It is not just about having the right genes or using the right cosmetics to have long, thick and shiny hair. It’s all futile if you don’t have adequate levels of hair vitamins, especially vitamin B12. If you know all the facts about the benefits of Vitamin B12 for hair, then you can accept the relevance of a balanced diet.
Vitamin B12 – What is it?
Vitamin B12, commonly known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for DNA synthesis and cell production. This water-soluble vitamin, which belongs to the B complex vitamin family, contributes to the production of red blood cells and promotes healthy central nervous system function in your body. Most water-soluble vitamins cannot normally be stored in large amounts by the body, however, vitamin B12, which is present in the liver, can be stored for more than 4 years.
If you notice abnormal hair loss and there is no replenishment, you may be deficient in Vitamin B12. You should consult your doctor or health expert about the cause of hair loss and if diagnostic tests determine a deficiency, you should either include food sources rich in vitamin B12 or take hair growth supplements. You should start taking Vitamin B12.
How is Vitamin B12 deficiency linked to hair loss ?
B12 for hair is not only important for hair growth, but is also very essential for the brain, nerves and blood cells.
When viewed under a microscope, each strand of your hair looks like a thick tube. This tube-like structure is called the hair shaft. Most of your hair is made of a strong protein called keratin.
Although the protein keratin, the major component of your hair, is dead, the hair follicles beneath it are still very much alive and in need of nutrients. Only blood can deliver the nutrients and oxygen that are needed for hair follicles to grow. Your hair cells grow and increase in number, forming a new hair strand. Blood vessels at the base of your hair bulb connect your body’s blood supply to your hair follicles.
The development of red blood cells that are oxygen-rich and carry oxygen to your hair follicles is aided by vitamin B12. Creating new hair cells and promoting hair growth are biological processes.
Cell division, cellular metabolism, and DNA replication are all greatly influenced by this vitamin. Every time a hair cell divides, it creates a duplicate. Synthesis of DNA for hair growth and absorption of Vitamin B12 are the two main factors that contribute to hair growth.
Does B12 deficiency also cause thinning hair? Yes it can. Red blood cells are produced by cobalamin or vitamin B12 in the bloodstream. Your low red blood cell count may indicate vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. Possible symptoms of a deficiency in this vitamin are hair loss or thinning of the hair.
Other Benefits of Vitamin B12 for Hair
Apart from promoting hair growth, there are many other vitamin B12 benefits for hair as well. They are:
1. Moisturizes and conditions your hair
When you step out, your hair becomes dry and lifeless due to constant exposure to pollution and UV rays. You can use several precautionary measures to protect your hair like covering your head while stepping out or oiling your hair frequently. But nothing can be better than maintaining the required level of Vitamin B12. One of the health benefits of vitamin B12 for hair is that it moisturizes and conditions your hair. Your hair will become shinier, smoother and less frizzy.
2. Promotes Scalp Health
An itchy scalp can be a real pain and is one of the possible symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. Loaded with anti-inflammatory properties, maintaining scalp health is one of the best vitamin B12 benefits for hair. It aids in reducing skin irritation, balances the pH level and helps in healing the infection.
3. Preserves the natural color of the hair
Your hair can get damaged due to frequent exposure to pollution, chemicals and sunlight. This damage can manifest as lethargy and sometimes as premature graying. Although there are temporary solutions, such as coloring your hair, your hair really needs proper nutrients, which vitamin B12 provides.
The impurities that promote premature graying and aging of your hair can be combated with Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 benefits for hair include preserving the original color of your hair.
4. Restores the shine of your hair
Using a hair dryer repeatedly can heat up your hair. Constant exposure to heat and UV rays can make your hair look lifeless. You can restore your hair’s natural shine and prevent additional damage by frequent oiling and using vitamin B12 supplements as B12 for hair is known for its UV protection property.
5. Controls oil production and maintains pH level
Your hair growth can be affected by excessive oil production and imbalanced pH levels. Oil can clog your pores, which can lead to problems like dandruff and itchy scalp. Natural oil production and pH levels can be balanced with Vitamin B12 for hair, which also hydrates your hair.
When you have a B12 deficiency, consuming B12 will help improve the condition of your skin and hair. However, if you have enough B12 in your body, consuming too much of it will not affect your skin or hair.
What is the cause of Vitamin B12 deficiency ?
Meat eaters can get adequate amounts of this nutrient. Ask your doctor whether you should undergo a blood test to evaluate your vitamin B12 levels if you are unsure.
It can become more difficult to absorb this vitamin as we age. In addition, deficiency can occur if you regularly consume alcohol or have had surgery to lose weight or a procedure that involves removing a part of your stomach.
In addition, the following conditions may increase your risk of vitamin B12 deficiency:
1. If you are suffering from atrophic gastritis, a condition in which the lining of the stomach becomes thin.
2. Due to pernicious anemia, your body has difficulty absorbing vitamin B12.
3. Small bowel disorders such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial overgrowth, or a parasitic disease.
4. Heavy consumption of alcohol limits your caloric intake and makes absorption of vitamins and nutrients difficult.
5. If you don’t get enough B12, glossitis or tongue swelling and irritation can be a sign.
6. Diseases of the immune system, including lupus and Graves’ disease.
7. On medication that limits the absorption of vitamin B12.
8. If you do not consume animal products such as meat, milk, cheese, or eggs, or if you are a vegetarian or vegan who do not consume enough dairy products or eggs to meet your vitamin B12 requirements If you are, you may develop a vitamin B12 deficiency.
What are the symptoms of B12 deficiency ?
You will get several warning signs when you are deficient in Vitamin B12. They are:
1. Fatigue and mental weakness
2. Weight loss, lack of energy, loss of appetite
5. Cognitive decline, memory loss
7. Disorientation, depression and confusion
8. Hair fall, thinning of hair, premature graying
9. Mouth ulcers
11. Irritability, mood swings
Vitamin B12 deficiency, if not addressed immediately, can turn into serious conditions like heart palpitations, breathlessness, neurological problems and depression.
Ways to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency
Most people can avoid vitamin B12 deficiency by eating enough meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products and eggs.
If you don’t consume animal products or if you have a medical condition that affects your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, you can get vitamin B12 through multivitamins, other supplements, and foods. Huh.
Tell your doctor if you decide to take vitamin B12 supplements so they can advise you on how much you need or make sure they won’t interfere with any medicines you’re taking.
Vitamin B12 for hair can be one of the solutions for acute hair loss. But before deciding on taking B12 supplements and proceeding with any other form of treatment for B12 deficiency, you must find out what is the deficiency. There can be many other reasons for hair fall like iron deficiency, stress, hair treatments, genetics etc. It is important to determine the exact cause and accordingly a solution can be suggested. A diagnostic test can determine Vitamin B12 deficiency. If you experience unusual hair loss, consult your doctor for early diagnosis. Long-term vitamin B12 deficiency can cause serious health problems.