Our hair is also what we eat

It is no news that diet is crucial to our health. Every day we hear advice on the Mediterranean Diet, what and how to eat to lose weight, control cholesterol, blood pressure, be competitive in sports or age healthily. But what we eat also directly affects the state of our hair, and we will talk about that below.

In addition to environmental pollution, stress or certain diseases, unbalanced or inappropriate diets have a direct reflection on the health and appearance of our hair, its appearance being a good indicator of organic alterations or eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. . Therefore, it is necessary to ensure adequate nutrition and, if necessary, the contribution of food supplements for the proper development and maintenance of the entire body, which will result in healthy skin and hair.

What does your hair need?:

  • Amino acids: in large quantities and continuously, since it is a structure in constant cell turnover. Among them, taurine, which can accumulate in the skin and play a cytoprotective role, is a powerful antioxidant and stabilizer of cell membranes against different aggressions.
  • Proteins: protein malnutrition affects the body's protein metabolism and alters collagen synthesis and the formation of connective tissue.
  • Vitamin C: does not act directly, but collaborates in the repair tasks carried out by the body in the hair.
  • Vitamin A: important for different body processes in our hair, it also collaborates in the synthesis of collagen and reverses undesirable effects of corticosteroids.
  • Other vitamins: including riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), thiamine (B1) and B12 related to collagen formation and pigmentation.
  • Zinc: this mineral in the body is found to a large extent in skin, hair and nails, it participates in the synthesis of keratin, essential fatty acids that protect the hair follicle, protects against free radicals, and is necessary to mobilize vitamin A that protects the scalp. Furthermore, it is required by DNA and RNA polymerase. Its deficiency affects hair growth and, in androgenetic alopecia, enhances the inhibition of the 5-alpha-reductase involved in the process.
  • Iron: collaborates in the production of collagen and its deficit alters the body's defenses.
  • Copper: also participates in the formation of collagen.
  • Magnesium: active enzymes essential for energy production and protein synthesis.

Feed your mane:

It should be remembered that severe malnutrition lowers our defenses, increasing the risk of infections and altering the healing process. Without having to go that far, the associated nutrient deficit is relatively frequent, so we must pay attention and take care of what we eat, even some cosmetic hair products contain some of these nutrients that help enhance their care according to the type of hair.

Currently we have drugs that can help us to show off healthy hair thanks to supplying the nutritional deficiencies that deteriorate it, neutralizing the oxidative aggressions of free radicals by the action of antioxidant components, sulfur amino acids, vitamins (vitamin E, beta-carotene, pantothenic acid, biotin, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and pyridoxine) and trace elements (magnesium , copper and zinc), essential for cutaneous and capillary trophism. These nutritional supplements are effective collaborators in the treatment and prevention of excessive hair loss due to nutritional deficiencies, deteriorated physiological states, oxidative stress due to excess free radicals and alterations in keratinization.

Text based on the publication ‘Nutrition and health of the skin and hair. Pharmaceutical Council ’(2009), by M Teresa Martín-Aragón, Bachelor of Pharmacy, published in the scientific journal Elsevier.es

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