Anatomically, hair is part of the integumentary system. The word integumentary simply means “to envelop” or “to cover”. Therefore, the integumentary system that composes of the external covering of our bodies, i.e., the skin, hair, nails as well as the exocrine glands which layer beneath the skin that include the sweat glands and sebaceous glands. Being a system, it suggests synergy and correlation. What is good for the skin is good for the nails and hair vis a vi. Moreover, it is prudent to note the connection between our diet and the integumentary system and more precisely, our hair.The Gut/Hair Connection
Luxuriant hair portrays health, overall body wellness and reproductive fitness. In humans as well as many mammalian species, overall health has been attributed to beneficial bacteria residing within us. Predominantly found in our gut, scientists thus believe there indeed could be a Gut-hair Connection despite remaining to be proven. In a study carried out on the effects of probiotic bacteria on integumentary system health, a significant discovery was noted. Not only do probiotic bacteria promote gut health and overall internal health but also extend their beneficial attributes to the hair.
Issues like gut permeability, gut inflammation and malabsorption play a huge role in hastening hair loss. Gut permeability exposes hair follicles to immune damage, while gut inflammation impacts hair growth cycle and malabsorption affects hair synthesis. Thus, it can be said that, gut dysfunction leads to hair thinning and brittleness.
Hair Loss and Underlying Issues
Hair loss and underlying issues are often attributed to malabsorption and poor nutrition. It is no secret that lack of consumption of certain B-complex vitamins and other minerals result in hair loss. Moreover, physiological effects of hair loss result from elevated stress, chronic drug abuse, and environmental stimuli. Hair loss is a factor that immensely affects our personality in terms of confidence and overall presentation. Fortunately, hair loss is a reversible condition.
Kefir for Healthy Hair
Kefir is not a novel introduction in our dietary habits. Its popularity stems from its far-reaching health benefits that surpass other fermented milk products like yoghurt. Boasting abundance in the B-Complex Vitamins like B1 (Thiamine), B7 (Biotin), B9 (Folic Acid), B12 (Cyanocobalamin), as well as Calcium and Vitamin K2. It should also be noted that the aforementioned vitamins are essential in hair health. Kefir is also the probiotics source of food for intestinal bacteria which in turn aid in vitamin and nutrient absorption. Moreover, a healthy and well-fed gut microbiota results in healthy skin and lustrous hair. Thus, it can be concluded that a healthy gut system results into a healthy integumentary system.
Prioritizing Gut Health for Healthy Hair
As mentioned earlier, hair loss has multiple etiological factors, with prominence revolving around malabsorption and gut inflammation. These two factors promote increased levels of inflammatory cytokines which trigger the immune system to attack hair follicles. This disruption also affects the normal hair growth cycle and its thickness. Therefore, addressing these two key features and in addition, the gut permeability issue is one step to ensuring arrested development of hair loss. Thus, in broad terms, hair loss begins and ends in the gut. Optimizing gut health with kefir probiotics helps develop the foundations tied to hair health. In addition to dietary changes, one should also observe their environment and avoid any stress triggers.
Probiotic Bacteria Induce a ‘Glow of Health’-
- US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health : Probiotic Bacteria Induce a ‘Glow of Health’ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3547054/
- Exploring the Connection Between Gut Health and Hair – https://practicaldermatology.com/articles/2019-sept-supplement/exploring-the-connection-between-gut-health-and-hair