Can Too Much Iron Cause Hair Loss?

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We always believed that wine is good for health; however, a recent study told that red wine with all its previous health benefits can now cause cancer. Well, deep down we probably knew that alcohol is a toxin. Similarly, it’s no secret that, too much iron can cause hair loss. Hair loss, or alopecia, can happen to anyone. Thinning hair can be caused by a variety of factors including stress, aging, genetics, medications and medical conditions. Poor nutrition that lacks sufficient protein or iron can also lead to hair loss, true; but research suggests that taking iron supplements is not recommended for alopecia. In fact, too much iron in the body can actually cause hair loss.

Undeniably, iron is one of the major power foods for healthy hair and is essential for a strong immune system and mental function. Red meat is the most potent source of iron but lentils, dried fruit, green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, and fortified breakfast cereals also contain iron. Too much iron in the body accumulates in tissues and organs and affects their normal functioning. The most susceptible organs are the heart, liver and endocrine glands and symptoms include joint pain, abdominal pain, chronic fatigue, irregular heartbeat, lowered libido, skin color changes, loss of period and hair loss. Therefore, researches concluded that, iron cause hair loss.

Individuals who have lots of red meat, take iron supplements or injections when they actually don’t need them and have too many blood transfusions risk acquiring iron overload disorder. Taking vitamin C with foods can also increase iron absorption. If you notice that your hair is considerably thinner than it once was, you should consult your doctor without any delay.

Many studies reveal that iron levels rise with age and once you absorb too much iron it stays with you throughout your life. Daily one milligram of iron is lost through fingernails, dead skin cells and hair, but humans have no easy means to excrete excess iron other than by giving blood or with medical treatment. Even for women, the average daily hair loss during menstruation is one and a half milligrams. 

In order to maintain the balance of iron in the body, avoid excessive amounts of vitamin C which can help absorb iron and drink tea as the tannin can help inhibit iron absorption. During the recommended treatment you could benefit from taking a B complex of vitamins, including folic acid, B6 or folate and B12, all of which are also beneficial for hair growth. In cases where people are genetically susceptible to hair loss, iron diseases can trigger an early onset and proven hair loss treatments will be needed to control the condition.