The supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Supplement companies promise consumers everything from a slimmer, leaner waist to a thicker, fuller head of hair. However, navigating the market of vitamins and health supplements can be overwhelming. In addition, the supplement industry is not regulated by the FDA, so the claims made by vitamin companies can be outlandish to say the least. In this article, we will go over whether hair vitamins work for hair loss.
Biotin is a water-soluble B-vitamin that is found in a variety of foods such as salmon,eggs, milk, or bananas. Biotin has been touted as a "hair loss" vitamin, but there aren't any conclusive studies showing that it can treat genetic hair loss. In fact, biotin does not treat androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss), the only benefit biotin can have is on individuals with biotin deficiencies . However, has previously mentioned biotin is found in many of the foods we consume daily. Moreover, biotin deficiencies are rare in devloping nations and almost non-existent in developed nations.
Collagen is a protein that is found in the body, which is a component of major connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments and skin. Collagen has important functions in the body including providing the skin with structure and strengthining bones. There are several foods that produce collagen such as porkskin and bone broth. Taking collagen as a supplement may have a marginal effect on skin and hair, the collagen may prevent the hair from becoming breakable and brittle. However, taking collagen will not prevent hair loss due to the effects of DHT. DHT is the hormone responsible for triggering genetic hair loss.
Iron and Vitamin D
Almost every hair vitamin on the planet contains iron and vitamin D. Studies show that individuals with low iron and vitamin D experience hair loss. Thus, supplementing both iron and vitamin D may counter some negative side effects experienced with the vitamin deficiencies. That said, hereditary hair loss is not caused by any vitamin deficiency. In fact, many hair loss sufferers worldwide are completely healthy and do not suffer from any deficiencies. Futhermore, iron and vitamin D is found in many of the foods we eat every day including red meat, chicken, seafood, lentils, and beans.
Saw Palmetto berries are found in wild palm trees that are found along the southeastern Unites States coastline. This berry is used to treat prostate issues such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The correlation that saw palmetto is effective in treating hair loss is due to the fact that saw palmetto has been found to be a somewhat mild DHT blocker. However, there is a lack of clinical evidence to support the bold claims made by hair loss supplement companies. Furthermore, saw palmetto has been on the market for years and has yet to show any conclusive evidence for it's efficacy in treating genetic hair loss.
While taking vitamin supplements may be good for overall health, there is little to no evidence to support the claims that "hair vitamins" stop hair loss caused by a genetic pre-disposition to the hormone DHT. Currently, the only proven treatments for androgenic alopecia is Rogaine (minoxidil) a topical hair loss solution and Propecia (finasteride) an oral tablet that is taken daily. Both of these medications have been approved by the FDA and have clinical evidence that proves it's efficacy for treating hair loss.
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