Are you experiencing hair fall more than usual? Well, it could be signs of Vitamin D deficiency. But how do you get to know if you are vitamin D deficient? Well, some of the common signs are – falling sick very often, fatigue and tiredness, aches and pains, bone degeneration, pale skin and dark circles, mood changes, infections, loss of appetite, sleep changes, hair loss etc.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is also often called as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because the body produces vitamin D in response to sun exposure. It is a fat-soluble vitamin and is involved in calcium absorption, immune system functioning, bone health and heart health. For those unable to be exposed to enough natural sunlight or are vitamin D deficient, must consume vitamin D supplements, if one cannot get enough even through their diet.
Vitamin D rich foods: Oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel, red meats, liver, egg yolks, milk with fortified cereals, cheese, oatmeal, tofu etc.
What is the connection between Vitamin D and hair fall?
Vitamin D is essential in the stimulation of cell growth and helps to create new hair follicles. When the body lacks the appropriate amount of vitamin D, it could lead to hair fall. Vitamin D is also linked with Alopecia. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease (a condition where your immune system attacks your own body) that causes the immune system to attack its own hair follicles.
Vitamin D and hair loss is known to be closely related as the tricky part of vitamin D is that if it is either in excess or deficient, it can lead to hair loss.
Vitamin D is also metabolized in the skin by keratinocytes. These keratinocytes are the primary type if cell found in the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin) and are produced by the stem cells (specialized human cells that develop into new cells). The main role of these keratinocytes is to preserve the skin against microbial, viral, fungal and parasitic invasion. They can also protect the skin against ultra-violet (UV) radiation and water loss. Keratinocyte growth factor has been shown to regulate the proliferation (rapid multiplication) in the epithelial tissue (the tissue spread throughout the body) and may regulate the stem cells of the hair follicle.
Keratinocytes are a type of skin cell which processes keratin (a protein which is found in the hair, nails and skin). Due to lack of vitamin D, the keratinocytes in the hair follicles will not be able to regulate hair growth and hair shedding (natural part of the hair growth cycle) in the regular manner. READ MORE – Alpha arbutin: a little-known secret for brighter, glowing and even skin
Vitamin D supplements:
Supplements are any vitamin tablets, capsules, chewable tablets, powders, a liquid etc, which contain one or more vitamins and is added to one’s diet to supplement or add to the amount of naturally produced vitamins, in case a person is deficient.
Here are some of the causes of lack of vitamin D:
1. Lack of exposure to sunlight (as it is the primary source of vitamin D).
2. As we age the body begins to lose some of its natural ability to synthesize vitamin D.
3. Skin tone also plays a major role. Melanin is a skin pigment responsible for hair, skin and eye colour. The more melanin one has, the darker the skin tone and complexion. Higher the levels of melanin can inhibit the production of vitamin D.
4. Staying indoors for longer hours due to age, work restrictions, illness etc, could contribute to vitamin D deficiency.
Side effects of excess Vitamin D:
Hypervitaminosis D, also known as Vitamin Toxicity:
This is a rare condition but it can be serious. It occurs when the body takes in too much of vitamin D, usually occurring with the consumption of high doses of vitamin D supplements. It can sometimes also occur when you take vitamin D supplements and have other existing health problems. Too much of vitamin D can cause high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), which can thereby affect the bones, tissues and other organs. It can also lead to high blood pressure, bone loss and kidney damage or failure if not treated. Some of the symptoms of excess vitamin D are fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dehydration, constipation, excessive urination, excessive thirst, weight loss, confusion and disorientation etc. Vitamin D toxicity is usually reversible, unless it is too severe or progressed to being a bad case. So if you face any of these symptoms on a long term, it is better to consult a doctor and get treated. READ MORE – NATURAL HAIR GROWTH SUPPLEMENT FOR FASTER AND THICKER HAIR GROWTH