Dandruff, a common problem for many people, causes dry, flaky skin on the scalp. This may result in an itchy, scaly rash. The flakes that appear in your hair come from dead skin cells on the scalp. Deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients may increase the risk of getting dandruff. Fish oil, known for its potential ability to reverse high cholesterol damage and lower the risk of heart disease, may also work as a dry scalp remedy to add vital ingredients for healthy skin and hair to combat dandruff.
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Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are considered essential fatty acids necessary for brain memory, mental performance and behavioral function. Prescribed fish oil supplements containing omega-3s have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat patients who need to lower their triglyceride levels, a risk factor in heart disease. The properties in fish oil may also help other health conditions. Symptoms of deficiencies in omega-3s include dry skin, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Fatigue, poor memory and mood swings may also occur from lack of omega-3s in the body. Stress, a possible contributor to dandruff, can result from these symptoms.
Where to Get Omega-3s
Your body cannot make omega-3 fatty acids, so you need to get them through foods. Major sources of omega-3s are certain types of fish, including albacore tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout and sardines. You can also get omega-3s from walnuts, soybeans, flax and pumpkin seeds and walnut, flax seed, soybean and pumpkin seed oils. Eating fish provides you with plenty of omega-3s, but fish oil supplements may also work effectively and are usually made from fish containing these fatty acids. Buy fish oil supplements from reputable companies and make sure they contain omega-3s.
Causes of dandruff may include yeast infections, overactivity of oil glands or shampooing in hot water that strips the natural oils from your hair. Not washing your hair enough or blow-drying your hair too often may aggravate dryness of the scalp. Certain dietary practices can also lead to dandruff. A high-sugar diet may use up too much of the B vitamins in your body and cause dandruff, Health911 notes. Deficiencies in unsaturated fats, such as omega-3s, may result in dandruff.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat. These are healthy fats that can be used in place of unhealthy saturated fats you find in red meat and poultry with skin. The omega-3s in fish oil along with an increased intake of B vitamins may help prevent dandruff. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s help your body fight off dry conditions that cause dandruff. Eating vegetables, eggs and liver or consuming B-complex vitamin supplements may return your normal levels of B vitamins.