Hair growth can take forever! But did you know that you could speed up the process? Instead of waiting and trying to measure how many inches your hair seems to have grown (or not) in the past couple of months, there are proactive measures you can take to boost hair growth. One way is to use ingredients and supplements that feed your hair the right nutrients it needs to grow. Folic acid is one of such vitamins and this article will show you why.
What Is Folic Acid?
Folic acid, also known as Vitamin B9 or Folate, is an essential nutrient vital for the efficient functioning of the human body. It is a water-soluble vitamin the deficiency of which can lead to a host of health problems, including unmanageable hair loss and stunted hair growth. Found in plenty of foods and green leafy vegetables, it is an easy nutrient to come by when looking for natural solutions for hair loss.
Is Folic Acid Good For Hair Growth?
Regular consumption of folate or folic acid facilitates unhindered tissue growth and also allows cells to function smoothly. The unhindered growth of tissues is essential when concerned with skin, nail, and hair growth. The vitamin has been shown to boost healthy cell generation and therefore, is a stimulator of natural hair growth in both men and women. A recent study has established that Folate is effective in treating alopecia. Regular consumption of folic acid has been found miraculously effective in preventing male pattern baldness. Here are the different ways in which folate can benefit your hair:
• Folate helps in metabolizing protein, fat, and carbohydrates successfully. It helps to cater to the absorption of different nutrients within the human body. In this way, the hair follicles receive their required nutrition from the consumed foods.
• The proper synthesis of nutrients helps in keeping the follicles nourished. This helps add shine and volume to your hair.
• Deficiency of folic acid is the prime cause of premature graying. Hair discoloration happens as a result of a process called megaloblastic anemia, where the production of red blood corpuscles increases abnormally. Regular consumption of folic acid helps to normalize this over production of the red blood cells.
• As folic acid speeds up cell division, it helps boost hair growth.
Some Important Tips For Consumption Of Folic Acid
• Avoid folic acid dosage in excess.
• Consume only after proper consultation, or if advised.
• Folic acid deficiency can lead to diarrhea, gingivitis, irritability, forgetfulness, poor growth, tongue inflammation, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, seborrheic dermatitis, and sluggishness.
• Birth control pills can lower the folic acid level in the body.
• Tobacco and alcohol reduce the folic acid levels and thus, the high intake of coffee, alcohol, and smoking leads to folate deficiency.
How To Use Folic Acid For Hair Growth
Folic acid and Biotin
While a lot of people already take Biotin for hair and nail growth, it doesn’t always show the desired results by itself. Taking folic acid with biotin, however, can make a huge difference when it comes to hair growth. These vitamins are hair food that will boost the rate at which your hair grows. You will notice a visible boost in growth within a couple of months of starting the supplements. However, it is vital that you consult a health care professional before you start taking any vitamin supplements. Eggs, nuts, whole grains, meat, and legumes are food sources which are rich in biotin.
Food Sources Of Folic Acid
If you are skeptical about supplements, you can always turn to natural food sources of the vitamin. Not only will you be consuming healthier foods, but you will also be less likely to incur side effects that come with supplements. The best sources for folic acid are usually fruits and green leafy vegetables. All the citrus fruits, dried beans, and all leafy green vegetables like spinach. Capsicum, French beans, broccoli, and chilies too are rich sources of folic acid. Some other foods fortified with this essential nutrient include bread, cereals, rice, pasta, flours, and other multigrain products.
Folic Acid And Zinc For Hair Growth
If you have a hair loss problem that is stemming from the deficiency of zinc, increasing your intake of folic acid and zinc is a sure-shot method of boosting hair growth. Unlike biotin, which is a great vitamin for maintaining overall hair and nail health, zinc specifically curbs hair loss that’s a result of weakened follicles. However, you must always get a proper diagnosis before you start taking any supplements. Eggs, nuts, oysters, spinach, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes are some great natural food sources of zinc that you can add to your diet.
Folic Acid Deficiency Causes:
Some of the factors that are found to be responsible for folic acid deficiency are:
The main cause of folic acid deficiency is an imbalanced diet, which contains low quantities of fresh vegetables, fruits, and fortified cereals. Over cooking of foods may destroy folic acid.
Diseases such as Crohn’s disease and Celiac disease, which affect the absorption of folic acid in the gastrointestinal tract can cause folic acid deficiency.
Side Effects Of Medications
Certain medications as sulfasalazine, phenytoin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole are found to cause folic acid deficiency.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is found to interfere with folic acid absorption. Alcohol increases the excretion of folic acid through urination.
Oral Contraceptive Pills
Studies reveal that oral contraceptive pills are found to interfere with the absorption of folic acid from the food.
Folic Acid Deficiency Symptoms
Folic acid deficiency is commonly found in a number of individuals. Deficiency of folic acid may cause symptoms which are often subtle. Some of the common symptoms of folic acid deficiency are:
• Fatigue and tiredness
• Mouth ulcers
• Peptic Ulcers
• Swollen tongue or glossitis
• Grey hair
• Poor growth
• Loss of appetite
Symptoms due to folic acid anemia are caused by lower oxygen levels in the body. Some of the symptoms of folic acid anemia are:
• Persistent fatigue
• Stomach and intestinal ailments such as diarrhea, constipation
• Tender, smooth red and painful tongue
• Pale skin