Vitamin D is crucial for the body, as it helps to keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy. You could be at risk of a deficiency if you develop unexplained hair loss.
During the winter months, when daylight hours are reduced, it may be difficult to get all of the vitamin D you need from sunlight.
Without enough vitamin D – which is also known as the ‘sunshine’ vitamin – it’s difficult to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.
A severe lack of vitamin D may even lead to bone deformities, rickets, or osteomalacia.
But, it’s not always easy to know if you’re at risk of the condition, as the symptoms can be very sneaky.
One of the key warning signs of a vitamin D deficiency is hair loss, according to nutritionist Franziska Spritzler.
It’s not entirely clear why there is a link to losing your hair, but severe hair loss may be the result of a nutrient deficiency.
Alopecia patients may be more at risk of severe hair loss if they have low levels of vitamin D, she said.
If you find that you’ve started to lose your hair, you should consider adding more vitamin D to your diet.
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“Hair loss is often attributed to stress, which is certainly a common cause. However, when hair loss is severe, it may be the result of a disease or nutrient deficiency,” she wrote for medical website Healthline.
“Hair loss in women has been linked to low vitamin D levels, though there is very little research on this to date.
“Low vitamin D levels are linked to alopecia areata and may be a risk factor for developing the disease.
“Many other foods and nutrients may affect the health of your hair.”
But just because you’ve started losing your hair, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a vitamin D deficiency.
Hair loss can be a natural part of the ageing process, and most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about.
We can even lose up to 100 hairs on our bodies every day, without even noticing.
However, you should speak to a doctor if you suddenly start losing your hair, or if you develop bald patches.
The best food sources of vitamin D include oily fish, eggs, mushrooms, and some fortified products.
You could also top up on vitamin D by spending more time in direct sunlight. The sun prompts the body to naturally produce vitamin D3.
But, during the autumn and winter months, the body struggles to produce enough vitamin D, due to the axis of the earth and reduced daylight hours.
It’s therefore recommended that everyone takes a 10mcg vitamin D supplement to prevent a deficiency.
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