Hair loss is a very common medical condition that many people face as they get older. There are a multitude of factors that can contribute to the cause of hair loss. These include genetic as well as numerous environmental contributors such as diet and general health. One of the more common conditions that contributes to the loss of hair is a deficiency of the vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in several different processes of the body and a shortage of it can result in hair loss as well as various different types of anemia. A reintroduction of B12 to the body either through dietary change or an intake of supplements can help reverse these conditions and increase the regrowth of hair cells.
B12 Benefits and Uses
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient that is essential in maintaining healthy cells. B12 is used in DNA formation as well as the creation of red blood cells that provide oxygen to all of the vital organs in the body. B12 is bound to the protein in food and is released during the digestion process. It then bonds with what is called an intrinsic factor before being absorbed into the body through the blood. DNA formation is vital in cell replication which is why a shortage of B12 can be harmful. In regards to human hair, the hair follicles require B12 in order to properly replicate and if they are not able to, they cannot grow hair effectively. The follicles also require oxygen just like the rest of your body and if a shortage of B12 prevents red blood cells from being properly made in the bone marrow, the follicles don't receive proper nutrients and the result is hair loss and a slowing down of hair growth.
Increasing B12 to Stimulate Hair Growth
The body stores vitamin B12 in reserves that can last up to five or six years so B12 deficiencies are normally pretty rare for most healthy people but can be much more common in the elderly as well as vegetarians. Other health issues could also result in a vitamin deficiency because your intestines contain an enzyme (the intrinsic factor) that helps process B12. If you suffer from an intestinal or stomach condition, the creation of the enzyme could be affected and B12 would not be properly processed. Vegetarians are frequently affected because B12 is most commonly found in meat and dairy products such as steak, poultry, cheese, eggs and milk. The Mayo Clinic recommends an intake of one chicken breast, one hard-boiled egg, one cup of low-fat yogurt or milk and one cup of raisin bran to guarantee the proper daily supply of B12. Vegetarians can also take B12 supplements and still maintain their dietary habits. Once the levels of B12 in the body are corrected, the hair follicles should start receiving proper nutrients and be able to replicate correctly and lead to the the regrowth of previously lost hair.