This Morning: Dr Ranj discusses treatments for hair loss
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Iron is an “important” vitamin that is a major component of haemoglobin – a type of protein in red blood cells that is needed to transport oxygen around the body. Foods sources of iron include meat, poultry, seafood, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and leafy greens. If, however, you want to optimise the amount of iron that your body absorbs, you need to consider what you are drinking alongside your meal.
According to the late Philip Kingsley – a hair care specialist – the best drink is orange juice.
“Iron can only be absorbed effectively if you are ingesting it alongside vitamin C,” his ongoing hair care site stated.
“Drink a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice to help with iron uptake.”
Stored iron – known as ferritin – is said to be “extremely important for hair growth”.
This can be obtained by eating lean red meat twice a week, or supplementing with iron.
Other dietary considerations to consider when it comes to hair regrowth includes:
- Eat a varied diet
- Eat breakfast everyday
- Remain hydrated.
Harvard School of Public Health added that ferritin is stored in the liver, spleen, muscle tissue and bone marrow.
It is delivered throughout the body by transferrin – a protein in the blood that binds to iron.
Iron comes in two form: heme (found in animal flesh) and non-heme (found in plant foods).
“Heme iron is better absorbed by the body than non-heme iron,” the experts said.
While vitamin C consumption can improve the absorption of non-heme iron, other ingredients could inhibit the absorption of iron.
Bran fibre, calcium supplements, and tannins can all reduce the absorption of iron.
Am I deficient in iron?
Aside from hair loss, fatigue and lightheadedness, there are other indicators of iron deficiency anaemia.
This includes: confusion, loss of concentration, sensitivity to cold, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, pale skin, and brittle nails.
An iron deficiency can be identified via a blood test arranged by your doctor.
Iron deficiency anaemia is usually corrected with oral iron supplementation.
Blood levels should then be checked periodically so that your doctor can adjust your dosage of iron supplementation.
At some point, you will be told by your doctor to stop taking iron supplements.
This is because long-term iron supplementation at high doses can lead to constipation and other digestive upset.
Signs of iron supplementation toxicity can include: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and an upset stomach.
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