It is estimated that almost a billion people are affected by the deficiency of Vitamin D.
Want to know if you are taking in enough sunshine or not? Your hair might just help you! According to new research, human hair can be used to measure the amount of Vitamin D in the body. Researchers say that this will pave the way for better diagnosis of the deficiency of Vitamin D.
It is estimated that almost a billion people are affected by the deficiency of Vitamin D. Having a deficiency of the Vitamin is considered a risk factor for depression, diabetes, cancer, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. According to the research, this deficiency rate has reached an alarming level.
Usually, Vitamin D levels are measured by the traditional way of analyzing blood samples at a single point of time. On the other hand, hair is said to grow at a rate of approximately one centimeter per month and can be reflective of Vitamin D status over several months.
“The study presents the idea that vitamin D is being deposited continuously in the hair as it grows, more might be deposited at times when vitamin D concentration in the blood is high, and less when it’s low,” News agency IANS quoted lead author Lina Zgaga, Associate Professor at Dublin’s Trinity College.
“Therefore, a test based on the hair sample might be able to give doctors a measure of vitamin D status over time — if hair is long enough, this even might be over a few years,” Zgaga added.
The findings of the research have been published in the journal Nutrients. It should also be noted that in order to establish the exact relationship between hair and the concentration of Vitamin D in the body, further research needs to be done over time.
Researchers also said that different factors affecting Vitamin D levels in hair such as hair color, use of hair products, and thickness of the hair also need to be examined.
The study can also lead to other findings as hair is one of the longest lasting biological materials after death.