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      The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review

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          Abstract

          People commonly inquire about vitamin and mineral supplementation and diet as a means to prevent or manage dermatological diseases and, in particular, hair loss. Answering these queries is frequently challenging, given the enormous and conflicting evidence that exists on this subject. There are several reasons to suspect a role for micronutrients in non-scarring alopecia. Micronutrients are major elements in the normal hair follicle cycle, playing a role in cellular turnover, a frequent occurrence in the matrix cells in the follicle bulb that are rapidly dividing. Management of alopecia is an essential aspect of clinical dermatology given the prevalence of hair loss and its significant impact on patients’ quality of life. The role of nutrition and diet in treating hair loss represents a dynamic and growing area of inquiry. In this review we summarize the role of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, selenium, and zinc, in non-scarring alopecia. A broad literature search of PubMed and Google Scholar was performed in July 2018 to compile published articles that study the relationship between vitamins and minerals, and hair loss. Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals play an important, but not entirely clear role in normal hair follicle development and immune cell function. Deficiency of such micronutrients may represent a modifiable risk factor associated with the development, prevention, and treatment of alopecia. Given the role of vitamins and minerals in the hair cycle and immune defense mechanism, large double-blind placebo-controlled trials are required to determine the effect of specific micronutrient supplementation on hair growth in those with both micronutrient deficiency and non-scarring alopecia to establish any association between hair loss and such micronutrient deficiency.

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          Most cited references112

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          Characterization and isolation of stem cell-enriched human hair follicle bulge cells.

          The human hair follicle bulge is an important niche for keratinocyte stem cells (KSCs). Elucidation of human bulge cell biology could be facilitated by analysis of global gene expression profiles and identification of unique cell-surface markers. The lack of distinctive bulge morphology in human hair follicles has hampered studies of bulge cells and KSCs. In this study, we determined the distribution of label-retaining cells to define the human anagen bulge. Using navigated laser capture microdissection, bulge cells and outer root sheath cells from other follicle regions were obtained and analyzed with cDNA microarrays. Gene transcripts encoding inhibitors of WNT and activin/bone morphogenic protein signaling were overrepresented in the bulge, while genes responsible for cell proliferation were underrepresented, consistent with the existence of quiescent noncycling KSCs in anagen follicles. Positive markers for bulge cells included CD200, PHLDA1, follistatin, and frizzled homolog 1, while CD24, CD34, CD71, and CD146 were preferentially expressed by non-bulge keratinocytes. Importantly, CD200+ cells (CD200hiCD24loCD34loCD71loCD146lo) obtained from hair follicle suspensions demonstrated high colony-forming efficiency in clonogenic assays, indicating successful enrichment of living human bulge stem cells. The stem cell behavior of enriched bulge cells and their utility for gene therapy and hair regeneration will need to be assessed in in vivo assays.
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            Serum transferrin receptor and its ratio to serum ferritin in the diagnosis of iron deficiency.

            The objective of the study was to evaluate the diagnostic efficiency of laboratory tests, including serum transferrin receptor (TfR) measurements, in the diagnosis of iron depletion. The patient population consisted of 129 consecutive anemic patients at the University Hospital of Turku who were given a bone marrow examination. Of these patients, 48 had iron deficiency anemia (IDA), 64 anemia of chronic disease (ACD), and 17 patients had depleted iron stores and an infectious or an inflammatory condition (COMBI). Depletion of iron stores was defined as a complete absence of stainable iron in the bone marrow examination. Serum TfR concentrations were elevated in the vast majority of the IDA and COMBI patients, while in the ACD patients, the levels were within the reference limits reported earlier for healthy subjects. TfR measurement thus provided a reliable diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia (AUC(ROC) 0.98). Serum ferritin measurement also distinguished between IDA patients and ACD patients. However, the optimal decision limit for evaluation of ferritin measurements was considerably above the conventional lower reference limits, complicating the interpretation of this parameter. Calculation of the ratio TfR/log ferritin (TfR-F Index) is a way of combining TfR and ferritin results. This ratio provided an outstanding parameter for the identification of patients with depleted iron stores (AUC(ROC) 1.00). In anemic patients, TfR measurement is a valuable noninvasive tool for the diagnosis of iron depletion, and offers an attractive alternative to more conventional laboratory tests in the detection of depleted iron stores.
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              Acute selenium toxicity associated with a dietary supplement.

              Selenium is an element necessary for normal cellular function, but it can have toxic effects at high doses. We investigated an outbreak of acute selenium poisoning. A case was defined as the onset of symptoms of selenium toxicity in a person within 2 weeks after ingesting a dietary supplement manufactured by "Company A," purchased after January 1, 2008. We conducted case finding, administered initial and 90-day follow-up questionnaires to affected persons, and obtained laboratory data where available. The source of the outbreak was identified as a liquid dietary supplement that contained 200 times the labeled concentration of selenium. Of 201 cases identified in 10 states, 1 person was hospitalized. The median estimated dose of selenium consumed was 41 749 microg/d (recommended dietary allowance is 55 microg/d). Frequently reported symptoms included diarrhea (78%), fatigue (75%), hair loss (72%), joint pain (70%), nail discoloration or brittleness (61%), and nausea (58%). Symptoms persisting 90 days or longer included fingernail discoloration and loss (52%), fatigue (35%), and hair loss (29%). The mean initial serum selenium concentration of 8 patients was 751 microg/L (reference range, < or =125 microg/L). The mean initial urine selenium concentration of 7 patients was 166 microg/24 h (reference range, < or =55 microg/24 h). Toxic concentrations of selenium in a liquid dietary supplement resulted in a widespread outbreak. Had the manufacturers been held to standards used in the pharmaceutical industry, it may have been prevented.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                mohannahind@gmail.com
                ATosti@med.miami.edu
                Journal
                Dermatol Ther (Heidelb)
                Dermatol Ther (Heidelb)
                Dermatology and Therapy
                Springer Healthcare (Cheshire )
                2193-8210
                2190-9172
                13 December 2018
                13 December 2018
                March 2019
                : 9
                : 1
                : 51-70
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0000 9759 8141, GRID grid.415989.8, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, , Prince Sultan Military Medical City, ; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
                [2 ]Department of Dermatology, King Fahad General Hospital, Medina, Saudi Arabia
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8606, GRID grid.26790.3a, Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, , University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, ; 1475 NW 12th Ave. Suite 2175, Miami, FL 33136 USA
                Article
                278
                10.1007/s13555-018-0278-6
                6380979
                30547302
                43c42327-b472-4d13-9937-aec1ba1c5f3c
                © The Author(s) 2018
                History
                : 16 October 2018
                Categories
                Review
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2019

                Dermatology
                alopecia,biotin,ferritin,folic acid,hair loss,vitamin a,vitamin b,vitamin c,vitamin d,zinc
                Dermatology
                alopecia, biotin, ferritin, folic acid, hair loss, vitamin a, vitamin b, vitamin c, vitamin d, zinc

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