QUESTION: I read your column a while ago about a 77-year-old woman who was experiencing hair loss. At the age of 75, I too was losing my hair. My doctor checked my vitamin B-12 level, and it was very low. I was started on the tablets that dissolve under my tongue.
It has been just a few months since I began the B-12 and I now have a thick, healthy head of hair again. Perhaps this suggestion will help your readers.
ANSWER: There is evidence that hair loss may be connected with a deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals, specifically B- 12, zinc and biotin. We sometimes fail to realize that the body is a system designed to function as a complete unit. As part of that unit, hair requires proper nutrition. A function of B-12 is the formation of healthy red blood cells, which are necessary to transport oxygen throughout the body.
You are correct in that some people complaining of hair loss tend to have low B-12 levels. Oddly, the body stores B-12 supplies for longer than a year. Therefore, a deficiency is not something that occurs rapidly but is long-standing.
Some sources of the vitamin include milk, eggs, poultry, fish, shellfish and fortified cereals. Some people may also require injections of the vitamin in order to achieve better absorption.
You were fortunate your physician ran lab work and discovered the deficiency. He or she assisted you and, in turn, you may be helping many others who read this column. Thank you for the tip.