealopecia
Also, what is the best vitamin for hair loss?
One of the best known vitamins for hair growth is a B-vitamin called biotin. Studies link biotin deficiency with hair loss in humans . Although biotin is used as an alternative hair-loss treatment, those who are deficient have the best results.
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In this way, will my hair grow back after vitamin D deficiency?
But scientific research is scarce on how long it will take for hair to grow back and if there is a significant amount of hair regrowth after upping your vitamin D intake and improving your levels. Anecdotal evidence, though, suggests hair may stop shedding and regenerate in as little as two months after treatment.
What nutritional deficiencies cause hair loss?
Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement
- Introduction. Patients with hair loss often inquire whether nutritional supplements can help restore hair growth or prevent further hair loss.
- Iron. Iron deficiency is the world’s most common nutritional deficiency and is a well-known cause of hair loss.
Vitamin D Deficiency And Hair Loss
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that is essential to our health. It boosts immunity, keeps bones strong and skin healthy, stimulates cell growth, and helps create new hair follicles. You absorb vitamin D through sun exposure primarily, but you can take dietary supplements and eat certain foods to up your intake of the nutrient.
A number of symptoms, such as hair loss, can occur when your body lacks the recommended amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to alopecia, also known as spot baldness, and . These include bone softening, low bone density, osteoarthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
- Lower Immunity Levels: Your immunity depends on your vitamin D levels. If you keep falling sick regularly, you may lack vitamin D. Pneumonia or other respiratory tract infections could also be a sign of vitamin D deficiency .
- Fatigue: Do you always feel tired or fatigued? This could be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. A study found that non-specific musculoskeletal pain, headache, and fatigue could signify vitamin D deficiency .
- Bone Pain And Osteoporosis: If you experience lower back pain and bone pain, get your vitamin D levels checked. Research states that chronic lower back pain is linked to low vitamin D levels .
- Depression: Are you feeling depressed regularly? This could be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is crucial for your mental health. A lack of this vitamin may cause depression and other psychiatric disorders .
- Slow-Healing Wounds: If your vitamin D levels are lower than normal, your wounds may take longer to heal. Vitamin D produces certain compounds that help in new skin formation . This is a crucial part of the wound-healing process.
It is now clear that vitamin D plays a crucial role in maintaining multiple body functions. Lack of vitamin D affects not only the body but also hair growth. Find out the ways to prevent it in the next section.
Amino Acids And Proteins
Protein malnutrition, such as in kwashiorkor and marasmus, can result in hair changes that include hair thinning and hair loss .
One study examined the role of L-lysine, an essential amino acid that may play a role in iron and zinc uptake. Addition of L-lysine to iron supplementation resulted in a significant increase in mean serum ferritin concentration in some women with chronic TE who failed to respond to iron supplementation alone . Although interesting, there is limited data available, and the role of L-lysine should be investigated further.
In terms of other amino acids and proteins, no clear conclusions may be drawn about the role of supplementation in hair loss. While trials of amino acid and protein supplements have been published, they are formulated with a variety of nutrients, and therefore it is unclear what role, if any, is played by amino acid and protein supplementation in the absence of known deficiency.
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Medications Influencing Vitamin D Conversion
Certain antiepileptic drugs, anti-estrogens, and bisphosphonates may interfere with vitamin D metabolism . They activate the pregnane X receptor, causing vitamin D deficiency. If you are taking any such medications, talk to the doctor for alternatives to improve your bodys vitamin D levels.
Hair loss can happen due to many reasons. How do you identify if it is due to vitamin D deficiency? Here are the signs and symptoms you can check for.
Other Benefits Of Vitamin D
Other research suggests that taking Vitamin D supplements of 4,000 IU per day can reduce your risk for respiratory tract infections.
Increasing your levels of Vitamin D can have another side benefit it helps with the absorption of iron. And since iron deficiency is another leading cause of female hair loss, there might be benefits to supplementation that you hadnt previously considered.
What does it take to hit the sweet spot of Vitamin D levels? Well, experts suggest that youd need a combination of sun exposure PLUS a supplement of 2,000 IU every day to achieve the gold standard of a level between 40 and 60 ng/mL.
Dr. Christiane Northrup has a great article on Vitamin D its anti-cancer benefits, the importance of knowing your Vitamin D levels and ways of increasing them safely and naturally.
Vitamin D Supplements
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Spending More Time In Sunlight
Your body produces its own vitamin D naturally in the skin when its exposed to UV radiation from sunlight. Spending too much time in direct sunlight isnt good for your skin, but a small amount of sun exposure can help to produce vitamin D naturally.
According to the Harvard Medical School, 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure a few times a week is normally enough to maintain healthy levels. And remember always wear sunscreen.
Recommended Dosages Of Vitamin D
According to the NIH, adults between the ages of 18-70 should have a daily intake of 15 mcg/600 IU of Vitamin D. For adults older than 70 years, 20 mcg/800 IU of Vitamin D is recommended. Many people get their Vitamin D from several sources, whether its a combination of diet, sun, or supplements .
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Vitamin D And Scarring Alopecia
While this specific research team’s analysis didn’t yield evidence of a super-strong correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and baldness, they refer to one past study that showed an association between low levels of Vitamin D and “scarring alopecia”a type of balding that affects 3% of both male and female hair loss patients, according to WebMD. Scarring alopecia occurs when hair follicles are permanently damaged and replaced by the development of scar tissue.
How To Prevent Hair Loss Caused By Vitamin D Deficiency
- Take Vitamin D Supplements
If you have low vitamin D levels, consuming foods rich in it helps reduce hair loss. You may consume :
- Fatty fish
- Almonds and sunflower seeds
You may also take vitamin D supplements.
- Modifying Medications
Some medications and steroids may interfere with vitamin D absorption. If you are taking any such medication, talk to your doctor to modify the dosage, or use any alternative.
- Increase Your Exposure To Sunlight
Try to increase your exposure to sunlight. Go out for a walk on a bright and sunny day or spend at least 10-15 minutes outside. However, do not forget to apply sunscreen.
- Be Gentle When Grooming The Hair
This is also crucial to prevent hair fall. Be gentle when combing or brushing your hair. Avoid using harsh shampoos and conditioners. You may also ask your doctor for some topical medication to prevent hair loss.
If you are taking vitamin D supplements, follow the doctors prescribed dosage. The recommended dietary allowance is given below.
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