Many of us, battling against thinning hair, are turning to supplements. Combining the use of supplements with the prescribed treatments delivered by a hair professional can make a lot of sense. But a warning has been issued in regard to one increasingly popular supplement. We look closer.
A hair tonic was the name given to any product aimed at improving our hair. As science brought a deeper understanding of the complexities of the hair growth cycle we were able to study these hair tonics more closely. Identifying the compounds within some that were actually of benefit, and dismissing others as red herrings. Today, there are countless remedies on the shelves, but we have news on a health warning for a popular hair supplement.
Iron is a great example of a nutrient that many of us need to be keeping an eye on. Iron is a vital component of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen in red blood cells. Without sufficient iron in our system, we lower the amount of those red blood cells. This means your muscles, tissues, and many imperative functions do not receive the necessary supply of oxygen. This condition is called iron deficiency anaemia, and it is extremely common in women.
There is a range of vitamins and minerals that can be recommended for women suffering from hair loss. Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E all play a role. Iron, zinc, and protein are all important in your diet too. Most of us will get most of what we need from our regular diet, though vegetarians need to pay particular attention to theirs.
Our increased awareness of hair nutrition has spawned an industry. As an adjunct to the established market for health supplements, we now see entire shelves dedicated to supplements for hair. That long list of potentially required supplements is really the tip of the iceberg, You will find recommendations to increase consumption of everything from mushrooms to ‘nutritional yeast’ in the hope of improving the health of your hair growth cycle.
One supplement has become extremely popular in a relatively short space of time. Turmeric has been popular in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Turmeric is a potent analgesic, capable of reducing pain from arthritis and inflammation. It is also used to treat skin diseases, wounds, digestive problems, and liver conditions. Increasingly, it is being taken by women with hair thinning… and that could be a problem.
An American doctor was suffering from osteoarthritis following steroid therapy. At the same time as undergoing radiation therapy for recurrent prostate cancer he began to self-treat with turmeric capsules for the ‘crippling inflammation’ he was having to endure. He dosed at around 7g a day, against a reported safe level of up to 12g.
While taking the turmeric supplement, his iron levels were low. Adding iron to his supplements was expected to resolve the problem but subsequent levels of iron continued to drop. The doctor read some literature on turmeric-related iron deficiency and dropped it from his intake. Within a fortnight his iron levels began to rise.
Hair Loss for Women
This is, it should be noted, the first documented case of iron deficiency linked to turmeric. But the anecdotal evidence suggests that turmeric does inhibit the uptake of oxygen into your blood. A health warning on a popular hair supplement is never welcome news. Nevertheless, it is one we would do well to heed.
At the heart of this article is an important warning. Self-prescribing supplements can be a fraught business, even if, like the subject of this article, you are a medical professional. If you have concerns about the health of your hair you should be putting yourself in the hands of a trichologist. These highly trained, scalp and hair focussed, professionals will take a holistic view of your health and lifestyle. Using all the available evidence to make a diagnosis and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.
Of course, here at Hair Loss For Women, we have our very own hair loss heroine. We would like to offer you the opportunity to discuss your hair loss situation with a friendly, globally recognized, expert. Ranbir is a qualified trichologist and a full member of The Institute of Trichologists. A committed hair professional, Ranbir has years of experience and a well-earned reputation for thought-leadership and innovation in the industry. Discuss your hair loss situation with an expert, sympathetic and experienced ear. Use the contact form to get in touch.
You can read more about Ranbir here.