Does vitamin B12 influence the appearance of gray hair?


The b12 vitamin it’s a micronutrient essential for Health of people. Although, it is a vitamin that we can find mainly in food of animal origin, like different types of meat or fish.

Thus, some specialists speak of vitamin B12 as a vitamin with influence on the appearance of premature graying of hair. And this would be related to episodes of stress.

How many times have you spoken, heard someone speak or have you seen people who have grayed out in a very short period of time due to being subjected to significant personal emotional pressure. However, what does science say about it?

Many people speak of Marie Antoinette syndrome to refer to sudden gray hair due to stress. Legend has it that Queen Marie Antoinette’s hair turned completely white while she was in prison before she was executed.

In this sense, Dr. José Sánchez del Río, Medical Director of the Sánchez del Río Clinic, offers an answer in the magazine ‘Hello!’ on stress, gray hair, and vitamin B12 binding.

Stress, gray hair and vitamin B12

It is proven that situations of emotional pressure or stress cause the appearance of gray hair in just a few days. This specialist ensures that in a very few days a large number of gray hair can appear in an acute situation of stress.

white hair
white hair

In addition, experts also link the appearance of gray hair with autoimmune diseases such as hyperthyroidism, genetic basis or premature aging.

Generally, there is a very powerful genetic component that drives the appearance of gray hair. Gray hair usually appears as we age, although there are some people who begin to develop this fact during adolescence or youth.

In a more scientific way, experts also point out that oxidative stress is a risk factor for the appearance of gray hair. That is, if there is damage to the cells responsible for the production of melanin (melanocytes), the appearance of gray hair is caused.

Thus, the lack of vitamin B12 or thyroid alterations can also contribute to the decrease in melanin synthesis in the hair follicle and favor the early appearance of gray hair. Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency could be a risk factor for gray hair.

On the other hand, the mentioned oxidative stress can also be generated by emotional stress, alcohol consumption, pollution, ultraviolet radiation, unhealthy diet, sedentary life or tobacco consumption.

Vitamin B12 levels

As we pointed out at the beginning of this publication, vitamin B12 can be very important for people’s health. And is that the deficit of this vitamin can cause the development of megaloblastic anemia. Now we can also confirm that it can cause the appearance of gray hair prematurely.

Thus, the best way to have adequate levels is to eat a diet rich in products with vitamin B12. The National Institute of Health of the United States establishes a table on the sufficient values ​​of this vitamin according to age and sex:

Stage of life Recommended amount
Babies up to 6 months of age 0.4 mcg
Babies 7 to 12 months of age 0.5 mcg
Children 1 to 3 years of age 0.9 mcg
Children 4-8 years old 1.2 mcg
Children 9 to 13 years old 1.8 mcg
Adolescents 14 to 18 years of age 2.4 mcg
Adults 2.4 mcg
Pregnant women and adolescents 2.6 mcg
Breastfeeding women and adolescents 2.8 mcg

In cases of extreme vitamin B12 deficiency, it is appropriate to consume vitamin supplements that include this micronutrient. Of course, always under the supervision of a specialist.

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