Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article # 370. Antioxidants for Hair Growth
Antioxidants are found in a variety of foods, and they help ward off damage that free radicals can wreak on your bodily cells, including those found in your hair. Healthy cells are essential for hair growth, and eating a diet rich in antioxidant vitamins can help prevent hair loss that results from environmental damage and nutrient deficiencies. See your doctor before you make any dietary changes or begin taking any new supplements.
When your body processes the food you eat or it is exposed to environmental aggressors like tobacco smoke, free radicals form. Not only do these harm your cells, but they may also contribute to the development of cancer and other diseases. Antioxidants are substances that can help eliminate free radicals and therefore prevent the damage they can cause. In terms of hair health, antioxidants keep your follicles from harm as well as maintain the integrity of cell membranes -- all of which contribute to proper hair growth.
Vitamin C has several functions related to hair growth, including the maintenance of your follicles' connective tissue, which is known as collagen. As an antioxidant, it works to protect the cells both in your follicles and in the blood vessels of your scalp, promoting healthy hair growth. Male adults need 90 mg a day, and females need 75 mg a day. However, to promote healthy skin and hair, a daily dose ranging from 100 to 200 mg is recommended, according to the Huntington College of Health Sciences. You can take this vitamin as a supplement or consume it in foods such as red and green peppers or citrus fruits.
Free radicals can compromise the integrity of cell membranes in your hair follicles, making them unstable and potentially slowing hair growth. Vitamin E works to prevent this by strengthening cell membranes and preventing free radicals from attacking your follicles. A therapeutic dose for hair health and growth is between 50 and 400 IU a day, although the recommended dietary allowance for this antioxidant is only 22.5 IU. While supplements are available, the best way to get vitamin E is through foods like eggs, sunflower seeds, cold-pressed vegetable oils, asparagus and yams.
Vitamin A is another antioxidant that keeps free radicals from harming your follicles. A deficiency of this vitamin can lead to dry hair, but taking too much can lead to hair loss. The recommended daily dosage for hair health is between 5000 and 25,000 IU per day. However, the recommended dietary allowance is 3000 IU for adult males and 2333 IU for adult females, and the tolerable upper limit of this antioxidant is 10,000 IU per day. If you wish to consume more than this, you should speak with your doctor first. Eggs, fish-liver oils, dairy products and deep yellow or orange produce are all good sources of vitamin A.