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Supplements for Hair loss

By May 10, 2022May 17th, 2022Hair

Vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as diet, are frequently asked about in order to prevent or treat dermatological problems, including hair loss. Dietary micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are now being used to treat androgenic alopecia. These minerals play a key role in the normal hair follicle cycle. There are approximately 100,000 hair follicles on the human scalp. 90 percent of these are in the anagen phase, where there is no alopecia and essential elements such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals are required to efficiently produce healthy hair [1,2]. Micronutrients, which include vitamins and trace minerals, are thus essential components of our diet [3]. 

Read our comprehensive guides on hairloss, their causes and solutions here first.

Summary

 

A case of biotin insufficiency caused by a particular amino acid formula that an infant was consuming was described. This patient exhibited low biotin levels in his blood and urine, as well as perioral dermatitis and alopecia.

 

A randomized clinical trial was conducted. During the course of this investigation, 18 cases of biotin use for hair and nail changes were discovered.

 

Eight of the ten cases had alopecia that cleared up after a few months of biotin administration.
5. Iron deficiency is the most frequent dietary deficiency in the world, and it contributes to telogen effluvium (TE).

 

The serum ferritin (iron-binding protein) level is used as an indicator in hair loss research since it is a good measure of total body iron storage.

 

Zinc is an essential trace element, which means it cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through food.

 

Selenium is an essential trace element that aids in oxidative damage protection as well as hair follicle development.

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Biotin

Biotin (also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H) is a water-soluble vitamin that is required for carboxylase enzymes in a variety of metabolic pathways. The Institute of Medicine currently recommends a daily adequate intake (AI) of 30 grammes of biotin for adults. [4]  
 
Fujimoto et al. [5] described a case of biotin insufficiency caused by a particular amino acid formula that an infant was consuming. This patient exhibited low biotin levels in his blood and urine, as well as perioral dermatitis and alopecia. After two months of biotin treatment, this patient’s hair began to regrow. 
 
A randomized clinical trial was conducted. During the course of this investigation, 18 cases of biotin use for hair and nail changes were discovered. Patients with hereditary enzyme deficiencies in biotinidase or holocarboxylase synthetase were reported in ten of the 18 cases.

Eight of the ten cases had alopecia that cleared up after a few months of biotin administration.

In addition, three cases of uncombable hair syndrome were documented, all of which improved hair quality after a few months of treatment. [6]

Iron

Iron deficiency is the most frequent dietary deficiency in the world, and it contributes to telogen effluvium (TE) [7].

The serum ferritin (iron-binding protein) level is used as an indicator in hair loss research since it is a good measure of total body iron storage [8].

Hair follicle matrix cells are among the fastest dividing cells in the body, and iron deficiency may lead to hair loss through its role as a cofactor for ribonucleotide reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme for DNA synthesis. Furthermore, several genes have been discovered in the human hair follicle, some of which are regulated by iron. 
 
Rushton et al [9] studied 100 premenopausal females between the ages of 14 and 54 who had diffuse alopecia (synonymous with AGA in this study) and 20 control participants between the ages of 17 and 49. A total of 50 patients were chosen for biochemical and hematologic testing. Thirty-six (72%) of the 50 patients had serum ferritin contents lower than the lowest control (40 ng/mL). 

Zinc

Zinc is an essential trace element, which means it cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through food. Fish and meat are the most common sources of zinc in the diet.

Alopecia is a well-known sign of chronic zinc insufficiency, with hair regrowth occurring with zinc treatment. [10]

When 312 individuals with Androgenetic Alopecia (AA), male pattern hair loss (MPHL), FPHL, or TE were compared to 30 healthy controls, all groups exhibited statistically reduced zinc amounts. Supplementation has been proven to have therapeutic effects in patients with AA and low serum zinc levels. [11] 

Selenium

Selenium is an essential trace element that aids in oxidative damage protection as well as hair follicle development. In a clinical trial of ovarian cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, participants getting selenium supplementation experienced a significant reduction in hair loss and other gastrointestinal symptoms when compared to controls. Ingestion of selenium is a supportive ingredient in chemotherapy, according to the authors. [12]

Vitamin A

  Retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and provitamin A carotenoids are all part of the vitamin A family. Vitamin A deficiency has not been linked to hair loss, but high levels have. In fact, one study indicated that reducing vitamin A in the diet delayed the development of hair loss in a mouse AA model. [13] 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin produced by keratinocytes in the epidermis. Vitamin D acquired from diet or synthesized in the skin is inactive and requires enzyme activation.

Hair loss in patients with vitamin D-dependent rickets type II shows the significance of vitamin D to the hair follicle.

These patients have vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene mutations, which cause vitamin D resistance and scanty body hair, frequently involving the entire scalp and body alopecia. [14] 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps to maintain the oxidant/antioxidant balance and protects against free radical damage. Vitamin E family members tocotrienols and tocopherols are powerful antioxidants. 

A study of 21 participants who received tocotrienol supplementation (100 mg of mixed tocotrienols daily) demonstrated a substantial increase in hair number when compared to a placebo group. [15]

Discussion

Many people consider healthy hair to be an indicator of overall health. People with receding hairlines, on the other hand, seem to fall into a never-ending pit of inferiority mentality. Hair, like many other body parts, requires certain nutrients to stay healthy and flourish. A multivitamin supplement usually contains a number of important vitamins as well as a few minerals that are essential for human health, such as selenium and zinc. Getting nutrients from the food we consume is better than taking supplements. Supplements can improve low levels and general hair health if you aren’t getting enough nutrients from your diet. 

Citations:

1- Shapiro J. Clinical practice Hair loss in women. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(16):1620–30
2- Gg A. Diffuse alopecia; nutritional factors and supplements. Turkderm-Turk Arch Dermatol Venerol. 2014;48[Suppl 1]:45–7.
3- Mason JB. Vitamins, trace minerals, and other micronutrients. In: Goldman L., Schafer AI, editors. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25 ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc.; 2016, p. 1445–1455.e1441.
4- Institute of Medicine (US) Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes and Its Panel on Folate, Other B Vitamins, and Choline. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, National Academies Press (US), 1998.
5- Fujimoto W, Inaoki M, Fukui T, et al: Biotin deficiency in an infant fed with amino acid formula. J Dermatol 2005; 32:256–261.
6- Patel, D. P., Swink, S. M., & Castelo-Soccio, L. (2017). A Review of the Use of Biotin for Hair Loss. Skin Appendage Disorders, 3(3), 166–169. doi:10.1159/000462981
7- Trost LB, Bergfeld WF, Calogeras E. The diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency and its potential relationship to hair loss. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006;54(5):824–44.
8- Walters GO, Miller FM, Worwood M. Serum ferritin concentration and iron stores in normal subjects. J Clin Pathol. 1973;26(10):770–2.
9- Trost, L. B., Bergfeld, W. F., & Calogeras, E. (2006). The diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency and its potential relationship to hair loss. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 54(5), 824–844. Doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2005.11.1104
10- Alhaj E, Alhaj N, Alhaj NE. Diffuse alopecia in a child due to dietary zinc deficiency. Skinmed. 2007;6(4):199–200.
11- Park H, Kim CW, Kim SS, Park CW. The therapeutic effect and the changed serum zinc level after zinc supplementation in alopecia areata patients who had a low serum zinc level. Ann Dermatol. 2009;21(2):142-146.
12- Petru E, Petru C, Benedicic C. Re: “Selenium as an element in the treatment of ovarian cancer in women receiving chemotherapy”. Gynecol Oncol. 2005;96(2):559
13- Everts HB. Endogenous retinoids in the hair follicle and sebaceous gland. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012;1821(1):222-229.
14- Takeda E, Kuroda Y, Saijo T, et al. 1 alpha-hydroxyvitamin D3 treatment of three patients with 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D-receptor-defect rickets and alopecia. Pediatrics. 1987;80(1):97–101.
15- Beoy LA, Woei WJ, Hay YK. Effects of tocotrienol supplementation on hair growth in human volunteers. Trop Life Sci Res. 2010;21(2):91-99.
Dr Taimur Iqbal

Dr Taimur Iqbal, MBBS Khyber Medical College, Peshawar.