Menopause, as the name suggests, is the time in every woman's life when her menstrual cycle stops. A female is deemed menopausal if she didn't have her period within a year. While it usually occurs at the age of 45, it may occur earlier or later in some women.
Menopause occurs when the ovaries cease producing hormones estrogen and progesterone. Apart from period changes, this hormonal change also leads to hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and hair loss.
Menopause and Hair Loss
One of the most bothersome and obvious symptoms of menopause is hair loss. Again, this is due to the decreased production of estrogen and progesterone, hormones that help hair grow faster – and ‘last longer’ on the scalp.
With that being said, ‘losing’ these hormones can lead to thinner head hair, with strands growing slower than usual.
A dip in estrogen and progesterone also results in the increased production of male hormones. Unfortunately, these androgens can shrink the hair follicles, which could then lead to more pronounced hair loss.
The Best Nutrients for Hair Growth
While hormonal changes are the main culprits in menopause-related hair loss, it may be triggered by other causes, such as stress, illnesses, and poor nutrition. With that being said, it is important to eat the right kind of nutrients for proper hair growth.
Also known as Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H, Biotin is one of the most important nutrients for hair health. It helps improve the infrastructure of keratin, a protein that makes up the hair – as well as the skin and nails. Without enough biotin, you may experience hair loss, among many other symptoms.
To maintain hair, nail, and skin health, experts recommend a dietary allowance (RDA) of 25 to 35 micrograms per day. This dose can be obtained from the following sources:
While there are many good sources of Biotin, you may also opt for a supplement, with doses ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 micrograms per pill.
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Ascorbic Acid, also known as Vitamin C, is a powerful antioxidant. It can help neutralize free radicals, molecules that lead to cell damage and certain diseases.
Vitamin C also plays a major role in the synthesis of collagen, a protein that helps strengthen the hair. Collagen may also help prevent hair follicle damage, as well as discoloration/graying.
Ascorbic acid is also instrumental in improving the absorption of Iron, another mineral necessary for hair health.
With the many hair-related benefits of Vitamin C, you must meet the daily RDA of 75 milligrams for women. You can get your daily dose of Vitamin C from citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, turnip, and peppers, to name a few.
Iron helps red blood cells circulate oxygen throughout the body. Without sufficient amounts of iron, you could develop a deficiency – with one of the symptoms being hair loss.
A study also suggests that people with hair loss conditions such as telogen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia, and alopecia areata also have low levels of iron in the blood.
To avoid these problems, it is best if you met the daily RDA for iron which is 18 milligrams for women. You can get this from a variety of food sources, including breakfast cereals, oysters, white beans, chocolate, beef liver, lentils, and spinach, among many others.
Zinc is another crucial mineral for cell growth and repair. With enough zinc in your body, you may develop eventual hair loss.
According to experts, zinc helps maintain hair health by preventing follicle regression. At the same time, it helps promote immediate hair follicle recovery as well.
To keep a head of strong, healthy hair, you need to follow the daily RDA of 8 milligrams for females.
Apart from supplements, you can get this essential nutrient from oysters, crabs, lobsters, beans, chicken, pumpkin seeds, and cashews, to name a few.
Vitamin A is vital for cell growth, including that of hair.
It also helps the skin produce sebum, an oily substance that moisturizes the scalp. This is necessary for hair health, as a dry or diseased scalp may get in the way of good hair growth.
The daily RDA for Vitamin A is 700 micrograms for women.
You can get your daily fix from eggs, yogurt, and milk.
Other good sources include kale, spinach, pumpkins, carrots, and sweet potatoes. These vegetables are rich in beta-carotene, which can be converted to Vitamin A in the body.
With Vitamin A, taking too much – or too little – is not advisable. It is important to follow the RDA as a diet deficient or in excess of Vitamin A can both lead to hair loss.
Vitamin E is another antioxidant necessary for hair health. Just like Vitamin C, it may help fight free radicals that may damage the scalp and affect hair growth.
Its effects against hair loss were seen in a study by Beoy et al. Here, the researchers supplemented alopecia patients with 100 milligrams of mixed tocotrienols, which are part of the Vitamin E family. After 8 months of supplementation, the participants experienced a 34.5% increase in hair number. The authors attribute this to Vitamin E's effects against oxidative stress on the scalp.
Vitamin E may also help improve scalp circulation. By doing so, the hair receives more oxygen and nutrients - both of which play a role in optimum hair health.
Apart from keeping the strands strong and long, Vitamin E oils may also give that much-needed shine to dull, frizzy hair.
The daily RDA for Vitamin E is 15 milligrams. You can get this from eating foods such as sunflower seeds, dry roasted almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, peanut butter, spinach, and broccoli, to name a few.
In a Nutshell
While menopause-related hormonal changes are to blame for hair loss, there is something you can do to minimize this. By eating a diet (or taking supplements) rich in the vitamins and minerals stated above, you may give your hair the nutrients that it needs for better growth.
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March 10, 2021 0 Comments
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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