New evidence for the benefits of vitamin D supplementation and the risks of having Vitamin D deficiency have been in vogue in the medical literature for the last 2-3 years. Aside from its important role in bone metabolism and calcium absorption, new evidence is showing that the vitamin D receptors in hair follicles have a role in hair loss and re-growth.
It is important to point out that the most recent focus of exciting research is the vitamin D receptor in the hair follicle. Vitamin D itself is NOT the magic pill all of a sudden! And vitamin D is not likely to regenerate hair that has already begun the slow decline caused by androgenetic alopecia (i.e. male or female pattern hair loss).
But despite the fact that the “cure for baldness” will not be found in your corner store, there is reason for optimism regarding vitamin D. From the current studies published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry showed that substances that stimulate the vitamin D receptor seem to stimulate hair growth. Even more exciting is the research at the University of Tokyo that showed that adding vitamin D to uncommitted hair stem cells helped the stem cells to commit to being actually hair follicles! Yes – that is right – the hope is to grow new hair from scratch using stem cell therapy!
The latter science experiments were done in rats, so human studies need to be done, but we would all love to get the mystery of how to make new hair follicles solved! Perhaps in the future, this new science will provide us with gene therapy and medications for hair loss. In the meantime, though, don’t waste your money on lots of vitamin D supplements thinking they will grow new hair.