A healthy hair is a sign of good health. There are a number of factors that contribute to having a healthy hair and one is vitamin D. This vitamin is known to promote healthy bones and teeth. It also helps prevent various cancers and a number of serious conditions. When it comes to hair loss, vitamin D deficiency has been noted as one of its causes.
Vitamin D is popularly called the “sunshine vitamin”. However, it is not really a vitamin but more of a “pro-hormone”. Vitamin D is absorbed by the body through sunlight exposure. Staying under the sun allows the skin to absorb the vitamin.
Vitamin D aids in the absorption of nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus. It plays an important role in numerous body functions. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to conditions that include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Bone loss and weakness
- Frequent illnesses
- Hair loss
Vitamin D impacts the body’s normal functions and one visible result of the lack of vitamin D in the body is hair loss.
Overtime, numerous changes to the body could lead to hair loss; however a deficiency in vitamin D causes the loss of hair in a particular way. The body is able to create new hair follicles and maintain production of healthy hair in the existing follicles with the help of vitamin D. Without the follicles, there will be no hair. Thinner and less healthy hair happens when the follicles are blocked or does not have enough nourishment. In some cases, the damage to the hair follicles is irreversible. However if the cause of the hair loss is deficiency in vitamin D, then consumption of adequate vitamin D should be able to address the problem.
Sources of Vitamin D
For fair-skinned people, being out in the sun for 10 minutes about three times a week will stimulate the production of vitamin D in the body. However, there will be times when the weather is not sunny. Also, people with darker skin do not produce that much vitamin D from being exposed under the sun. To receive adequate vitamin D, one can include foods that are rich in vitamin D in their diet. These include:
- Fatty fish
- Fortified cereals
- Some milk
- Some mushrooms
Aside from sunlight exposure and consumption of vitamin D-rich foods, vitamin D supplements are also available as source of the vitamin.
Individuals With Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can be rather nonspecific and include fatigue, altered mood and depression, insomnia, nonradicular back pain, arthralgias (particularly of the wrists, ankles, shoulders, and shins), proximal muscle weakness, headache, and hair loss.76,77