Vitamin D, the all-purpose nutrient known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is being studied around the world as a possible natural cure for baldness. Some 35 million men in the US have male pattern baldness along with 20-30 million women who have hair loss.
The Wall Street Journal explains vitamin D’s possible role in hair follicle growth and reawakening:
Crucial to the hair-growth and balding process, scientists have found, are vitamin D and the microscopic receptors that bind to it in skin. These elements have become the focus for several research teams. (Supplements might offer health benefits for people lacking enough vitamin D, but they won’t bring back lost hair, researchers say.)
Some researchers, including those from the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, have identified molecules besides vitamin D that appear to activate the receptor and hold potential for future treatments.In July, Japanese researchers demonstrated in animals that adding vitamin D helped the process of using stem cells to generate new follicles…
The vitamin D receptor is “crucial for the regeneration of hair,” wrote Mark Haussler, a professor of basic medical sciences at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix, in a recent paper.
Various studies are ongoing into vitamin D’s possible ability to help regrow hair by activating the appropriate receptors. Although too much vitamin D can have harmful side effects, Dr. Hausler suggests that for some individuals obtaining the full recommended daily dose of vitamin D, “from foods such as fatty fish or from being in the sun—may generally improve health and aid hair growth,” the WSJ notes.
Vitamin D proponents in the holistic health community maintain that the substance can provide a wide array of health benefits and that low levels have been linked to many chronic wellness issues.
Watch the WSJ video on vitamin D and baldness:
[Image credit: Smobserver]