A team of researchers in Saudi Arabia has been poring through study results to improve our understanding of the interplay between our diet and hair loss. With interesting results, we look closer.
Medical Data Mining
A new study, published in Dermatology and Therapy, aims to answer some of the myriad questions there are around the role of vitamins and supplements involved in hair loss. There is a mountain of evidence on the subject, the result of hundreds of previous studies – some of that evidence, however, is conflicting and drilling down to what might be a correct answer an enormous challenge.
In an attempt to clear the water a team, based at the Prince Sultan Military Medical City, searched two huge databases, PubMed and Google Scholar, to compile every published article they could find on the subject.
As the authors of the new study explained “There are several reasons to suspect a role for micronutrients in the normal hair follicle cycle, playing a role in cellular turnover, a frequent occurrence in the matrix cells in the follicle bulb that are rapidly dividing. Management of alopecia is an essential aspect of clinical dermatology given the prevalence of hair loss and its significant impact on patients quality of life.”
Androgenetic alopecia is the medical term for that most common cause of hair loss, the age-related type that we inherit from one or both parents. It occurs when the immune system attacks the hair follicle.
The researchers identified a relationship between low levels of vitamin D and alopecia areata. With the recommendation that Vitamin D levels should be supplemented if found to be low. There are also indications that levels of iron and zinc should also be supplemented though more studies are required to understand their detailed effect.
As well as balding the team looked at studies which centered around pigmentation of the hair. Iron, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and selenium are all likely to be involved, so supplementing your intake of these can help stave off premature grey or white hair.
As is invariably the case, the overarching conclusion on any research involving hair loss turns out to be that more studies are required.
In the words of the study authors “Given the role of vitamins and minerals in the normal hair follicle development and in immune cell function, large double-blind placebo-controlled trials are required to determine the effect of micronutrient supplementation on hair growth in those patients with both micronutrient deficiency and non-scarring alopecia to establish any association between hair loss and micronutrient deficiency.”
HIS Hair Clinic
In addition to the huge amount of research being done on stem cells and the microbiology of the hair growth cycle, it is encouraging to see a team working on something that we can all do something about today. Diet has always been known to play an integral part in healthy hair growth, an improved understanding of the detailed mechanisms involved can only be good. For more detail on the report click here.
If you would like to discuss your hair loss situation with one of our team of friendly experts, simply complete our contact form on this page or click here to find your nearest clinic.