Hair loss is a common issue that has a profound effect on people. Hair loss can leave many people feeling hopeless, and determining the exact cause of your hair loss can be difficult due to the many different factors that contribute to the issue. While hair loss can be challenging to deal with, there are effective treatment options available once the cause is diagnosed. Diet and micronutrients, such as zinc, have been shown to play a critical role in healthy hair follicle development and immune cell function as well as in the prevention and treatment of hair loss.
What is Zinc?
Zinc is considered an essential trace nutrient that is essential for a lot of biochemical processes in the human body. This means that, while zinc is found in every cell in the body, the body does not produce it naturally, so to stay healthy, you must get a constant supply through your diet.
Zinc supports the immune system, helping to fight off invading bacteria and viruses and is responsible for many of the human body's essential processes, including the regulation of hormone levels, protein synthesis, cell reproduction, and the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
When the supply of zinc is not enough to meet the metabolic needs of the body, a state of zinc deficiency or hypozincemia occurs. The body's primary dietary source of zinc is fish and meat, with Zinc deficiency commonly occurring in people whose diet includes large amounts of cereal grain, those whose diets lack meat, and in infants on milk formula.
Hypozincemia is a nutrient deficiency related to malnutrition or malabsorption of the zinc element. Zinc deficiency is caused by several diseases and conditions such as renal disease, chronic liver disease, diarrhea, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, cancer, and even after having surgery to treat obesity. Other causes include anorexia nervosa, inflammatory bowel disease, and cystic fibrosis. Certain other conditions such as alcoholism, malignancy, burns, infection, and pregnancy may increase the metabolism and excretion of zinc.
The Connection Between Zinc and Hair Loss
Trace minerals are necessary for a robust immune system and healthy cell growth throughout the body, including the scalp and hair follicles. Hair loss is a common issue that is often associated with a deficiency of an essential element.
Research suggests that zinc plays a vital role in the development of hair follicle cell structure and its ability to have a normal hair growth cycle. A zinc deficiency weakens the immune system and the cell structure of the hair follicles. The weakened structural integrity of the hair follicle produces hair strands that break easier and fall out sooner, leading to hair loss. Alopecia is a recognized symptom of an established zinc deficiency with hair regrowth beginning to improve with vitamin and mineral supplements.
Zinc deficiency is a preventable risk factor for the development of alopecia and one that is treatable with zinc supplements. While supplementation is both affordable and accessible, it is critical to know how much is required as high doses of zinc may inhibit the growth cycle of the hair.
Contact New Look Institute
Zinc deficiency is one of the many factors that can cause and contribute to hair loss. Determining if your hair loss is due to a lack of zinc, another micronutrient deficiency, or if that is only one factor requires a consultation with an expert in hair loss. At New Look Institute, our highly skilled team are experts at identifying and treating issues that cause hair loss. Our compassionate staff will thoroughly examine your scalp and hair and explore any underlying issues that may be contributing to your hair loss. To learn more about how zinc and diet can affect hair loss and to schedule your free initial consultation, contact us today.