Vitamin D deficiency symptoms can develop if a person lacks the vitamin from having too little sun exposure. The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when being outdoors, but between October and early March, certain groups may risk not getting enough. It’s important to get enough vitamin D because the body needs to regulate calcium and phosphate – nutrients needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. If a person lacks vitamin D they may notice a certain change in their hair.
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Research has demonstrated that lack of vitamin D can lead to hair loss because vitamin D stimulates new and old hair follicles.
When there isn’t enough of the vitamin in your body new hair growth can be stunted.
Deficiency in the vitamin has also been linked to alopecia, a condition which causes bald patches on the scalp and hair loss in other areas of the body.
One study found women 18 to 45 years old who experienced alopecia or other types of hair loss had low levels of vitamin D.
According to research by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, vitamin D deficiency resulted in female hair loss.
The study noted that low serum ferritin and vitamin d are associated with hair loss in females.
Alopecia aerate is an autoimmune disease characterised by severe hair loss from the head and other parts of the body.
What the experts say
Dietician Franziska Spritzler said: “Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that has powerful effects on several systems throughout your body.
“Most people don’t realise that they’re deficient, as symptoms are generally subtle.
“Hair loss could be a warning sing of a vitamin D deficiency.
“When hair loss is severe, it may be the result of a disease or nutrient deficiency.”
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Who is most at risk of having a vitamin D deficiency?
According to Dr Oz, people with pre-existing health conditions run the risk of a vitamin D deficiency.
He explained who is at risk of a vitamin D deficiency: “People who have trouble absorbing fat in their diet, like those with inflammatory bowel diseases or those who have had gastric bypass surgery.”
Other risk factors for a deficiency include people who are not outdoors often, those who are in an institution such as a care home, those who wear clothes that cover up most of their skin and those who don’t eat vitamin D rich foods.
Fortunately it’s easy for most to ensure their vitamin D levels are topped up by eating more foods such as oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks or fortified foods.
Taking a supplement for vitamin D deficiency is highly recommended as is taking either a vitamin D injection or discussing with your GP the best treatment for a vitamin D deficiency.
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