This Morning: Liz Earle discusses supplements for hair loss
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Speaking to The Sun, GP Dr Sara Kayat explained that black tea can prevent the body absorbing iron due to tannins. This then increases the risk of iron deficiency, which can result in hair loss. The drink contains around 11 percent tannin, compared to the 4.6 percent found in coffee.
Tannins are a group of biomolecules also found in tree wood and bark, and plant leaves.
Dr Kayat recommended foods high in a certain vitamin to combat this.
“Conversely, foods high in vitamin C help with the absorption of iron,” she said.
She also said losing between 100 to 150 strands of hair a day is usual – but stress can increase this.
Dr Kayat added: “A healthy scalp is so important as follicles that are affected by infection, dandruff, oil and debris may affect the growth of hair.
“Signs that your scalp may not be healthy include itchiness, flakiness or dandruff, redness, oiliness and spots or bumps.
“Often simple changes to your usual hair care regime can be enough to remedy this but, if not, you should be reviewed by a doctor.”
Dr Kayat explained that losing around 100 to 150 strands of hair a day is normal but that some people can lose more due to stress.
Similarly, research has shown that drinking coffee can reduce iron absorption.
A trial conducted by the University of Kansas Medical Centre in the US in 1983, found that one cup of coffee with a hamburger meal reduced iron absorption by 39 percent.
With the same meal, drinking tea reduced iron absorption by 64 percent.
It revealed the stronger the cup of tea or coffee, the less iron was absorbed.
And a separate study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 1999 showed that drinking a cup of instant coffee with a bread meal reduced iron absorption by 60 to 90 percent.
According to the NHS, signs that you may be deficient in iron include:
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Shortness of breath
- Noticeable heartbeats (heart palpitations)
- Pale skin
If you are deficient in iron, leading to anaemia it can have serious consequences.
Untreated iron deficiency anaemia can:
- Make you more at risk of illness and infection – a lack of iron affects the immune system
- Increase your risk of developing complications that affect the heart or lungs – such as an abnormally fast heartbeat (tachycardia) or heart failure
- Can cause a greater risk of complications before and after birth if you are pregnant
Foods rich in iron include dark-green leafy vegetables, meat, beans, lentils, fortified cereals and dried fruit.
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