Nutrition and Hair Loss
One of the reasons that both men and women lose their hair is that they suffer from nutritional imbalances. These nutritional imbalances affect hair growth because the hair follicles are left without the nutrients they need to promote good cell growth.
There appear to be two different perspectives about the need for nutrition and the impact it has on the prevention of hair loss or the re-growth of hair loss. But in most instances the professionals who believe that nutrition does or doesn’t have anything to do with hair growth make blanket statements about the use of vitamins without evaluating the cause of the hair loss.
In the case of men who are loosing their hair because of male pattern baldness, genetics or the conversion of testosterone to DHT nutrition won’t play a role in re-growing hair unless the man is completely malnourished. On the other hand there are instances where both women and men are malnourished even though they get enough food daily.
In our society of fast paced living most Americans find that eating a well-balanced diet is out of range. Fast food, processed meals and a lack of raw fruits and vegetables often leave people feeling full and over weight but lacking in the nutrition that is required to grow healthy cells.
There are six basic types of nutrients that the body requires in combination to maintain a healthy body. These are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
There are also several of those nutrients that have been found to improve hair growth, quality and color. Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA) is one of the lesser known members of the B complex family of vitamins and has been shown to have anti-gray properties in animal studies. In other studies the combination of PABA and folic acid helps restore hair to the original color.
Inositol is another member of the B vitamins that is found in the brain, muscles, liver, kidney and eyes. In lab animals a diet lacking Inositol produced baldness but when the vitamin was added back into the diet of the animals the hair grew back. A lack of Inositol also results in eczema, a form of skin irritation.
Biotin is another of the B vitamins that has proven to have hair growth potential and prevents excess hair loss. Other research suggests that it can help prevent hair from turning gray. It’s found in egg yolks, liver, milk, yeast and kidneys.
In lab test animals those who were fed a supplement with zinc showed more hair growth while those deprived of zinc had a loss of hair. As well, those who were deficient in zinc also had a change in the hair protein structure. Severe deficiency in humans has been shown to produce baldness and scalp problems. Zinc is depleted by high stress levels and has also had a positive effect on the reduction of acne.
Vitamin E is another supplement that has been shown to retard the aging process and has been suggested that it also stops the production of gray hair. The best sources are wheat germ, broccoli, brussel sprouts and spinach.
Two other vitamins known to have negative effects when they are deficient are Vitamins A and Pantothenic Acid. A deficiency in Vitamin A leads to dry and rough skin and Pantothenic Acid is important to the health of the skin and scalp. People who are deficient in Pantothenic Acid have an increased vulnerability to infection and blood pressure drop. It’s available in nature in egg yolks, whole grains, milk and potatoes.