If you’re harvesting more hair than usual during your detangling sessions, it may be time to take a closer look at your diet. Having low levels of vitamin D could be playing a role in your thinning locks.
In the UK- approximately 65%- don’t get enough vitamin D.
But just how do you get Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the very few vitamins that can be synthesized by your body. This means you can make your own when sun exposure is adequate, all you have to do is get some sunshine. Vitamin D is produced in your body naturally when you are in the sun. Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays in sunlight convert cholesterol in the skin into vitamin D. In the liver, vitamin D is converted to calcidiol. This then gets converted by the kidneys to calcitriol, which is the form of vitamin D that is biologically active in the body.
Vitamin D is found in healthy hair follicles, and is generally lacking in unhealthy follicles. Vitamin D is a precursor to the hair growth cycle. Important to hair loss, vitamin D helps reduce stress and depression. Stress has been related to hair loss, so it follows if you have lots of stress, reducing this would be a good thing. It is additionally essential for the immune system, healthy bones and teeth, and the absorption of calcium.
People who get very little sunlight are more likely to be deficient and the darker your complexion, the less sunlight can get though the skin layers meaning your body needs to be exposed to sunlight for significantly longer to generate the same levels of vitamin D as a paler person. For a fair-skinned person, around 20-30 minutes of sunlight on the face and forearms, 2-3 times a week is sufficient to make enough vitamin D in the summer months in the UK. For people with darker skin, the amount of time needed exposed to sunlight to make enough vitamin D can be much more than this. The sunlight has to fall directly on to bare skin (not through a window) in order to get your daily dose of Vitamin D .But fear not my darker skinned friends and indeed my paler folk! If you don’t want to increase your sun exposure for obvious reasons i.e. Cancer, there are foods that are high in vitamin D.
Foods high in vitamin D include
Until recently, scientists thought that Vitamin D it was used by our body to grow healthy bones and teeth. But what is now understood is that it is used by a high number of other organs in the body too, meaning that vitamin D can have an even more significant impact on health than first thought.
So the key to getting Vitamin D is:
- Get more sunshine. Don’t burn yourself, but do spend time outdoors and expose your skin to the sun whenever you can. 20-30 mins per day is sufficient for fairer skin folk;
- Eat more oily fish- such as salmon, mackerel, Tuna etc;
- Up the number of mushrooms you eat;
- Consume more eggs;
- Take a daily supplement such as Cod liver oil or vitamin D .
For health in general, an array of vitamins are needed, not just isolated ones. The best way to get your RDA is ideally from food and secondly from supplements. Nothing beats a nutrient rich diet!!