Vitamins are a kind of organic micronutrient that is vital in keeping our bodies healthy. They are responsible for keeping the cells in our body functioning normally, regulating growth and development, and also for the maintenance of healthy hair, skin, and nails.
This makes the fact that up to 92% of African-Americans may be vitamin deficient even more alarming.
If you are struggling with brittle nails that chip off easily, hair that is thinning, or skin that is dull and lifeless, you may have vitamin deficiencies.
Studies show that vitamin deficiencies can not only cause hair loss but also worsen hair loss that is caused by other circumstances.
Different vitamins are responsible for keeping different bodily functions healthy.
Here is a look at some of the vitamins most responsible for healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Biotin is of the most important vitamins for hair growth. It is also known as Vitamin B7. It is found naturally in small amounts in foods like egg yolks and meat. Keep in mind that if you are taking certain antibiotics, medication for epilepsy, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, you are at a higher risk of being deficient in biotin.
Vitamin C is essential for your gut to be able to absorb iron, an essential mineral nutrient that carries oxygen to all parts of your body. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, and pale skin.
To avoid this, ensure that you eat foods rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits, potatoes, and bell peppers. Taking vitamin supplements can ensure that you always have enough vitamins in your body irrespective of your diet.
Vitamin D is naturally made in our body when our skin is exposed to the sun. However, pigmentation can reduce the production of this vitamin and so, African-Americans are at a higher risk for developing Vitamin D insufficiency.
This vitamin is responsible for calcium and phosphorus regulation and is essential for maintaining strong bones, teeth, and nails. A lack of this vitamin may also result in red, dry, itchy patches on your skin.
Vitamin A helps protect the skin’s two outermost layers against sun damage. It is an antioxidant, so it shields the skin from oxidative stress, allowing the skin cells to heal and regenerate at a much quicker rate while simultaneously destroying the free radicals that break down collagen. It is naturally available in cheese, eggs, and oily fish.
Apart from maintaining a healthy immune system, this vitamin is essential for healthy hair, skin, and nails. It is a fat-soluble vitamin with several forms, but alpha-tocopherol is the only one used by the human body. It is naturally available in sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, and beet greens.
Although vitamins are available from natural sources, availability, affordability, diet restrictions due to illness, and lifestyle choices may make it difficult for you to maintain optimum levels of all these vitamins through natural sources alone. This is why supplements are advised.