Nutritional value of the diet which we are taking needs to be evaluated . High amount of pesticides and freezing food products reduces nutritive value of food. Fresh fruits and vegetables have high value of anti oxidants. Our body is very selective in supply of nutrients to our body parts. Priority is given to vital organs. Hair are given least preference as far as supply of nutrients is concerned because we can live without hair .therefore in order to nourish our hair our diet should be supplemented by enough amounts of essential nutrients so they are available for hair follicles.
Some minerals and vitamins can influence the activity levels of another vitamin and minerals. For example, intake of lysine, vitamin B12, vitamin C, help in absorption of other factors like iron. So the nutrients may not affect hair growth themselves but may influence another nutrient which does. It is worth bearing in mind that due to complexity of the body there can be many potential interactions for even the simplest of nutrients.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin).–Stress is one of the common causes of hair loss. Vitamin B12 is an anti-stress vitamin, which improves the condition of the immune system and it is also a potent hair growth stimulator. It is available in food sources like fish, dairy products, organ meats (the meat found in liver and kidney), eggs, beef, and pork.
PANTOTHENIC ACID (Vitamin B5) –Prevents greying and hair loss. Present in whole grain cereals, brewer’s yeast, organ meat, egg yolk. Daily dose 4 to7 mg.
Vitamin B6.–Prevents hair loss, and helps in melanin formation. Daily dose 1.6 mg.
Niacin (Vit. B3) — Promotes scalp circulation. Present in wheat germs, fish, chicken, Daily dose 15 mg.
Biotin–Helps in keratin production. It prevents hair loss and greying of hair. Found in whole grains, egg yolk, liver, rice, milk. Daily dose 150 -300 mcg.
Inositol–Keeps hair follicle healthy at cellular level. Present in whole grains, brewer’s yeast and liver, citrus fruits. Daily dose up to 600mg.
Vitamin E. –The deficiency of this causes serious health hazards apart from major hair loss. Vitamin E is necessary to provide good blood circulation to the scalp by increasing the uptake of oxygen
Vitamin C- –required for the healthy growth of hair and skin. It is commonly found in food sources like citrus fruits.
Proteins and Amino acid
Main constituent of hair is protein, so protein is an essential nutrient for hair production. Following are the important amino acids which play an important role in hair growth.
L-CYSTINE–For hair growth, the most important amino acid is cysteine. It contains sulfur molecules which cross link with each other to produce disulfide bonds. These chemical bonds give strength to hair. This facilitates longer hair growth beyond what is genetically programmed.
L- LYSINE–This amino acid inhibits 5-alpha-reductase.This amino acid plays an important role in androgenic alopecia. (Hair fall)
L-ARGININE–Hair follicles use nitric oxide to maintain and promote new hair growth. L-arginie is required to produce nitric oxide.
Sulfur has been called nature’s “beauty mineral” because it is needed to keep the hair glossy and smooth and keeps the complexion clear and youthful. It is needed for synthesis of collagen and is prevalent in keratin, a tough protein substance necessary for health and maintenance of the skin, nails and hair.
Minerals are one of the important diet supplements required for healthy hair growth. Without adequate quantity of minerals, our body is not able to absorb the benefits of other nutrients like vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Silicon It builds the connective tissues, like ligaments and tendons. It leads to the growth of hair, skin and fingernails. Silicon is largely available in foods like whole grain, breads, cereals, alfalfa, beet, black pepper, bean and pea.
Zinc is required for the normal growth of the hair, teeth, bones, nails and skin. It builds the connective tissue like ligaments and tendons. Zinc is largely available in food sources like whole wheat bread, seafood and other animal meats.
The FDA approval of oral finasteride and minoxidil for treatment of androgenic alopecia.