Can a Deficiency of Vitamin D Cause Hair Loss?
If you're experiencing excessive hair thinning, you're not alone. Hair regrowth can be a tough challenge. It might be because your body is not receiving enough sunshine vitamin. Note that you don't get adequate sunlight exposure when you stay indoors for an extended period. And this is when your body develops a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for several body functions, and studies show a deficiency can cause a plethora of problems, including hair loss.
Let's plunge into the details to find out how hair loss and vitamin D are connected, and if you're facing this problem, is it reversible or not.
Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Hair Loss
The deficiency of vitamin D is associated with hair thinning, according to many clinical studies. Some studies show that low Vitamin D in the body can cause an autoimmune condition commonly called alopecia areata. It is a condition in which people lose hair in patches. People with alopecia areata tend to have low vitamin D levels.
However, people who don't have symptoms of alopecia areata can also notice hair loss issues due to insufficient levels of the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is a vital nutrient of the body that stimulates hair follicles to produce hair strands. It can also keep the existing hair from premature breakage and falling.
To help you understand the importance of vitamin D, here is a breakdown of the role of this nutrient in maintaining hair health or producing new hair:
- Vitamin D can promote the growth of hair follicles and improve their regulation and differentiation.
- Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the formation of natural follicles and increases the production of Keratins.
- Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) is a crucial component for maintaining the life cycle of hair.
- Vitamin D3's concentration is essential to prevent or delay hair loss and aging.
- VDR gene and hair gene have the same genetic pathway that maintains and regulates the postnatal hair cycle.
If you're suffering from vitamin D deficiency, it may affect the defective stem cell renewal and hair follicle cycle. Moreover, the decrease in body vitamin D levels may lead to Telogen Effluvium, a chronic pattern of hair loss in females.
Symptoms that indicate Vitamin D Deficiency in Body
Interestingly, if you have vitamin D deficiency, you may experience no symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms change over time. You can look for the following signs to determine if you have low levels of vitamin D.
- Mood swings including anxiety, depression, and stress
- Frequent fractures
- Loss of bone density
- Slow wound-healing
- Deteriorating or high blood pressure
- Muscle weakness
- Constant fatigue
- Chronic pain
- Decreased endurance
Lack of adequate sunlight or poor diet (not rich in vitamin D) is some of the common causes of vitamin D deficiency in your body. However, it doesn't mean that you can't have this deficiency due to any other reason. There are numerous underlying conditions, such as celiac disease or Crohn's disease, preventing your body from absorbing nutrients. Plus, there are medications that cause your body to decompose vitamin D before absorption. These medications may include;
- Medications for HIV
Ways to Reduce Hair loss Due to Vitamins D Deficiency
The good news is that you can treat vitamin D deficiency in many ways to reduce hair loss. Remember that choosing the right ways to increase vitamin levels depends on the hair thinning problem's severity.
However, we encourage you to improve your vitamin D intake from different sources as the sunshine nutrient is exceptionally important to stimulate cell growth and create new hair follicles.
Improve Your Diet
Everyone can receive vitamin D via natural dietary sources. So you need to make sure that you eat vitamin D fortified meals, especially if you have excess body mass. Know that the fat tissue called "Leptin" can lower vitamin D levels when you gain weight.
Bad cholesterol can also affect the balance of Agni in the body. It weakens the hydroxylations and cell reactions of vitamin D. That is why you need to avoid food items containing high amounts of saturated fat. It can be anything like:
- Deep-fried food
- Baked food
- Processed food
- Fast foods
Sunlight converts cholesterol into vitamin D in the body. You should consume foods that contain unsaturated fats to improve vitamin D production. These may include:
- Olive, Soybean, Peanut, and Canola oils
- Cashew nuts and almonds
- Sesame seeds and pumpkins
Take Vitamin D Supplements
Did you know that 70% of healthy individuals suffer from low vitamin D levels due to several cultural constraints despite abundant sunlight?
Using vitamin D supplements can help maintain the required levels of the sunshine nutrient in the body. Doctors don't recommend vitamin D supplements as they are a secondary measure. But you can use them along with vitamin D rich food to consume the daily recommended dose.
Of course, nothing can replace sunlight when it comes to reducing vitamin D deficiency. UVB rays are the primary source that provides you with plentiful 'sunshine' vitamins. Also, there is no denying that sun exposure is the most convenient and easiest way you can foster the body with vitamin D.
Hair follicles produce a hormone called 'melanin' in abundance when the scalp absorbs an adequate amount of sunlight. The high amount of melanin content in hair follicles can help prevent premature greying. But, excessive sun exposure can be harmful as it may reduce proteins that strengthen your hair strands.
That means the moderate exposure to sunlight is enough to keep your hair and skin healthy.
In a nutshell, your body needs sunshine vitamin to perform a number of functions. It is a critical nutrient your hair needs to grow and stay healthy. The deficiency of vitamin D can affect the growth of your hair and speed up hair loss regardless of any reason.