Vitamin C and Hair Loss
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that the human body is unable to make it and it can’t store it. This means you need to consume Vitamin C on a daily basis. Vitamin C is used by the body to assist with including wound healing, bone health, collagen production and minimising damage from free radicals. For your hair, Vitamin C is essential for the absorption of iron – a deficiency of which can cause chronic hair loss and hair not growing past a certain length. Therefore there is a link between vitamin C and hair loss.
Why do we need Vitamin C?
The body uses Vitamin C to assist with:
• Healing Wounds & Injuries
• Collagen Production
• Bone Health
• Anti-Oxidant Properties
• Iron absorption. Vitamin C is essential for the absorption of iron
Symptoms of a Vitamin C deficiency:
The human body can not store Vitamin C, therefore a diet low in Vitamin C is likely to lead to a Vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C is used by our body to create new collagen. Collagen is a protein and is considered to be the “glue” of the human body. Collagen is how our body holds itself together, therefore leading to the condition known as scurvy. Below are the initial signs of a vitamin C deficiency:
• Fatigue, weakness & tiredness
• Muscle and joint pain
• Bruising becomes frequent and occurs very easily
• Red – to – Blue small spots/bruises start to appear on the skin[/list]
Other symptoms of a Vitamin C deficiency include:
• Hair Loss, Hair Breakage and Hair Shedding
• Poor Scalp Health eg. wounds that take a long time to heal
• Poor Gum Health: bleeding, swelling & discolouration
• Nose bleeds
• Slow healing of cuts and wounds
• Slow recovery from illness and infections
• Unexplained weight loss – usually essential tissue decay instead of fat loss
Vitamin C and Hair Loss
One of the essential and critical reasons we need to ensure our diet is rich in vitamin C, is because of the essential requirement that our body relies on vitamin C to produce new collagen. Collagen is considered to be the “GLUE” that holds our bodies together. As we age, our natural collagen levels reduce, our body produces new collagen to attempt to replace the depleting collagen levels caused by the aging process.
For your hair, that means the scalp (skin) that surrounds the hair follicle, if the body does not receive enough Vitamin C to produce new collagen, the scalp (skin) can become aged, dry, un-healthy and deteriorated. An unhealthy scalp can impact the hair follicles ability to grow a thick and full strand of hair. A high amount of collagen, that is naturally formed by your body, is essential for the growth of thicker, fuller and healthier hair. If you are deficient in Vitamin C, a common symptom will be hair breakage and hair shedding. Vitamin C deficiency can cause your hair to become dry & brittle. It is preferable to obtain Vitamin C through your diet, rather than supplements.
What foods contain Vitamin C?
The human body is not able to produce its own Vitamin C, therefore 100% of the Vitamin C required by the body has to be provided by the food we consume. It is preferable to obtain Vitamin C through your diet, rather than supplements. Below are the foods that are known as a good source of Vitamin C:
• Oranges & Lemons
• Cantaloupe & Watermelon
• Broccoli , Brussel Sprouts, Capsicum, Kale & Sweet Potatoes
Smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, illness and eating disorders can also deplete the body of Vitamin C, and lead to vitamin deficiency caused anemia. Severe cases of Vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy. As Vitamin C is water-soluble, it is easily depleted from food by over-cooking it, or boiling it for too long in water. Vitamin C levels in fruit and vegetables are at their highest when they are consumed raw – instead of heating or cooking the food.
Vitamin C Rich Smoothies
This recipe has been designed with the assistance of our in house naturopath and Scott Moore. The recipe requires the fruit to be cut and placed in the freezer for at least 1-2 hours before making your smoothie. We recommend making 4-8 containers at the time (because the recipe uses halves and quarters – see below). Plus, if you pre-prepare the fruit portions ahead of time, you can simply grab the container from the freezer when you are ready to make it!
Preparing your freezer friendly containers:
• 1/2 a Large Orange or 1 small mandarin (peeled)
• 1/2 Cup of Berries (you can use fresh or frozen)
• 1/2 Cup of Mango (fresh or frozen is ok)
• 1 x Medium Banana
• 2 x cubes of frozen spinach or kale
• 1/2 Cup of Rolled Oats
• 1 x 30g scoop of protein powder (avoid powders containing caffeine)
• 1-1.5 cups of fresh water
We recommend pre-preparing little containers with the portions of the fruit and then store them in the freezer. That way when you are busy, every thing is ready. Plus freezing the fruit gives the smoothie an “icecream” texture which is really nice! (only the fruit – don’t pre-portion the oats or protein powder!)
Scott personally uses these plastic containers from Kmart http://www.kmart.com.au/product/pack-of-3-round-plastic-food-storage-containers—500ml/158301
To make your drink, take a container out of the freezer and empty into your Nutribullet or Blender and add 350-400mL of cool water, then blend until smooth.
If you don’t have a strong blender, Scott uses the https://www.kogan.com/au/buy/kogan-rocket-blender-pro/ For making 1 x smoothie at a time. OR
https://www.kogan.com/au/buy/kogan-1400w-vitablast-blender/ for making a smoothie for 2 people at a time.
Additional Ideas to make the most of your Vitamin C enriched smoothie:
• You can substitute the water for coconut water
• Add some fresh mint
• Use soy or almond milk instead of dairy
• Use plain rolled oats instead of toasted muesli
• Add some honey for a sweet kick
• Add a shot of coffee to combine your morning coffee and breakfast
This smoothie is packed full of vitamin C, this means you are enabling your body to produce new collagen, resulting in a healthier and stronger hair (reducing breakage and shedding). If you have more questions about Vitamin C and Hair Loss, please contact us here.