Hair Growth, Hair Loss

October 28, 2018

Are you concerned about thinning hair or worried that one day you might not have much hair left on your head? Hair loss and hair growth are complex issues. In today’s Dishing Up Nutrition, we will take a deeper look at the cause of hair loss and the nutritional connection to hair growth. Listen in to learn more about what foods and supplements help prevent hair loss as well as what foods and supplements promote hair growth.

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KARA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today's show is brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness and I'm sure that you're going to want to stay tuned because my co-host and I are going to be discussing what foods and supplements help to prevent hair loss and also what foods and supplements help to support better hair growth. And My name is Kara Carper. I'm a licensed nutritionist and I have a master's degree in holistic healthcare. And you know, hair growth and hair loss can be kind of emotional topics. They're really important topics for a lot of people. So we've had several requests to have a show about hair growth and to be honest, most of our listeners actually want to know what they can do just to prevent hair loss in addition to just having luscious locks. So joining me today as my co-host is Shelby Hummel. She's a licensed nutritionist as well and she has a master's degree in clinical nutrition. Hi Shelby.

SHELBY: Good morning. Great to be back in the studio with you. Even though we both have master's degrees, that doesn't mean we stop learning. We got to spend the day together yesterday learning more about real food nutrition at the Great Lakes conference.

KARA: Yeah, Shelby and I as well as our entire office. Basically, our whole staff of nutritionists and some of the teachers were all attending a professional development conference this weekend. So we're getting really, really good pearls of nutritional wisdom that we can hopefully share with you every Saturday.

SHELBY: So, I thought it was interesting because sometimes we were learning about foods and supplements to help with cardiovascular health or I loved the gut brain talk that we had yesterday, but sometimes people come in and they say, my hair, my skin, my nails. Whatever's going on the outside, could that be an indication that something is off on the inside? And so when we think about hair loss and hair growth, that can be an interesting topic.

KARA:  A number of our clients are, of course, concerned about thinning hair. And to be honest, they're concerned that maybe they won't have any hair left on their head in a few months. Many people have heard about the supplement biotin and they think, oh well, I'll start taking biotin. Unfortunately, after taking biotin for several months, many people are still disappointed and we know that hair loss and hair growth are complex issues. So, for many of our clients, biotin is just not helpful enough. And if you're listening and you're taking biotin and it's worked for you, I want to say that it's not impossible. That could happen. But most of the clients that we see that have tried biotin, they're still struggling. So we just want to give some more answers today. We want to take a deeper look at the cause of hair loss and look at the nutritional connection to hair growth. Everyone loses some hair every day and the average adult head has over 100,000 hairs but loses about a hundred per day. So, if you see a few stray strands on your hairbrush or in the shower or in the sink, don't be concerned about that.

SHELBY: And it's interesting because the hair cells are actually one of the fastest growing cells in our body. But to be honest, they're often the first cells that are affected when you're not eating right or when you're suffering from a nutritional deficiency. So, our body is pretty wise. It knows that it doesn't necessarily have to feed the hair cells first because of course the cells in our heart, our liver, and our kidneys are more important for sustaining health. So, it's one of the first tissues to be affected when we have nutrient deficiencies because the body is really taking those key nutrients to the other organs to help us survive. So we know that it is important to consume the right nutrients in sufficient quantities. So Kara, let's look at some of those key nutrients.

KARA: Yeah. So as Shelby just mentioned, your hair cells are the fastest growing cells in your body. Again, they're the first cells to be affected when you're not eating right, or if you do have a specific nutrient deficiency. So, a single strand of hair is made up of protein fiber. That's really important to know. Again, strands of hair are made up of protein fibers. So that means that your hair requires an adequate amount of protein to be able to grow.

SHELBY:So listeners, think about this for yourself. If you're struggling with hair loss or you're wanting to have thicker hair, more healthy hair, are you eating enough protein? Your body rations that amount of protein available by cutting off supply to your hair follicles. So, if you're only eating a few ounces of protein each day, your hair follicles are not getting the protein that they need. And if you're not eating enough protein on a consistent basis, it is very likely that your hair is going to become dry and brittle. And it is important to think about this, and this is an important statement that we've made on Dishing Up Nutrition before, but every cell in your body requires protein for life. I'm going to repeat that. Every cell in your body requires protein for life. So, your muscles, your bones, your hair, your skin, your nails. Protein is needed for tissue repair and building new tissue. It's that building block in our body. So to make this easy for you to think about, your hair is basically made from protein. And when your body is not getting enough protein, you're going to see your hair growth shut down. And hair loss occurs typically two to three months after there was a protein deficiency. Fortunately, though, hair growth can be restored in four to six months once protein is being sufficiently eating again.

SHELBY:So, Kara, what you're saying is I can't just eat protein the next week and expect to see thicker, healthier hair, right?

KARA:Right. It's kind of like how it takes two to three months. It's not like your hair starts falling out. Like you don't eat protein one day on a Monday and Tuesday all your hair falls out. That's like a several month process and it's also a several month process to rebuild that growth. Once you start incorporating more protein in your everyday diet.

SHELBY: And you were actually telling me about a client that you were working with who kind of saw this for herself.

KARA: Thank you for bringing that up. I was working with a client and we were working on some other things, but how all of a sudden she said, “My hair's just really thinning.” And she was getting really self conscious about it. She was a woman in her sixties and of course, that's kind of the fear. Like you mentioned earlier, is all my hair going to fall out? Am I going to have to get a wig? And, things like that. So, I took a health history and discovered that she had had a surgery. It wasn't a huge surgery and I didn't even know about it until I kind of did some digging, but this hair loss started three months after the surgery. So, I believe what happened is there were some deficiencies that started occurring because of that surgery.

SHELBY: And we're going to talk about a few of the potential deficiencies later in our show. But, Kara, as you think about working with that client, was there anything that you changed or anything that you altered with her meal plan that you think the listeners could glean from that experience?

KARA: Yeah, definitely. I mean, the first thing that I did touch on with her is what are you eating for protein? And she was a little bit on the low side, as many of our clients, and particularly women seem to kind of be a little bit low in protein. They may not eat it for breakfast or lunch. They might be having cereal or bagels, things like that. Maybe for lunch they're having pasta or soup or yogurt and fruit or something, that's still very low in protein. Yogurt might have protein, but it might just be like five grams, for example. So, I made sure she was having like eggs for breakfast, maybe like chicken with a salad for lunch in addition to that dinner protein that people so often already have. So, when she was eating protein at every meal, and we did add some key supplements that we will talk about a little bit later in the show, and it did really help and her hair, but it took a few months. It took a few months for that to see that growth coming back.

SHELBY: Yeah, and we know that dietary guidelines are recommending about 50 grams of protein daily for an average sized woman, more for men of course, but 50 grams of protein is about seven ounces daily. But when we work with clients and here at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we've been seeing clients for 25 years, so we've seen that these clients need at least a hundred grams of protein, which is about 14 ounces of protein daily. So, Kara, when we get back from break, maybe we can help the listeners see what 14 ounces of protein would look like. So, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you're just joining us, we are discussing how nutrition, or the lack there of, affects hair growth. It's clear that to have a full head of healthy hair, it takes more than just popping a few biotin supplements. Actually maintaining healthy hair and skin and nails can be a very complex process. Many factors can influence hair growth and hair loss. Stay tuned because we will be talking about foods to include foods to avoid and some key supplements. We'll be right back.


KARA: Welcome back. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today we're talking about nutrients for hair growth and to prevent hair loss. For many health issues, including hair, it takes more than just adding a vitamin or a key supplement. There's no magic pill. And it takes changing your diet altogether this fall to help you change your diet. We're offering five very important 90 minute classes at each of our seven office locations for the low price of $10 per class. If you're having pain and inflammation, we have the class for you. You're having digestive problems. We also have the perfect class for you. Many people are signing up for all five classes to learn helpful information and to get support. Just remember when you know more, you can do better.

SHELBY: And I am so excited because we have had some of those classes offered out in the Wayzata office already and the energy that people bring into the office when they're excited about learning. What sort of foods can keep me on track through the holidays? Or I'm teaching one of the newer classes about nutrition to address cold and flu season. When people feel like they are coming in and learning something that they can implement, it is really exciting to see.

KARA: And that's just to let listeners know that that's where Shelby practices. She teaches there as well.

SHELBY: So, Kara, before we went to break, we were talking about the typical recommendation for protein for women specifically is about 50 grams of protein a day, which is only about seven ounces. So, we were hoping to give people some ideas of what is a hundred grams of protein, more of what we recommend for tissue regrowth, specifically hair in this case. I'm really looking at 14 ounces of protein. So, you don't sit down at dinner and eat a 14 ounce steak and you wouldn't want to.

KARA: And there is something to be said for spreading it out though because excess protein at any one given time can kind of act like a carbohydrate and could create an imbalance in the body as fat. We just don't need that much at once. So, this is kind of what 14 ounces would look like in a typical day. So, let's just say you had two eggs for breakfast. Well, first of all, that's two ounces. A lot of people don't know that one egg, a medium size egg to large is about one ounce of protein. So, if you're having one egg that's kind of a low protein breakfast. Even two, I mean two is better, but we would recommend working up to two eggs and one ounce of sausage.

SHELBY: That's actually what I do personally because I can maybe only have one or two eggs, but I know that if I have some uncured bacon or if I have a couple of pieces of breakfast sausage, I love the turkey breakfast sausage recipe from our cookbook. But having a little bit of the egg and the sausage or the high quality bacon, that makes it a little bit easier for me to get more protein in the morning. I think that's a great tip because some people are thinking, “Oh, I couldn't eat three eggs or four eggs.” We understand that. We're the same way and you were right in one egg is not enough protein for women or men in the morning.

KARA: Right. Like my daughter eats two eggs and she's seven. Well, she eats a lot. Anyway. Good nutrition. So, two eggs and an ounce of nitrate-free bacon or turkey or chicken sausage, that would equal three ounces. And let's say you got to mid-morning and you were going to have a snack. If you had two ounces of nitrate-free deli meats, you're already up to five ounces of protein for the day. So, you get to lunch and this is important to be trying to get it three to four ounces. Maybe you have chicken, you might have tuna, you could have it on a salad. You're up to nine ounces then.

SHELBY:And then you know, not only are you getting protein for your hair, but getting that three to four ounces of protein at lunch. That's the energy boost to get you through the rest of your day. So think, listeners, are you having low energy in the afternoon? I mean, we're kind of going a little bit further than hair growth, but knowing that that protein provides a lot of support for our health, not just our hair.

KARA: That’s a great point. It's not just our hair. I mean today our topic is hair, but there's so many benefits of spreading out protein throughout the day. Moods. If you struggle with low moods, that's another thing. The more you can incorporate protein every few hours, you're helping your neurotransmitters. You’re providing building blocks for Serotonin, dopamine.

SHELBY: And think about, Kara, yesterday, one of our speakers was talking specifically about neurology and kind of that gut brain connection and he said very specifically that fasting is not a good option for most people. He said that actually to keep those brain chemicals and to support the metabolism, there are people who need to be eating more frequently throughout the day because low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can create some imbalances and I thought that was interesting.

KARA: Then you know if you're fasting and whether it's working for you or not. If you're trying some form of intermittent fasting or something and you have low energy, low moods, if your hair is falling out, then it's not working for you. So, we'll get back to what the 14 ounces looks like in a day. We were at nine by lunch. So, we've already had it for breakfast, mid morning snack, and lunch. If you are someone that does eat two snacks per day, you could incorporate a half cup of full fat cottage cheese as a maybe like a 3:00 PM snack. And then for dinner, if you had even just three ounce steak, three to four ounce steak, that's 14 to 15 ounces total of protein for that day.

SHELBY:And 14 ounces of protein may sound like a lot, but really for those of you are serious about growing your hair, I have to remind you, a single strand of hair is made up of protein fiber. So, your hair requires that adequate amount of protein each day. Spreading that out, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

KARA:  And when losing your hair becomes a problem, we need to help you put the pieces of the puzzle together to help determine the root cause of your hair loss. So, this might come as a surprise to you, but the most common cause of hair loss in women is iron deficiency.

SHELBY: Could that be because most women are not eating enough protein?

KARA: It certainly could be because that's the number one food that contains iron is protein. When your blood doesn't have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to give you energy, your hair growth will actually suffer.

SHELBY: And it's those hair follicles that we were talking about earlier that require a considerable amount of iron. And that's really why iron deficiency is one of the most common connections to hair loss. According to the World Health Organization, over 30 percent of the world population is deficient in iron. And there are a few tests that you can have your doctor run to determine if you are deficient in iron. And the first one that we recommend for our clients is getting your hemoglobin level tested. And according to Mayo Clinic, the normal range for women is between 12 and 15. But we find that most women feel best even in that range of like 13 or 14. If you're a healthy woman and you're losing hair, it just may be due to an iron deficiency. But if you're feeling tired, weak, kind of like brain fog, it might be wise to have another iron test taken. So, we often suggest having your iron storage tested. This is called Ferritin test. So, it’s a simple blood test. It's very simple. Again, Ferritin is the iron storage protein of the body.

KARA:  So, testing Ferritin is really going to measure what's in your body.

SHELBY: Kind of that backup generator, I think of. It's kind of your backup stores of iron.

KARA:  So, iron is responsible and critical for maintaining energy. We need it for thyroid function and we definitely need it for proper hair growth.

SHELBY: Yeah, definitely. So we'll talk more about iron and specifically a little bit more about what those ferritin levels look like, but we're going to go to our second break. So, if you're just tuning in, thanks for listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. We'll be right back.


KARA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today's topic is nutrients for hair growth and to prevent hair loss. And I'm Kara Carper. I'm here with Shelby Hummel. We're both licensed nutritionists and we were talking earlier about how protein is the most important nutrient for hair growth, for all tissue growth and repair.

SHELBY:  Every cell needs that protein in our bodies.

KARA: There are other things that our hair needs and essential fatty acids are also very important. So, we're going to spend a few minutes talking about some supplements that could be very helpful in addition to diet. We always want to start with food, get the protein in, of course vegetables and healthy fats as well, but if you're already doing that, we have some other things that can speed up the process for you if you have some thinning hair, some hair loss, specifically some of those key nutrients that we're getting from food, but maybe we need a little bit higher dose to support our body. And some of these things could be a little bit difficult to get from food and I think that's why people tend to be deficient. The first one is an omega six essential fatty acid, GLA, gamma linoleic acid, and we recommend taking three to six of these soft gel capsules every day. Not everybody would need that much, but if you want your hair to grow, you're going to need that quantity of three to six soft gels per day. It's great for skin hair, nails, great for hormones.

SHELBY: Women love that. When I talk about GLA in classes, it's like they make a B-line for the supplement shelf and they say, “Wow, my nails aren't cracking anymore,” or they notice that their skin is radiant. It's one of those fats that really nourishes those tissues, so it makes a lot of sense that women and men included who are wanting to have stronger hair, more hair regrowth, including that Omega six, GLA. What about another essential fat?

KARA: Another essential fatty acid that is pretty difficult to get from our food sources. It's cod liver oil. So, in cod liver oil you're going to have some omega three fatty acids, but the great thing about cod liver oil is you also get your vitamin A and you're going to get some vitamin D. So, the cod liver oil, and we carry all of these at our offices by the way. So, the one that I'm referring to, it would be two teaspoons, would be the amount to take per day to promote hair growth.

SHELBY: And that's the Omega three. And like you said, that is the cod liver oil. It has a little bit of vitamin A in there and vitamin D and I was telling you my grandpa has always been really interested in nutrition and health and I even showed you the little book of his that I found, The Natural Way to Beauty and Health from 1968. But I remember when I was younger, my grandpa would always recommend vitamin A and vitamin E. He knew the fat soluble vitamins were really important for our immune system rebuilding ourselves. I feel like he was ahead of his time. And he just turned 80 this year and is healthy as a horse. He actually has a full head of hair, too. So, you know what's going on in the inside is healthy.

KARA: Thank you for sharing that. So on that note, vitamin E is another fatty acid that's super important for hair growth and we would recommend 400. It's measured in IU’s, international units for 100 of those per day for hair growth.

SHELBY: And actually, vitamin E is a great antioxidant as well. So actually I wanted to read you a little bit more about vitamin E. I've got my Nourishing Traditions book from Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig. We know that they have been such great advocates and eating real fats. So, looking at vitamin E, it's actually a fat soluble vitamin that is needed for tissue repair, circulation, and healing. And I think that's really interesting because when we think about healing and circulation, right, we need that blood flow into the scalp to support those follicles.

KARA: Yeah, that's great information. Kind of a good add on as far as how it's getting the root cause of the problem of her loss. We just have two more. Vitamin C, another wonderful antioxidant that we can get from our diet, but sometimes it's very helpful just to take some extra vitamin C. One thousand milligrams per day is recommended for collagen production. So, vitamin C and that protein work together so we have strong tissue. What about like a Multivitamin? Would you recommend a multivitamin for your client who would recommend high quality multivitamin? The one that is really easy for our clients to take is called Twice-A-Day, which is two capsules per day of this high quality multivitamin that is very high in b vitamins, essential for hair growth. So, everything that we just talked about is at our offices. It's also on our website. We just want to remind you as nutritionists we always have to have the disclaimer. You cannot out supplement a poor diet, so if you're having a bad hair day, if you're concerned with thinning hair, we would encourage you to make an appointment with one of our wonderful Weight & Wellness nutritionists. That way you can get on a personal individualized plan to restore your hair growth because it all has to start with a well-balanced diet. And so call 651-699-3438 and they can get you set up with a nutritionist.

SHELBY: One of the things your nutritionist will help you do is kind of dig a little bit deeper and see, well, is it that you're missing nutrients? Are you not eating enough protein? Do we need to have some additional tests run? Like before we went to break, we were talking about iron and specifically that Ferritin. And you had mentioned that Ferritin is the major storage form of iron in our body and when we think about iron, we know that that's so important in maintaining our energy levels, maintaining thyroid function, and promoting proper hair growth. So, for those of you listening, that means that knowing your ferritin level is very important, especially if you have thinning hair and no energy. So, in addition to thinking about poor hair growth, if your ferritin levels are low, you may experience fatigue or dizziness, chronic headaches, or just generalized weakness. For some of my clients, they complain of ringing in the ears or irritability or even shortness of breath. So, think about if you have another symptom that's kind of popped up recently. Maybe it was after a surgery or after a stressful time in your life, but maybe you just can't tolerate exercise like you could in the past because now you have that reduced oxygen being delivered to the cells. That's actually a deficiency in iron. So, if you have a loss of energy from low iron, specifically having low storage form of iron, that Ferritin, it's usually consistent with a hard time exercising, right? Or even just going up and down the stairs.

KARA:  And we hear that from our clients too. It's like, Gosh, I can't even get through a workout and I used to be fine. We recommend getting that ferritin checked. So, one question that we often hear is, “What if my hemoglobin is normal? Can I still have a low ferritin?” And the answer is yes, most definitely. Ferritin levels is a really wide range that you're going to see on a standard lab. So, let's say you get your ferritin tested, you're going to see a range of normal that says 10 is normal all the way up to a 150 is normal. But I have to tell you, and maybe I'll share after break my personal story with ferritin. But even with working with clients, we find that people feel the best when their levels are around 70. And we've had clients with ferritin levels super low, five to 10, and they just don't feel well. They're fatigued, they have difficulty remembering things, they feel kind of weak and like you had even mentioned, it might be hard to walk up a flight of stairs without kind of losing your breath and feeling exhausted.

SHELBY:  They just feel like their legs are so heavy, they can't make it through the day.

KARA: That's a great way to describe it. Like kind of that heavy feeling.

SHELBY: So, we are going to take our third break here. So, you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. We'll be right back.


KARA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today, as you were listening to our discussion about hair growth and hair loss, you might be saying to yourself, “My thinning hair problem is so much more complex than just a lack of protein that these girls are talking about.” Maybe it's related to a medication you're taking or to a stressful life event. You may need more suggestions and recommendations than we have time to cover on this one hour show. We wish we had more time. So, if that's the case, we have more information. We just don't have more than an hour to share with you today, so we recommend that you make an appointment with a nutritionist and you can get all of your concerns addressed and get the solutions that you need. So, I think we've said that before the show today, but you can call 651-699-3438 to schedule an appointment.

SHELBY: And we know like what we were mentioning before we went to break, low iron levels are often connected for women specifically to hair loss. And so when we think about low iron, not only does that affect our hair and our energy, but we know that low iron levels should not happen under normal conditions. So, it's really important to determine the root cause of that. And that's what we would do in an initial consultation working with someone is trying to figure out the root cause. So, why could ferritin levels be low? We know that that is not normal. So, you were mentioning maybe you had some insight into one connection as to why iron would be too low.

KARA: Oh, a personal story. I won't get into all the details, but I had a pretty big surgery a while back and there was a quite a bit of blood loss due to the surgery, so after the surgery I was taking some supplements and some nutrients and iron was one of them, but I was just taking a little bit of iron. I think I was taking about 25, maybe 30 milligrams per day and I was just really fatigued and brain fog and weak and I couldn't work out and I wasn't putting two and two together. I had never really had low iron in my entire life. So, I did get some labs done and the doctor said my iron was normal. And I didn't inquire further, but have a few weeks went by and then I called the office and I insisted on getting the actual labs because I had just kind of like gotten verbally, “Your iron is normal.” Well then I was scanning through my labs and I came to hemoglobin was normal. I came to Ferritin. Well, technically it was in that normal range because again, that range is 10 to 150. Pretty big range. Mine was 15. It was close to being 10, which is considered low, but it was still in there. So, the doctor said, “Oh, that's normal.” And Shelby, I shared with you before the show that I was that person who would get home, I would pull into my driveway and I would sit at the bottom of the stairs. We have a split level. I would have to sit there before I would go up the stairs. So, I tripled my iron and almost immediately I got my energy back.

SHELBY:  Wow. Very powerful. When we look at the root cause of what's going on, we can put together a plan to move forward. So, when working with clients who have low ferritin levels, we’ll help them with food ideas. It sounds like that was something you were already doing, but then we can also look a little bit deeper and see. Well, actually one of the main reasons for low ferritin can be a hidden gut problem, meaning that any sort of gastrointestinal problem could be coming from a gluten sensitivity, so stay with us. Kara and I are going to help you make this connection, but very often people who have a gluten sensitivity also have a problem with mal absorption, meaning that they are not absorbing the nutrients from their foods or their supplements so they can be nutrient deficient. So, their hair follicles are not getting those nutrients. So, this could be a time when you're working individually with a nutritionist to figure out, okay, well maybe it's the gluten grains that are interfering with the absorption of the other good foods that I'm eating. So, yeah, you may have to give up your pizza and your pasta, but you can have a full head of healthy hair. So, if someone has a gluten sensitivity and they didn't realize it and they were eating things like pizza and pasta, what you're saying is that that can do some damage to the intestinal tract and cause that malabsorption of other nutrients.

KARA: Exactly. So, another gastrointestinal problem that can lead to malabsorption, and this is very common, is that you might be low in stomach acid. Low stomach acid often occurs after people take acid blocking medications for acid reflux.

SHELBY: So, even like Tums or things that they’re taking over the counter or prescription Zantac is another one that’s acid blocking. So how does that work?

KARA: So, a lot of people that have acid reflux, it's fairly easy to go to your doctor and get an acid blocker or just go into Walgreen's and buy an over the counter. When we're blocking that stomach acid, we are not able to break down and absorb a lot of nutrients including protein. But, also it's harder to absorb b vitamins. So we might be really low in some of that stuff. And as a result, hair loss can be a side effect of that acid blocker. So generally, it's not normal to experience gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and acid reflux. So, these are really gastrointestinal issues that should be addressed nutritionally and again, get to that root cause and not just rely on an acid blocker because there can be some pretty serious side effects.

SHELBY: So, what's you're saying, Kara, is we're not deficient in Tums. We're not low in Omeprazole. Really what's going on is all of those GI problems, the gas, the bloating, the acid reflux, that's actually related to a nutritional problem.

KARA: Maybe somebody eating something that doesn't agree with them and instead of taking it out of their diet, they resort to taking a medication that can have a ton of other side effects and maybe they're going to lose their hair from that.

SHELBY:We see that with bone health with those acid blockers. But we know that if you're not treating the underlying cause of those nutrient deficiencies, whether it's iron or calcium or vitamin D, you can take a supplement, but no doubt you're going to continue to be deficient, right? We have to really understand what's going on at the root of that problem. So, one of the other symptoms that some of my clients with low ferritin experience is weight gain, and maybe asking yourself, “Well, why weight gain?” Well, low levels of ferritin reduces thyroid hormone production. And if your thyroid hormone production falls, of course we know your metabolism is going to suffer. So it's really important to see that a deficiency in just one mineral can affect your hair growth, but it can also affect your metabolism and your energy. So, it does really make sense to get to that root cause of why would you be deficient in some of these nutrients?

KARA: And on Dishing Up Nutrition, we often talk about the symptoms that people experience when they have a gluten sensitivity. So, if someone has a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, which is the more extreme version of a gluten sensitivity, and they continue eating foods that have gluten, their body responds by basically attacking the small intestines, and so the result is nutrient deficiencies since a lot of the absorption in our body occurs in the small intestinal tract. So, there might be deficiencies in a lot of the b vitamins like B1, one which is thiamine or B12. Having low vitamin C and being deficient in that can contribute to hair loss.

SHELBY:  So Kara, with our last little bit of time here on the show, maybe we should just recap. So, foods to eat to support hair regrowth would be protein. What would be some foods to avoid?

KARA: Foods to avoid? I would say sugar. We didn't touch on that too much, but sugar and for a lot of people, gluten.  

SHELBY: Sugar and gluten and some of the key nutrients that we had mentioned before. So, our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you so much for listening this morning and I hope you have a wonderful hair day.

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