Vitamin D3, also known as Cholecalciferol, is a substance that can improve calcium uptake in the body. While it is primarily involved in bone metabolism, it can help boost the immune system and protect the body from infections as well.
Vitamin D3’s benefits do not stop there. A study by Reichrath also suggests that it may help decrease cancer risk. Additionally, it may also offer some protection from the damaging effects of radiation and oxidative stress.
Apart from the above-mentioned health benefits, did you know that Vitamin D3 may help boost hair growth as well? If you’re suffering from a bad case of hair loss, then read on to learn more about this vitamin – and how it may help you achieve better hair health.
The hair follicle cycle consists of three stages, namely the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases. During the anagen or growth stage, the hair cells proliferate, leading to the lengthening of the hair strands. This growth phase eventually slows and stops as the hair enters the catagen phase. After this, the hair goes into the latent stage. Also known as the telogen phase, this is where the hair ‘rests’ and remains in the follicle until another strand grows. As the hair follicle cycle restarts again, further hair growth takes place.
While this often takes place normally, the said cycle can be disrupted by a Vitamin D deficiency. According to Down and MacDonald, such may lead to defects in the hair follicle cycle. Low levels of Vitamin D3 may lead to the delay in the initiation of the anagen or growth phase, with the slowdown resulting in alopecia or hair loss.
Aging is an inevitable part of life, but a lot of people – especially women – are afraid of it. After all, aging brings about a myriad of health conditions, such as cataracts, hearing loss, arthritis, dementia, and pain/aches in different parts of the body.
To make matters worse, aging vastly affects one’s appearance as well. As you age, your skin becomes more fragile and less elastic. It also becomes drier, as the body decreases its production of moisturizing skin oils.
Your hair health may be disturbed by the aging process as well. Apart from graying, your mane may get visibly thinner. That’s because as you age, the hair follicles get smaller. They end up producing strands that are so fine they’re barely visible. And like the skin, the hair also becomes drier and more brittle. Such strands are more prone to breakage and hair loss.
While aging is an unstoppable force, Vitamin D3 can help delay the processes that occur with it, according to the study of Reichrath.
Female pattern hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is characterized by diffuse hair loss that starts at the top part of the head. As the name suggests, it is caused by an increase in androgen hormones that bring about hair loss.
While male hormones are mostly to blame in the development of female pattern hair loss, it’s not always the case. A study by Suad and Modawe has presented the case of a woman with androgenetic alopecia who did not respond to male hormone inhibitors. Upon further checking, the researchers found out that she had Vitamin D3 deficiency. Such can be attributed to her lack of sun exposure since Arab women are usually covered with abayas (rob like dress) when they go out.
Because of this connection, Suad and Modawe suggest routine serum Vitamin D level determination in women experiencing hair loss. This is especially the case for ladies aged 18 to 45, as the study says that this group is at risk of developing a Vitamin D deficiency.
While Vitamin D3 testing might cost you some money, it can help you save more in the long run. It helps eliminate the need for expensive and unnecessary treatments, such as that of hormone inhibitors and Minoxidil.
Inflammation has been linked with several hair loss conditions. Fortunately, there’s Vitamin D3, a substance that may help control inflammation. According to the study of Liu et al., Vitamin D3 may help reduce the number of inflammatory cytokines, substances that can trigger inflammatory processes in the body. This is vital in controlling hair loss, as inflammation brings about certain conditions such as scarring (cicatricial) alopecia and folliculitis decalvans (inflammation of the hair follicles).
Who Needs Vitamin D3 Supplementation?
As has been mentioned, low levels of Vitamin D3 may lead to unprecedented hair loss. Although Vitamin D3 is widely available in foods and supplements, some people are at risk of developing a deficiency. They are:
With that being said, these people – including the ones who experience hair loss – are encouraged to eat foods rich in Vitamin D3. Good examples include salmon, mackerel, tuna, beef liver, egg yolks, mushrooms, and cheese to name a few.
Another option is to take a supplement. The US National Library of Medicine recommends the intake of 600 IU for teens and adults aged 14 to 70. Older people aged 71 and above, on the other hand, should take a dose of 800 IU.
Tips on Taking Vitamin D3
While Vitamin D3 is a natural supplement that could be taken by most people, caution should be exercised in people with high levels of calcium (hypercalcemia) or Vitamin D (hypervitaminosis) in the body. Allergies and malabsorption, or the inability to absorb nutrients from food, are contraindications in taking Vitamin D3.
According to Dr. Neil Sadick, nutraceuticals (such as Vitamin D3) may help combat hair loss. For one, it can help reduce the incidence of inflammation and free radical damage. Secondly, it may help protect the hair from environmental and hormonal stresses that can affect its growth. With these doctor-approved benefits, Vitamin D3 may just be the supplement that you need for better hair health.