Hair loss is part of a natural cycle and occurs in small amounts on a daily basis. When excessive hair loss occurs, it may be from an underlying issue, such as a medical condition. Genetics plays a significant role when it comes to hair loss and you may have a predisposition to alopecia. There are supplements that promote hair growth and might help to reduce hair loss, but the supplements are not a substitute for medical treatment and can be toxic is high doses; consult with your health care provider to discuss any potential risks.
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Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin from the B-complex group. Biotin is a natural component found in egg yolks, chard, romaine lettuce, carrots and tomatoes. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, increasing biotin to 300 mcg daily may promote hair growth. However, there is a lack of evidence to suggest that an increase of biotin will promote hair growth if you are already consuming the suggested levels of biotin daily.
Iron is an essential component in maintaining optimal health. Iron helps the oxygen-transport process and regulates cell growth and differentiation. A deficiency in iron from low dietary intake or medical conditions such as anemia or excessive blood loss can lead to hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Iron is available as a supplement and can be found in foods such as red meats, organ meats, clams, oysters, poultry, soybeans, white beans, lentils and spinach.
Selenium is a trace mineral that your body only needs in small amounts. Dr. Elizabeth Wooton, a naturopathic doctor in Plymouth, Massachusetts, notes that selenium and zinc deficiencies generally lead to hair loss from a decrease in immune function. These immune functions assist with the utilization of protein your body needs to produce hair, arrording to MotherNature.com. Selenium is a natural component in plant soil. You can naturally consume selenium when eating meats, grains and plants grown in the selenium-rich soils.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is not present in many foods. The vitamin is available in supplement form and from synthesis by the skin from the exposure to ultraviolet-B rays. An animal study done in 2002 by the University of California School of Medicine in Los Angeles reported that hair follicle cycling and stimulated hair growth occurred in hairless mice when given doses of vitamin D-3. However, no human studies on the effectiveness of vitamin D-3 in supporting hair growth are reported.
Zinc is an essential mineral and helps with immune function, supporting normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements website by the National Institutes of Health. Zinc can help to boost impaired thyroid function that causes thinning and brittle hair, thereby promoting hair growth, according to the Herbs2000 website. Oysters contain the highest quantities of zinc per serving, but you can also eat red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, crab and lobster.