Vitamin D and Alopecia: Everything You Need to Know

Can vitamin D help prevent hair loss? According to recent studies—it may. Nutritional deficiencies can play a role in alopecia. Here’s more on how vitamin D and alopecia are linked and what to do about it.

What Does Vitamin D Have to Do With Alopecia?

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that your body needs for:

  • Keeping bones healthy and strong
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Immune health
  • Glucose metabolism
  • Neuromuscular health

Foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, and cheese can help you meet your daily requirements but you can also absorb vitamin D from sunlight.

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Alopecia areata is considered to be a type of autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack hair follicles. According to a 2020 study in Dermatology and Therapy, vitamin D plays an important role in immune health. A deficiency in vitamin D can be linked to many different types of autoimmune disease—including alopecia areata. This study found that vitamin D deficiency was a risk factor for developing alopecia areata and that a significant number of patients with this condition had low levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is also metabolized in the skin by keratinocytes. This is a type of skin cell that processes keratin, a protein in hair, nails, and skin. When the body isn’t getting enough vitamin D, keratinocytes in hair follicles aren’t able to regulate hair growth and shedding.

“Vitamin D and hair loss are very closely intertwined,” Anna Chacon, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and hair loss expert in South Florida tells ishonest Connect to Care. “Both vitamin D deficiency, as well as vitamin D excess, may cause hair loss,” Chacon explains.

A 2020 study in the International Journal of Dermatology found that vitamin D deficiency may also play a role in the development and severity of androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness.

Can vitamin D supplements help with hair loss? It depends on whether your hair loss is being caused by a vitamin D deficiency. According to Chacon, “A laboratory workup of hair loss should include tests to evaluate current vitamin D levels.”

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Vitamin D supplements come in a pill or cream that can be applied to the skin. “Usually significant improvement is noted once vitamin D levels are corrected,” Chacon says.

Don’t Wait. Get Help Today.

The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to prevent irreversible damage. Speak to a medical professional today to begin your journey to a fuller head of hair.

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