Low minerals have a role in hair loss

Health experts say hormonal imbalances, medical side effects and psychological factors may cause temporary and reversible hair loss. Two recent studies indicate mineral deficiencies might also play a role.

One study from the UK reported that hair loss after gastrointestinal surgery was treated successfully with zinc. Nutritional complications following this surgery include vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Though each of the 130 patients was advised to take a multivitamin following surgery, 47 still experienced hair loss. These 47 were prescribed zinc (45 mg) three times a day. The results were significant: hair loss stopped and new growth occurred in all patients.

Iron deficiency may be another factor in hair loss, say French researchers. Their study looked at the impact of antioxidants on 13,000 healthy people over an eight-year period. The study included 7,886 women, and researchers were also able to find evidence that iron deficiency and/or depletion are factors in hair loss. Data from 3,759 non-menopausal women showed that 48% suffered iron deficiency or depletion. Among post-menopausal women, 23% had lower than normal levels. Researchers said that non-menopausal women in the “severe hair loss” group had significantly lower iron stores than women who didn’t suffer severe hair loss.

Sources: Obes Surg. 1996 Feb;6(1):63-65; Nutraingredients.com, Jun 2, 2004