What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Fat-soluble vitamins are a set of nutrients that your body produces on its own in small amounts and can store for long periods of time. Your body produces vitamin D in response to sun exposure, but you can also get this important nutrient from dietary sources or supplements.
There are two types of vitamin D – D2 and D3. D2 is found in dietary sources, including mushrooms and dairy products. D3 is produced by your skin in response to sunlight and is also found in some animal products.
Your body needs vitamin D for several reasons. Below are some of the most important purposes that D vitamins serve within your body.
Vitamin D helps you maintain strong bones. Vitamin D also plays an important role in allowing your body to absorb and utilize calcium, one of the essential nutrients for bone health. If you are deficient in vitamin D, you may experience bone loss, even if you get plenty of calcium.
The nutrient also helps to keep your immune system functioning properly. Vitamin D, along with other nutrients like zinc and vitamin C, is essential for immune support. A vitamin D deficiency can eventually lead to a compromised immune system, which can make you more vulnerable to viruses and bacteria.
D vitamins contribute to your mood regulation and emotional well-being.
Your hair needs vitamin D to grow normally. Many nutrient deficiencies, including lack of sufficient vitamin D, can have a negative impact on hair growth.
How Vitamin D Deficiency Can Cause Hair Loss
If you have a vitamin D deficiency, your body’s low levels of this essential nutrient can significantly interfere with your hair’s growth rate. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to multiple types of hair loss, including alopecia, which can cause partial baldness. Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by any of the following factors:
Lack of sufficient sun exposure. Your body produces vitamin D3 in your skin when you spend time in the sun. If you are not getting enough sunlight throughout the day due to your working conditions, the time of year, or other factors, your D levels may get low. To prevent a vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sunlight, taking a D3 supplement may be helpful.
A plant-based diet that is not supported by supplements. While vitamin D2 is found in a few plant-based foods, vitamin D3 is not. Because of this, many vegans take a vitamin D3 supplement to make sure that they do not develop a deficiency. If you are eating an entirely plant-based diet, you may want to add supplements of both vitamin D3 and vitamin B12 to your daily routine. These two nutrients are not found in any vegan-friendly foods. However, you can find plant-based supplements containing these vitamins made from plant-derived sources like lichen.
Low levels of other nutrients. If you have a nutrient deficiency, your body may have more trouble processing other important nutrients. This is especially the case when it comes to vitamin D and calcium, as well as iron. If your iron levels are low, your vitamin D levels may be low as well. Likewise, low levels of calcium may be indicative of a vitamin D deficiency.
If you suspect that a nutrient deficiency is contributing to your hair loss, talk to your doctor. A healthcare professional can check your nutrient levels, which can help you determine whether a vitamin D deficiency is affecting your hair growth. If your doctor concludes that you are deficient in vitamin D, they will most likely recommend that you self-treat the deficiency using supplements and foods. A vitamin D deficiency’s negative effects typically go away once your body starts getting enough of the nutrient.
What Other Nutrients Does Your Hair Need?
Some of the most important nutrients for hair growth, along with vitamin D, are biotin, iron, and vitamin C.
Biotin supports healthy hair, skin, and nails. A B-complex vitamin, biotin is water-soluble, which means your body cannot produce it on its own. Thus, you’ll need to get plenty of biotin from foods or supplements. Biotin is found in abundance in many nutrient-dense foods, including a variety of fruits and vegetables.
An Iron deficiency can cause hair loss that looks similar to androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. If your iron levels are low, you may also be at risk of developing other issues, such as fatigue and anemia. You can prevent an iron deficiency by getting plenty of this essential nutrient from supplements and dietary sources.
Vitamin C helps to support your body’s production of collagen. The most abundant protein in your body, collagen contributes to healthy, strong hair growth. If you are deficient in vitamin C, collagen production in your body can slow down, which can lead to weaker, more brittle hair that grows more slowly than it should. You can get vitamin C from dietary sources like citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables, and berries.
To ensure that you get all the nutrients that your hair needs, it may be helpful to start taking a high-quality multivitamin. Look for a supplement that contains vitamin D, as well as the other nutrients listed above. Your overall health will benefit greatly when you make sure to get enough of all of the nutrients that you need from food and supplements.
Other Factors May Also Be Causing Your Hair Loss
While it may be possible that a vitamin D deficiency is causing your hair to fall out, there are numerous other factors that often cause hair loss. Below are some other common causes of hair loss that might also have roles to play in your struggle with thinning hair. If you suspect that one of these factors may be causing you to lose hair, talk to your doctor, who can provide you with potential treatment options.
Hormones: There are several hormones that can have an impact on hair loss, but one of the most important to know about is dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT can cause hair loss by shrinking your follicles and slowing down your hair’s growth cycle. As a result, you can start to see significant thinning in specific parts of your head. DHT-related hair thinning is the most common type of hair loss experienced by adults, affecting over half of men and a quarter of women over the age of 50. If you are dealing with DHT-related hair loss, using GroMD’s shampoo, conditioner, and follicle activator spray each day may help.
Stress: Stressful factors in your life can also contribute to hair loss. Stress prompts the release of the hormone cortisol, which can have a constricting effect on your hair follicles. If stress is contributing to your hair loss, the best treatment is to do whatever you can to reduce the stressful factors in your life. This can be accomplished through forming healthy stress-relieving habits like meditation, exercise, and other forms of self-care.
To learn more about hair loss, its causes, and potential treatments, click here to visit the GroMD blog. There, you’ll find valuable information about the science behind hair loss, as well as practical advice for getting hair growth back on track. You can also visit our products page, where you’ll find our line of growth-boosting, DHT-blocking hair care products. If you’re dealing with hair loss, we’re here to help, and our products may be exactly what your hair needs.
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