With hair being one of the most metabolically active parts of the body, proper nutrition is essential to maintaining a healthy head of hair. A balanced diet supplemented with vitamins and minerals can be crucial for someone experiencing hair loss.
A quality multi vitamin which is gender and age specific is always a good idea – but can be essential for those wishing to slow hair loss. Be careful though – you can have too much of a good thing. Excess of certain vitamins can lead to hair loss. Most people are familiar with the RDA of vitamins, or recommended dietary allowance. This system of suggesting adequate intake of vitamins and minerals has been in use since 1941. It is regularly updated and in 1997 underwent an overhaul by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences with the creation of the Dietary References Intake (DRI). The DRI provides suggested vitamin and mineral intake for males and females dependent on age and pregnancy status.
Folic acid is very important for cell division and multiplication in the body. Signs of folic acid deficiency include anemia, increased fatigue, and graying of hair. Certain medications, especially methotrexate, can lead to folic acid deficiency. There is also good evidence to show a decrease in people exposed to ultraviolet radiation, the same radiation seen in tanning beds and sun exposure. Folate consumption should be 400 g/d for adult males and females, 400 g/d for pregnant adult females, and 500 g/d for lactating adult females. Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should consult with their doctor as birth defects have resulted from folic acid deficiency and additional intake may be necessary.
Vitamin E is actually a series of eight fat soluble vitamins, called tocopherols and tocotrienols, that have antioxidant properties. Vitamin E works with selenium to prevent oxidative damage to cell walls. Oxidative damage can lead to cell death and by protecting from oxidative damage, Vitamin E can help to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth. The body preferentially uptakes alpha-tocopherol.
Adequate pantothenic acid intake should be 5mg/d for adult males and females, 6 mg/d for pregnant adult females, and 7 mg/d for lactating adult females. Riboflavin (B2) intake should be 1.3 mg/d for adult males, 1.1 mg/d for adult females, 1.4 mg/d for pregnant adult females, and 1.6 mg/d for lactating adult females. Thiamin (B1) intake should be 1.2 mg/d for adult males, 1.1 mg/d for adult females, 1.4 mg/d for pregnant adult females, and 1.4 mg/d for lactating adult females.
Dr. Verret is a hair restoratino surgeon in Dallas, Texas. For more information about hair loss vitamins or hair loss vitamin supplement contact Dr. Verret at drverret (dot) com or call for a consultation 972.608.0100.