Vitamins play a huge role in the health of your hair, so what happens when you’re deficient in B12? In this article, we will explore the effects of a vitamin B12 deficiency and whether it’s possible to reverse hair loss as a result.
What Is Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is one of eight B vitamins that work to keep the body functioning at optimal levels. B12 is a water-soluble vitamin found in meat and dairy products, although it can be found in some plant-based foods.
Benefits Of B12
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that helps the body to produce red blood cells, create DNA during cell division, and keep the nervous system functioning.
There are many benefits to vitamin B12, which is why it’s important to be getting sufficient amounts. Some of these benefits include:
- Supports bone health
- Keeps the heart healthy
- Improves energy and concentration levels
- Can protect against certain diseases and cancers
- Protects against anemia
- Assists the digestive system and can alleviate constipation
- Improves hair, skin, and nails
Getting sufficient B12 through diet or supplements is essential to maintain good overall health.
Try the following:
The vitamin B12 drops from Vitameze is a great alternative to traditional tablet form. It can be easier to incorporate into the diet and it’s highly recommended for anyone who struggles to swallow tablets.
With 500mcg per dose, this product will help you to maintain healthy levels of B12 and protect against hair loss.
Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
A vitamin B12 deficiency can be serious if left untreated. If you think you have a deficiency or you present with any of the following symptoms, you must see a doctor so you can get tested.
- Feeling tired or fatigued
- Heart palpitations
- Irregular heartbeat
- Tingling in the hands or feet (or both)
- Unexplained bruising
- Bleeding of the gums
- Feeling breathless or dizzy
- Hair loss
In these earlier stages, a vitamin B12 deficiency may only present itself with mild symptoms.
However, it can quickly develop into something more serious. That’s why it’s always important to note any new symptoms that arise and get a blood test as soon as possible.
People who already have compromised immune systems or other diseases should get regular blood tests to rule out any deficiencies.
Can You Reverse Hair Loss Caused By B12 Deficiency?
Yes, hair loss caused by a B12 deficiency is reversible. Taking a supplement, making dietary changes, and regular scalp massages will help to increase levels of B12 and prevent further hair loss. As you start to get healthier levels of B12 in the body, the hair cells will start to reproduce again. This will then carry oxygen to the scalp and promote new hair growth.
While there is no quick fix to treating a deficiency, you may start to see improvements in just a few weeks.
Weighworld’s Vitamin B12 Tablets are high strength with each tablet containing 1000mcg. Unlike other brands, these supplements do not contain any artificial ingredients and they are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Taking a daily supplement can help to treat some of the side effects of a B12 deficiency, like fatigue and hair loss. Each bottle contains 1 year supply, which makes it incredible value for money.
How Does Vitamin B12 Help With Hair Growth?
Vitamin B12 plays a huge role in hair growth because it helps to produce red blood cells. These red blood cells then carry oxygen to the scalp. This is the process that encourages new cells and promotes hair growth.
If there are insufficient levels of vitamin B12 in the body, the hair cells will be unable to reproduce.
Without a healthy supply of red blood cells, there will not be a lack of oxygen carried to the scalp. As a result, this will cause hair follicles to weaken which contributed to hair loss and thinning.
Hair loss is one of the most common side effects of a vitamin B12 deficiency and it may be the first thing you notice.
While there are other vitamins that help with hair growth, B-vitamins remain the most essential.
Also Read: The Truth About Energy Drinks And Hair Loss
How To Treat Hair Loss Caused By B12 Deficiency
If you’re experiencing hair loss that’s caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency, do not worry. There are a few ways that you can begin treating it as soon as possible.
Go To Your Doctor
The first step to take if you think you have a vitamin B12 deficiency is to see your doctor and get a blood test.
Even if the test reveals slightly low levels, it’s still advised that you treat it before it worsens. Your doctor will likely need to rule out other conditions that could be responsible for hair loss or other health concerns.
As hair loss can be caused by a number of problems, they may need to do a general health check.
Your doctor can advise on diet, supplements or injections, and make recommendations based on your current situation.
It’s always recommended that you get a doctor’s professional advice before taking a supplement or making any dramatic dietary changes.
Eat More Iron-rich Foods
A B12 deficiency often gets confused with being an iron deficiency. The truth is they are not the same. Iron is a mineral while B12 is a vitamin.
Despite that, iron and B12 are often found in the same foods. A lack of iron in the body can lead to anemia, which can be a serious condition that leads to fatigue, dizziness, and hair loss.
There are two types of iron: heme and non-heme. Heme is found in meat sources while non-heme is found in plant-based foods.
Generally, it’s easier to boost iron levels by eating meat as it’s easily absorbed in the body.
Some foods high in iron include:
- Sweet potatoes
Try to get a mix of these foods in your diet to maintain sufficient iron and B12.
Take A Supplement
A supplement is recommended for those who have trouble absorbing B12 due to medical problems or diet.
This may only be required on a short-term basis to help boost levels. Taking a supplement is an effective and safe way of maintaining sufficient levels and it can be convenient for some people.
Sometimes, a supplement is necessary even if you aren’t deficient. For instance, if you are vegan or vegetarian and eat little to no meat, it’s strongly advised that you take a high dose of B12.
This is to ensure that you don’t become ill due to low levels. It’s always best to prevent a deficiency in the first place
Get A Scalp Massage
A scalp massage is one method that can help to reverse hair loss caused by B12 deficiency.
Using oil or a blend of essential oils, you can massage it with your fingertips to help circulate the blood flow and stimulate the hair follicles.
This can help to stimulate new hair growth and prevent further hair loss. It can also relieve a dry, itchy scalp.
You can do this two or three times a week while you are trying to treat your hair loss. Once the condition improves, reduce it to suit your needs.
Also Read: 5 Ways Ashwagandha Can Help With Hair Loss
Who Is At Risk Of B12 Deficiency?
Anyone can develop a B12 deficiency, but there are certain groups of people who are more at risk.
Those with medical conditions like Crohn’s Disease or Celiac Disease are more likely to have issues with absorbing vitamin B12. The elderly can also develop digestion issues which can make it more difficult to get sufficient B12.
Vegans and vegetarians will find it very difficult to get enough B12 through diet alone. Plant-based sources of vitamin B12 are limited and unfortunately, it’s not enough to maintain healthy levels.
It’s for this reason that anyone following a vegan or plant-based diet must take a B12 supplement.
Failure to do so can have dangerous consequences as this can lead to severe anemia that may require hospital treatment.
Even those who regularly take proton pump inhibitors for heartburn or acid reflux may be at risk of a deficiency because it can interfere with absorption.
Before you begin any medication, discuss it first with your doctor so you know the possible side effects. You may have to take additional supplements or have regular injections.
Sources Of Vitamin B12
There are two ways to get healthy levels of Vitamin B12: diet and supplements. Either one of these methods is fine. Take into account dietary requirements, cost, and lifestyle before making a choice.
The best way to get a good daily dose of Vitamin B12 is through dietary choices. If you are a meat-eater or pescetarian, then it should be much easier for you as there are an abundance of choices. These are some of the foods with the highest levels:
- Red meat
- Fish (including salmon, trout, sardines, tuna)
- Low fat dairy
For people following a plant-based diet or those who are simply trying to reduce meat in their diet, you can still get some Vitamin B12 through the following foods:
- Fortified tofu
- Fortified cereals
- Unsweetened soy milk
- Nutritional yeast
It’s important to note that if you aren’t eating much meat, fish, eggs or dairy, then you will need to take an additional supplement.
While B12 supplements aren’t necessary for most people, they can be really beneficial for vegans and those who have medical problems that affect the way the body absorbs vitamins.
B12 supplements are generally safe for all people given the right dosage. It does not usually present any side effects.
Diet still remains the best and most effective way of getting B12, but a supplement is still effective at preventing conditions like anemia and improving mental dysfunction.
While there are many brands of multivitamins that contain B12, it’s highly recommended that you take a separate B12 supplement.
The reason for this is because many multivitamins contain only small amounts of B12 – not the recommended dosage.
How Much Vitamin B12 To Take
For most people, 2.4 mcg is the recommended dosage of vitamin B12. This may be adjusted depending on age, lifestyle, and personal requirements.
Generally, there is no maximum dosage because the body naturally excretes what it doesn’t need. However, very high amounts of B12 (over 1000 mcg) could cause some side effects.
Speak to your doctor for advice and guidance if you are pregnant or suffer with any medical issues before you begin taking a supplement.
Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
It’s important to mention that there are many causes for hair loss in women. If your symptoms do not resolve even when maintaining sufficient levels of B12, it could be due to one of the following:
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
- Stressful or traumatic experiences
- An autoimmune disorder or other medical conditions
- Poor diet
- Thyroid issues
- The menopause
- Over-styling or pulling on the hair too often
- Other vitamin deficiencies
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