If you’re hair is feeling more sparse on top lately, it could be due to a vitamin deficiency. Find out here what you can do about it.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) described explained the vitamin “is involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism”.
Playing a role in immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division, are you getting enough?
Men are required to have 11mg of it everyday, while women need 8mg to function optimally.
Foods containing the mineral include oysters, beans, nuts, crab, lobster, and whole grains.
And, of course, there are dietary supplements available for those who may not get adequate amounts from their diet.
What is this mineral? The answer is zinc; a zinc deficiency “causes hair loss”, confirmed the NIH.
Other signs of a zinc deficiency include diarrhoea, impotence and taste abnormalities.
Mental lethargy, as well as delayed healing of wounds, and loss of appetite may occur.
People with gastrointestinal issues, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and short bowel syndrome, are susceptible to a zinc deficiency.
Other health conditions associated with a a zinc deficiency include chronic liver disease, sickle cell disease and diabetes.
Vegetarians are also at risk of being deficient in zinc, so may need to consider taking a supplement.
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People with a drinking problem – whether realised or not – may also have a zinc deficiency.
The NIH reported that up to “50 percent of alcoholics have low zinc status”, as ethanol consumption (i.e. alcohol) decreases intestinal absorption of the mineral.
From this suggestion, any of these health condition could be a culprit behind hair loss.
In order for a doctor to diagnose a zinc deficiency, a blood or urine test will need to be ordered.
On top of this, the doctor will need to take a look at your full health history.
Treatment tends to rely on zinc supplementation, available in pharmacies and health stores.
The Department of Dermatology, at Kurume University School of Medicine in Japan, observed the effects of zinc supplementation on hair loss.
They treated five patients diagnosed with zinc deficiency with supplementation.
“In all patients, hair loss was cured or improved,” the researchers noted.
They believe zinc helps to recover “appropriate activities of metalloenzymes, hedgehog signalling, and immunomodulation”.
All of which are required for normal control of the hair growth cycle.
Be wary though, as too much zinc can lead to life effects: namely, nausea an vomiting.
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