Nutritional factors and hair loss

    D. H. Rushton
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    TLDR Low iron and L-lysine levels can cause hair loss in women, and increasing these nutrients can reduce hair shedding.
    The 2002 document by D. H. Rushton highlights the importance of nutritional factors in hair loss, particularly focusing on the role of iron deficiency in chronic telogen effluvium (CTE) in women. It was found that 65% of women with unexplained persistent hair shedding had serum ferritin levels below 40 µg/L, and iron supplementation, along with the essential amino acid L-lysine, significantly reduced hair shedding. A double-blind study confirmed that treatment with these nutrients increased serum ferritin levels and decreased hair shedding. The document suggests that a serum ferritin level above 70 µg/L is recommended for those with increased hair shedding, and that nutritional imbalances due to selective food avoidance can negatively affect hair and skin. It also notes that excessive vitamin A intake and interactions in multivitamin supplements could contribute to CTE. The role of other nutrients like riboflavin, zinc, essential fatty acids, and biotin in hair health is acknowledged, but aside from iron and L-lysine, nutritional factors are considered to play a minor role in hair shedding in healthy individuals. The document emphasizes the need to consider nutritional status in women with CTE and to provide good hair care advice.
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