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Grey Hair: Any Hope To Avoid?
Environment and Diet
First let’s talk about the role diet plays in the loss of hair color. Vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked to early greying of hair. Luckily, this problem is quite easy to rectify by simply adding more eggs, meat, or fish to your diet. Taking B12 supplements is also an easy fix.
A poor diet can also contribute to Oxidative Stress. This phenomenon occurs when there are insufficient antioxidants in your body to combat the effects of harmful free radicals on your body’s cells. Oxidative stress contributes to the aging process, including the greying of hair. Eating more foods rich in antioxidants like fruits and green vegetables can help counteract this process.
In addition to diet, there are also behavior choices that can contribute to earlier greying. Smoking, for instance, is a lifestyle choice for many. A study in India revealed a “significant association between tobacco use and aging on graying of hair.”
Everyone has heard the old story about how stress and aggravation can caused someone’s hair to turn grey. Most US presidents have a full head of grey hair by the time they leave office (have you seen Obama lately?). But is there any actual scientific truth to it?
When thinking about this, it’s useful to ask, “What is stress, really?” Stress is basically activation of the “fight or flight” response — a primitive, instinctive reaction to things in the environment your brain perceives as dangerous. Even if what you’re dealing with, like an aggravating meeting at work, isn’t actually dangerous per se, it can still be enough to trigger this response and cause you to experience stress.
A study published in the online scientific journal Nature detailed how chronic stress damages DNA and promotes aging, including the development of grey hairs. Going grey however, could be the least of your concerns when it comes to stress, since the study revealed it also contributes the development of cancer, miscarriages in women, and neuropsychiatric conditions.
Do everything you can to reduce stress in your life — your health depends on it.
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