Are there any foods that help hair growth?

Diet and hair loss: myth or reality?

Hair loss is a problem that affects both men and women, that is why many people are interested in whether foods that help hair growth exist. The cause of hair loss is the progressive miniaturization of the hair follicle, a potentially reversible phenomenon (at the beginning), which becomes permanent in time.

Treatments with Minoxidil can have positive effects but should be continued indefinitely. More or less what you need to do when calling a call center and want to talk to the operator!

Hair loss does not only have consequences from an aesthetic point of view but is shown to be able to cause anger, a sense of anxiety and frustration. Especially in those who have to clean the floor of the room where you happen to walk! That’s why, finding foods that help hair growth, seems an ideal solution.

There are many myths about hair loss treatments, and only an experienced trichologist or a dermatologist specializing in trichology can seriously answer your questions. Your colleague or your neighbor who sells dog deodorants is not exactly an authoritative source! But does diet have anything to do with hair loss?


Are there any foods that help hair growth?

Well, yes and no.

The hair follicle has a very active life and requires many nutrients for its metabolism. Nutrient deficiency can be a trigger for this problem, such as iron deficiency (so watch out for ferritin!)

Subjects that report hair loss also tend to have low levels of vitamin D, zinc and folate. Again, check the blood parameters with an appropriate test. However, it is not shown that bringing these values back to normal can stop hair loss, but it is always better to prevent or solve nutritional deficiencies of all kinds since these could have other consequences on health. Foods rich in vitamin D (e.g. fatty fish), zinc (especially pumpkin seeds) and folate (such as dark leafy vegetables) are, therefore, all foods that help hair growth.

Studies on the use of food supplements to treat or alleviate the problem of hair loss are still scarce and small; it will be necessary to wait for more reliable studies. Many factors that generate inflammation such as exposure to UV rays, smoke, pollution, unhealthy eating and other factors that cause the production of free radicals, seem to play a role in hair loss. As a partial confirmation of this, an Italian study recently showed that subjects who adopt a more Mediterranean type of diet tend to be less affected by this problem.

In short, science has yet to confirm whether foods that help hair growth really exist, but the diet seems to help more in the prevention of this serious problem, than in its solution. In another post, I will talk about some nutraceuticals that have recently been released on the market. And, as usual, remember to share this article!

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Gianluca Tognon

Gianluca Tognon is an Italian nutrition coach, speaker, entrepreneur and associate professor at the University of Gothenburg. He started his career as a biologist and spent 15 years working both in Italy and then in Sweden. He has been involved in several EU research projects and has extensively worked and published on the association between diet, longevity and cardiovascular risk across the lifespan, also studying potential interactions between diet and genes. His work about the Mediterranean diet in Sweden has been cited by many newspapers worldwide including the Washington Post and The Telegraph among others. As a speaker, he has been invited by Harvard University and the Italian multi-national food company Barilla.

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About Me

I’m an Italian nutrition coach, speaker, entrepreneur and associate professor at the University of Gothenburg. I started MY career as a biologist and spent 15 years working both in Italy and then in Sweden.

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