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Wednesday, 6 July 2022

A 76 million-year-old dinosaur skeleton will be auctioned in New York City

All of the other known Gorgosaurus skeletons are in museum collections, making this one the only specimen available for private ownership, Sotheby's said.

can vitamin d help thicken hair?

Vitamin D and HAIR LOSS| Dr Dray

Vitamin D is essential for a range of bodily functions. Dietary sources provide some vitamin D, but most comes from exposure to sunlight. After the body takes in vitamin D, it needs to convert it to its active form.

Deficiencies can arise if a person does not take in enough vitamin D or their skin has an impaired ability to synthesize it from the sun. A person can also become deficient if the body is not able to absorb the vitamin or convert it to its active form in the liver and kidneys.

Low vitamin D levels can lead to a range of problems, especially relating to the bones and muscles.

Some people have an annual blood test to check for a vitamin D deficiency. The result will show serum vitamin D levels in nanomoles/liter (nmol/l). Healthy levels of serum vitamin D are between 50 nmol/l and 125 nmol/l.

In this article, we look at how to detect the signs of vitamin D deficiency and how to treat it.

What is vitamin D?

A person may experience vitamin D deficiency if they do not get exposure to enough sunlight.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that the body produces when the skin gets exposed to sunlight.

It is present in a small number of foods, including fortified products.

When vitamin D enters the body, it is not in an active form.

To use it, the body needs to convert it to an active form called 25-hydroxyvitamin DTrusted Source [25(OH)D] or calcidiol.

How much is a deficiency?

The results of a serum vitamin D blood test may showTrusted Source the following:

Too high and possibly harmful: 125 nmol/l or more

Sufficient: 50–125 nmol/l

At risk of inadequacy: 30–49 nmol/l

At risk of deficiency: 30 nmol/l or less

Functions of vitamin D

Vitamin D has many important functions, includingTrusted Source:

supporting bone health by enabling the absorption of calcium

promoting muscle health

modulating the immune system

aiding cell growth

reducing inflammation, which helps prevent diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis

regulating blood pressure and supporting cardiovascular health

Low vitamin D and diabetes

Some experts have suggested that vitamin D may help prevent type 2 diabetes.

However, in a 2019 studyTrusted Source, 2,423 people at risk of type 2 diabetes took either a vitamin D supplement of 4,000 international units (IU) a day or a placebo.

Vitamin D levels increased in those who took the supplement. However, taking the supplement did not appear to reduce the risk of diabetes developing.

Learn more about the health benefits of vitamin D.

For more in-depth resources about vitamins, minerals, and supplements, visit our dedicated hub.

Causes of a deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency can happen when a person:

does not consume enough vitamin D

is unable to absorb or metabolize the vitamin D

does not spend enough time in ultraviolet B (UVB) sunlight

Risk factors

A person’s diet may contribute to vitamin D deficiency.

Various factors can increase the risk of a deficiency.

Diet: People who do not eat enough vitamin D-rich foods, including fortified dairy products and cereals, may have low levels of vitamin D.

Lifestyle factors: Some people spend little time outdoors due to work, ill health, a lack of outdoor space in their neighborhood, or other factors. These people have less opportunity to expose their skin to sunlight. Those who wear clothes that cover all of their body, whether to protect it from the sun or for cultural or religious reasons, may also have a higher risk of a deficiency.

The Office of Dietary SupplementsTrusted Source (ODS) recommend that people who use a lot of sunscreen or wear clothing that covers the body should include sources of vitamin D in their diet.

Geographical factors: People living in certain parts of the word — Northern Canada and Alaska, for example — may have less access to the sun’s UVB rays, especially in winter. People who live in a hot climate may also be at risk, as they often try to avoid the heat and strong sunlight by staying indoors.

Pollution: Particles in the air can block UVB rays and prevent them from reaching the skin. People who live in highly polluted areas may also be more likely to avoid spending time outside.

Absorption problems: Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and other conditions can affect how the intestines absorb nutrients, including vitamin D.

Medications: Some drugsTrusted Source reduce the body’s ability to absorb or synthesize vitamin D. These include steroids and some drugs for lowering cholesterol, among others.

Smoking: Levels of deficiency appear to be higher among smokersTrusted Source. Some experts have suggested that smoking may affect the gene that activates the production of vitamin D-3 in the body.

Obesity: Research has found lower vitamin DTrusted Source levels in people with obesity, or a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. This link may be stem from the ways in which body fat affects vitamin D absorption. Some people with obesity may spend less time outdoors due to mobility issues. Those who have undergone bariatric surgery may also have absorption problems. Conversely, people whose BMI of 25–29.9 classified them as overweight appeared to have a lower risk of a deficiency than those who were not overweight. The authors suggest that dietary factors are responsible for this difference.

Skin type: People with darker skin need more sunlight exposure to produce vitamin D than those with lighter skin. People with pale skin or a history of skin cancer may avoid sun exposure to protect their skin from damage.

Age: The ability to convert vitamin D to calcitriol may decline with ageTrusted Source due to decreased kidney function. As a result, calcium absorption will fall.

Kidney and liver health: People with liver diseaseTrusted Source and kidney diseaseTrusted Source tend to have lower vitamin D levels. These diseases can affect the body’s ability to synthesize vitamin D or turn it into its active form.

Pregnancy: The need for vitamin D may increase during pregnancy, but experts remain unsure whether supplements are a good idea. The authors of a 2019 Cochrane review concluded that taking supplements during pregnancy may reduce the risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, low birth weight, and severe bleeding after delivery. However, it may also increase the risk of preterm birth, which is birth before 37 weeks. The authors called for further research.

Breastfeeding infants: Human milk is low in vitamin D, which means that breastfeeding infants are at risk of a deficiency. The Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTrusted Source (CDC) recommend giving a vitamin D supplement to all breastfeeding infants from the first few days of life until they consume 1 l or more of formula milk each day. Supplementation becomes unnecessary at this point because formula milk contains added vitamin D.

Groups with a higher risk

A major studyTrusted Source in the United States from 2001–2006 found that 24% of the population were at risk of low vitamin D levels, while 8% were at risk of a deficiency. On the other hand, 1% of the population had levels of vitamin D that were so high that they could be harmful.

In 2019, experts published a report on dataTrusted Source from 2011–2012. They looked at how vitamin D deficiencies affect specific populations in the U.S. The findings suggested that African American adults have the highest risk of a deficiency, followed by Hispanic people.


A vitamin D deficiency may produce no symptoms, or symptoms may take several years to appear. However, it may increase the risk of long term health problems.

In time, low levels of vitamin D can lead to:

Osteoporosis: The bones become thin or brittle. The first sign may be a bone breaking easily as a result of minor trauma. It often affects older people.

Osteomalacia: This can affect children. The bones become soft, resulting in bone deformities, short stature, dental problems, fragile bones, and pain when walking.

Researchers are looking into whether other symptoms or conditions, such as depression, bone painTrusted Source, and weakness, may result from low vitamin D levels.

Can low vitamin D levels lead to hair loss? Find out here.


An individual’s specific need for vitamin D will depend on various factors, including their age, UVB exposure, diet, and health status.

If a blood test shows that a person has or is at risk of a vitamin D deficiency, the doctor is likely to advise them to increase their intake.

The ODS recommendTrusted Source the following intake each day:

0–12 months: 400 IU (10 micrograms [mcg])

1–70 years: 600 IU (15 mcg)

71 years and over: 800 IU (20 mcg)

However, it is not possible to measure how much vitamin D a person obtains from sunlight.

Individuals should talk to their doctor about their vitamin D needs and how to increase their intake.


Some people may need to take supplements, but it is best to talk to a doctor before doing so, as some can have adverse effects. The doctor will also provide advice on a suitable dosage.

Vitamin D supplements are available for purchase online.

Vitamin D and Hair Loss

Foods sources of vitamin D

Good dietary sources of vitamin D include:

oily fish, such as mackerel or salmon

beef liver



egg yolks

fortified foods, including some breakfast cereals, orange juice, milk, soy drinks, and margarine

What are the best dietary sources of vitamin D? Learn more here.

Exposure to natural sunlight

Short periods spent outdoors can boost vitamin D levels.

Sunlight is important for boosting vitamin D, but inappropriate sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer.

For safe exposure to sunlight, a person should spend a short time outdoors each day without sunscreen and with their forearms, hands, or lower legs exposed to the sun.

When to do this and for how long will depend on the time of year, geographical location, and other factors.

People should ask their doctor about safe ways to increase sunlight exposure, especially if they have fair skin or conditions that affect the skin, such as psoriasis.

How can you get more vitamin D from the sun? Get some tips here.


The best ways to prevent a vitamin D deficiency are to eat foods that are rich in this nutrient and to spend some time outside each day.

Some tips for avoiding a deficiency include:

Maintaining a healthy body weight: Cycling or walking can provide both exercise and exposure to sunlight.

Treating medical conditions: People with health conditions that affect the absorption of nutrients may find that treating the underlying condition helps boost their levels of certain nutrients, including vitamin D.

Being proactive about preventive health: People with a family history of osteoporosis or vitamin D deficiency may wish to consider speaking to their doctor about screening.


Most people can obtain the vitamin D they need from the diet and exposure to sunlight.

Anyone who is worried about their intake of vitamin D or experiences any of the symptoms of a deficiency should speak to a doctor.


Can you have too much vitamin D?


Absolutely! Excessively high levels are usually due to a person taking too many supplements, and they lead to the body having too much calcium in the blood. High calcium levels often cause nausea, vomiting, and frequent urination, and they may even result in kidney problems. People should take supplements according to the directions and avoid taking too many. There is very little risk of absorbing too much vitamin D through sun exposure.

Debra Sullivan, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, COI

Male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, may result from genetics or a scalp infection or skin disorder. There are various treatment options available to slow hair loss or stimulate hair growth. A person should discuss these treatments with their doctor.

Nearly half of Caucasian males will experience some hair loss by the time they turn 50 years old. This figure increases to 80% among 70-year-olds.

In this article, we explore some ways to help prevent and treat hair loss, causes of hair loss, and when to contact a doctor.


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Hair loss prevention and treatment

Prevention is often one of the best approaches to managing a health condition. In some cases, it may be possible to prevent — or at least slow down — hair loss. Though this will depend on the underlying cause.

Some of the best prevention methods include:

eating a balanced diet

using combs with wider spaces between the bristles

avoiding harsh treatments and hair styles

switching medications to avoid the side effect of hair loss, if possible

avoiding pulling or twisting hair

Learn more about preventing hair loss.

It is important to remember that not all types of hair loss can be slowed or prevented. In these cases, men can try to combat hair loss through active treatment.

Some methods men can use to treat hair loss include the following:


There are over-the-counter medications available that may help treat hair loss. These include foams and ointments.

The two most common medications are minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia).


Scientists originally developed minoxidilTrusted Source to treat high blood pressure. Its developers found that it had the side effect of excessive, unwanted hair growth. This effect gave drug companies reason to consider it for male baldness.

Researchers do not know exactly how minoxidil works. The drug appears to widen the hair follicle, which causes a thicker strand of hair to grow.

In addition, minoxidil appears to prolong the growth period of hair, which results in longer hair and a higher number of hair strands. When used properly, minoxidil has been shown to be safe and effective.

It is more effective in individuals who are under 40 years of age.

A 2019 reviewTrusted Source notes that topical minoxidil is only approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in males and females. However, minoxidil is used off-label for other hair disorders, such as alopecia areata, scarring alopecia, and hair shaft disorders.

The FDATrusted Source notes that the term “off-label” refers to approved medications that doctors prescribe for unapproved uses.

Minoxidil can cause some side effects, includingTrusted Source:

hair shedding

skin irritation and redness

itchy, yellow, or white scales on the scalp

allergic contact dermatitis

excessive hair growth over the body, including on the face in some females

Minoxidil is also not suitable for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or for those who have a hypersensitivity to the ingredients in this medication.

Learn more about minoxidil.


FinasterideTrusted Source is a treatment for male pattern baldness, which appears at the crown and middle of the scalp.

This drug carries several warnings about its use. It is only suitable for adults and is not suitable for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or for children.

Scientists originally created finasteride to fight prostate cancer. It works by decreasing the amount of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp. DHT appears to cause hair follicles in the scalp to become thinner, so reducing DHT levels may promote hair regrowth and slow hair loss.

Unlike minoxidil, finasteride does not affect hair growth on other parts of the body.

Finasteride is available in both topical and oral forms. A 2020 review states that the topical formulation of this drug is less likely to cause severe side effects than the oral version.

Some side effects of finasteride include:

erectile dyfunction

decreased libido

decreased ejaculate volume


Individuals who take finasteride to treat male pattern hair loss may have to wait 3 months until they see noticeable results.

Learn more about finasteride.


Therapies for hair loss often involve a combination of drugs, ointments, creams, and shampoos, which a dermatologist may prescribe.

Learn more about hair growth products available online.

Other therapies involve meeting with specialists. Several companies specialize in hair treatments for men. They typically offer services to help work out the best course of action and tailor treatments to the individual’s needs.


The only surgery available for hair loss is hair transplant surgery.

Hair transplantation works for men with male pattern baldness. A hair transplant involves removing hair follicles from the back of the head, where they are resistant to DHT, and placing them on the scalp.

As with any surgery, hair transplants carry the risk of complications. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons states that the risks of hair transplant surgery include excessive bleeding and wide scars. Additionally, there is a chance the skin plugs may die, which requires further surgery to fix.

Laser combs

Laser combs are a newer form of hair loss treatment. Advocates claim these devices promote hair growth by using concentrated light to stimulate hair follicles.

This treatment has mixed results and may work best when combined with other forms of treatment.

A 2014 studyTrusted Source reviewed the effects of low-level laser therapy in 32 men and women with androgenetic alopecia. The researchers found that laser combs used in combination with minoxidil and finasteride may help stimulate hair growth.

Learn more about HairMax, a company that sells laser combs online.

Wigs and hair pieces

In some cases, hair loss may be permanent or long term. Other men might prefer a nonmedical approach to treating hair loss. Wigs and hairpieces offer a means of disguising hair loss.

Wigs and hairpieces have advanced enormously in recent years. If the baldness is caused by a medical condition, the cost of a wig may also be covered by a person’s insurance provider. It is important to check insurance coverage before purchasing a wig.

Causes of hair loss in men

Men can experience baldness or hair loss for different reasons.

While there are many causes of hair loss, the most likely cause is genetics. Finding out whether hair loss is due to genetics or another factor can help a doctor determine the best course of treatment.

Male pattern baldnessTrusted Source is a hereditary condition and the most common cause of male baldness. It can start as early as puberty or develop much later in life. It often occurs gradually and in predictable patterns, affecting the temples and the front of the middle of the scalp.

Most often, a man will be left with a horseshoe pattern of hair. Heredity affects how fast, at what age, and to what extent someone will experience baldness.

Men with male pattern baldness inherit hair that is sensitive to DHT, the hormone that can shorten the lifespan of the individual hair follicles.

Some of the other more common causes of hair loss for men include:

Scalp Infections: Infections such as ringworm can invade the hair and skin of the scalp. When this happens, it can lead to scaly patches and hair loss.

Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes and imbalances can cause temporary hair loss. For men, the thyroid gland is the most likely cause of hair loss due to hormonal changes.

Patchy hair loss: Also known as alopecia areata, patchy hair loss occurs when the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles. The attack causes sudden and rapid hair loss that leaves smooth, often round bald patches on the skin.

Skin disorders: Diseases such as eczema, severe seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and lupus may result in permanent hair loss in the scarred areas.

Hair-pulling disorder: Hair-pulling disorder causes people to have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair. The person will pull from the scalp, the eyebrows, or other areas of the body.

Medication: Certain medications may cause a side effect of hair loss.

Some less common causes of hair loss include:

Radiation treatment: If a man receives any sort of radiation treatment near the scalp, the hair may fall out and grow back in a different way than before.

Hairstyles or treatments: Wearing hair in ways that pull it excessively or treating it with oils and color can cause permanent hair loss.

Natural triggers: Stress, childbirth, fever, surgery, or extreme trauma may result in loss of hair. Often, the thinning will reverse when the triggering event is over.

Coping with hair loss

The emotional impact of hair loss will vary greatly from person to person.

Some people may wish to seek counseling services as part of their treatment. Others may choose a hairstyle that embraces hair loss, such as a shaved head.

Hair loss may affect a person’s self-esteem and lead to depression and reduced quality of life.

If a person notices a decline in their quality of life after the onset of hair loss, they should seek support from a medical professional.

When to contact a doctor

People should contact a doctor if they experience any of the following:

sudden hair loss

hair falling out in clumps

itching or burning scalp

People should also contact a healthcare professional if they are worried about their hair loss.

A healthcare professional may ask questions or perform tests to investigate whether the hair loss is a result of:

an illness


weight loss

iron deficiency

Frequently asked questions

The following are some frequently asked questions about hair loss:

Does hair grow back after hair loss?

Whether a person’s hair grows back depends on the type of hair loss a person experiences.

For example, most people who undergo cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, will experience hair growth after their treatment ends.

Hair Care Routine: How to stop shedding and hair loss! | Dr. Shereene Idriss

However, other causes of hair loss, such as male pattern baldness, are typically permanent. Doctors may prescribe or recommend certain treatments to help prevent further thinning of the hair.

If a person experiences hair loss as a result of a scarring process, the hair is less likely to grow back. It is important for a person to seek advice and treatment from a dermatologist as soon as they notice hair loss. Early intervention can help prevent scarring hair loss from spreading.

Do hair loss treatments work?

As mentioned previously, there is evidence that treatments such as minoxidil and finasteride can reduce the amount of hair a person loses. However, results may vary between individuals.

It can take several months before a person sees results from hair loss treatments. A person should work with a healthcare professional to find a treatment that suits their situation.

Does insurance cover hair loss treatment?

A person should check with their insurance provider to see if their plan covers hair loss treatments. People should always check with their insurer before seeking treatment.


There are many causes of hair loss, including genetics and skin and scalp disorders. While it is not always possible to prevent hair loss, people can slow or stop further hair loss by taking medication such as minoxidil and finasteride, as well as using over-the-counter products such as laser combs.

People should contact a healthcare professional if they are worried about their hair loss, or if the hair loss is sudden. A doctor may order several tests and ask questions to find out the cause of the hair loss.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that plays a role in many of the body’s functions. A vitamin D deficiency may cause numerous problems, including hair loss.

In this article, we look at how vitamin D and hair growth are connected, if a deficiency causes hair loss, and if it is reversible.


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Does vitamin D deficiency cause hair loss?

Vitamin D stimulates hair follicles, so a deficiency may lead to hair loss.

There is some evidence that having a vitamin D deficiency does cause hair loss and other hair problems. Vitamin D stimulates hair follicles to grow, and so when the body does not have enough, the hair may be affected.

A vitamin D deficiency may also be linked to alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes patchy hair loss.

Research shows that people with alopecia areata have much lower levels of vitamin D than people who do not have alopecia.

Vitamin D deficiency can also play a role in hair loss in people without alopecia. Other researchTrusted Source shows that women who have other forms of hair loss also had lower levels of vitamin D.

How does vitamin D affect hair?

Vitamin D affects the health of many parts of the body, including the skin and hair.

Vitamin D plays a role in the creation of new hair follicles. Hair follicles are the tiny pores from which new hairs grow. New follicles may help hair maintain thickness and prevent existing hair from falling out prematurely.

Because of this link, getting adequate amounts of vitamin D can support hair growth and regrowth.

Other vitamin D deficiency symptoms

People with a vitamin D deficiency may have no symptoms, or their symptoms may be nonspecific and change over time.

Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include:

changes in mood, including depression or anxiety

frequent fractures

slow wound-healing

loss of bone density

muscle weakness

new or worsening high blood pressure

constant fatigue

chronic pain


decreased endurance

A lack of sunlight or not eating enough foods rich in vitamin D are the most common causes of a vitamin D deficiency.

However, some people may have vitamin D deficiencies because of another underlying condition, including Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, which prevent the body from fully absorbing nutrients.

People with an underlying medical condition will experience symptoms of the primary cause and symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency, as well.

Certain medications may also cause the body to break down vitamin D before it can be used. Medications that may cause a vitamin D deficiency include:



medications for HIV


If a medication is causing a vitamin D deficiency or hair loss, a person should speak to their doctor about alternatives.


Vitamin D supplements are the most effective treatment for a vitamin D deficency.

ResearchTrusted Source suggests that when a person lacks Vitamin D, the most effective treatment is for them to take vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin D supplements should be taken with meals, particularly ones with plenty of healthful fats. Fat helps the vitamin D to be absorbed into the body.

Good sources of dietary fat include:



chia seeds

some fish, include salmon, trout, and sardines



Supplements come in a variety of forms. Some may be taken daily, once a week, or once a month. When treating low vitamin D levels, a doctor will do a blood test every few months to see if a person’s levels are increasing.

The Endocrine Society recommend that adults between the ages of 19 and 55 receive 600 IU of vitamin D daily. The unit “IU” stands for international unit, which describes how potent a vitamin or supplement is, rather than its mass.

The Endocrine Society recommend that adults over 55 years old receive between 600 and 800 IU per day of vitamin D. Finally, they recommended between 400 and 600 IU per day of vitamin D for children.

In cases where an underlying condition is causing the deficiency, the condition will need to be treated.

Both Crohn’s and celiac disease can cause a vitamin D deficiency. These diseases partially or fully block the absorption of vitamin D from food.

If medications are the cause, a person may need to discuss alternatives with their doctor.

For mild deficiencies, increasing the amount of time spent in the sun can also help. However, it is important to wear sunscreen and avoid prolonged exposure to reduce the risk of skin damage.


A person’s first defense against hair loss caused by a vitamin D deficiency is spending 15 to 20 minutes outside per day and eating foods that are rich in vitamin D.

A person may also want to add a vitamin D supplement to their routine to support their vitamin D intake goals.

Brittle or sparse hair requires gentle treatment, so anyone experiencing hair loss can prevent further breakage by:

not pulling the hair when brushing

avoiding ponytails and other tight hairstyles

using a gentle and natural conditioner

putting long hair in a loose braid before bed to prevent tangling

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Vitamin D affects many aspects of a person’s health and well-being, including hair growth. Having a vitamin D deficiency makes people more likely to experience hair loss and many other problems.

People concerned about vitamin D deficiency-related hair loss should consult a doctor who will likely suggest supplements, dietary changes, and spending more time outdoors to help combat the deficiency.

 If you’re removing more hair from the drain than usual, you may want to take a closer look at your diet: Having a vitamin D deficiency and low levels of iron could be playing a role in your thinning locks.

Researchers at Cairo University found that women who were experiencing hair loss also had lower levels of iron and vitamin D2—and hair loss only got worse as the levels dropped.

“This is the first time vitamin D’s possible role in hair loss has been highlighted,” explains Rania Mounir Abdel Hay, MD, a dermatologist at Cairo University, and co-author of the study. “It might regulate the expression of genes that promote normal hair follicle growth.” As for iron: Low levels may inhibit an essential enzyme that has been associated with hair loss in mice.


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Aim for a minimum of 600 IU of vitamin D per day, 800 IU if you’re over 71 years old. While it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D in your diet, salmon packs 450 IU per 3-ounce serving, and fortified milk and orange juice has 115 to 135 IU. And consider a vitamin D supplement, which has more than just healthy hair benefits: It could prevent heart disease, cancer, and bone fractures. Click here to find the best dose for you.

Can taking vitamin D help with hair loss?

If you suffer from hair loss, you aren’t alone—millions of people in the United States experience some type of it. The good news is there are many treatment options available, and one may be vitamin D.

Vitamin D Deficiency | 6 Month Update

yael coopermannopell wong

Reviewed by Yael Cooperman, MD

Written by Nopell Wong


What does vitamin D have to do with hair loss? Do vitamin D supplements help for hair loss? How can I find out if I have a vitamin D deficiency? Types of vitamin D supplements Alternative options for hair loss treatment


If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Hair loss, also known as alopecia, affects a significant portion of the population. In fact, more than 56 million people in the United States live with some kind of hair loss. 

Not all hair loss is the same, though. If your hair loss is most prevalent at your temples or you’ve developed hair loss at the crown, it’s most likely androgenic alopecia, a genetic condition commonly known as pattern baldness (Wolff, 2016). 

Massive hair loss can also be triggered by intense stress or infection, a reversible condition called telogen effluvium (Malkud, 2015). In some cases, if hair loss occurs in small patches, it may be the result of an autoimmune condition called alopecia areata (Spano, 2015).

But there are other things that play a factor in how thick your locks are. Researchers have even discovered a potential link between vitamin D deficiency and the development of certain types of hair loss. 

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What does vitamin D have to do with hair loss?

Lack of vitamin D may not be the reason for all types of hair loss, but it may play an important role in the development of alopecia areata and pattern baldness. 

Vitamin D works by binding to vitamin D receptors found in all kinds of cells in your body, such as immune cells, kidney cells, and hair follicles. One important function of vitamin D is to help regulate cell cycles, which is particularly important when it comes to hair growth. In patients with alopecia areata, for example, research seems to show that hair follicle cycling is disrupted due to low levels of vitamin D (Hosking, 2018; Lin, 2019). 

In one study, researchers found that patients with alopecia areata were more likely to be vitamin D deficient (Gade, 2018). 

Less research exists linking vitamin D to pattern hair loss, however, recent research found that lower vitamin D levels correlated with more severe cases of this type of hair loss (Sanke, 2020). Not just that—there’s even evidence that treatment with vitamin D may help restore hair growth. More on that below. 

Do vitamin D supplements help with hair loss?

If you have a vitamin D deficiency and are experiencing hair loss, some studies suggest a simple solution: take vitamin D supplements (Lin, 2019; Gerkowicz, 2017). Unfortunately, data is scarce on if vitamin D supplements really work for hair loss, but here’s what we know so far. 

One very small study evaluating just 22 people found that applying a vitamin D-derived cream was moderately effective for more than half of study participants with patchy hair loss (Narang, 2017). Another study had similar success, with researchers finding a vitamin D topical treatment to be effective for hair loss in nearly 70% of study participants. (Çerman, 2015). 

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How can I find out if I have a vitamin D deficiency?

If you suspect you may have a vitamin D deficiency, you may be right. But that doesn’t mean you should go grab supplements. Your first step should be a visit to your healthcare provider for a simple blood test to figure out if you need more vitamin D (Kennel, 2010). 

If your healthcare provider finds that your levels are low, your best bet is to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D through your diet. There are two forms of vitamin D: D2 and D3. We get vitamin D2 by eating certain plants and mushrooms. While you can get vitamin D3 from the sun, most of us don’t spend enough time outside to fulfill our vitamin D needs. Luckily, though, you can also get your vitamin D3 by consuming foods like fatty fish, eggs, and milk (Sahota, 2014).

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you add a supplement to your routine to ensure that you replenish your vitamin D stores. Not all supplements are created equal, though. Make sure to pick one from a reputable brand. 

Types of vitamin D supplements

Vitamin D supplements exist in many forms. Consult with a medical professional before deciding if any of the following supplements are a good solution for you. 

What vitamin deficiencies cause hair loss?

Hair loss 

Last updated: Sep 10, 2021 

9 min read

Topical creams: Hair loss can be treated using creams or lotions containing Vitamin D derivatives. One well-known one is called calcipotriol, which has been effective in some studies for treating patients with alopecia areata (El Taieb, 2019). Calcipotriol requires a prescription from a healthcare provider.  

Oral tablets: Vitamin D supplements also come as oral tablets or capsules. You can find vitamin D2 and D3 supplements at your local drugstore. Keep in mind that taking daily supplements may help with an overall vitamin D deficiency, but there isn’t enough data yet to show this treatment specifically helps with hair loss (Gerkowicz, 2017).

Diet: The best way to get vitamin D in most cases is from food. Foods that contain significant amounts of vitamin D include cod liver oil, trout, salmon, and white mushrooms (NIH, 2020). 

You might be wondering about one we all associate vitamin D with: the sun. Natural sunlight produces two types of ultraviolet rays, UVA and UVB. UVB rays help your body make more Vitamin D. Most people worldwide get at least a portion of their vitamin D from sunlight, and where we live, how we live, and even how we dress affect how much sunlight we get every day (NIH, 2020). 

Those of us working sedentary jobs—especially ones that require you to spend a lot of time indoors or under artificial light—might not get enough sun exposure as others. UVB rays can’t penetrate glass windows, and by the time we’ve wrapped up work for the day, the sun has already set.

Making a conscious effort to get more sun might be one solution. Researchers have suggested exposure to sunlight (without sunscreen) for five to 30 minutes at least twice a week helps produce sufficient vitamin D (NIH, 2020). 

This also comes with a strong warning:  UV rays are known to cause cancer. Some natural sun on our skin can be healthy, but it’s best to avoid staying in the sun for too long to reduce the risk of skin cancer (NIH, 2020).  

Recommended dosages of Vitamin D

According to the NIH, adults between the ages of 18-70 should have a daily intake of 15 mcg/600 IU of Vitamin D. For adults older than 70 years, 20 mcg/800 IU of Vitamin D is recommended. Many people get their Vitamin D from several sources, whether it’s a combination of diet, sun, or supplements (NIH, 2020). 

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Hair loss 

Last updated: Aug 09, 2021 

5 min read

Alternative options for hair loss treatment

If Vitamin D isn’t the solution for you, don’t worry. There are plenty of options out there to help with your hair loss issue. Below, we name just a few.

Minoxidil: Using minoxidil as a topical cream has been effective in clinical trials for treating people with alopecia areata or androgenic alopecia (Wolff, 2016).  

Finasteride: Finasteride is an oral medication for hair loss. Studies have found that 1 mg of finasteride per day can help prevent further hair loss, and thicken hair in patients with androgenic alopecia (Spano, 2015).

UVB therapy: UVB rays exist in natural sunlight and aid the body in producing enough vitamin D. Research has found UVB phototherapy to be effective in improving alopecia areata (Esen Salman, 2019).

Hair follicle transplantation: For those with more severe hair loss, such as advanced androgenic alopecia, surgical treatment is possible. While this method doesn’t prevent additional hair loss, it helps restore hair growth  (Wolff, 2016).

Along with vitamin D supplements, these alternatives are only part of a more extensive list of hair loss treatments. Hair loss is often a distressing experience, but know that you aren’t alone and there are many treatment options out there to explore. 

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that is essential to our health. It boosts immunity, keeps bones strong and skin healthy, stimulates cell growth, and helps create new hair follicles. You absorb vitamin D through sun exposure primarily, but you can take dietary supplements and eat certain foods to up your intake of the nutrient.

A number of symptoms, such as hair loss, can occur when your body lacks the recommended amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to alopecia, also known as spot baldness, and a number of other health conditionsTrusted Source. These include bone softening, low bone density, osteoarthritis, heart disease, and cancer.

Recommended doses of vitamin D

It’s recommendedTrusted Source that you get at least 600 IU (international units) — or 15 micrograms (mcg) — of vitamin D a day starting at the age of 1. Babies younger than 1 should receive 400 IU of vitamin D. For people over the age of 70, the suggested intake jumps to 800 IU (or 20 mcg). If you’re concerned about your vitamin D intake, ask your doctor about checking your vitamin D levels. When you get the recommended daily amount of vitamin D, you’re able to maintain hair growth, bone health, and normal calcium breakdown.

Does vitamin D deficiency cause hair loss?

ResearchTrusted Source shows that a lack of vitamin D in your body can lead to hair loss. One role vitamin D plays is stimulating new and old hair follicles. When there isn’t enough vitamin D in your system, new hair growth can be stunted.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to alopecia, the autoimmune condition that causes bald patches on the scalp and other areas of the body. Both men and women can experience alopecia. Another studyTrusted Source found that women 18 to 45 years old who experienced alopecia or other types of hair loss had low levels of vitamin D.

Reasons for insufficient vitamin D levels include spending more time indoors, wearing a lot of sunscreen, and not eating foods packed with the nutrient.

Forms of vitamin D

Vitamin D supplements

Multivitamins typically include only 400 IU of vitamin D, which is below the recommended daily allowance. You should also receive some vitamin D in your diet. Your doctor can check blood levels of vitamin D and decide the dose of supplementation. If levels are very low, high prescription doses might be recommended by your doctor. Make sure to take the supplement during mealtime so your body can absorb the fat-soluble vitamin properly. Breast-fed babies receive their nutrients through their mother’s milk. If a breast-feeding mother doesn’t have an adequate amount of vitamin D in her diet, her baby will likely need a vitamin D supplement.

Sun exposure

Most people get the bulk of their vitamin D from basking in the sun. Not spending enough time in the sun or using too much sunblock limits your exposure, which can lead to a deficit of vitamin D. If you can, take a 15-minute tour of your neighborhood on a sunny day. There is a fine balance between protecting our skin from sun exposure and absorbing vitamin D. If you can’t stay in the sun for long, try to spend some extra time near a window where sunlight is shining through.

Vitamin D Deficiency | I Thought I was Depressed

Foods with vitamin D

Eating a healthy diet of foods naturally containing or fortified with vitamin D can improve your levels. Some foods are naturally rich with the nutrient. Salmon, mackerel and other fatty fish, fish liver oils, and animal fats are great sources. In fact, one tablespoon of cod liver oil provides 340 percent of your daily vitamin D valueTrusted Source. But you can also eat food products fortified with vitamin D, such as certain cereals, milk, and orange juice. Vegan and vegetarian diets, though, tend to lack enough vitamin D, so supplements may be needed if you follow that lifestyle.


Studies shows that vitamin D receptors, rather than the nutrient itself, can help produce new hair follicles and restore hair growth. A 2014 study published in Molecular Endocrinology found that hair regrew in mice two weeks after introducing vitamin D receptors in the VDR null rodents. But scientific research is scarce on how long it will take for hair to grow back — and if there is a significant amount of hair regrowth — after upping your vitamin D intake and improving your levels. Anecdotal evidence, though, suggests hair may stop shedding and regenerate in as little as two months after treatment.

A lack of vitamin D can lead to a number of symptoms, including hair loss. You can start to boost your nutrient levels by spending an extra hour in the sun or by taking vitamin D supplements, which you can buy at your local supermarket or pharmacy for $10 or less. But make sure to consult your doctor first about your best treatment options for hair loss caused by vitamin D deficiency.

Supplements 101: Vitamin D

Here’s how being low on vitamin D could be causing your hair loss.

Hair loss, also known as alopecia, can occur for several reasons, including hormones, genetics, life stress, and medication. Hair loss can sometimes signal a vitamin deficiency, including low vitamin D levels. Here’s more on how vitamin D could affect hair loss and what to do about it.

Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Hair Loss?

Vitamin D is metabolized in the skin by keratinocytes. These are skin cells that process keratin, a protein in hair, nails, and skin. When the body doesn’t have enough vitamin D, keratinocytes in hair follicles have trouble regulating hair growth and shedding.

“There is a link between vitamin D deficiency and alopecia, and it is often one of the common causes of thinning hair or hair loss in men or women,” Arielle Levitan, MD, an internal medicine physician in Chicago, tells WebMD Connect to Care. 

A 2017 review in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that low vitamin D levels have been linked to: 

Telogen effluvium, or excess hair shedding 

Alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder where hair falls out in clumps 

Female pattern hair loss

A 2019 study in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal found vitamin D deficiencies could worsen hair loss over time. And a 2016 study from the International Journal of Trichology found that among younger people with hair loss, women showed greater vitamin D deficiency.

Is Vitamin D Deficiency Hair Loss Reversible?

Vitamin D supplements could help if a vitamin D deficiency is contributing to your hair loss. Vitamin D can come in a pill, or it can be applied to the skin through creams like calcipotriol, a psoriasis drug that has shown promise in treating hair loss.

“Supplementing vitamin D can often be helpful since most people are deficient—along with other key nutrients, typically iron, vitamin C, and biotin—in restoring hair loss. It certainly helps thicken existing hair,” Levitan says. “The amount to take varies on the individual's needs, based on who they are, sun exposure, and other medical problems.”

Vitamin D Deficiency and Hair Loss!?

Getting 10 to 30 minutes of sun exposure is a way to get vitamin D, but this could raise skin cancer risks. The amount of sun needed to form Vitamin D will vary depending on your skin type, how much skin is exposed, and where you live. According to Levitan, getting between 800 and 2,000 IU—or 20 to 50 micrograms—of vitamin D daily is usually enough, and “too much can cause toxicity.” Some people require 5,000 IU daily to maintain optimum blood levels and Vitamin D should be taken in the morning with Magnesium for maximum bioavailability.

When it comes to alopecia from autoimmune conditions, or diseases where the body attacks its own hair follicles, it’s best to see a doctor. Treatments for alopecia areata, for example, can include steroid injections and creams, according to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. While research has linked low vitamin D levels to alopecia areata, the exact mechanism is not yet understood, according to a 2019 review in the American Journal of Translational Research.

Get Help Now

Don’t wait. The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to prevent irreversible damage. Speak to a medical professional today to begin your journey to a fuller head of hair.

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Cuddle time

from Twitter

[OC] My favorite picture I’ve taken of my cat via /r/aww

My mom thinks she's fat and ugly... via /r/aww

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Cuddle time via /r/aww

This conservative leader is trying to make white evangelical politics less white

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NATO poised to sign accession protocols for Sweden, Finland

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Sunday, 3 July 2022

A gunman killed 2 people and wounded 3 police officers in Texas

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Overcoming the obstacles to make new friends. via /r/aww

Ukraine: The teachers swapping classrooms for trenches

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At least 6 hikers were killed after a piece of glacier broke loose in Italy

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The last city in Luhansk has fallen to Russia. What does that mean for Ukraine?

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Saw this dude in my driveway. After 8 hours the mom never collected him so I took him in and have been doing feedings every two hours the past three days.

from Twitter

Jet truck driver dies in air show accident

via News

Thousands told to evacuate Sydney, as heavy rains bring 'life threatening emergency'

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Saw this dude in my driveway. After 8 hours the mom never collected him so I took him in and have been doing feedings every two hours the past three days. via /r/aww

Saturday, 2 July 2022

Minnesota lawmakers voted to legalize THC edibles. Some did it accidentally

After Minnesota lawmakers approved a measure to legalize the sale of certain types of THC edibles, at least one Republican said he didn't realize what he was approving.

'Evangelion' Creator Hideaki Anno Performed The Motion Capture for Ultraman in 'Shin Ultraman', 40 Years After Playing Ultraman in Student Film via /r/movies

r/aww has a Discord server via /r/aww

One dead after truck explosion at Field of Flight in Battle Creek | WWMT

via News

Charade (1963) Thriller Romance Starring Audrey Hepburn Cary Grant via /r/movies

Tommy Morgan Dies: Harmonica Player For ‘Cool Hand Luke’ And ‘Dances With Wolves’ Was 89 via /r/movies

Poor little opossum got stuck in a port a potty. Luckily he was rescued by a local Animal Shelter and is currently having a spa day to get cleaned up and released. via /r/aww

Unforgiven (1992) compared side-by-side, shot-for-shot with the 2013 Japanese remake via /r/movies

Friday, 1 July 2022

Staffing shortages, flight delays snarl air travel

'Overwhelming firepower': How Russia is wearing down Ukrainian forces in the Donbas

Show HN: Barricade – Never build authentication again

Show HN: Barricade – Never build authentication again July 1, 2022 at 04:07PM

How much health insurers pay for almost everything is about to go public

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Louis C.K.’s ‘Fourth of July’ Premieres In New York via /r/movies

>:| via /r/aww

This gentleman out for a leisurely stroll with his two buddies! via /r/aww

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Biden to progressives: “I’m the only president they got”

indeed a true friendship via /r/aww

A bunniest bunny via /r/aww

Woman is gored by a bison at Yellowstone, the second incident reported this week, park officials say

via News

This bear dug a sitting pit to watch her favorite duckies

from Twitter

Do the Right Thing turns 33: Spike Lee thanks fans and actors who have passed away via /r/movies

Two young construction workers in Estonia rescued what they believed was a dog who was stuck in a frozen lake. Carried it to their car and drove him to an animal shelter without having any idea it was a wolf. (OC) via /r/aww

This bear dug a sitting pit to watch her favorite duckies via /r/aww

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