6 Reasons Why…Your Hair, Skin and Nails are Suffering
A patient on dialysis who experiences hair and nail changes can learn what to do such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs, may not be adequate for your kidney diet. hair loss is temporary for dialysis patients and will begin to grow back after a. Hormones can have a major affect on your hair, skin and nails. Hair loss in clumps or strands; Slow or no hair growth; Thinning eyebrows. Just like your skin, your hair and nails are affected by the foods you choose to eat . And we're not talking about the sheen of those lustrous.
Recommended daily intake of iron is between 11 and 18 milligrams for most nonpregnant adults. Zinc and copper Alcohol may affect zinc and copper absorption. A study involving people with four different kinds of hair loss — alopecia areatatelogen effluviumfemale pattern hair lossand male pattern hair loss — revealed zinc deficiency may contribute to hair loss.
According to the researchers, other investigators have concluded that low serum levels of copper may be a factor in hair loss, too.Key Nutrients for Reversing Hair Loss
Scientists are still looking to figure out exactly why this might be. According to the National Institutes of Healthmost people in the United States get adequate zinc from their diet. The recommended daily amount of zinc for most adults is 8 to 11 milligrams. However, people who have had weight loss surgery or have celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease may be at risk for lower than normal levels.
The daily recommended amount of copper is 2 milligrams. Protein Drinking alcohol may also interfere with the absorption of protein or lead to lower protein consumption. Studies show a severe deficiency in protein can lead to a number of skin, hair, and nail issues. You may experience anything from flaky skin and brittle nails to thinning hair or hair loss.
Here are more signs and symptoms of a protein deficiency. In general, the recommended daily intake of protein is 0. To get your individual recommendation for grams of daily protein, multiply your body weight in pounds by 0.
Thyroid problems associated with drinking Drinking too much alcohol on a regular basis can affect your thyroid and the overall hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid HPT axis. It can also affect other hormone interactions responsible for regulating a wide variety of processes in the body, like hair growth and hair shedding. In fact, severe or long-lasting hypo- and hyperthyroidism may cause hair loss and thinning of the hair across the whole scalp.
This may happen suddenly or over the course of months to years. Researchers explain that chronic damage from alcohol to the thyroid gland may be to blame in these cases. There are few intervention trials, and they are limited by small numbers, lack of controls in some, and variable ferritin levels. These have utilized different interventions, including iron alone [ 21 ], iron with L-lysine [ 822 ], and iron with spironolactone [ 23 ].
One study used a control population that excluded patients at risk for ID [ 24 ] and found no statistically significant increase in the prevalence of ID in premenopausal or postmenopausal women with chronic TE or FPHL.
At this time, there are no definitive answers. Patients must be approached on a case-by-case basis. In the aforementioned review articles, the researchers present their approach. Both groups test patients with iron studies, including serum ferritin.
Patients are monitored to measure their response—an important point.
Patients who take iron supplements without monitoring are at risk for potentially severe complications, as iron supplementation leading to iron overload can cause toxicity. This can occur even at low levels if taken over a long period [ 25 ]. Zinc Zinc is an essential mineral required by hundreds of enzymes and multiple transcription factors that regulate gene expression [ 26 ].
Zinc deficiency may be either inherited or acquired and may affect multiple organ systems. Patients may experience diarrhea, immunological effects, and delayed wound healing. Abnormalities in taste and smell may occur. Cutaneous effects include acral and periorificial dermatitis, while hair changes include TE and brittle hair. The autosomal recessive disorder, acrodermatitis enteropathica, results in decreased absorption of zinc, while acquired zinc deficiency may occur in malabsorption syndromes, such as inflammatory bowel disease [ 30 ] or following gastric bypass surgery.
Other groups at risk include patients with malignancy, those with liver or renal dysfunction, pregnant women [ 31 ], and patients with alcoholism [ 32 ]. Drugs that can affect zinc levels include valproic acid [ 33 ] and certain antihypertensives [ 34 ]. Dietary risk factors include vegetarianism, as bioavailability of zinc is lower in vegetables than meat [ 35 ]. Additionally, vegetarians typically consume more legumes and whole grains, which contain phytates that bind to zinc and inhibit absorption [ 35 ].
Serum zinc, the most commonly measured index of zinc status, may be impacted by several variables, and the functional effects of deficiency may be observed before serum levels decrease below normal [ 36 ]. Screening in those with risk factors is indicated, as hair loss due to zinc deficiency can be reversed.
A case series demonstrated reversal of hair loss following oral supplementation in five patients with TE and zinc deficiency [ 37 ]. In patients with AA and low serum zinc levels, supplementation has been shown to have therapeutic effects [ 39 ]. However, there is currently limited information on the effects of zinc supplementation on hair growth in those without documented deficiency.
One report described a single patient with alopecia, without clear deficiency, who experienced improvement following oral zinc therapy [ 40 ]. A major point when considering supplementation in the absence of known deficiency is that zinc toxicity can occur with excess supplementation. Acute adverse effects include pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, while chronic effects include interaction with iron and reduced immune function [ 18 ].
Niacin Pellagra, due to a deficiency of niacin, results in the well-known triad of photosensitive dermatitis, diarrhea, and dementia. Alopecia is another frequent clinical finding [ 2 ]. Pellagra became rare in many developed countries after niacin fortification of food was introduced. Alcoholism is now considered the most common cause of pellagra in developed countries [ 41 ]. Other causes include malabsorption disorders or drug-induced cases, such as with isoniazid [ 41 ].
In a review of the literature, no studies regarding niacin levels in patients presenting only with hair loss were identified. Fatty Acids Deficiency of the polyunsaturated essential fatty acids linoleic acid an omega-6 fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid an omega-3 fatty acid can result from inappropriate parenteral nutrition and malabsorption disorders such as cystic fibrosis. Hair changes include loss of scalp hair and eyebrows as well as lightening of hair [ 34 ].
Additionally, arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, may promote hair growth by enhancing follicle proliferation [ 43 ]. However, limited information is available on supplementation.
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In one patient with essential fatty acid deficiency, topical application of safflower oil, high in linoleic acid, resulted in growth of hair [ 44 ]. While results from a trial utilizing a supplement were reported, limited conclusions may be drawn, as this supplement combined multiple fatty acids and antioxidants [ 45 ]. Selenium Selenium is an essential trace element that plays a role in protection from oxidative damage as well as hair follicle morphogenesis.
Rats deficient in selenium display sparse hair growth [ 46 ], while knockout mice lacking specific selenoproteins exhibit progressive hair loss after birth [ 47 ].
Risk factors for deficiency include living in areas with low selenium soil content particularly in parts of China, Tibet, and Siberialong-term hemodialysis, HIV, and malabsorption disorders [ 48 ]. There is limited research on selenium deficiency and alopecia in humans.
How Hormones Affect Hair, Skin & Nails
One case report in a child described sparse hair, which improved after dietary supplementation [ 49 ]. Given the lack of human research, it is surprising that some hair loss supplements are marketed as containing selenium. This is concerning, as selenium toxicity from nutritional supplementation is well documented [ 9 — 11 ]. Toxicity can result in generalized hair loss, as well as blistering skin lesions, gastrointestinal symptoms, and memory difficulties.
Vitamin D Data from animal studies suggests that vitamin D plays a role in hair follicle cycling [ 50 ]. In a study of mice treated to model vitamin D-dependent rickets, the resultant animals developed hair loss [ 51 ].
In vitro studies have shown increase in vitamin D receptor expression in the outer root sheath keratinocytes during the growing phases of the hair cycle [ 52 ]. Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include inadequate sun exposure, dark skin, obesity, gastric bypass, and fat malabsorption [ 53 ]. Furthermore, vitamin D2 levels decreased with increased disease severity [ 54 ]. However, data on the effects of vitamin D supplementation in hair loss is lacking.
Vitamin A Vitamin A is a group of compounds including retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and provitamin A carotenoids. While deficiency has not been linked to hair loss, high levels of vitamin A have. In fact, one study found that in a mouse AA model, reduction of vitamin A in the diet actually delayed hair loss onset [ 56 ].
In humans, hypervitaminosis A may result from over-supplementation and has a strong known link to hair loss with other effects such as skin, vision, and bone changes [ 48 ]. Vitamin E Tocotrienols and tocopherols are members of the vitamin E family and are potent antioxidants.
Deficiency results in hemolytic anemias, neurologic findings, and skin dryness. Vitamin E deficiency is rare, but may occur with fat malabsorption disorders. Minimal information in the literature exists regarding benefits of vitamin E supplementation on hair loss. One study of 21 volunteers who received tocotrienol supplementation mg of mixed tocotrienols daily showed significant increase in hair number as compared to a placebo group [ 57 ].
However, excess supplementation may result in hypervitaminosis E, which can increase the risk of bleeding and decrease thyroid hormone production.
Additionally, there is some evidence for an adverse effect on hair growth, as seen in volunteers taking IU per day for 28 days, a dosage around 30 times the daily recommended intake [ 8 ].
This group had significant decreases in thyroid hormone levels [ 8 ]. Folic Acid Folic acid is found in leafy greens and many foods are fortified with folic acid, making deficiency uncommon. Deficiency mainly results in megaloblastic anemia, without manifestation of hair loss. No significant difference in serum folate levels was seen in 91 patients with diffuse hair loss as compared to controls [ 58 ].
In fact, another study of women with chronic TE showed Biotin Biotin, or vitamin H, serves as a cofactor for carboxylation enzymes. In isolated sheep hair follicles, incubation in biotin-containing solutions resulted in increased DNA concentration and protein synthesis [ 59 ].
Symptoms of deficiency include eczematous skin rash, alopecia, and conjunctivitis [ 60 ]. One study of an infant fed with a formula lacking sufficient biotin content reported manifestations of periorificial dermatitis and patchy alopecia, both of which resolved with daily oral supplementation of biotin [ 61 ].
Biotin deficiency is rare, as intestinal bacteria are typically able to produce adequate levels of biotin. Deficiency is seen in cases of congenital or acquired biotinidase or carboxylase deficiency, antibiotic use disrupting the gastrointestinal flora, and antiepileptic use.
Deficiency can occur from excessive ingestion of raw egg whites due to binding by avidin. No clinical trials have shown efficacy in treating hair loss with biotin supplementation in the absence of deficiency.
Despite this, biotin is found in multiple supplements marketed to consumers for hair loss. This marketing approach may have been chosen as biotin has shown positive effects in the treatment of brittle fingernails and onychoschizia [ 62 — 63 ]. Amino Acids and Proteins Protein malnutrition, such as in kwashiorkor and marasmus, can result in hair changes that include hair thinning and hair loss [ 64 ].
One study examined the role of L-lysine, an essential amino acid that may play a role in iron and zinc uptake.
Addition of L-lysine to iron supplementation resulted in a significant increase in mean serum ferritin concentration in some women with chronic TE who failed to respond to iron supplementation alone [ 8 ].
Although interesting, there is limited data available, and the role of L-lysine should be investigated further. In terms of other amino acids and proteins, no clear conclusions may be drawn about the role of supplementation in hair loss.
While trials of amino acid and protein supplements have been published, they are formulated with a variety of nutrients, and therefore it is unclear what role, if any, is played by amino acid and protein supplementation in the absence of known deficiency. One trial included L-cysteine, a constituent of keratin, in combination with medicinal yeast and pantothenic acid [ 65 ]. Other trials have evaluated supplements containing marine proteins in conjunction with multiple other nutrients [ 66 — 69 ].
However, it is difficult to evaluate the results of these trials, as the composition of these nutritional supplements is not disclosed. Antioxidants Antioxidants are compounds that are able to neutralize reactive oxygen species ROSpreventing oxidative damage.