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Even though hair growth is determined by genetics, one reason for hair loss is improper nutrition. Vitamins are essential for the normal functioning of the body; without them our bodies would not be able to perform.
If your hair is thinning beyond the normal level of 50 to 100 hairs per day, consider your intake of these five vitamins that you can get through foods and supplements. Before adding any supplements to your diet, you should always to your doctor. Don’t feel isolated, either: More than half of men and women in the United States experience excessive hair loss at some point in their lives.
Vitamin A promotes the growth of healthy cells and tissues, which affects your hair and scalp. If you have a deficiency of vitamin A, it can cause hair loss. The daily dose should be about 5,000 UI for most people, but it is possible to get too much of this nutrient. Don’t consume more than 25,000 IU per day.
Foods rich with vitamin A:
• Beef liver
• Sweet potato
• Collard greens
• Mustard greens
• Romaine lettuce
Also, beta-carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A, and its antioxidant properties promote healthy hair. Find it in these foods:
B-vitamins play a role in cell metabolism. Vitamins B-6, B-12, B-9 (folate), B-7 (biotin), B-5 (pantothenic acid) and B-3 (niacin) in particular are necessary for healthy hair.
B-5 and B-7 are believed to slow hair loss and prevent graying hair. B-6 helps prevent hair loss and helps the body absorb zinc; it also plays a role in the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to cells and is essential for healthy hair.
Foods rich with vitamin B-6:
• Pork loin
Folic acid helps your tissues grow and your cells function, including skin, nails, organs and hair. It is found in these foods:
• Collard greens
Another B-vitamin, inositol, is considered one of the main nutrients to aid hair growth and prevent balding.
Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, which supports hair follicles and keeps blood vessels in the scalp. It also increases iron absorption. Dosage should be about 500 to 1,000 mg, taken twice daily.
Foods rich in this vitamin:
• Citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, grapefruit
• Red sweet peppers
• Dark green vegetables
If you don’t get enough vitamin C, you might start prematurely graying or experiencing dryness and brittle hair.
It was recently discovered that vitamin D is beneficial to healthy hair growth. The daily intake adequate for adults under the age of 50 is 5 mcg.
Sunlight is a source of vitamin D, but in the winter most people don’t get enough of this nutrient. Milk and other fortified foods have a significant amount of this nutrient.
Vitamin E is crucial for hair and skin health. A study by the University of Science in Malaysia found that taking vitamin E daily increased hair growth in balding men by 42 percent. The recommended daily allowance is about 15 mg for adults.
Vitamin E can be found in these foods:
• Corn oil
Research has also found that applying vitamin E to follicles prevents hair loss and balding. You can do this by opening a capsule of vitamin E and massaging it onto your scalp. It’s also good to consume vitamin E and vitamin C at the same time, as they work together.
Along with getting the right amount of vitamins through food and supplements, many hair regrowth products can be a solution for hair loss. It can be difficult when you first start losing your hair, but there are steps you can take to curb the loss.
About the Author: Simone George is a nutritionist who began experiencing hair problems in her 20s. She credits vitamins and other hair products for improving her appearance.