London: Researchers have found that vitamin D can now be measured by human hair, preparing the way for a better diagnosis of vitamin solar deficiency.
With over a billion people being estimated to be affected, vitamin D deficiency – a risk factor for depression, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, diabetes and cancer – has reached epidemic proportions worldwide.
Although traditional blood analysis holds the levels at one point, differently, hair, which grows about one centimeter per month, could reflect the status of vitamin D over several months, holding the large seasonal differences in levels.
"The study presents the idea that vitamin D is permanently deposited in the hair as it grows, more of it may be deposited at times when concentration said on vitamin D in the blood is high, and less when it is low, "says lead leader Lina Zgaga, Professor's Link at Trinity College College.
"So a test based on the hair sample could be able to measure the amount of vitamin D over doctors over time – if hair is long enough, this could be even a few years," added Zgaga.
The findings were published in the magazine Nutrients.
However, further research is needed to establish the exact relationship between concentrating on vitamin D in the blood and in hair over time.
It is also necessary to investigate different factors that may affect the levels of vitamin D in hair, the most prominent in hair and thickness, or use hair products such as hair flow, said Zgaga.
The discovery could also have other applications such as hair (as well as teeth) in some of the biological materials that continue to survive after a death and therefore it could be possible to assess the status of vitamin D of historic populations – The Elizabethan, Viking, Celts, Romans, Ancient Chinese, Egyptians, said the researchers.