Foods to Stop Hair Loss

April 29, 2017

Foods to Stop Hair Loss

Preventing shedding strands starts in the kitchen? It does! Listen in for some practical ideas to keep your hair shiny, healthy and strong.

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DAR: Well welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. I'm Darlene Kvist, licensed nutritionist, certified nutrition specialist and host of Dishing Up Nutrition for the past 12 years. 12 years. Think about that.

We have been bringing you life changing nutrition information every Saturday morning and we have to get up early to do it. I have learned a lot. Oh, I have learned a lot. And I hope you have, too. Some of our long-term listeners—I hope you have benefited from listening. It is truly my passion to educate anyone who will listen to me about the importance of eating real food. It's a very simple message, but it is a powerful message.

CASSIE: It is. And Dar, you said you've been hosting this radio program for the past 12 years. I think it was about 11 years ago that I was driving around the Twin Cities one Saturday morning running some errands, flipping through the FM radio dial, looking for a good song and I came across 107.1 for the first time. And your voice was on and I thought that you were off your rocker. My husband was with me and I said, “Did you hear what that crazy lady just said?” And you were talking about eating real butter and heavy cream and I was out there at that point in my life teaching what college courses had taught me, which was still the low-fat message, which is sad, and the diet pop message.

But I am so privileged now, here, 11 years after hearing you that first time, to be a co-host on Dishing Up Nutrition and if you haven't recognized my voice yet, I'm Cassie Weness, registered and licensed dietitian. And I know Dar and myself and the entire staff at Nutritional Weight & Wellness wants to thank you for listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Every week we want to thank you for sharing it with your friends and with your family. And now, what you're waiting for, let's get into our topic for today. To take us into our topic, I have a question for the listeners. When you're brushing your hair looking in the mirror do you look closely and say to yourself, “Oh my goodness, my hair is getting thin. I'm afraid I'll end up with bald spots.” If this resonates with you, if you've done this before, we have some solutions.

DAR: So, it's kind of interesting, Cassie, when you think about that. I know because we work with clients and also you work with clients. We hear that comment, “Oh, my hair is getting thin.”

CASSIE: Mm hmm. So, if you are seeing more strands of hair on your brush than usual, you're not alone. About 80 million Americans experience male or female pattern baldness. Isn't that amazing? That’s a lot of people.

ALYSSA: So, our show today is all about some of the reasons for hair loss and some of the solutions. I'm Alyssa O'Brien, registered and licensed dietitian, and I'm pleased to tell you that research has found that it is possible to get your hair to grow back through dietary changes.

DAR: Just think about that. It is possible for your hair to grow back. So, if your hair is thinning, as a nutritionist, I would hope you look to nutrition first. So, what is the number one nutritional reason for thinning hair?

ALYSSA:  Well, when we look at all of the research on hair growth and certainly our own clinical experience at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we find that it is simply that people are not eating enough protein. And we all know we've seen it, we've heard it, as we get older, as we age we tend to start to eat less. And part of that eating less usually means we're eating less meat, less eggs, less of those animal proteins.

DAR: So, Cassie you grow up on a ranch. Where what's a ranch again?

CASSIE: It was out in central North Dakota. Still running and larger than ever.

DAR: And you worked for the beef council, too, didn't you?

CASSIE:  I did.

DAR:  So, I know you're always saying this: “Where's the beef?” But listeners, you don't have to eat only beef to grow your hair, because we've got some people that think beef is bad. I don't know where they ever got that message. But you can eat chicken and turkey and salmon and lamb and seafood and eggs. Any of those will qualify for good, strong hair.

CASSIE:  Any protein will do. And it is really important to eat animal protein to support hair growth.

ALYSSA: So, you might be wondering, “Well, exactly how much protein do I need to get to get my hair to grow back?” That's a good question. And as a nutritionist, I recommend about 14 ounces of protein a day. So that's a little over three palm sized portions per day.

CASSIE:  Yes. And I'm glad you said that, Alyssa, because we're not going to sit down and eat 14 ounces at once, or we're not recommending you do that anyway. We're breaking it up into portion sizes throughout the day. So, thinking about that, let's start with breakfast. Think about what protein would you be willing to eat for breakfast? Maybe a couple of eggs sound good to you, and you can fry up some bacon with that. But if you're not an eggs and bacon person, maybe some smoked salmon with a little cream cheese. You could sort of do lox without the bagel. Breakfast is my most favorite meal of the day. One of my favorite things to have is a leftover grass-fed hamburger from dinner the day before. And then I might have a few small, leftover organic baby red potatoes with that. Or if I have leftover roasted sweet potatoes, that's really my favorite. But the fact is, your hair needs about three ounces of protein for breakfast. So that's about the size of a deck of cards, or as Alyssa was saying, the size of the palm of your hand.

DAR: Now, Alyssa, so I shared my favorite breakfast. I've heard that you make a protein bowl for breakfast, which sounds delicious. Also sounds a lot different and a lot healthier than a bowl of dry breakfast cereal. So, share with us what's in your protein ball.

ALYSSA: I would love to. I do make a protein bowl. It's sort of like a brothy protein bowl in the morning. We use leftovers so we'll take leftover turkey or pork and we'll throw some bone broth in there if we have it or some chicken broth. The boxed chicken broth. Just to make a warm soup-type breakfast. It's really delicious. We'll throw some veggies in there, warm that all together, and then sometimes even top it with kim chi or sauerkraut. It's so warm and delicious. My husband and I both love it and it's full of protein.

CASSIE:  Well, and that bone broth piece, we could do a whole show just on that, but that's so great for hair growth and a million other things.

ALYSSA: Yes, it is. It has a lot of minerals in it and it has a lot of the amino acids that are really important for hair and skin.

DAR: So, one thing as a nutritionist, we find that many women, just a lot of women eat very little protein daily. As you're listening think about this. Are you eating maybe three or four ounces of protein at dinner for the entire day? We see that all the time, don't we? And many of you may be thinking, “What exactly happens to my hair when I don't get enough protein?” Well, you may first experience dull-looking hair. And then thinning hair that breaks easily because you're not eating a sufficient amount of protein. Way back in 2010, the American Academy of Dermatology reported that when you don't get enough protein in your diet, your body starts to ration the protein it has available and potentially it reduces your hair growth. So, your body is really smart, isn't it? It just kind of moves the amount of protein that your body needs. And obviously it thinks hair is not that important.

CASSIE:  Hair is not it's priority even though it might be your top priority. I looked at that study too and it went on to say that with a lack of protein our hair basically starts to become older, more tired, and gets brittle over time. And if you continue to eat a low protein diet, let's say you do it for two or three months straight, or even more, you're going to start to see signs of hair loss most likely. So, I think the big question is if you want healthy, thick hair, how are you going to start eating more protein so that you can see your hair grow and get thicker?

ALYSSA: So, we gave you some breakfast ideas. So, what do you think you could take with you or make for lunch? Personally, I like taking leftovers from dinner. Or sometimes I'll pick up a rotisserie chicken and I'll make a chicken salad with that. I’ll throw some celery in there, some grapes, some safflower mayo. It's really delicious. And really easy. And that's important.

CASSIE: Well, you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. We're a company providing life changing nutrition education classes and life changing nutrition counseling.

BREAK

DAR: Let me share what a class member wrote from a previous Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series. We always ask this question, “Why did you choose our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program?” And this is what Mary said. “I have a lot of pain and inflammation and I've heard on the radio show that eating properly can help those issues.” So, after taking the 12-class series, here's what Mary said about her results: “I have more energy, less pain, less gas, and no diarrhea. My mood is more stable, fewer headaches, no cravings, and no binging. I just feel better all over. And I lost 33 pounds.”

CASSIE:She's a new woman. Oh my gosh. Isn't it amazing that all of these results were from simply eating real food, getting out the processed food, not starving yourself. Feeling satisfied and eating real food. If you want to learn more about the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss Program, you can call the ladies at the St. Paul office this morning at 651-699-3438. You can also read more about it and sign up online at weightandwellness.com. Now we had a caller over break. She didn't have time to be on the air, but she had a question about protein and she wanted to know how do ounces equate to grams. Because we were mentioning before break, three to four ounces, for most women, is a good amount to shoot for and she was wondering about grams.

We know that one ounce of animal protein, and we're talking animal protein when we're talking about regrowing your hair. One ounce equals seven grams. So, as we were saying during break when I have that leftover grass-fed hamburger patty in the morning for breakfast I'm getting twenty-eight grams because I shoot for four ounces. But as Alyssa was saying if you're eating real animal protein like that hamburger patty or maybe a leftover chicken breast, you really don't need to know grams. If you want to weigh it it's three to four ounces. But you always have a handy guide with you. Just look at the size of the palm of your hand and about that thickness and that's about how much animal protein you want to strive for at each meal.

DAR: And so the other thing that we really recommend is not only just eating it for breakfast, but we also recommend eating some protein for snacks, don't we Cassie.

CASSIE: Yes. To get that 14 ounces, at least, that Alyssa had talked about earlier across a whole day, you have to be getting some protein at your snacks, too. So, one idea, something I will sometimes do is to make up several protein shakes at one time, and I might freeze them or I might just store them in the fridge in glass canning jars and then I have these grabs and go snacks. Now, for me because I'm sensitive to the whey protein, whey comes from dairy and I have a dairy sensitivity, I don't use the whey protein powder. I use the paleo protein powder.

DAR: So, Cassie, where does that come from?

CASSIE: Do we really want to tell them? It comes from beef, which, I will tell you at first when we started carrying this, and I come from a cattle ranch as you mentioned. I worked for the beef council. I love my meat, but I heard that there was a protein powder made from beef, and I just thought, “Eww!” But it's great, isn't it? But then when I found I had the sensitivity to whey, I tried it. It's delicious and it works great for me and I'm sure there are a lot of listeners out there using it as well.

So, I put that paleo protein powder in the blender. I put some canned coconut milk in the blender for my healthy fat and add frozen fruit blended up for a couple of minutes. It's delicious and it's so easy. And I've had clients tell me that if they have a protein shake in the afternoon for a snack, it replaces the two or three cookies that they typically would have had for an afternoon snack. And it does almost feel like you're having a treat. The protein shake is delicious. And I just want to stress you don't want to skip your snacks. Ideally you should be eating a morning snack and an afternoon snack. And something I'll do, and this might sound a little weird, but hey, maybe I'm a little weird, every once in a while, I will stop to take an assessment of what I'm eating, maybe a couple of times a month, to just ask myself, “OK, how am I doing? Am I getting that breakfast, that morning snack, that lunch?” Basically, to say to yourself, “Have I fallen into skipping my snacks or have I even fallen into skipping my meals?”

DAR: I know, and I think we have to take that assessment every once in a while.

CASSIE:  Especially if life gets crazy. Sometimes life gets crazy, throws you for a loop, and then you do get out of your routine and that hair could start falling out. But other bad things can happen, too. I know for me, if I start skipping meals, my immune system really goes down. And so, then if there's a cold virus or influenza being passed around, I'm going to get it.

DAR: So, we really encourage people to take that assessment of how you are doing. And just so you don't forget some of these things. So, here's an idea that I do for my snacks. Because I like the real meat, because I feel that that's more healing. And so, I like to grill up some steak or chicken breast and even some pork. Cut it into small, bite sized pieces, and I weigh out three ounces. I mean, we say two to three ounces, but for healing and I think three ounces is a little bit better. To go with that, I had a cup of raw vegetables, and some people say I eat more vegetables than any one they know. But I also need something that has a little more carbohydrate in it. So, I have a sliced apple or maybe nine grapes, but I slice the apple and I dip it into two tablespoons of peanut butter or almond butter and, yes, it does take some work to plan and to prep, but I say to myself, “I'm worth it.” To stay well or get well, I believe we always say to ourselves, “I am worth it.”

CASSIE: And we have to keep saying that for ourselves, especially as women, I think. A week or so ago I came across this quote, and it was something about mothers and how the best mothers take time out for themselves, too. And that's so true. It's really what you're saying. You need to say to yourself, “I'm worth it.” Take some time to prep and plan and eat good food, because it's going to make you a better person. A better wife, a better mother, and better husband.

DAR:  And hopefully it will make a difference in your longevity so that you can be participating in life longer with quality.

ALYSSA: I've had that feedback quite a bit from clients saying that eating this way makes them a better mom, they have more patience. Yes, they're taking time for themselves so they have time for others with better energy and better moods.

CASSIE: So, yes, we encourage all of you listening to take an assessment of what you're eating and really think about how much animal protein you're getting in a day. And if you need to add more protein to give your hair a jumpstart, then stop and figure out what proteins you like to eat because we want this to be enjoyable. Food should be enjoyable. And get your protein intake up to at least 12 ounces a day. Alyssa mentioned 14. I probably get more like 16. But it's all about baby steps. So, if you're not eating much animal protein right now, get at least 12 ounces a day and watch your hair come back to life.

ALYSSA:  So, you're probably getting the point now. You understand to have healthy hair, you need to eat enough protein, but you still might be wondering, “Is there really science behind eating sufficient protein and having thicker stronger hair?”

DAR: Oh, I bet there's people out there are thinking that. “What is the science?”

ALYSSA: “Is this really true?” Well, there is science to back this up. An essential component of hair is keratin, which makes up the hair follicle and the hair shaft. So, we know Keratin is made from protein and it requires all 18 amino acids

DAR: And that's a really important point I think, Alyssa. 18 amino acids which come from animal protein.

ALYSSA: And it gets even more technical than that, but the bottom line is that it's all about how much protein you eat. So think about how much protein you're eating today and then make a concerted effort to eat at least 12 ounces of protein a day. So, 14 to 16 ounces is really better, but start with an amount that you're comfortable with and then just gradually increase and make it real.

DAR: Keep it simple and keep taking that assessment, because it's so easy to slide back into those old habits.

BREAK

DAR: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Last week’s edition of Dishing Up Nutrition we learned that you need sufficient zinc and selenium for your thyroid to function. This week we're learning that sufficient zinc is needed for strong hair. Having a sufficient amount of minerals is so important for good health. I think a lot of people forget about minerals. And currently we're offering a class called The Magic of Minerals and all of our seven locations. So, really, I researched and I created the class so that you can understand how important it is to eat to have sufficient amount of minerals in your body and in your brain.

CASSIE: It is a great class and your brain does need those minerals. And I agree with you, people don't realize what all the minerals are, let alone what they do, let alone where to find them in your food choices, so Magic of Minerals is a great class. I encourage everybody to choose a night and a location if you live here locally. Maybe grab a friend or a family member and come to one of our seven locations to take this Magic of Minerals class.

DAR: Dr. Christiane Northrup wrote, “If you're losing your hair, it may be because you have a hormone imbalance, particularly one brought on by a thyroid imbalance or too much sugar and insulin and a lack of iodine. This is just in one sentence she said all that.

CASSIE: And she went on to say that when you have too much insulin, which we know is our master hormone, and too much estrogen, you can experience male-pattern baldness. Even if you’re a female.

DAR: You just said too much estrogen right could cause baldness.

CASSIE: And women think they're not getting enough when they're going through menopause. But, often, women in this country, even at that menopause age, have too much estrogen and it can cause or be a contributing factor to this male-pattern baldness. Too much estrogen, too much insulin.

DAR: Dr. Northrups is really a very wise medical doctor who has found that for some women, excess sugar often leads to insulin resistance. I think we've said that many, many times. And it leads to inflammation of the thyroid, to hormonal imbalances. So, once again, take an assessment of your diet and you may find that you need to start eating less sugar, fewer process carbs and desserts, and remember you're doing it for your hair. That's a new way to look at things.

ALYSSA:  Yeah, and another thing that Dr. Northrup also said was that, like what you were saying, Dar, is that very often the problem is sugar in the diet and not enough iodine. So, you probably know where sugar comes from, but where do we get iodine? We're talking about fish, sea vegetables. Where else would we get iodine?

DAR:  Well, I think one of the things that we shake on our things every day-- a little bit salt, iodized sea salt.

ALYSSA: So, with too much sugar and not enough iodine, you end up with metabolites that fit in hormone receptors and shut down sensitive hair follicles. That's not a good thing.

CASSIE: No. And we should probably back up a bit and say, OK, what are metabolites that might have tripped some people up? So, I think what Dr. Northrup is getting at is that she considers metabolites to be waste products that can be toxic to your hair follicles. So, think sugar. Sugar is very toxic to your hair follicles.

DAR: So, if we keep thinking about this, you always have to kind of take assessment of what you're really doing. And really look at what you're eating and how it is really affecting your hair. So, I think what we're looking at again for most people is they're looking at how much sugar they're really taking in. How much processed carbohydrates are they eating? Are they eating breakfast cereal? Or are they in Alyssa’s bone broth protein bowl for breakfast? What are you really doing to make sure that your hair is going to have all the things that it needs to grow?

CASSIE:  Right. Right. And, Dar, I think you wanted to share a comment from Nutrition 4 Weight Loss member. Was there something you wanted to share about one of your Nutrition 4 Weight Loss members who took the 12-week series?

DAR: Yes, I do. Basically, we're really pleased with all the nutrition classes we teach each month. And I really still go back and I look over all the evaluations from the class members and I actually saved some of the best ones. So, I saved this comment from a class member who took Nutrition 4 Weight Loss, maybe several series ago. And this was her second 12-week series. So, it was over a six-month period. Because things don't happen overnight. And here's what she wrote. After she took the classes a couple of times she says, “I have less digestive issues, more energy, my skin is so clear after years of struggling, and my hair is starting to get thick again. Thank you,” she said. Many of our class members and clients are so thankful when they discover that by eating better, just eating better, they can restore their hair growth. For some reason that is so important for people.

CASSIE: Well, especially for women because it is an embarrassment if you're a woman experiencing male-pattern baldness. But it seems to be getting more prevalent.

DAR:  Oh, it is definitely. Definitely for women.

ALYSSA:  Right. And I notice a difference. I was a vegetarian for a while and I certainly noticed a difference when I added back animal protein. My hair got thicker. I didn't notice it when I was a vegetarian that it was starting to be thin and then adding back more animal protein my hair got thicker, noticeably thicker.

CASSIE: There is a motivator for you listening. Eat your beef or whatever protein you like.

ALYYSA: So, now let's get back to some more technical information. I love the technical information. I was really, really surprised to learn that every part of my body requires the thyroid hormone for proper functioning and that includes my hair follicles. I had no idea.

CASSIE: Yes. And actually, in a study that was reported in The Journal of Clinical Metabolism, the researchers found that hair follicles need the right type of thyroid hormone. So, you need the right type and we know that you need just the right amount. Not too little, not too much so that hair loss doesn't occur. Because hair loss can occur when your thyroid is under working like hypothyroidism, but it can also occur with hyperthyroidism and it can occur with Hashimoto's thyroid disease. So, if you do have hair loss, we really recommend that you ask your doctor to do a complete thyroid panel, which means you want them to test your TSH, your T4, and your T3. Sometimes the doctor will say, “I'm going to run a thyroid test,” and they'll just test the TSH. Be sure that if you go in to ask for a thyroid test you ask for the T4 and the T3 as well. And then, personally, I would encourage you to bring those numbers into one of us at Nutritional Weight and Wellness so that we can help you understand those test results because everybody is unique and everybody needs to address those test results differently. Your thyroid needs zinc to be healthy, it needs the right amount of selenium. Your thyroid also needs essential fatty acids. So, there's a lot of different pieces to the puzzle.

DAR: Exactly. So, when we're working with people, we always strive to help our clients understand how they're going to jumpstart their hair. So, that hair growth. So, we know they need protein and I think we've covered that really well today. But, they also need healthy fats and I think so many women have a bad habit of picking only fat free or low fat foods. Think of that as a bad habit. Clinically, we found low fat and fat free is not good for hair growth.

CASSIE: And I have a couple thoughts on that, Dar, but we're going to go to a break first and when we come back I'll share those thoughts with you.

BREAK

DAR: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. And I think we had quite a caller, didn’t we?

CASSIE: We did. We had somebody call that didn't want to go on air and they were wondering if that Menopause Survival Seminar is good for ladies in peri-menopause.

DAR: Definitely. I would say that in the past seminars, we've had people from the age of maybe 30 all the way up into late 80s because they come, maybe they're in post-menopause, but they're coming because they want to know about osteoporosis and how they can protect their bones. And those are some of the things that we cover. I mean, we cover so many things in that five-hour seminar, but it goes fast. It covers causes and solutions for things like hot flashes, incontinence, mood swings, sleep issues, weight gain, and of course, hair thinning and hair loss. In addition, we serve you a delicious organic lunch and snacks and we'll have a lot of fun. So, we always look at the brighter side of menopause.

CASSIE:  You got to laugh a little bit about it, right? Make a few jokes. Yeah, it is a fun class. If you're thinking you might want to come, I encourage you not to wait. Because every time that I've heard of the Menopause Survival Seminar being offered it has been a full house. And in fact, we've had to put some people on a waiting list at times. So, if you're at all interested, call the St. Paul office at 651-699-3438 to sign up and guarantee your spot. You can also sign up online at weightandwellness.com

DAR: And I know before we went on break, Cassie, we were going to move into low-fat eating and what a bad habit.

CASSIE: You were saying it's a bad habit and it just brought back the memory of my college courses and how I was taught low-fat eating was the healthy way to eat. So, of course, that's what I went out and taught when I graduated. And it makes me sad to think back to that. And I also remember being tied to that if you are dealing with somebody, now this isn't the right way to go, I'm just repeating what I was taught in college. If you're dealing with somebody that has diabetes and they are addicted to their full sugar soda, at least get them to switch to diet. And I did that many times with diabetic clients before I found Nutritional Weight & Wellness. And I could just kick myself because now I know that was worse for them than the full sugar soda. And I'm sure most of the nutrition followers that are listening have either heard or read about the risk factors of diet pop. But, in case there's anybody out there unaware, I want to share a pretty recent study that came out. It was done at the Boston University School of Medicine. It was recently published in the American Heart Association’s journal called Stroke. And this research found that people who drank just one diet pop a day, now I know a lot of people who drink more than one a day, but this study said even if you're just drinking one diet soda a day, you are nearly three times as likely to be diagnosed with dementia, compared to those people who don't drink diet pop.

DAR: So, Cassie, you know that because of some of my health issues I have to go in and have a blood draw or a blood test every couple of weeks. So, I sit in this room in this lab with people and I am just shocked at the amount a number of people that are drinking soda. Whether it's sugar soda or diet soda that are sitting in there. It is shocking. I go, “What are you guys doing? You're not well! What are you doing?” And, like just said, if you drink one diet soda a day, you're nearly three times as likely to have dementia.

CASSIE:  If that's not motivation to quit the diet pop, I don't know what is. The study also showed that people that drink anywhere between one to six diet drinks in a week period were more than twice as likely to experience an ischemic stroke than those who didn't drink any diet pop. Now, some people might not know what ischemic stroke means, so I think we'll just get that out of the way. It's kind of a mouthful. An ischemic stroke is basically any stroke that occurs from a blockage in a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain. It's not the blood vessel breaking open and hemorrhaging. It's a blockage. That's what ischemic stroke means. But anyway, back to this study. The bottom line is they found a strong link, not a causation, but a strong link between people drinking diet pop and dementia, and people drinking diet pop and stroke. So, at Nutritional Weight & Wellness we would say if you are drinking diet pop like the people that you're seeing in that lab room for the blood draws, you are engaging in risky behavior.

ALYSSA: And there are so many alternatives to drinking soda and diet pop. Sparkling water with little lemon. And there’s even cola flavored Stevia drops.

CASSIE: I'm into the stevia drops right now. I think I have the chocolate raspberry one at home, so there's healthy way to jazz up your water.

DAR: Or there's just water.

CASSIE: Some days just a big glass of water.

ALYSSA: Yes, I'm a big fan of water. Going back to having healthy hair, though. So, you need to eat healthy fats, too. So, we’re talking about no more low-fat dieting, no more low-fat foods. We need to have those healthy fats. So, I do know this message is getting out now because my clients are coming in now and they're eating butter again. They're telling me that they're having real fats and they're not eating margarine. They're not eating cereal, they're instead having bacon and eggs and not afraid of the egg yolk.

CASSIE: That message is getting out, and yet there are still the low-fat people.

ALYSSA: They’re having olive oil dressings and they're not buying that low-fat, artificially sweetened dressing anymore. So, finally, people are starting to understand that good fat is needed for good health.

ALYSSA: I think a lot of the people that have been listening to the show for the last 12 years and also taking a lot of our classes truly understand that they need healthy fats for all kinds of different body functions and for different reasons, but certainly for their hair. So, let's take a deeper look at fats for good, healthy hair. Research reported in The Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2015, so this isn’t old research, found that after taking both Omega-3, and we think Omega-3 is fish oil, and Omega-6, GLA, which is from borage oil, for six months. Now, listen to this. This is amazing. 86 percent of the people in the study reported improvement in hair growth and 87 percent of the people reported thicker hair. Wow.

ALYSSA: That's amazing. And when I see women in the office who want better hair I definitely suggest getting essential fatty acids. So, I'll say four to six soft gel capsules of Omega-3 fish oil and maybe four to six softballs of Omega-6 GLA.

DAR: So, I think that's a kind of an amazing amount of oils that a lot of times when people come in I’ll ask, “How many Omega-3's are you taking?” And they'll usually say, “One, maybe two.” Usually it is one. Well, that's helpful, but it isn't helpful enough for hair growth.

CASSIE:  It's not a therapeutic dose.

DAR:  So, we would say let's move that up a little bit. Let's move that up to maybe having two for breakfast and two at dinner time and get four in.

CASSIE:  And that's when, Alyssa, you had mentioned earlier in the show that when you went from being a vegetarian to eating meat, you noticed your hair got thicker. I noticed that if I don't take my fish oil regularly, my hair gets really dull and, I don't know if brittle is the word or just sort of frizzy. So, I've really made that connection, too, that the fish oil, just as this research is showing, really makes a difference. And there are so many other reasons. I mean, we don't even have time in an hour to get to all the reasons for poor hair growth. We didn't really talk in depth about lack of zinc, but a large percentage of Americans are deficient in zinc.

DAR: I think our classes talk about 73 percent of people in our country are deficient in zinc.

CASSIE: And iron is really high, too, in terms of the percentages in this country that are low in iron. And that's another reason why your hair might not be growing well. Low levels of vitamin D, so have your vitamin D checked. And if you're worried about your hair growth, come in and see us at Nutritional Weight & Wellness.

DAR: So, our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. I always say it's a simple, but powerful message. Eating real food is life-changing.

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