Diana Gallerani, NP and I recently returned from an international conference on hair loss. Conferences are a great opportunity for us to not only learn about the latest research on hair loss, but also to speak with other members of the medical community to hear about what they are seeing at their practices. This conference had lots of great courses and discussions and we heard about many exciting new study results, which will result in new recommendations for our patients. One topic that was thoroughly covered at the conference was the role diet can play in hair loss.
One of the most common questions we hear almost daily is, “Does nutrition affect my hair loss?” and “What supplements should I take for my thinning hair?” While we know about the importance of protein intake in creating healthy hair, at the conference we heard about the importance of lipid (fat) intake and fat metabolism on hair health. Recent research by Dr. Pappas from Switzerland, demonstrated the importance of healthy fats in our diet. His research showed that omega 3 fats and linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid) nourish our skin and hair, thicken the fat layer around the hair follicle and result in improved hair growth. Omega fats are found in oily fish like sardines, salmon, herring, lake trout and tuna. Linoleic acid is found mostly in plant oils like flaxseed and pumpkin oil, tofu, walnuts and walnut oil. Dr. Pappas also informed us that probiotics, which can be found in active culture yogurt, improves the absorption of these essential fats.
As part of any treatment plan for female hair loss, we will now be strongly recommending adding healthy fat sources to the diet, as well as probiotics. If you are a picky eater, supplements for Omega 3 fats should be considered. If you are interested in learn more about the connection between diet and hair loss, schedule your free consultation today.
Posted by Dr. Wendel