February 2022 | Eurobio


Hair loss 

Generally, human shed between 50-100 hairs a day. Hair shedding is part of the natural balance. New hair will grow to replace the hair fall. However when this balance is interrupted, more hairs are lost than hair growth, a condition known as alopecia (a medical term for baldness) will occur. Hair loss can happen on just your scalp or your entire body. Although hair loss is a fairly common occurrence and can happen to anybody, it is more common in men. It is also more prevalence in adults although teenagers or young children can experience it too. Hair loss may lead to depression, social anxiety and withdrawal symptoms. 

Symptoms of Hair Loss 

Hair loss can be temporary or permanent, and it appears in many different ways. Signs and symptoms of hair loss may include: 

  • Gradual thinning of hair on top of the head 
  • Circular or patchy bald spot that grows slowly 
  • Thinner ponytail 
  • Sudden loosening of hair 
  • Full body hair loss 

What Causes Hair Loss 

There are a number of factors that causes hair loss, such as: 

  • Family history of balding. Most baldness is cause by genetics. Both men and women can develop this kind of hair loss, and it is the most common cause of hair loss worldwide. Male pattern hair loss or women pattern hair loss occur due to the inherited genes that leads to a gradual shrinkage of scalp hair follicles. Hair grows progressively shorter and finer until no new hairs grow. This usually occurs gradually and in a predictable pattern. 
  • Age. With age, most people notice some hair loss because hair growth slows down. At some point when hair follicles stop growing hair, it will cause the hair on our scalp to thin. 
  • Certain medical condition. There is a variety of conditions that can cause temporary or permanent hair loss, such as hormonal changes due to pregnancy and childbirth, menopause or thyroid problems. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when our immune system attack the cells in our hair follicles, causing them to shrink and slow down hair production. 
  • Medications. Hair loss can also be side effects of certain medication. Patients undergoing chemotherapy often experience temporary hair loss, and it is reversible when treatment ends. 
  • Weight loss. Insufficient nutrients intake will lead to vitamin deficiencies that may prevent healthy hair growth. 

Role of Vitamin and Minerals in Hair Growth 

Micronutrients are major elements in the normal hair follicle cycle. Vitamins and minerals are important for normal cell growth and function and may contribute to hair loss when they are in deficiency. These deficiencies include: 

  • Zinc. Zinc deficiency will cause hair to break easily and in severe cases will cause hair loss. Studies showed that some patients with hair loss tend to have lower levels of Zinc. 
  • B Vitamins. Riboflavin (B12), Biotin (B7), Folate (B9) and Vitamin B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss. Generally, B Vitamins are involved in various metabolic reactions and help our body to obtain energy and nutrients from the food that we consume. Some studies showed that Biotin helps to stimulate keratin production in hair and cell turnover in the hair follicles, therefore promoting hair growth. 
  • Iron. Iron deficiency is also one of the causes of hair loss. Red blood cells need iron to carry oxygen throughout our body for normal cell growth and repair, including cells that stimulate hair growth. 
  • Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to protect against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Damages caused by free radicals can damage and affect the growth of hair, and may cause slow hair growth. Collagen production requires Vitamin C, which is an important part of hair structure. Vitamin C is also important for hair loss associated with iron deficiency as it helps with iron absorption.   
  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements might play a role in hair loss as studies has shown that patients with alopecia areata have low Vitamin D levels. Correction in Vitamin D levels showed an improvement in hair loss condition. 
  • Selenium. Although Selenium deficiency is rare, it is necessary for many processes including hair growth and thyroid hormone metabolism. 

Tips to Help with Hair Loss 

  • Be gentle with your hair. Use a detangler and avoid tugging when brushing and combing.  Avoid harsh treatment such as hot rollers that might cause damages to your hair. 
  • Speak to a doctor or hair specialist about medication that might cause hair loss. They may be able to also suggest hair loss treatment that is suitable for you. 
  • Protect your hair from sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light. 
  • Eat a balanced diet. Eating the right food might help to improve hair growth or even slow down the progression. Leafy green vegetables contain nutrients that are essential for healthy hair. 
  • If you are not able to get sufficient amount of vitamins & minerals from your daily meals to support your hair growth, consider taking some supplements to manage your vitamin and minerals deficiency. 

Do note that aside from diet, stress level and safety of hair products may also help to improve overall hair strength and appearance.  


  1. Almohanna, H. M., Ahmed, A. A., Tsatalis, J. P., &Tosti, A. (2019). The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatology and therapy, 9(1), 51–70. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13555-018-0278-6 
  2. WebMD. (n.d.). Does biotin really work for hair loss prevention? WebMD. Retrieved February 11, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/hair-loss/does-biotin-really-prevent-hair-loss  Person. (2021, August 17). The 5 best vitamins for hair growth. Healthline. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-vitamins-hair-growth  

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Many adults and children take one or more supplements which contain different amounts of vitamin, mineral as well as herbs and enzymes. Supplements can come in a variety type of forms, such as tablets, capsules, liquid, powder and even gummies. Supplements can help to improve overall health especially if the consumption of various foods is insufficient in providing us the nutrients that we need. Most commonly consumed supplements include Vitamin C, Multivitamins, Calcium and Fish oil supplements. 

What are fish oils? 

Fish oils come from fatty or oily fishes such as salmon, trout, tuna and sardines. Fish oils contain two omega-3 fatty acids namely docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Both EPA and DHA are needed for many functions, ranging from muscle activities to cell growth. As omega-3 fatty acids cannot be synthesized by our body, we need to get these healthy fats via dietary consumption or through omega-3 supplements.  

Benefits of fish oil and how much should I take 

Many people take omega-3 supplements as part of their heart-healthy diet. In fact,the American Heart Associated (AHA) recommends the consumption of 2 servings of fatty fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids twice a week. Research carried out on the use of fish oils in different health condition shows: 

  • Prevention of heart disease. Multiple randomized controlled trial have shown that fish oil plays a role in the secondary prevention of heart disease among patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), those with prevalent coronary heart disease (CHD) and those with diabetes and pre-diabetes. For the general healthy adult population, taking 500mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day can help to lower the risk of heart disease. AHA also recommends patient with documented coronary heart disease to consume omega-3 fatty acids approximately 1g per day of both EPA and DHA. 
  • Management of Hypertriglyceridemia. Omega-3 fatty acids have shown to reduce blood triglycerides level. A slight improvement in the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) can be seen as well. The recommended dosage for reducing triglycerides in patients with elevated triglycerides levels is at 2-4g per day.  
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids have shown that it can help in reducing pain and joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Studies recommended an intake of 2.7g per day to achieve anti-inflammatory effect on patients with RA. 
  • Management of high blood pressure. Taking omega-3 supplements slightly reduce the systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and the beneficial effect might be slightly greater in those with moderate to severe high blood pressure.  

What Supplements can be taken with Fish Oil 

Generally, fish oil can be taken with most supplements. These are a few supplements that may complement the benefit of fish oil when taken together: 

  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D is known to help regulate the amount of Calcium and Phosphate in our body. Vitamin D receptors are also found in most human cells and tissue. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with various cardiovascular risk factors. Taking Vitamin D supplements or a combination of Vitamin D and omega-3 supplements might play a synergistic role in cardiovascular health. 
  • Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant vitamin known to play many roles in protecting cells from the damaging effects of free radicals in different health conditions. Studies have shown that Vitamin E prevents low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation, which suggests that it might prevent plague formation in our blood vessels. This lowers our risk of coronary heart disease. 
  • Cod liver oil. Cod liver oil comes from the livers of cod, and it is a good source of fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A and Vitamin D. These vitamins are essential for the maintenance of good health. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids but the amount is lesser than those found in regular fish oils. .  
  • Multivitamins. Multivitamin supplements contain various vitamins and minerals that help to fill the nutritional gaps when we do not obtain these nutrients sufficiently from food. Besides basic vitamin and mineral needs, we need to include healthy fats in our diet as well. Not all multivitamins provide a source of healthy fats and this is where fish oil supplement comes in. Taking both multivitamin and fish oil together can complement our diet. 

Safety of Fish Oil 

Consuming fatty fishes is another way of sourcing omega-3 fatty acids besides taking fish oil supplements. While it is safe to consume fish in general, many are actually most concerned about the toxic chemicals especially mercury content in these species of fish. All fish naturally contains traces of mercury with larger species having higher concentration. Good quality fish oil capsule that are molecularly distilled can help to remove potential harmful levels of contaminants such as mercury, heavy metals, PCB’s, dioxins and other contaminants. 

When taken as recommended, fish oils are generally safe. Some mild side effects of taking fish oils may include: 

  • Heartburn 
  • Nausea 
  • Loose stools 
  • Fishy breath 

Just like any other supplements, we should take the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in moderation that is required by our body. The AHA recommends that taking up to 3g per day of fish oil supplements is considered safe. Taking high doses of fish oil supplements might increase the risk of bleeding. Always seek medical advice before taking any supplements for your health. 


  1. Fish oil supplements: do they have a role in the management of rheumatoid arthritis? (n.d.). NPS MedicineWise. Retrieved February 16, 2022, from https://www.nps.org.au/news/fish-oil-supplements-do-they-have-a-role-in-the-management-of-rheumatoid-arthritis#:%7E:text=If%20you%20have%20rheumatoid%20arthritis,include%20nausea%20and%20a%20rash 
  2. American Heart Association | To be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. (n.d.). Www.Heart.Org. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://www.heart.org/ 
  3. Saremi, Adonis; Arora, Rohit (2010). Vitamin E and Cardiovascular Disease. American Journal of Therapeutics, 17(3), e56–e65. doi:10.1097/MJT.0b013e31819cdc9a
    MediLexicon International. (n.d.). Cod Liver Oil: Health benefits, Facts and Research. Medical News Today. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270071#benefits  

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We often ignore our nervous system when it comes to health.  In true fact, our nervous system plays a very important role in ensuring a healthy state and can be a cause of many other health problems. 

The nervous system is like a complex, specialised network of access roads throughout our body, with information constantly travelling along nerve cells from our brain to our muscles. It consists of two main parts, called the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). 

Central Nervous System 

The CNS controls most of the body and mind. It consists of the brain and spinal cord. The brain is the center of our thoughts as it interprets information from our eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin, as well as information from internal organs. The spinal cord is a communication link between the body and the brain. If our spinal cord is injured, the exchange of information between the brain and the body will be disrupted. CNS controls all voluntary movement, such as walking and talking, and involuntary movement such as breathing and blinking. It is also important for our mental health as it is the core of our thoughts, perceptions and emotions. 

Peripheral Nervous System 

The PNS consists of all the nerves that branch out from the CNS and extend to the sensory organs, muscles and glands.  Basically, it connects CNS to the rest of the body. The primary function of the PNS is to convey the signals from the brain to the rest of the body and the external environment. PNS consists of somatic nervous system, which guides all voluntary movements, and autonomic nervous system which are responsible for all activities that you do without thinking about them.  

Unlike the CNS which is protected by the skull and the backbone, the nerves, and cells of the PNS are not enclosed by bones. This makes the PNS more susceptible to damage by trauma and injuries. 

Function of Nervous System 

The function of the nervous system is to send signals from one cell to or from one part of the body to another. It affects every aspect of our health, such as: 

  • Our everyday movement and activities, e.g. balance and coordination 
  • Our ability to think and reason.  Our nervous system allows us to have thoughts, memory, learning and feelings 
  • Our senses, how our brain interpret what we hear, see, smell, touch and feel 
  • Response to stressful situation, such as blood flow and blood pressure 
  • Control of our body internal environment, such as heartbeat and breathing pattern 
  • Sleep schedule, healing and aging 

Nerve Damages and Injuries 

Many disorders and condition will affect our nerves. Numbness and tingling sensation are usually the early signs indicating unhealthy nerve. Some may even experience weakness or a reduced ability to move part or all of one side of the body.  Some other indications are tremors, tics, or other unusual movements, such as losing coordination while walking or mouth smacking. Some of the most common causes of nerve injuries include: 

  • Diseases. Many diseases and infections can cause problems to our nerve cells, such as diabetes. Diabetes can lead to diabetic neuropathy, causing numbness and tingling sensation on the hands and feet. 
  • Stroke. Stroke happens when the blood flow to the brain is affected either by a blocked or ruptured blood vessel. Without enough blood supply, part of the brain dies and therefore it has trouble sending messages via nerve cells. 
  • Accidents or injuries.  Car crashes and falls are common injuries affecting the nerves. 
  • Exposure to toxins. Chemotherapy medicines, illegal drugs, excessive alcohol and poisonous substances can cause peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage. 
  • Mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. 

How to keep our Nervous System Healthy 

There are things that we can do to keep our nervous system healthy and this is how: 

  • Feed your nerves. Giving the nerves with the supplies they need to transmit messages, such as B Vitamins. Vitamin B1, B6 and B12 (Methycobalamin) help the nerves to send signals from brain to the body. Red meat, animal liver, sardines and dark green vegetables are a few examples that contain rich sources of Vitamin B. 
  • Protect your nerves. Our nerves are surrounded by a protective layer called the myelin sheath. Methylcobalamin helps in the production of myelin and helps to restore injured nerves. 
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Consume foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish. Healthy fats help to protect our nerve cells. 
  • Exercise regularly. Stretching before and after exercise increase your flexibility and prevent cramps and injuries. Exercise will also help with blood circulation and improve the blood flow throughout our body. 
  • Adapt a good posture. Maintaining a good posture in daily activities will reduce pressure on our nerves, and in turn reduce the risk of nerve injuries. 
  • Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol. Too much alcohol will damage the peripheral nerves and affect the level of vitamins needed for a healthy nervous system, such as Vitamin B6 and B12. Vitamin supplements such as Vitamin B12 supplements can help to treat Vitamin B12 deficiency resulting from excessive alcohol use.  
  • Seek medical advice. Seek medical advice if you notice yourself or the people around us experiencing problems with coordination, loss of speech or a sudden change in behavior or memory. These indicate our nerves might not be working properly. Seek advice to reduce the risk of further nerve injuries. 

Our nervous system is the command centre of our entire body. It needs care to keep working correctly.  Therefore, it is crucial to keep our nervous system healthy as it will affect our ability to function and work properly. 


  1. MediLexicon International. (n.d.). Supplements and vitamins for neuropathy: 8 options. Medical News Today. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326917
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Alcoholic neuropathy: Medlineplus medical encyclopedia. MedlinePlus. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000714.htm

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