Why is Vitamin B12 Important?
Vitamin B12 is used by every cell in the body. It helps keep your nervous system functioning normally and plays an important role in DNA production. Crucially for your hair, it helps your body metabolise amino acids (the building blocks of hair). It also helps keep your red blood cells healthy, allowing them to supply adequate oxygen to your tissues (including your hair follicles).
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anaemia
Lack of Vitamin B12 is called Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia. This condition causes your body to produce larger than normal red blood cells, which are unable to transport enough oxygen (haemoglobin) to your tissues. How does this affect your hair? When your body is short of oxygen, it channels its available supply to your vital organs to keep them alive, rather than to your hair follicles. Without oxygen, your hair follicles cease to function properly, and your hair may fall out.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur if you have a condition called pernicious anaemia — when your body is unable to absorb B12 through the foods you eat. It can also happen if your diet lacks foods rich in Vitamin B12, or if you are taking certain medications that block B12 absorption.
Its symptoms include (but are not limited to):
Lack of energy
Pins and needles
Diffuse hair loss from the scalp
It is preferable to obtain the Vitamin B12 you need through your diet, rather than supplements. However, sometimes this is not possible, due to factors such as dietary restrictions, illness, medication, or a hectic lifestyle. When hair loss and/or thinning is an issue, a combination of supplements (such as Philip Kingsley Tricho Complex) and a healthy diet is best for encouraging re-growth.
Foods Rich in Vitamin B12
Fortified Soy Milk