Dietary and Lifestyle Factors The human brain is truly amazing. Our ability to form memories, speak and understand language, process information and focus on multiple tasks at once is all part of our complex neurology. Yet, it is also well known that our cognitive performance declines with age, normally starting as early as 45 years of age. How can we keep our mind “sharp” and slow this decline? Although genetics play a role, environmental factors can at the very least alter the path. Let’s explore. Consider that the following factors have been found to impair cognitive performance and memory: chronic
Losing hair is stressful for anyone and it’s certainly not an uncommon occurrence. Many women suffer with a diffuse type of hair loss of varying degree which can occur at any stage in life. Although several hair loss drugs are currently on the market, most were developed for men and fail to address the underlying common causes of hair loss in women. Although there can be numerous reasons for hair loss such as pregnancy and hormone imbalance, suffering from certain illnesses, or from using specific types of medication, the following common causes of hair loss are worth being acknowledged as they might may be successfully managed through nutritional supplementation.
Maintain a healthy iron level for healthy hair
Low iron levels can certainly cause hair loss, even if your doctor tells you that you have normal iron levels. A woman does not have to be anemic to experience hair loss as a result of poor iron levels. If you are a woman that experiences a heavy menstrual cycle, especially during the perimenopausal years, or have recently given birth, you are at an increased risk for having an inadequate iron level. Hair loss due to low iron levels often goes undiagnosed. Most women between the ages of 19 and 50 years will require 18 mg of elemental iron per day but are getting less than half of that amount. Of course vegans and vegetarians who are not consuming red meat will also be at an increased risk of having low iron levels.
Ensure that you ask your doctor for the results of your iron tests. You should have your hemoglobin and your ferritin levels tested. Although a normal hemoglobin test is considered to be 117-160 g/L, levels below 140 g/L can cause a large amount of hair loss. Your iron stores are known as your ferritin levels, and these levels are considered as normal if in a range of 15-160 ug/L; however, for healthy hair growth your levels should be above 40 ug/L. When ferritin levels fall, the ability of the hair to grow normal and healthy is compromised. Hair can also lose its healthy qualities of moisture and lustre as a result of low ferritin stores. When iron levels return to a healthy level, most women should experience noticeable regrowth.
Choose an iron supplement that is easy on the digestive system and which does not cause constipation. SunActive®Fe iron consists of ferrous pyrophosphate, a patented form of iron that animal studies have shown to be more bioavailable than other more common forms of iron such as ferrous sulphate and sodium ferrous citrate. SunActive®Fe has 84-94% absorbability, is much easier on the stomach than other forms of iron and is non-constipating.
Get your thyroid checked if you are losing hair
As many as one in four women are affected by a thyroid problem. Having low thyroid hormone levels is another commonly undiagnosed contributing factor to hair loss. Many women take thyroid medication to achieve what is considered normal thyroid hormone levels, yet still experience unpleasant symptoms including hair loss if their TSH levels are too high. There are several nutrients that can be used to boost your thyroid function including tyrosine, selenium, iodine, L-carnitine, zinc and copper. Herbs such as Bacopa monniera can also assist thyroid function.
Make sure you are getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs
The majority of people are not eating several servings of nutrient dense fruits and vegetables every day. To further compromise their nutrient status, the modern lifestyle can deplete nutrients as a result of smoking, taking medications, consuming alcohol and from stress. Some of the most important minerals for healthy hair growth are B vitamins, zinc, iron, silicon and selenium. Using a multivitamin on a daily basis is a great way to ensure your nutritional bases are covered to support overall health and healthy hair growth. If you are not fond of taking pills, consider taking a convenient vitamin and mineral drink mix.
Consider your overall health and nutrition if you are concerned about hair loss. It’s always a good idea to work with a health practitioner in order to make sure you are getting proper tests completed to assess health concerns such as prolonged or abnormal hair loss.
1. Australas J Dermatol. 2014 Oct 10. doi: 10.1111/ajd.12178. [Epub ahead of print]
Increased prevalence of thyroid disorders in patients with new onset alopecia areata.
Lyakhovitsky A1, Shemer A, Amichai B.
2. J Int Med Res. 2001 Jan-Feb;29(1):2-6.
Efficacy and tolerability of Hairgain in individuals with hair loss: a placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Thom E.
3. J Int Med Res. 2006 Sep-Oct;34(5):514-9.
Nourkrin: objective and subjective effects and tolerability in persons with hair loss.