Book a FREE consultation  
For a free consultation or assistance, please call 020 7730 6666

Browse by Category

Four Vitamins and Minerals That Can Cause Hair Loss

Getting a daily supply of a range of healthy nutrients is generally a good thing but some vitamins and minerals, when consumed in excess, can cause side-effects, including hair loss.

Foods and Drinks Enriched with Vitamins and Minerals Can Make it Easy to Exceed the Recommended Daily IntakeExceeding recommended guidelines

Due to the trend for fortifying food and drinks with whatever the latest ‘fashionable’ vitamin or mineral is, it is easier than ever to enhance your diet. However, health and nutrition experts are concerned that these ‘enriched’ recipes can make it easy to exceed the recommended daily allowance (RDA) without even noticing.

WebMD quotes nutrition-specialist, Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Centre, who says manufacturers are “garnishing the food supply with overfortification.” Warning that, “When more and more foods are enhanced, it becomes impossible for consumers to know what dose they’re getting over the course of a day… Clinicians have to realise we might be introducing new dietary imbalances because of this practice“.

Vitamins and minerals that cause hair loss when consumed in excess

Whilst cases involving toxic levels of vitamins or minerals being found in the bloodstream are still rare, seeing what Dr. Katz describes as “higher than optimal” levels is more likely now.

The following four vitamins and minerals are examples of those that are good for hair and scalp health when taken in moderation. However, if your intake increases and you are regularly consuming more than your daily allowance, they can all lead to hair loss by triggering a condition called Telogen Effluvium. Please note all RDA amounts mentioned below are based on the requirements for the average adult leading a normal lifestyle.

Biotin (Vitamin B7) – RDA 50 micrograms

Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is crucial for hair health as it promotes growth whilst protecting the hair against damage by increasing its elasticity. Naturally found in dairy products, chicken, fish and nuts, it is also present in wholegrains. As breakfast cereals are often fortified and promoted on the basis of their wholegrain content, it is important to watch your intake here. Regularly overdosing on biotin can lead to a host of side effects, including skin rashes, high blood sugar levels and hair loss.

Selenium – RDA 55 micrograms

In America, the The National Institutes of Health reported that too much selenium in the blood can cause hair loss. Whilst some foodstuffs, including eggs and vitamin drinks, are available in selenium-enriched formulas, it is actually brazil nuts pack the biggest punch here. These festive favourites are loaded with the nutrient and as just one or two brazil nuts contain the full recommended allowance, these snacks can easily tip you over the limit.

Vitamin A – RDA 800 micrograms

Vitamin A is not only found in food and drinks but is also present in acne medications such as Accutane and Roaccutane. In approved doses it helps healthy hair growth but, if this is regularly exceeded, can lead to blurred vision, vomiting and hairloss. As Vitamin A is fat-soluble, the body takes what it needs and stores the rest for later use, making it easier to unwittingly overdo it. It is worth noting that just 100 grams of carrots – which is the equivalent of one large carrot – weighs in at 334% of the RDA target. so you do not need to consume Vitamin A daily.

Zinc – RDA 10 micrograms

Often found in vitamin drinks and in natural cold remedies, including throat lozenges, it can be easy to accidentally include too much zinc in your diet – especially as so little is needed. Necessary for hair growth, a zinc deficiency will prevent this phase of the hair production cycle from taking place and lead to hair loss. Similarly, according to The Nutritional Supplements Health Guide, if there is an abundance of zinc in the system, it can also cause hair loss so it is important to get the balance right.

Dealing with Telogen Effluvium hair loss

Minoxidil DropperIn order to combat hair loss caused by having an excess of certain nutrients in your blood, the first thing to address is your diet.

Examine your intake of food, drinks, supplements and medicines to make sure you understand how these imbalances came about in order to rectify your habits. Keeping a food diary can help you to identify where the excess may be creeping in and keep you on track afterwards.

Telogen Effluvium is the most common cause of hair loss from nutritional deficiencies and medication side-effects. It is temporary and causes thinning all over the scalp.

Once you have addressed the root cause, it should clear up in no longer than six months’ time. The hair will generally regrow on its own, however, treatment for Telogen Effluvium can help to speed up the regrowth process. This generally involves daily, topical applications of high strength minoxidil to help stimulate the affected areas.

Telogen Effluvium can exacerbate or trigger hereditary hair loss in both men and women with a genetic predisposition. So if you have any concerns regarding unusual levels of shedding, it is always best to get professional advice from a hair loss specialist.

All information correct as at May 2015

circ The Belgravia Centre City of London Hair Loss Treatment ClinicThe Belgravia Centre

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.

Related Stories


27th January, 2017 at 9:42 am


Our body is made of many type of chemicals and when anything in excess or in sufficient proportion will have some or other effects. Same is with hair and other body organs too. Thanks for sharing the information its great help to those who are having hair fall problem.

6th March, 2017 at 7:09 pm


I was wondering if you could look at controlled labs orange triad multivitamin and see if taking the recommended does(6 tablets a day) would put you over these thresholds.

7th March, 2017 at 10:40 am

Sarah Belgravia

Sorry Brandon, we cannot give you this kind of medical advice. You need to speak to your doctor or GP.

11th April, 2017 at 11:38 pm

Elizabeth Broun Garland

Belgravia, I will be coming to England as my first cousin lives in England. So excited to make an appointment.My husband a musician and over the top Beatles fan is psched.Now with Trump in power, we would rather be on your side of the pond! Elizabeth "Broun"

12th April, 2017 at 11:07 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Elizabeth! Thanks so much for your comment, we look forward to seeing you and hope you enjoy your visit to the UK

2nd June, 2017 at 11:09 pm


Hello, If I am taking to much Biotin this will cause hair loss? I seem to have loss on my face hairline. That looks bald. Any idea what to use for growth there?

5th June, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Janine, if you are regularly taking more than the amount required by your body then yes, this could cause hair loss. We cannot confirm if this is the specific cause of the hairline shedding in your case without assessing you. We recommend that you take any supplements only in the recommended doses and if you are concerned about your thinning then a professional consultation would be wise. A hair loss specialist can diagnose your condition then tailor a custom hair loss treatment plan to help prevent further shedding and promote regrowth, accordingly.

7th August, 2017 at 9:44 pm

Shenayla Flake

Hi, I was taking double the required daily amount of selenium supplements. To my horror, it has resulted in my hair becoming so thin at the front now. I've stopped taking the supplements completely & I'm wondering if my hair will ever grow back. It was thick he before:(

25th August, 2017 at 3:18 pm


Why would too much b7 cause hair loss? Will hair regrow after stop dosage ? Thanks

30th August, 2017 at 8:08 pm

Shenayla Flake

Will you ever answer my question or just continue deleting it? -__-

31st August, 2017 at 9:45 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Shenalya. No-one deleted your comment. Comments await approval and are published once we are able to provide an answer. As yours required a response from our senior pharmacist it took a little longer than normal but the full response to your query is up now, which we hope you find helpful..

4th September, 2017 at 11:32 pm

Shenayla Flake

My apologies, I have just seen the response to my previous question. Thank you, I will be coming in for a consultation. Kind regards.

5th September, 2017 at 9:33 am

Sarah Belgravia

No problem at all, Shenayla. We look forward to seeing you!

8th September, 2017 at 2:45 am


How can more than 50 mcg Biotin cause Telogen Effluvium?. All dermatologists I ask about biotin,tell me that a dose of 3 x 50 mcg biotin daily(what I take as a supplement)can not cause any hairloss.

8th September, 2017 at 9:52 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Conny, it depends on the individual but the recommended daily intake is 30mcg a day. For many people it is fine to regularly exceed this dose up to a certain point - but regularly exceeding biotin intake in extreme quantities can lead to negative health implications which, in turn, can cause telogen effluvium due to the disruption these cause to the body's normal functioning. The UK's Department of Health states, "You should be able to get all the biotin you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. If you take biotin supplements, don't take too much as this might be harmful. Taking 0.9mg or less a day of biotin in supplements is unlikely to cause any harm." Whilst the US Department of Health and Human Services states, "The FNB was unable to establish ULs for biotin because there is no evidence in humans that biotin is toxic at high intakes [1]. Several studies have found no adverse effects of 10–50 mg/day biotin, and up to 200 mg/day oral biotin or 20 mg/day intravenously in patients with biotinidase deficiency do not produce symptoms of toxicity [1,9]. Very high intakes of biotin can interfere with assays that use biotin-streptavidin technology and are commonly used to measure thyroid and other hormone levels [30]. As a result, a few recent case reports have described findings falsely indicating Graves disease and severe hyperthyroidism in patients taking 10–300 mg biotin per day, including six children receiving high doses of biotin (2–15 mg/kg body weight per day) to treat inherited metabolic diseases [30-33]. Furthermore, high biotin intakes could produce false-negative or false-positive results from assays of vitamin D metabolites as well as cortisol, testosterone, estradiol, insulin, and other hormones [34]". We hope this helps to answer your query.

8th September, 2017 at 10:53 am


Dear Sarah, Thanks a lot for your quick reply. I still do not know if a dose of 150 mcg Biotin,daily,could cause a Telogen Effluvium?. At the moment I take 3 tablets Florisene daily. Florisene is a hair supplement from Lamberts against Chronic Telogen Effluvium. You have to take 3 tablets daily,for 6 months,and each tablet contains 50 mcg Biotin. How can they put so much Biotin in a supplement for Chronic Telogen Effluvium,if it could cause Telogen Effluvium?. I look foreward a lot to hearing from you!. Yours Faithfully, Conny van Rijswijk

14th September, 2017 at 10:14 am


Hi I so excited about ur web Site. I have used biona tablet for two month before 7 years back, but still now i am getting body hair Loss. As per information I think this is overdose Biotin. Please advice do u have any treatment for this? Thanks

14th September, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Sakeer, you should speak to your doctor as biotin overdoses are pretty rare. They will be able to advise you on treatment for any health conditions, including hair loss from your body.

14th September, 2017 at 1:53 pm


Hi Thanks but my cases are very Rare. I am getting a body hair Loss. My family does not has like Problem. Please advice how can i control? How can i contact your adviser?

14th September, 2017 at 3:31 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Sakeer, we do not deal with hair loss from the body. This is something you need to speak to your doctor about. Sorry we cannot help you with this issue.

26th September, 2017 at 10:30 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi J, your query has been answered by our superintendent pharmacist, here. We hope this is helpful.

26th September, 2017 at 10:32 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Conny, we would recommend reading this article by our superintendent pharmacist which should make things clearer although we have no knowledge of any supplements specifically designed to prevent chronic telogen effluvium and would be wary of any such claims.

1st February, 2018 at 4:11 am


Hi Sarah, I have recently started taking 1 multivitamin tablet/day and have recognized a simultaneous increase in the hair loss. Could there be a correlation? I need them vitamins but I need my hair more. :)

1st February, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Siddharth, it may be the case but we could not tell you for certain just from what you say here. If you started taking the supplements less than three months ago, it is unlikely to be the related. If you started taking them around three months back or have been taking them for longer than this, it may well be the case and we would advise you to have a blood test to check your relevant vitamin and mineral levels. Following that, a hair loss consultation will allow a specialist to advise you on regrowth.

17th March, 2018 at 6:59 pm


This article is very helpful. My daily vitamin has Biotin, but in addition to that I was taking extra strength Biotin. I believe this was causing my hair to thin at the edges which is the opposite effect. I have stopped taking the extra dosage of Biotin thanks to this article. Thank you.

Comment on this article

* required field

Will not be published

Online Consultation

Submit an instant online consultation so that one of Belgravia’s hair loss specialists can diagnose your condition and recommend an effective course of treatment, wherever you live.