No one knows for sure how important vitamin D is for healthy hair growth, but some scientists believe a lack of it is linked to hair loss. New UK government guidelines which support the idea of vitamin D supplements for everyone, therefore, could be something of a game-changer.
Lack of vitamin D has been linked to the genetic hair loss conditions Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss, but it is more commonly associated with the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata. This perplexing condition is becoming better understood every year, and the medical community now widely accepts that it begins with a ‘trigger’ event such as fluctuating hormone levels or extreme stress, and that it causes healthy cells in the scalp to be attacked by the body.
But to say the mechanics of Alopecia Areata were well-and-truly fathomed would be overstating it – as illustrated by the raft of new trials into its causes and the variety of tests for potential new treatments that are taking place. Among them are trials into re-injecting a ‘purified’ version of a patient’s own blood into the scalp and also the use of body-fat derived stem-cells.
Vitamin’s role not fully understood
Vitamin D’s role in Alopecia Areata is not entirely understood. In fact, the Belgravia blog has been reporting on the medical community’s research into how vitamin D may be connected with Alopecia Areata for almost a decade.
One of the most recent pieces of research to hit the headlines came last year when doctors at Cairo University found in tests that people with both Alopecia Areata and genetic hair loss had lower than average levels of vitamin D receptors. Vitamin D receptors are vital for normal, healthy hair growth.
While the new government guidelines abut vitamin D levels make no mention of hair loss of any kind, it is entirely possible that, should people start to follow them, cases of Alopecia Areata may drop. Those who already have the disorder may see their patchy hair loss improve too, though this is purely speculation based upon previous research findings. The Government states that “to protect bone and muscle health, everyone needs vitamin D equivalent to an average daily intake of 10 micrograms.”
Sunlight is the main source
The advice comes from Public Health England (PHE), who state that vitamin D is made in the skin by the action of sunlight and that this is the main source of vitamin D in most people. However, as it has been impossible to ascertain exactly how much vitamin D is created this way, a daily 10 microgram dose is now recommended.
The Daily Mail picked upon the story and said that the move was prompted by doctors’ fears that rickets, a disease eradicated in the 1950s, was on the way back.
Hair loss treatment can be hugely successful for a number of common conditions in both men and women, and the sensible thing to do at the first sign of hair loss is to consult a specialist hair loss clinic – especially as there are no reported cases of Alopecia Areata or any other condition being reversed by increasing vitamin D levels alone.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.