Measuring vitamin D levels in hair


This helps detect a low level of vitamin D in hair

The deficient supply of vitamin D is widespread in Germany. According to the Robert Koch Institute, more than every eighth person has such a low percentage in the body that the risk of diseases like osteomalacia (osteopathy) and osteoporosis is increased. About 40 percent of the population is sub-optimal. Determining a vitamin D deficiency is, however, laborious and requires multiple blood tests and laboratory tests. A research team has now found a way to determine the vitamin D content in hair.

Current methods of determining vitamin D levels in the body are not ideal. The blood test can only provide a snapshot of the vitamin level, which is subject to strong fluctuations during the seasons. Researchers at Trinity College in Dublin and St. James's Hospital have developed the world's first method for determining the body's vitamin D levels based on hair. Then the mirror can be tracked for several months. The results of the study were recently presented in the journal "nutrients".

According to a recent study, the analysis of a single hair, the course of vitamin D concentration in the last few months to years can be traced. (Image: deagreez /

Blood test with vitamin D is cumbersome and cumbersome

The research team reports that more than 1 billion people worldwide are affected by vitamin D deficiency. In addition to the increased risk of bone diseases such as rickets, a low concentration of vitamin D is also suspected as a factor risk for depression, heart disease, inflammation, diabetes and cancer. The common way of diagnosing a disability is currently a blood test. However, this requires numerous measurements and laboratory tests until a reliable statement can be made.

Revolution in diagnosis

All this effort can be replaced by the analysis of a single hair, the Irish research team showed in the current study. As hair can grow about one centimeter per month, a time period of the vitamin D content in the body can be determined, depending on the length of the hair. "Vitamin D stores continuously with increasing hair growth," says Professor Dr. med. Lina Zgaga, the lead author of the study. If the hair is long enough, the course can be tracked for several years.

Stronger evidence of secondary diseases

In addition to the improved diagnostic options, researchers see many other applications. Thus, in later studies it may be far better to determine whether a vitamin D deficiency is related to other diseases. In addition, the method is also useful for historical research, as hair is one of the longest biological materials surviving after death. Thus, the vitamin D status of historical populations can be determined.

More research on mass adequacy needed

However, before the test can be applied to a broad audience, more research is needed. "There are still several factors that can affect vitamin D levels in hair," explains the professor. These include, for example, factors such as hair color and hair thickness, but also other conditions such as the use of care products or dyes. (Vb)


Source link