What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is the only vitamin our bodies can synthesize on their own, from sunlight. We also get vitamin D from supplements and foods.
Darker skinned people have more melanin in the skin, which can slow down Vitamin D absorption, and they require even more sun exposure to get enough Vitamin D.
What is Vitamin D3?
There are two kinds of Vitamin D: D2 and D3.
- D2 is the kind of Vitamin D found in foods like fatty fish, cheese, dairy products, beef liver, fermented soy, some grains and cereals, and egg yolks.
- D3 is the kind of Vitamin D that we synthesize from the sunlight. This is why it’s so important that we spend time in the sun every day.
For anyone who’s seen that great movie 127 hours, remember how James Franco was stuck and wedged down in the rocks in the cave, and had about 10 minutes of sunlight every day on one of his legs?
Without that 10 minutes, and the Vitamin D3 he synthesized, he wouldn’t have had the strength to eventually get himself out of the situation (not gonna say anything else – spoilers!)
Vitamin D3 is significantly easier for our bodies to absorb than Vitamin D2. Vitamin D2 supplements don’t do much, and so it’s uncommon to see them.
What Does Vitamin D3 Do?
Most importantly, Vitamin D3 protects bones from softening, and helps us maintain healthy bone density. Vitamin D3 is also essential for good dental health and strong teeth.
Vitamin D plays a very important role in three cell functions that take place constantly: cell division, cell differentiation, and new cells taking over old cells that are no longer functional.
Lower levels of Vitamin D3 in the body are associated with digestive issues like Crohn’s and celiac disease.
Vitamin D3 also helps treat health conditions where the body produces low parathyroid hormone, or bodies that don’t respond to the parathyroid hormone.
Vitamin D also treats a more rare condition of low levels of phosphate in the blood.
Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Hair Loss?
Ok, now onto the good stuff.
The regulation of calcium and phosphate levels in the human body is the first and most important purpose of Vitamin D in the body.
This regulation ensures your bones, skin, nails and hair are well nourished and strong.
In the absence of vitamins and minerals, hair follicles shrink, and changes in the growth cycle occur. These changes can cause your hair to become brittle and thin.
To recap everything this superhero Vitamn D does for us:
- Vitamin D activates the cells within the hair shaft
- Vitamin D stimulates and nourishes hair follicles. Vitamin D receptors contribute to the follicle growth cycles. According to scientific research, inactive vitamin D receptors in mice always resulted in hair loss.
- Vitamin D stimulates hair growth.
- Vitamin D supplements reversed hair loss in mice, and cancer patients who underwent chemotherapy and lost hair from the chemotherapy reported significant improvements after the use of vitamin D supplements.
- Vitamin D acts on keratinocytes (the cells found responsible for inactive vitamin D receptors) and stimulates hair growth.
Vitamin D: The Science (excerpt from The Atlantic)
The success of hair growth experiments has been on the uptick lately. One team of researchers at the University of San Francisco recently discovered a molecule called MED that suppresses the vitamin D receptors from producing hair and found that mice grew more hair if they blocked MED. Another team at Harvard Medical School found a different molecule that actually activates the vitamin D receptor, though they haven’t found a way to actually produce hair with it. Perhaps most promising is a team of Japanese researchers who added vitamin D to stem cells in their final phases of growth and successfully coaxed these cells into becoming hair follicles.
Can’t I Just Spend More Time In The Sun?
Many people are wary of spending time in the sun due to concerns about excessive exposure to UV light and the risk of coming down with sun cancer.
Most people wear sunblock on a regular basis, which also blocks the absorption of Vitamin D3.
Darker skinned people require even higher amounts of Vitamin D3, because the melanin naturally occurring in the skin slows the synthesis of Vitamin D3.
Today, with the combination of our sedentary lifestyles and risk of skin cancer from sunlight exposure keeping us indoors, very few people get the right amount of Vitamin D3 they need.
Therefore, supplementation is necessary to make sure you have enough for all of the vital functions it performs: cell health, bone health, dental health, immune health, digestive health, and skin and hair health.
If you are reading this blog, you are probably dealing with the stress and frustration of your own hair loss. I’ll get straight to the point: for you, Vitamin D3 supplementation is MANDATORY.
Not all Vitamin D is created equal.
Vitamin D3 is fat soluble, which means our bodies absorb it a lot better when it enters in combined with some kind of fat.
OR, the grocery store Vitamin D3 softgels are suspended in oil, but or low-quality soy oil.
Not everyone can tolerate soy oil, and a lot of us dealing with hair loss also are dealing with thyroid issues, and people with thyroid disease should avoid soy at all cost.
The best Vitamin D3 supplement is, in my opinion, from Viva Naturals. The internet basically agrees with me, with a 4.5 star rating in over 2,000 reviews on Amazon.com at this time.
Viva Naturals Vitamin D3 is suspended in organic, non-GMO coconut oil. The coconut oil’s medium-chain triglycerides make the vitamin D3 even easier to absorb
This brand is also made in the USA, and include no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.
One year’s supply of 5000 IU daily sets you back just under $14. Not bad!
See? Told you I stand behind the stuff I recommend in these reviews!!
Any thoughts on Vitamin D3? I’d love to hear your questions and experiences, please feel free to leave a comment!