There is no doubt that vitamins are an essential part of a human body and if that same very body is nurturing another one simultaneously, then there should be no compromise made regarding not to have these vitamins in your daily dietary intake.
Most of us have often encountered pregnant females carrying beautiful hair,skin and nails during and after their pregnancy. This makes us think as what would have happened all of a sudden? The answer is prenatal vitamins that they consume throughout their pregnancy period, although it is quite a debatable topic on either it has any beneficial effects on hair or not. Many researches are still going on to prove it, yet it’s effects cannot be ignored completely.
Here in this article we will try to shed more light on prenatal vitamins and its overall effects and try to debunk many myths, if there are any.
What actually are prenatal vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins are specially formulated supplements for pregnant women to meet their nutrition needs. It is important to note that these prenatal vitamins are of great importance for pregnant women as they are enriched in folic acid, omega-3, zinc, iron, calcium and other essential elements and minerals which are not just important for pregnant women but also for a normal individuals. They are also available in different kinds of foods, specially vegetables.
What are these vitamins for?
These prenatal vitamins not only are essential for the pregnant woman herself but these vitamins are equally important for the baby too as it aids in the proper development of many systems in the developing foetus, e.g, nervous system.
Deficiency of these vitamins can cause certain anatomical and physiological defects in the baby. There are cases reported with strong evidences regarding brain and spinal cord defects in babies who were deficient in certain vitamins and such defects are known as Neural tube defects.
Are prenatal vitamins the reason behind good hair?
Hair, as other parts of your body, require a well balanced nutrition to grow and glow. If these vitamins are deficient in your body, you will definitely see visible decline in their quality and quantity both.
During pregnancy as one is taking prenatal vitamins for maintaining an overall healthy diet along with food, it may be possible that these vitamins are indirectly acting as a source to replenish the depleted amounts of nutrients and vitamins that were needed for hair growth.
By effectively providing the body with many types of minerals and vitamins, including zinc and biotin, these prenatal vitamins prove to be an excellent source of the basic building blocks of hair. Hence, it can be said that these vitamins can play a very important role in those lustrous, big and beautiful hair.
The key vitamins and minerals involved in the process
There are variety of vitamins which acts as a building blocks for cells and their proper development. Few of the prominent ones which are considered as essential vitamins and can also be an important factor which can relate to the growth and strength of hair. Few of them are mentioned as below:
This is one of the most important vitamin in human body. Vitamin A is required for the proper functioning of eyes, maintenance of a healthy skin and also for the sebum which is produced by the sebaceous glands to keep hair shafts and scalp moisturized.
Vitamin C also known as Ascorbic acid is popularly used as an antioxidant. Vitamin C is required in ample amounts during pregnancy to avoid skin, gums and nails related diseases. Vitamin C is involved in active absorption of Iron in body which is required by a female during gestation.
This vitamin is linked to development of bones and their strength. Studies although have proved that those people who tend to have hair related issues usually are deficient in Vitamin D2 serum levels.
Another very important vitamin which is associated with healthy hair is vitamin E. It also has similar antioxidant properties like those of vitamin C. Studies have shown that vitamin E improves skin and hair quality and helps to lock its moisture which overall improves the health of these structures. Hence for a pregnant female it is a very important vitamin which is supplemented in prenatal vitamins.
Most of the women during pregnancy tend to have an overall increase in their blood volume as the put on more body weight. This requires extra iron for the proper development of hemoglobin which is an important element of red blood cells. Women who are iron deficient have pale skin, brittle nails and weak hair. Prenatal vitamins are rich in iron levels to fulfil the need of extra iron needed by a pregnant woman.
Another important element which is found in prenatal vitamins is Calcium. It is highly considered to keep both maternal and fetal bones healthy and strong. It also is a crucial mineral which helps in development of strong hair.
Zinc deficient people often tend to have hair loss issues. Zinc is also a very important mineral which is used as a supplement during pregnancy. Researches have shown that zinc levels can effect hair growth.
Biotin is another very important vitamin involved in maintaining hair quality and is a key vitamin which is found in prenatal vitamins. It is a B vitamin and is involved in formation of a special protein known as Keratin, which has a concrete role in making hair, nails and skin.
How can pregnancy effect the quality of hair?
Pregnancy is an event of great importance as it is a phase of development and changes in both mother and the baby as well. To properly facilitate this exponential growth process the role of hormones cannot be ignored.
Estrogen is a hormone which is the driving force behind the ‘baby glow’. Estrogen levels are increased during pregnancy which gives hair it’s shine, strength and thickness. However, when the pregnancy ends the levels of estrogen drops rapidly which often is physically evident in the form of hair loss, dull skin and other changes, these changes are collectively called postpartum changes.
Hence, the game of hormones can alter the quality of hair in pregnant women.
Benefits of these prenatal vitamins on hair
Prenatal vitamins are rich in essential vitamins and minerals which are responsible for healthy hair. These vitamins contains the basic elements which are necessary for hair growth and strength as the provide with proper nourishment which are required during formative stages of hair.
Possible side effects of taking pre-natal vitamins.
Excess of everything is bad. Vitamins are often labeled and viewed as essential elements and minerals which are beneficial for normal functioning of human body. However, they are but only favourable if taken in prescribed amounts which are usually allowed by a healthcare professional under prescription.
Prenatal vitamins are generally risk free for pregnant women. It is always advised to take medications and supplements in there prescribed dosage which will have a favourable impact on the health of both mother and baby.
Foods that can remove the need of vitamins for better hair
A healthy balanced diet can more or less completely eliminate the need of taking prenatal vitamins or other kinds of supplements. Studies have shown proven effects of foods and their role in good hair.
A diet which contains fruits, vegetables, proteins and fibre can effectively provide the body with all kinds of vitamins and minerals it requires for proper functioning.
Foods that are known for having high mineral and vitamin contents are as following:
- Citrus Fruits: These fruits are rich in Vitamin C which has proven antioxidant properties, helping hair with its growth and strength.
- Eggs: High levels of proteins and biotin helps with the development of hair.
- Green leafy vegetables: They are rich in vitamin A and C.
- Lentils: They contain zinc and Proteins which help in growth of hair.
- Dry fruits: They are a very good source of essential vitamins and minerals required for good hair.
- Meat: Exceptional source of protein.
- Whole grains: High levels of vitamin b and fibre are found in them.
Overall, prenatal vitamins are specially manufactured to meet the needs of the deficient minerals and vitamins in pregnant women and provide with the nutrients which are needed throughout the pregnancy. These vitamins are essential for normal functioning of both mother and the baby. They are available in supplement form and also can be found in foods.
Hair growth and quality is indirectly an outcome which is achieved by the use of these prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. Vitamin A, C, D, Zinc, Iron, Biotin and other kinds of vitamin and minerals which are responsible for healthy hair are sufficiently present in the vitamins, effects of which are seen during pregnancy in the form of shiny, thick and beautiful hair.
Hormonal changes are also a very important force behind healthy hair, specially estrogen has proven effects on hair growth.
It is always advised to take these prenatal vitamins and supplements under proper prescription by a healthcare professional as their dose can both have positive and negative effects.