Researchers in Egypt are building on findings of their countrymen by conducting a new trial into the role that vitamin D may play in hair loss.
The new study, which is being overseen by university researchers in the city of Assiut, is focused on androgenetic alopecia, more commonly referred to as Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss. It hopes to recruit 90 participants for the study which will comprise three equal groups: men with genetic hair loss, women with genetic hair loss and a mixture of male and female subjects with no hair loss conditions.
Each will have their serum level of vitamin D measured via blood tests.
Vitamin D receptors expressed in follicles
In the details of the study submitted to clinicaltrials.gov, Miral Hassan at the University of Assiut states: “Basically, Vitamin D is a modulator of both innate and adaptive immune systems through its various effects on T and B lymphocytes, dendritic cells and macrophages. There is a well-established causal connection between vitamin D deficiency and some autoimmune diseases, and possible association with some hair disorders, as it has been demonstrated that vitamin D receptors are strongly expressed in hair follicles and keratinocytes.”
She goes on to add that, “Such an expression was found to be necessary for maintenance of the normal hair cycle. Also, it has also been shown that lack of vitamin D receptors (VDR) reduces epidermal differentiation and hair follicle growth, and that an optimum concentration of Vitamin D3 is essential to delay aging and hair loss.”
One study likely to be of influence is the recent trial by fellow Egyptian researchers, this time in Cairo, who investigated levels of vitamin D receptors in the skin and blood of 60 participants by taking blood samples and lesional scalp biopsies for examination.
They found that people with androgenetic alopecia and also Alopecia Areata, the autoimmune disorder that leads to sudden, patchy hair loss, had noticeably lower VDR levels than those in a control group.
Long-term link with hair loss
Vitamin D and hair loss conditions have been linked for some years, but no one has yet been able to ascertain whether or not a topical – possibly fortified – vitamin D solution is of any use at regrowing hair. It seems that this is in fact unlikely, as it would be a relatively easy thing to trial and anecdotal stories of DIY home treatments that had worked would be abundant, when they are not. Indeed, clinically-proven medications involved in promoting hair growth as part of a hair loss treatment course do not currently make use of vitamin D in any form.
Currently the only MHRA and FDA approved medication known to encourage hair growth in both men and women with genetic hairloss is minoxidil. This vasodilator is applied directly to the areas of the scalp where it is needed and, although it is only approved for use in cases of male and female pattern hair loss, Belgravia has seen great success in using high strength minoxidil preparations when treating other conditions too, including Alopecia Areata.
This isn’t to say that ensuring you are well topped up on vitamin D levels is a waste of time, however. UK Government guidelines released last year stated that vitamin D supplements should actually be taken by everyone. “To protect bone and muscle health, everyone needs vitamin D equivalent to an average daily intake of 10 micrograms,” they wrote.
An alternative way of trying to hit the recommended daily intake is to ensure you eat a balanced diet that includes sensible amounts of natural sources such as fatty fish and eggs.
For those noticing thinning hair or sudden hair fall, a visit to a specialist clinic for an assessment and diagnosis from a trained specialist is likely to prove more beneficial as hair loss is rarely caused by one sole factor.
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.