Vitamin D – a hidden hero in hair loss?

Sep 17 / Jack van Driel-Nguene

There are many studies on the role of vitamin D and hair loss. When the vitamin D receptor gene (Vdr) was inactivated in a study on mice, the mice developed total alopecia (hair loss). 

Does Vitamin D loss, mean hair loss in humans?

You have probably been told to add B vitamins as supplements to achieve better hair? Sometimes that is what your hair may need, but have you thought about vitamin D? It is a crucial vitamin and prohormone that helps create and utilise hormones in the body.
The two forms of vitamin D that the body can use are vitamin D3 and vitamin D2.
Vitamin D3, the active form, is commonly found in animal products like oily fish, egg yolks, butter, and liver. It also known as the "sun vitamin" because sunlight exposure triggers the conversion of a special type of cholesterol in the skin into previtamin D3, which is then converted into calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D (that is the compound measured during blood tests). It's generally recommended to maintain optimal vitamin D levels above 30 ng/mL or 75 nmol/L.

Vitamin D2 is mainly sourced from plant-based foods like mushrooms grown in UV light and enriched foods.

Low levels of vitamin D have been correlated with excess hair shedding.

There are many studies on the role of vitamin D and hair loss, and although its role in hair cycling is still being elucidated, the vitamin D receptor gene (Vdr) has been shown to affect the normal hair cycle in mice. When that gene was inactivated in a study, the mice developed total alopecia. 

Low levels of vitamin D have also been correlated with excess hair shedding, scalp psoriasis, and Female Pattern Hair Loss in women. Additionally, a study found a correlation between alopecia areata (AA) and low levels of vitamin D, Zinc, and Folate. Low levels of vitamin D can also lead to nail problems, such as hapalonychia, which causes nails to become soft, thin, and break easily.

So it seems like maintaining adequate vitamin D levels is not only crucial for a healthy immune system but also for maintaining healthy hair, scalp, and nails. 
As we enter the colder, less sunny months (at least those of us living in Europe), it's essential to ensure the body has enough vitamin D to maintain healthy locks and protect against infections like COVID19 . This can be achieved by consuming foods rich in vitamin D and potentially taking a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement (yes, there are less quality sorts to look out for) after you have established your current vitamin D value. Please always consult with your doctor.
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