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Vitamins to Take for Telogen Effluvium

author image Robert Shifko
Robert Shifko has more than 17 years' experience in the health care industry. Throughout his career, he has gained experience in pharmacologic research, clinical nuclear medicine, and most recently radiation health physics. He has obtained several certifications in nuclear medicine, epidemiology, biostatistics and as a medical radiation safety officer. He has always supported LIVESTRONG.
Vitamins to Take for Telogen Effluvium
Close-up of a woman's hand holding a glass in which a vitamin B tablet is dissolving. Photo Credit: Discha-AS/iStock/Getty Images

Telogen effluvium is the second-most common form of hair loss, according to the American Hair Loss Association. It's characterized by diffuse thinning hair on the scalp that may or may not be even. Stress and diet are very common causes of telogen effluvium. Lack of essential vitamins, minerals or essential amino acids can contribute to the onset of this disorder. People in third-world countries are particularly susceptible to this disorder due to diets lacking in essential vitamins and minerals. Telogen effluvium can be reversed and hair can begin to regrow in the essential nutrients are replaced either by food or supplements.

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People who have a zinc deficiency are susceptible to hair loss and telogen effluvium. People who suffer hair loss due to lack of zinc can reverse hair loss by increasing their dietary intake of zinc. A study performed by Gaskill House in Manchester, United Kingdom confirmed the reversal of hair loss after administration of 200mg zinc per day. Dietary sources of zinc include oyster, crab, pork shoulder, baked beans, cashews and Swiss cheese.


Scientific evidence has shown that hair loss can be the result of a deficiency in the amino acid lysine. Lysine is an essential amino acid, but the body can't produce it so it must be acquired through dietary sources. A study performed by the Department of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom confirms that hair loss can be reversed by increased dietary intake of lysine. Dietary sources of lysine include red meat, pork, poultry, Parmesan cheese, sardines, nuts and eggs.

B Vitamins

The American Cancer Society says that a deficiency of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, can produce a number of physiological side effects -- including hair loss. Reversing this deficiency can effectively treat hair loss. Dietary sources of vitamin B6 are fish, liver, pork, chicken, potatoes, bananas and dried beans. Dietary sources of vitamin B12 include eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish and milk.

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