In this video you’ll learn the truth about whether hair loss could be caused by a deficiency in the vitamin B12. Does vitamin B12 deficiency cause hair loss? Stay tuned to find out.
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Firstly, I’ll explain exactly what this vitamin is and why it’s important for your hair and overall health.
Secondly, I’ll show you why and how a deficiency can occur so you’ll know if it’s likely if you’re deficient or not.
Finally, you’ll learn what to do to make 100% sure you don’t have a B12 deficiency so you can cross that off your list and see if your hair loss stops, or start looking at other causes.
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a B-complex vitamin that plays a critical role in most of the body processes (1). It’s found naturally in animal products, such as fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy, and it’s also added to many foods (such as cereals and grains).
Vitamin B12’s Role in the Body
Perhaps B12’s greatest contribution to the body is its role in cell metabolism (i.e. the set of chemical reactions that maintain life). This function of cobalamin occurs throughout the body – even within the hair follicle – and is necessary for the basic functioning of cells.
This B-complex vitamin is a cofactor (i.e. a required part of a chemical process) in DNA synthesis (1). It also assists in the metabolism of both fatty acids and amino acids, and plays a major part in myelin synthesis (which is necessary for nervous system functioning) (2, 3). Last, but not least, it contributes to the maturation of red blood cells within the bone marrow (4).
But what about its role in hair?
B12 and Hair Growth: A Link?
There’s no doubt that all of the processes mentioned above contribute to the health of the scalp and hair. However, researchers have also discovered a direct link between B12 and hair growth.
In 2011, researchers from Moser Medical Group in Austria asked themselves: “Is there a way to reduce – or even stop – posttransplant effluvium in patients who undergo micrograft hair transplants?” (5).
The question came about due to the period of reduced hair growth that patients experience immediately following a micrograft transplant. This occurs due to induction of telogen phase in transplanted hair follicles.
So the question becomes, can B12 stop the transition to telogen phase?
To answer this, researchers retrieved hair follicles from the occipital region of patients undergoing hair restoration surgery. The follicles were cultured for 5 days in a standard substrate, along with vitamin B12 at either 2.5 µg/ml or 25 µg/ml.
To determine efficacy, the researchers used two measures: the percent change of Hair Shaft Elongation (HSE), and Real time RT—polymerase chain reaction (which indicates induction of the Wnt pathway).
In terms of HSE, hair follicles that were exposed to vitamin B12 showed a significant percent change between days 0 and 5. This was true for both the 2.5 and 25 µg/ml concentrations.
In addition, the cultures exposed to B12 also showed the presence of specific mRNA for β-catenin (a protein that accumulates as a result of Wnt signaling).
But what does all of this mean for hair growth?
This video is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease