While most people are now aware how important vitamins are for general health, many people are less aware of the importance of minerals. This is particularly so when considering the minerals that are needed for the healthy growth and condition of your hair.
If you are concerned with premature hair loss, thinning or falling hair, you should find food for thought in this short article.
Below is a list of the minerals recommended as important to maintain a healthy head of hair, and reduce the risk of hair loss and thinning hair. I compiled it while I was training to qualify as a nutritionist, and since then have added to it from further research on the Internet.
Some of these minerals work together with other minerals (synergistic relationships), and some pairs are antagonistic; so maintaining the correct relative balance is important,.
Yes - vitamins are important for hair health (such as vitamins A, C, E, B3, B5, B6, B12 and biotin), but a fact that isn't well-known is that vitamins need minerals to function and be absorbed correctly. So you could be taking all the vitamin supplements in the world, but without minerals you will not be getting the full benefit from them.
Dr Linus Pauling is on record as having said "The root of all disease is directly related to a lack of minerals". Surprisingly, your body can continue to function for a longer period without vitamins than it can without minerals.
Of course most vitamin supplements these days include a selection of minerals - but did you know that the human body requires at least 60 minerals to stay healthy? If you check a typical multi-vitamin / mineral packaging I'll be surprised if you find all 60 in the ingredient list.
Because minerals are present in food, people tend to make the same (false) assumption as for vitamins. Namely that you can get all the minerals you need from a healthy diet.
But as it is for vitamins this is incorrect, because the same over-farming that has depleted the soil of vitamins has stripped it of minerals too. Reports from WHO, the UK Ministry of Agriculture and the Royal Society of Chemistry confirm the decline of nutritional value of the soil's mineral content since the 1940s.
Many foods that we buy today contain less than 20 minerals, which is why my college training recommended paying attention to mineral supplementation and balance to maintain your health, in addition to watching your diet and lifestyle.
The stark conclusion to draw from this article is that if your body is low on essential minerals needed for the chemical, electrical and hormonal impulses triggered thousands of times a day, it is reasonable to assume that your body will prioritize these life-maintaining functions over the health of your hair.
Only when the vital bodily functions can be maintained will there be spare minerals to use for the health of your hair.
Joy Healey is a qualified complementary therapist, specializing in nutrition, with particular emphasis on the importance of minerals for your health.