It helps to detect low levels of vitamin D on the hair
Insufficient supply of vitamin D is common in Germany. According to the Robert Koch Institute, more than every eighth person in the body has such a small proportion that the risk of diseases such as osteomalacia (softening of the bones) and osteoporosis increases. About 40 percent of the population is not optimal. However, the determination of vitamin D deficiency is labor-intensive and requires several blood tests and laboratory tests. The research team has now found a way to determine the content of vitamin D in hair.
Current methods for determining vitamin D levels in the body are not optimal. Blood tests can only provide a vitamin snapshot that is subject to strong fluctuations during the season. Trinity College Dublin and St. James's Hospital researchers have now developed the world's first method of determining body vitamin D levels based on hair. So the mirror can be tracked for several months. The results of the study were recently published in the journal "Nutrients".
Vitamin D blood tests are laborious 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 disease in bone diseases such as radishes, low vitamin D levels as a risk factor for depression, heart disease, inflammation, diabetes and cancer are suspected. The common way to diagnose a deficiency is currently a blood test. However, it requires many measurements and laboratory tests until a reliable statement can be made.
Revolution in diagnosis
All these efforts can be replaced by a separate hair analysis that appeared in the study in the Irish study group. As hair can grow about one centimeter per month, it is possible to determine the vitamin D content in the body depending on the length of the hair. "Vitamin D is steadily precipitating, increasing hair growth," says Professor Dr. med. Lina Zgaga, research manager. If the hair is long enough, the course can be tracked for several years.
Harder evidence of secondary diseases
In addition to improved diagnostic capabilities, researchers see many other applications. Thus, in future studies it may be much better to determine whether vitamin D deficiency is related to other diseases. In addition, the method is also useful for historical research, because hair is one of the longest surviving biological materials after death. Thus, the status of vitamin D in the historic population can be determined.
Research on the suitability of the mass should be continued
However, further testing is required before the test can be applied to a wide audience. "There are still a number of factors that can affect vitamin D levels in your hair," the professor explains. These include factors such as hair color and hair thickness, as well as other conditions such as the use of care products or dyes. (Vb)