A healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help slow or prevent hair loss, according to MayoClinic.com. Absorbing nutrients through food consumption or supplementation is important; a deficiency can lead to hair loss and other serious conditions. Calcium is one of the most vital minerals needed to ensure proper growth, reproduction and maintenance of the body.
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Calcium aids in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth; having an adequate amount of calcium in your diet may prevent osteoporosis, according to the Medline Plus website. Calcium also helps with the contraction and relaxation of muscles, nerve signaling, blood clotting and with the secretion of hormones and enzymes. Hormones such as androgens, stimulate hair growth; enzymes such as biotin promote cell growth and strengthens healthy growing hair.
According to MayoClinic.com, hair loss could occur from having low iron, low protein and poor nourishment. Crash dieting and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, can also result in hair loss. Malnutrition is one condition that arises from the body lacking nutrients from an inadequate diet. Rapid hair loss is a symptom of malnutrition; you can prevent it by having a well balanced diet full of nutrients including calcium.
Dairy products are a good source of calcium; 200 ml of semi-skimmed milk contains 240 mg of calcium, 150 g of low-fat yogurt contains 210 mg of calcium and 40 g of cheddar cheese contains 296 mg of calcium, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation calcium-rich foods list. In 85 g of broccoli there is 34 mg of calcium, 12 g of sesame seeds contain 80 mg of calcium, 100 g of salmon contains 91 mg of calcium, 100 g of sardines contain 500 mg of calcium, 160 g of oranges contain 75 mg and 160 g of apricots contain 117 mg of calcium.
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, there is a daily intake of calcium that is needed to ensure nutritional adequacy. For children 1 to 3 years old, 500 mg of calcium is needed; 4 to 8 years old, 800 mg; and 9 to 18 years old need 1,300 mg of calcium daily. Adults need 1,000 mg daily and adults over 50 need 1,200 mg of calcium daily. Adults 50 and older need more calcium to prevent osteoporosis and other age-related conditions such as hair loss.
According to Medline Plus, vitamin D aids with the absorption of calcium; it can be be obtained from food and the body produces it naturally when exposed to sunlight. High intakes of sodium, protein and potassium has been linked to an increase in calcium excretion through the urine, feces and sweat. Large intake of caffeine increases calcium excretion and inhibits absorption of calcium. Hair loss can be prevented or slowed with proper nutrition and a healthy diet.