- Vitamins for hair growth: Suggestions, other remedies, and supplements
- Researchers have conducted some studies into vitamin E and tocotrienol, which is one of its antioxidants. Most studies in a 2019 review found that people with alopecia areata had significantly lower concentrations of vitamin E in their blood than those without the condition. However, the review also found that other studies contradict these findings. The results of a 2010 clinical study also found that using tocotrienol supplements improved the hair health of people with alopecia. These supplements also helped prevent hair loss. Vitamin E is available in capsule form and as a liquid. A person can incorporate vitamin E into their diet by eating wheat germ, spinach, kale, and almonds. Some people choose to rub vitamin E oil directly onto their skin or scalp, believing that it will speed up cell regeneration. However, science does not yet support this. Other essential vitamins
- Vitamin D deficiency hair loss: Symptoms and treatment
- 28 Amazing Vitamin D Benefits For Skin, Hair And Health
- What is Vitamin D?
- Sources Of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms
- Causes Of Vitamin D Deficiency
- How To Prevent Deficiency Of Vitamin D
- Health Benefits of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D Benefits For Skin
- Vitamin D Benefits For Hair
- Vitamin D and Skin Health
- Does Vitamin D Improve Hair & Skin Health?
- Snapshot of Vitamin D for Skin & Hair
- Vitamin D Levels & Skin Disorders
- Might Help with Psoriasis
- Might Improve Eczema
- Effects on Acne
- Role in Wound Healing
- Effects on Hair Loss
- Further Reading:
Vitamins for hair growth: Suggestions, other remedies, and supplements
Following a well-balanced diet that contains all of the 13 essential vitamins can help maintain hair health. Essential vitamins include vitamin A, C, D, E, and K, as well as the B-complex group. However, no evidence supports the idea of individual vitamins encouraging the hair to grow faster.
That said, deficiencies in specific vitamins can lead to hair loss, so it is important to consume enough of each to reduce the chance of losing hair.
Researchers have carried out a range of studies on how vitamins D and E could support hair growth, along with the B-complex vitamins.
In this article, we provide information on the vitamins that best promote strong, healthy hair.
A 2019 review of studies found several that support a link between vitamin D deficiency and alopecia areata. This is a condition that can lead to severe hair loss.
In many of the studies and surveys within the review, people with alopecia areata had lower levels of vitamin D in the blood.
However, in a 2016 study on survey data from the Nurses’ Health Study, which collected information from 55,929 women in the United States, researchers did not find a strong correlation between total vitamin D intake and hair loss. There is also little evidence to suggest that vitamin D can lead to hair regrowth.
Therefore, more research is necessary to confirm the potential benefits of vitamin D for hair growth.
Although vitamin D may not have direct links with hair growth, it may prevent the effects of low vitamin D levels.
The Office of Dietary Supplements recommend that adults get 600 international units, or 15 micrograms (mcg), of vitamin D daily. However, many people fall below this requirement. In fact, statistics show that over 1 billion people worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency.
Some natural ways to get more vitamin D include consuming:
- fish, such as salmon or swordfish
- fortified orange juice
- low fat fortified milk
Sun exposure can also help. The human body produces vitamin D as a result of coming into direct contact with sunlight. Wearing sunscreen for skin protection remains vital, however.
When supplementing with vitamin D, people should take caution. Vitamin D is fat-soluble and can build up in fat tissue at dangerous levels. Ingesting vitamin D in excess can lead to too much calcium in the blood, which can cause fatigue and kidney problems.
People who take a supplement should do so with a meal that contains fat. This will absorb some of the vitamin D.
B-complex vitamins are important for regulating metabolism and maintaining the central nervous system. Some dietitians claim that popular B vitamins such as B-12 can help strengthen and condition the hair.
However, research does not seem to have found a correlation between many B-complex vitamins and hair loss.
The B-complex vitamins are:
- B-1, or thiamin
- B-2, or riboflavin
- B-3, or niacin
- B-5, or pantothenic acid
- B-6, or pyridoxine
- B-7, or biotin
- B-9, or folate
- B-12, or cobalamin
It is best to consume vitamins from the diet. Some food sources of complex B-vitamins include:
- whole grains
- vegetables, such as cauliflower, carrots, and dark leafy greens
- meat, such as beef liver and poultry
All B-vitamins are water-soluble and leave the body in the urine. It is necessary to consume them daily.
People can obtain vitamin B-12 from animal foods such as meat and dairy. Those concerned that they may be deficient can take a supplement. B-12 deficiency usually develops in older adults and people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion advise an Adequate Intake of around 2.4 mcg per day. Check with a doctor before trying supplements, as some can interfere with the effects of medication.
Biotin deficiencies, in particular, can lead to hair loss. In one 2019 review, researchers looked at 18 studies in people with a biotin deficiency. In eight of these studies, supplementing biotin improved hair loss symptoms.
However, the effectiveness of B-vitamins in promoting hair growth remains unclear. More research will be necessary.
Researchers have conducted some studies into vitamin E and tocotrienol, which is one of its antioxidants.
Most studies in a 2019 review found that people with alopecia areata had significantly lower concentrations of vitamin E in their blood than those without the condition.
However, the review also found that other studies contradict these findings.
The results of a 2010 clinical study also found that using tocotrienol supplements improved the hair health of people with alopecia. These supplements also helped prevent hair loss.
Vitamin E is available in capsule form and as a liquid. A person can incorporate vitamin E into their diet by eating wheat germ, spinach, kale, and almonds.
Some people choose to rub vitamin E oil directly onto their skin or scalp, believing that it will speed up cell regeneration. However, science does not yet support this.
Other essential vitamins
There have been few studies into the effects of vitamins D, B, and E on hair, and even fewer that have looked into the hair growth benefits of other essential vitamins.
However, people experiencing hair loss should consider a multivitamin supplement and diet that includes all of the essential vitamins.
Getting enough vitamins from foods such as leafy green vegetables, dairy, and citrus fruits may promote cell regeneration. Cell regeneration will give the hair a healthier appearance.
Vitamin A, or retinol, is a particularly valuable vitamin for hair health. It supports the secretion of sebum, which is a substance that prevents hair breakage. That said, a 2017 review found that taking too much vitamin A can lead to hair loss.
Maintaining a good balance of nutrients in the diet and supplementing known nutritional deficiencies are the best ways to support hair health.
Vitamins and other nutrients are important for hair health, but making certain lifestyle changes can also help.
To preserve and improve hair health, people can try the following:
Cut back on using hair gels, blow drying the hair, and brushing the hair when it is wet.
Reduce stress by engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-intense exercise per week, as per the American Heart Association’s (AHA) recommendations. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults
· Drink six to eight glasses of water per day.
Being mindful of diet, the safety of hair products, and stress levels can all help improve hair strength and appearance. Constantly pulling back the hair or using certain hair styling techniques can aggravate alopecia.
Several supplements and topical gels can help stop or slow hair loss. Most of these products, including Rogaine, contain the active ingredient minoxidil. Corticosteroids are also common ingredients.
Although a 2019 review found that these treatments can be beneficial for treating hair loss, there is little evidence to suggest that the hair will continue growing after a person stops using the product.
It is also worth noting that almost all of the clinical trials into the effectiveness of hair growth products such as Rogaine and finasteride (Propecia) have used male participants.
It is always best to get nutrients from whole foods. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not monitor supplements, which means that they could contain contamination or an incorrect dose. People should therefore choose supplements from a reliable source.
Unhealthy hair may look dull and brittle, instead of flexible and sheen. Hair that begins to fall out in patches or breaks off in chunks can be a sign of an underlying health condition. Psoriasis, dermatitis, and skin cancer can all be causes of hair loss.
Male and female pattern baldness, alopecia areata, stress, and certain medical treatments can also cause the hair to fall out.
Two factors tend to influence most cases of hair loss: hormones and genetics. Individual vitamins are unly to override these in terms of influence. They can, however, reduce deficiency in those who already have a high risk.
It is important to remember that cutting the hair regularly can keep it looking healthy. This removes split ends and lightens the weight of the hair, thereby reducing the impact on the roots, which grow from the scalp. A healthy scalp is key to healthy hair growth.
Those with concerns about hair loss can visit a dermatologist to determine what is causing their hair growth problems. The dermatologist will be able to recommend solutions.
Will taking care of my skin also support hair growth?
Taking care of the skin will not directly support hair growth, but it does stand to reason that individuals who are conscientious enough to care for their skin will also extend that same care to their hair.
Finding and using the right products can make for healthier hair and “encourage” hair growth. Few studies really show support for supplementation with the direct result in the increase of hair growth.
Cynthia Cobb, APRN Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Vitamin D deficiency hair loss: Symptoms and treatment
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.
Share on PinterestVitamin 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 research shows that women who have other forms of hair loss also had lower levels of vitamin D.
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.
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:
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.
Share on PinterestVitamin D supplements are the most effective treatment for a vitamin D deficency.
Research 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
Vitamin D affects many aspects of a person’s health and well-being, including hair growth. Having a vitamin D deficiency makes people more ly to experience hair loss and many other problems.
People concerned about vitamin D deficiency-related hair loss should consult a doctor who will ly suggest supplements, dietary changes, and spending more time outdoors to help combat the deficiency.
28 Amazing Vitamin D Benefits For Skin, Hair And Health
We have all learnt our A, B, C, Ds at school. These days another set of A, B, C, Ds are all the rage that are also edible! These are none other than the vitamin A, B, C, D, etc. Vitamins have umpteen benefits and we will be better off knowing a little more about them. Let’s take a look at Vitamin D benefits and how we can incorporate it into our daily routine.
What is Vitamin D?
- Vitamin D is a group of fat soluble steroids which aid in the absorption of calcium and phosphate by the intestine.
- Un other vitamins, we do not need to get Vitamin D from foods. The main source of Vitamin D is made by our own body with the help of sunlight. Our body can synthesize Vitamin D with adequate exposure to sun.
- People who are exposed to normal quantities of sunlight do not need Vitamin D supplements because sunlight promotes sufficient Vitamin D synthesis in the body.
There are 5 forms of Vitamin D and collectively they are known as calciferol.
- Vitamin D1 is as molecular compound of ergocalciferol with lumisterol.
- Vitamin D2 is made of ergosterol. It is produced in invertebrates, fungus, and plants in response to sunlight. Humans and other vertebrates do not produce Vitamin D2.
- Vitamin D3 is made in the skin when 7 dehyrocholestrol reacts with ultra violet light. A human requires 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure at least twice a week on the face, arms and back without sunscreen with a greater than 3 UV index for adequate amounts of Vitamin D3 synthesis.
- Vitamin D4 is dihydroegocalciferol.
- Vitamin D5 is made up of 7 dehydositosterol.
all these Vitamin D2 and D3 are most important. Although Vitamin D Is commonly called a Vitamin, it is not essentially a dietary vitamin because it can be synthesized in adequate amounts by most mammals, except cats and dogs.
An organic compound can only be called Vitamin if it cannot be synthesized in sufficient portions and must be obtained from their diet. Before going into vitamin d benefits, look into its best sources and deficiency symptoms.
[ Read : Health Benefits of Vitamin C ]
Sources Of Vitamin D
There are 3 ways to get Vitamin D: food, sunlight and supplements. If you are not getting enough sunlight or you don’t spend enough time outdoors, you need to take supplements in order to cover your Vitamin D shortage. Foods which contain Vitamin D3 are:
- Salmon: 230 IU (IU = international unit=0.025 mg)
- Tuna: 200 IU
- Soy milk: 100IU
- Orange juice: 100IU
- Low fat milk: 98 IU
- Cereals: 40 IU
- Eggs: 25 IU
- Swiss cheese: 12 IU
Recommended amount: People under 70 years of age should consume 600IU of Vitamin per day and people over 70 should have 800 IU of Vitamin D per day.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms
Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are often vague and nonspecific and are often missed. Many people have no symptoms as such, only tiredness and general aches. This deficiency is however just as disruptive to the body as any other vitamin deficiency functions. The deficiency is more often realized in severe cases with some bone deformities.
- Babies with severe Vitamin deficiency can get muscle cramps, seizure and breathing difficulties. This problem is mainly due to low levels of calcium.
- Children with severe deficiency may have soft skull and leg bones. “Bow legged” or curved leg is often a symptom of Vitamin D deficiency. Children may also complain of bone pains and muscle weakness. This condition is known as rickets.
- Vitamin D deficient children often have poor growth. Height is usually affected more than weight. Affected children also face difficulty in walking.
- Children with Vitamin D deficiency may be teething late as the development of the milk teeth is affected.
- Irritability is often due to Vitamin D deficiency.
- They are also prone to respiratory issues and infections. Breathing can be affected because of weak chest muscle.
- When rickets become very severe, it can cause low level of calcium in the blood.
- Vitamin D deficiency also causes cardiomyopathy, weakness of heart muscle.
- In case of severe deficiency, there might also be severe pain and also weakness.
- Muscle weakness may cause difficulty in climbing stairs or getting up from the floor or a low chair, or can lead to the person walking with a waddling pattern.
- Bones can feel painful to moderate pressure.
- People have a hairline fracture in the bone which causes tenderness and pain. Bone pain also occurs in the lower back, hips, pelvis, thighs and feet.
[ Read : Health Benefits Of Vitamin B ]
Causes Of Vitamin D Deficiency
- Limited exposure to sunlight is one of the major and most common reasons for Vitamin D deficiency. Our body makes Vitamin D only if it is exposed to sunlight. Keeping yourself homebound will worsen the situation.
- The pigment melanin reduces the skin‘s ability to absorb Vitamin D. Thus darker skinned people are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency, especially older people with darker skin.
- Vitamin D deficiency also occurs if your kidneys fail to convert Vitamin D into its active form, as when people age, their kidneys are less able to convert Vitamin D into its active form.
- Obesity also affects Vitamin D absorption. Vitamin D is extracted from the blood by fat cells, altering its release into the circulation. People with a mass weight of 30 or greater often have low blood level of Vitamin D.
- Certain medical problems also hinder vitamin D absorption. Disease Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis and celiac disease can affect intestine’s ability to absorb Vitamin from the food you eat.
Vitamin D plays a significant role in many of the major body functions and in absence of the right amounts can lead to what we refer to as vitamin D deficiency diseases.
The probability of identifying and proceeding with vitamin D deficiency treatment is very low which why in this case prevention is better than cure.
How To Prevent Deficiency Of Vitamin D
- All pregnant and breast feeding women should take a daily supplement of 10 micrograms of Vitamin D daily.
- Infants and young children aged 6 months to five years should take a daily supplement of Vitamin D in the form of Vitamin D drops. Breast fed infants may need to receive drops containing Vitamin D from one first month onwards if their mother has not taken Vitamin D supplements throughout.
- People aged 65 years and over and who are not exposed too much to sun should also take daily supplements containing 10 micrograms of Vitamin D.
In addition, a doctor may advise routine supplements for people with certain gut, kidney and liver disease and prescribe certain medicines for people with darker skins.
Vitamin D has plenty of benefits for skin, hair and health. benefits of Vitamin d include the following:
Health Benefits of Vitamin D
Here are the some of the benefits of taking vitamin d.
- It helps the intestine to absorb nutrients, calcium and phosphorus. This ensures strong bones and a healthy immune system.
- Vitamin D prevents osteomalacia, which causes weakness in the muscular system and brittle bones. It is mostly prevalent in adults with Vitamin D deficiency.
- Vitamin D provides calcium balance in the body and prevents arthritis.
- Vitamin D regulates blood pressure and reduces stress and tension. It also relieves body aches and pains by reducing muscle spasms. It also reduces respiratory infection.
- Vitamin D also helps to differentiate between cells, aids in insulin secretion and helps to fight depression.
- Vitamin D is recommended in the treatment of several diseases. It may prevent preeclampsia by improving kidney functions.
- It also prevents cancer by controlling abnormal multiplication of cancer. Research has indicated that people with low level of Vitamin D have a significantly lower risk of developing cancer, as compared to people with adequate level of Vitamin D.
- Vitamin D optimizes our body’s ability to absorb other important weight loss nutrients, especially calcium. If our body lacks calcium, it can lead to up to 5 fold increase in fatty acids synthesis, an enzyme that converts calories into fats. By fuelling our bodies with Vitamin D rich nutrients, you can potentially lose weight up to 60 %.
- It is an important way to arm the immune system against disorders cold and flu.
- Vitamin D also improves eye sight of children. A couple of hours daily outdoors will help their growing eyeballs to develop properly and will prevent nearsightedness.
- It also reduces the risk of developing sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is much less common near the tropics where there is ample sunlight.
- Vitamin D keeps the brain active even at later stages of life. It also helps to maintain body weight.
- It reduces the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms
- A form of Vitamin D provides protection against damage from low levels of radiation.
- High doses of Vitamin D also help people to recover from Tuberculosis as quickly as possible.
- Vitamin D also helps to improve mental sharpness. People who have foods with high content of Vitamin D have superior memory and information processing capabilities than those with lower level of the sunshine Vitamin
- Low level of Vitamin D may increase the risk of heart attacks and early death.
[ Read : Health And Medicinal Benefits Of Vitamin A ]
Vitamin D Benefits For Skin
The state of your skin is a good indication of your health. Vitamin D offers not only a variety of health benefits but is also beneficial for the skin.
18. Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 are most beneficial for skin health.
19. Vitamin D Cream or supplements can be effective for treatment of psoriasis. 20. Vitamin D also repairs skin damage prevents infections that might be caused due to skin injuries and rejuvenate the skin.
21. One of the most well-known uses for Vitamin D in terms of skin is its treatment of psoriasis. Psoriasis symptoms include itchy and flaky skin, which can heal by the topical application of Vitamin D cream or by having prescribed Vitamin D supplements.
22. Vitamin D3 contains strong anti-inflammatory properties which make it effective for treating burns, skin injuries, skin damage and stretch marks. Thus vitamin D is mostly added in creams and lotions for its anti-inflammatory properties.
23. The anti-oxidant present in Vitamin D prevents skin damage and premature ageing of skin when taken via supplements or included in diet. Adequate skin exposure can also provide relief from these symptoms
24. Scientist are of the view that Vitamin D absorbed through limited exposure to the sun might prevent skin damage and sunburns by strengthening the skin.
Opponents of this theory opine that excess of sun exposure is ly to be the main cause for most skin cancers. This issue had caused major disagreement in the scientific community.
So most medical professionals advise people to limit exposure to sun and take vitamin D supplements to prevent Vitamin D deficiency.
25. Vitamin D also helps to treat eczema and is a potential saviour of rosacea sufferers. Enzymes in the skin of rosacea sufferers can cause them to produce antimicrobial peptides in an abnormal form
Vitamin D Benefits For Hair
One of the best way to gain strong and thick hair growth is to include vitamin D rich source foods in your diet. Benefits of vitamin d for hair include the following:
26. Lack of Vitamin D can also cause hair loss. Vitamin D is found in healthy hair follicles and is generally lacking in unhealthy follicles. Vitamin reduces stress, and depression has often been linked to hair loss and various other problems. It is always good to reduce stress and live a happy life.
27. Vitamin D is also a precursor to the hair growth cycle. Vitamin D acts on the keratinocytes to initiate hair follicle cycling and stimulate hair growth. 28. Vitamin D gets converted to calcidiol when present in liver.
This further gets converted by the kidneys calcitriol which is a form of active Vitamin D. This regulates cellular apoptosis which helps to regulate the cycle of the hair follicle.
Technically, the cycle of hair follicle goes from:
- Anagen (growing) to
- Catagen (receding) to
- Telogen (resting) phase.
There are also Vitamin D receptors in hair follicles. Many different processes are involved in new hair formation from the follicle and Vitamin D plays a major role. Vitamin D receptors in the hair follicle have to be fed in the growing phase. This is why Vitamin D and hair deficiency go together. Studies have also shown that inhibiting Vitamin D receptors can cause hair loss.
Depriving the body totally of Vitamin D will not provide necessary building blocks essential to hair growth. While Vitamin D deficiency leads to hair loss, the opposite might not be true. Overconsumption of Vitamin D will not lead to hair growth in itself. Once the hair follicle dies, it no longer goes through the cycle mentioned above.
The hair follicle has to be active for Vitamin D to show any help. Thus it is important to prevent hair fall in early stages. Looking at the benefits of vitamin D we must ensure that we get adequate doses of it from sunlight and from our diet. Always consider a doctor before popping pills as overdose of vitamin D can be harmful.
Take vitamin pills on your doctor’s advice and enjoy the sunshine. Stay fit, stay healthy!
Vitamin D and Skin Health
1. Holick MF. Resurrection of vitamin D deficiency and rickets. J Clin Invest. 2006;116(8):2062-2072. (PubMed)
2. Brunette MG, Chan M, Ferriere C, Roberts KD. Site of 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D3 synthesis in the kidney. Nature. 1978;276(5685):287-289. (PubMed)
3. Bikle DD, Nemanic MK, Gee E, Elias P. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 production by human keratinocytes. Kinetics and regulation. J Clin Invest. 1986;78(2):557-566. (PubMed)
4. Bikle DD, Nemanic MK, Whitney JO, Elias PW. Neonatal human foreskin keratinocytes produce 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Biochemistry. 1986;25(7):1545-1548. (PubMed)
5. Lehmann B, Sauter W, Knuschke P, Dressler S, Meurer M. Demonstration of UVB-induced synthesis of 1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (calcitriol) in human skin by microdialysis. Arch Dermatol Res. 2003;295(1):24-28. (PubMed)
6. Abramovits W. Calcitriol 3 microg/g ointment: an effective and safe addition to the armamentarium in topical psoriasis therapy. J Drugs Dermatol. 2009;8(8 Suppl):s17-22. (PubMed)
7. Gerritsen MJ, Van De Kerkhof PC, Langner A. Long-term safety of topical calcitriol 3 microg g(-1) ointment. Br J Dermatol. 2001;144 Suppl 58:17-19. (PubMed)
8. Rizova E, Corroller M. Topical calcitriol–studies on local tolerance and systemic safety. Br J Dermatol. 2001;144 Suppl 58:3-10. (PubMed)
9. Mason AR, Mason J, Cork M, Dooley G, Edwards G. Topical treatments for chronic plaque psoriasis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009(2):CD005028. (PubMed)
10. Murphy G, Reich K. In touch with psoriasis: topical treatments and current guidelines. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2011;25 Suppl 4:3-8. (PubMed)
11. Holick MF, MacLaughlin JA, Clark MB, et al. Photosynthesis of previtamin D3 in human skin and the physiologic consequences. Science. 1980;210(4466):203-205. (PubMed)
12. Holick MF, MacLaughlin JA, Doppelt SH. Regulation of cutaneous previtamin D3 photosynthesis in man: skin pigment is not an essential regulator. Science. 1981;211(4482):590-593. (PubMed)
13. Webb AR, DeCosta BR, Holick MF. Sunlight regulates the cutaneous production of vitamin D3 by causing its photodegradation. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1989;68(5):882-887. (PubMed)
14. Chen TC, Persons KS, Lu Z, Mathieu JS, Holick MF. An evaluation of the biologic activity and vitamin D receptor binding affinity of the photoisomers of vitamin D3 and previtamin D3. J Nutr Biochem. 2000;11(5):267-272. (PubMed)
15. Tsiaras WG, Weinstock MA. Factors influencing vitamin D status. Acta Derm Venereol. 2011;91(2):115-124. (PubMed)
16. Webb AR, Kline L, Holick MF. Influence of season and latitude on the cutaneous synthesis of vitamin D3: exposure to winter sunlight in Boston and Edmonton will not promote vitamin D3 synthesis in human skin. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1988;67(2):373-378. (PubMed)
17. Holick MF. Vitamin d: a d-lightful solution for health. J Investig Med. 2011;59(6):872-880. (PubMed)
18. Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(3):266-281. (PubMed)
19. MacLaughlin J, Holick MF. Aging decreases the capacity of human skin to produce vitamin D3. J Clin Invest. 1985;76(4):1536-1538. (PubMed)
20. Matsuoka LY, Ide L, Wortsman J, MacLaughlin JA, Holick MF. Sunscreens suppress cutaneous vitamin D3 synthesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1987;64(6):1165-1168. (PubMed)
21. Jones G, Strugnell SA, DeLuca HF. Current understanding of the molecular actions of vitamin D. Physiol Rev. 1998;78(4):1193-1231. (PubMed)
22. Jurutka PW, Whitfield GK, Hsieh JC, Thompson PD, Haussler CA, Haussler MR. Molecular nature of the vitamin D receptor and its role in regulation of gene expression. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2001;2(2):203-216. (PubMed)
23. Odland GF. Structure of the skin. In: Goldsmith LA, ed. Physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology of the skin. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 1991:3-62.
24. Freinkel RK, Woodley D. The biology of the skin. New York: Parthenon Pub. Group; 2001.
25. Bikle DD. Vitamin D metabolism and function in the skin. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011;347(1-2):80-89. (PubMed)
26. Bikle DD, Pillai S. Vitamin D, calcium, and epidermal differentiation. Endocr Rev. 1993;14(1):3-19. (PubMed)
27. Skorija K, Cox M, Sisk JM, et al. Ligand-independent actions of the vitamin D receptor maintain hair follicle homeostasis. Mol Endocrinol. 2005;19(4):855-862. (PubMed)
28. Sakai Y, Demay MB. Evaluation of keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation in vitamin D receptor knockout mice. Endocrinology. 2000;141(6):2043-2049. (PubMed)
29. Li YC, Pirro AE, Amling M, et al. Targeted ablation of the vitamin D receptor: an animal model of vitamin D-dependent rickets type II with alopecia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997;94(18):9831-9835. (PubMed)
30. Malloy PJ, Feldman D. The role of vitamin D receptor mutations in the development of alopecia. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011;347(1-2):90-96. (PubMed)
31. Bikle DD. Vitamin D and the skin. J Bone Miner Metab. 2010;28(2):117-130. (PubMed)
32. Lee J, Youn JI. The photoprotective effect of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on ultraviolet light B-induced damage in keratinocyte and its mechanism of action. J Dermatol Sci. 1998;18(1):11-18. (PubMed)
33. Wong G, Gupta R, Dixon KM, et al. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D and three low-calcemic analogs decrease UV-induced DNA damage via the rapid response pathway. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2004;89-90(1-5):567-570. (PubMed)
34. De Haes P, Garmyn M, Degreef H, Vantieghem K, Bouillon R, Segaert S. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 inhibits ultraviolet B-induced apoptosis, Jun kinase activation, and interleukin-6 production in primary human keratinocytes. J Cell Biochem. 2003;89(4):663-673. (PubMed)
35. Dixon KM, Deo SS, Wong G, et al. Skin cancer prevention: a possible role of 1,25dihydroxyvitamin D3 and its analogs. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2005;97(1-2):137-143. (PubMed)
36. Dixon KM, Deo SS, Norman AW, et al. In vivo relevance for photoprotection by the vitamin D rapid response pathway. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2007;103(3-5):451-456. (PubMed)
37. Gupta R, Dixon KM, Deo SS, et al. Photoprotection by 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 is associated with an increase in p53 and a decrease in nitric oxide products. J Invest Dermatol. 2007;127(3):707-715. (PubMed)
38. Mason RS, Sequeira VB, Dixon KM, et al. Photoprotection by 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and analogs: further studies on mechanisms and implications for UV-damage. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010;121(1-2):164-168. (PubMed)
39. Revelli A, Massobrio M, Tesarik J. Nongenomic effects of 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3). Trends Endocrinol Metab. 1998;9(10):419-427. (PubMed)
40. Wang TT, Nestel FP, Bourdeau V, et al. Cutting edge: 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 is a direct inducer of antimicrobial peptide gene expression. J Immunol. 2004;173(5):2909-2912. (PubMed)
41. Gombart AF, Borregaard N, Koeffler HP. Human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP) gene is a direct target of the vitamin D receptor and is strongly up-regulated in myeloid cells by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Faseb J. 2005;19(9):1067-1077. (PubMed)
42. Heilborn JD, Nilsson MF, Kratz G, et al. The cathelicidin anti-microbial peptide LL-37 is involved in re-epithelialization of human skin wounds and is lacking in chronic ulcer epithelium. J Invest Dermatol. 2003;120(3):379-389. (PubMed)
43. Frohm M, Agerberth B, Ahangari G, et al. The expression of the gene coding for the antibacterial peptide LL-37 is induced in human keratinocytes during inflammatory disorders. J Biol Chem. 1997;272(24):15258-15263. (PubMed)
44. Koczulla R, von Degenfeld G, Kupatt C, et al. An angiogenic role for the human peptide antibiotic LL-37/hCAP-18. J Clin Invest. 2003;111(11):1665-1672. (PubMed)
45. Weber G, Heilborn JD, Chamorro Jimenez CI, Hammarsjo A, Torma H, Stahle M. Vitamin D induces the antimicrobial protein hCAP18 in human skin. J Invest Dermatol. 2005;124(5):1080-1082. (PubMed)
Does Vitamin D Improve Hair & Skin Health?
Since vitamin D reduces inflammation and strengthens the immune system, studies suggest it may also be good for hair and skin health. Many brands add vitamin D to creams, lotions, and shampoo, along with other vitamins. Some people take vitamin D supplements, while others notice beneficial effects upon sun exposure. Read on to learn if the research backs them up.
Snapshot of Vitamin D for Skin & Hair
- Reduces inflammation (strong evidence)
- May improve eczema and psoriasis (limited evidence)
- May reduce hair loss (limited evidence)
- Early research suggests a role in wound healing (insufficient evidence)
The body naturally makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Getting regular, moderate sun exposure is a safe way to maintain normal vitamin D levels during the summer months.
Vitamin D is also found in certain foods, such as fatty fish salmon and sardines. Additionally, many vitamin D supplements are available on the market.
Taken at the recommended doses, vitamin D supplements are considered safe. However, taking too much can be harmful. Vitamin D supplements may also interact with prescription medications. Remember to talk to your doctor before supplementing!
Vitamin D Levels & Skin Disorders
A recent scientific review emphasized the role of vitamin D in skin health. In the review aimed at dermatologists, scientists claimed that maintaining normal vitamin D blood levels is important for people with the following skin problems :
- Polymorphous light eruption (skin rash triggered by sun exposure)
- Mycosis fungoides (skin lymphoma)
- Alopecia areata (autoimmune hair loss)
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Melanoma (a type of skin cancer)
Despite this, additional large-scale studies need to determine the benefits of monitoring vitamin D levels in people with diverse skin disorders.
Might Help with Psoriasis
According to some studies, vitamin D levels are significantly lower in patients with psoriasis, which is an autoimmune disease [2, 3].
This vitamin may be important for psoriasis since it regulates the production of keratinocytes in the skin and immune cells. Scientists think that psoriasis starts off when overactive keratinocytes trigger an autoimmune response. Each time this reaction takes place, people with psoriasis are ly to experience flare-ups [4, 5, 6].
In one pilot study, a high daily vitamin D dose of 35,000 IU was safe and effective for psoriasis patients. However, this study only included 25 patients. High-quality, large-scale studies need to replicate these findings before we can draw any conclusions from them .
Creams and lotions with synthetic vitamin D analogues (calcipotriol and/or tacalcitol) are considered first-line treatment for mild-to-moderate psoriasis. These treatments are sometimes taken in combination with other systemic therapies in more severe cases of the disease [8, 9].
It’s important to remember that studies show that topical applications are beneficial but the data on oral supplementation is mixed [10, 11].
Might Improve Eczema
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) affects up to 20% of children and up to 3% of adults .
Studies have linked vitamin D deficiency with atopic dermatitis. However, data are lacking to say whether vitamin D deficiency can cause psoriasis or increase the risk of this disease .
Some scientists believe that vitamin D supplementation may improve disease symptoms and severity. It is also considered as a safe and tolerable therapy when used at the recommended doses [14, 15].
In cell-based studies, vitamin D increased the production of cathelicidin, an antimicrobial deficient in atopic dermatitis. More studies are needed to explore its mechanism of action and efficacy [16, 17].
Effects on Acne
In people with acne, inflammation is a result of the immune response targeting bacteria in the skin: P. acnes. In one study, P. acnes activated Th17 cells, a response that vitamin D blocks. Vitamin D also reduced inflammation in studies on skin cells. these mechanisms, scientists concluded that vitamin shows promise for fighting acne. Further studies are needed .
Role in Wound Healing
According to a cell-based study, vitamin D increases the activity of an antimicrobial skin protein called cathelicidin. This protein seems to balance immunity in the skin by promoting wound healing and tissue repair .
In one human study, cathelicidin expression was increased during the early stages of normal wound healing. Other studies suggest cathelicidin helps regenerate and strengthen the skin barrier, increasing so-called reepithelization .
However, more research is needed to determine if vitamin D affects wound healing, whether as oral supplements or creams and other topical formulations.
Effects on Hair Loss
Studies show an important role of vitamin D receptor in hair loss .
Scientists believe that the function of the vitamin D receptor is essential for the maintenance of a normal hair cycle. Animal and cell-based studies show that defective vitamin D receptor function may lead to defective growth and loss of hair follicle [20, 21].
Additionally, limited studies have associated hair loss in both men and women with decreased blood levels of vitamin D. In some studies, lower blood levels were linked with more severe hair loss [22, 23, 24].
this, some scientists advocate for screening patients with hair loss for vitamin D deficiencies. They think that these patients are ly to benefit from supplementation, which shows promise for helping regrow hair .
Though these findings give many people hope, it’s still too early to say whether vitamin D can help regrow hair in people who are deficient.