The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss
Hair loss often occurs when you’re low in vitamins and minerals. And when nutritional deficiencies cause the problem, you can restore your hair with therapies that bring your nutritional health back into balance.
Every system in your body depends on nutrients. You need the right amount of essential vitamins and minerals to produce energy; heal injuries; build muscles; keep your heart, brain, and nerves working; and grow healthy skin and hair.
It only takes a deficiency in one vital nutrient to affect hair growth and trigger hair loss. In fact, hair loss is the top symptom of several nutritional deficiencies.
Rather than spending money on random supplements, you’ll get the best results by learning which vitamins and minerals are at the root of your hair problem and the dose you need to restore optimal health.
Dr. Jelena Petkovic, PAC, MMS, DHSc, helps you overcome hair loss by completing an evaluation and running functional medicine testing that precisely identifies your nutritional deficiencies. Then she recommends treatments like IV therapy and supplements that deliver the nutrients needed for healthy, beautiful hair.
Here’s a list of the vitamins and minerals most often associated with hair loss:
Vitamin D regulates the growth of keratinocytes, the cells responsible for making the protein that builds hair (keratin). Lack of vitamin D causes hair loss, contributing to balding and affecting hair growth on your body. It also has a role in alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that attacks the hair follicle and causes sudden, patchy hair loss.
There are eight B vitamins, and they’re all important for growing strong, healthy hair:
Pantothenic acid (B5)
As a group, these vitamins support your hair by producing proteins and helping to metabolize fats and carbs.
Of all the B vitamins, biotin plays an especially important role in hair growth. In fact, hair loss is an early sign of a biotin deficiency. However, biotin deficiencies are rare, making it important to run functional testing to verify whether you have a deficiency in this or other B vitamins.
You need iron to produce the protein that makes up your hair. Low iron causes hair loss and is associated with early graying.
Hair loss often occurs in people with iron deficiency anemia, a condition that develops when you lose too many red blood cells (RBCs) or your body’s production of RBCs drops.
Your risk for iron deficiency anemia rises if you have any of the following:
Lack of dietary iron
Heavy menstrual periods
Inflammatory bowel disease
Before iron can get into your bloodstream, it must be digested and absorbed. You need the right amount of hydrochloric acid in your stomach to digest dietary iron.
You may have low stomach acid due to a bacterial infection or long-term use of antacids and proton pump inhibitors. Age is also a factor. You produce less hydrochloric acid as you get older, causing a condition called atrophic gastritis.
Vitamin C has two roles in maintaining healthy hair. You need vitamin C to produce collagen, a protein that builds hair and is a primary component of your hair follicle. Your gut also needs vitamin C to absorb the iron you consume.
Zinc supports hair growth by boosting cellular metabolism, protein synthesis, and sebum production. Sebum, the oil produced in glands inside the hair follicle, is essential for normal, healthy hair growth.
Hair loss has long been recognized as a sign of zinc deficiency. Being low in zinc is also associated with alopecia areata
Vitamin A is essential for cellular growth and healthy hair follicles and oil glands. But don’t start taking supplements before scheduling an appointment and getting functional medicine testing to identify your vitamin A levels. Vitamin A becomes toxic and causes hair loss if you take too much through supplements.
Book your Health Triage call with Dr. Jelena today and find out what program and treatment could be right for you! If you need help for hair loss, request an appointment online or write to Dr. Jelena personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.