Hair, Skin, and Nails: How Iron Affects Them

Iron for your hair, skin, and nails

There’s a very important relationship between iron and your hair, your nails, and your skin. Now, the very interesting thing about this trace mineral is that we have no internal mechanism to regulate the elimination of iron. So just as a deficiency of iron could be very, very devastating. An excess of iron could be very, very devastating, but our body does have certain mechanisms, depriving microbes of pathogens, because almost all pathogens need iron to survive. And so there’s this huge competition of iron between our pathogens, our own cells, but that’s going to be for a separate post today. We’re going to talk about the effects of iron on our hair, nails, and skin.

Iron deficiency

And so many people are deficient in iron. I would say worldwide. It’s about a billion people yet. When you’re diagnosed with an iron deficiency, you’re told to take elemental iron elemental. Iron is not the best form of iron for absorption. And so many times when you take it, you’re waiting for these symptoms to clear up, but it never does. And then you ask your doctor, well, what’s the root cause? Why am I iron deficient? And they might say, well, you’re just anemic. All right, then why do I have anemia in the first place? So I’m going to cover that, but let’s first talk about how iron affects your hair, nails, and skin.

How does iron affect your hair, skin, and nails?

All right. As far as the skin goes, when you’re deficient in iron, it has huge consequences. Number one, it creates a type of skin called sallow skin, which is a pale, slightly yellowish, kind of dull complexion. You’re basically going to lose that bright complexion. And now you’ll have this uneven skin tone that, you’ll see little blemishes. You’ll see sometimes a little red dots, but overall, a lack of iron really affects the overall complexion of your face.

Now, as far as your nails go, you may find that your nails are brittle. And if you’re chronically deficient in Ireland, you’re going to get that little spooning of the nail. It’s going to look a little bit like the nail is scooped out. So brittle nails and a spoon shape now. All right. What about the hair? Well, the hair is going to lose its texture. It’s going to become brittle kind of tough. And you’ll see patterns, and hair loss.

Now in men, that is loss of hair on the top of the head in females, pattern, hair loss is basically thinning of the hair all over. And so a lack of iron is one big cause of that. And females are more deficient in iron than men because they have their menstrual periods every month and they lose a lot of blood. And because iron is part of hemoglobin and hemoglobin is part of blood. When you lose blood, you lose iron, iron is needed for oxygen. And so if you’re not able to have enough oxygen to your hair, your nails, or your skin, all sorts of things can happen. So how do you become deficient in iron?

What causes an iron deficiency?

One is you’re not taking enough iron in the diet. Now the problem with iron and diet is that there are two forms of iron. You have the Myron and non-heme iron. And this relates to the efficiency of how iron is absorbed in your body. When you consume iron from things like spinach or beans, the absorption is much, much less like spinach has an absorption rate of like 1.5 beans are like 2.2, but then when we get to like beef liver, the absorption is like 15. Then when we get to red meat, we’re talking about an absorption rate of 21.

So if we compare the non-heme source roughly at a two and a heme source with red meat at a 21, you can see there’s a vast difference. So consuming animal meat is going to give you a lot more iron. And I highly recommend you get your iron from food versus a supplement because the elemental iron that they give you in supplements is just, it’s just, it’s crap. It’s low quality. It’s not the type of iron that nature is providing you. Now, if you absolutely cannot, eat red meat for some reason, then I would recommend getting it from maybe a supplement. That’s a dehydrated, beef liver, or even a spleen extract from an animal. All right.

The next thing I want to talk about is your stomach. If your stomach does not have enough pyloric acid, okay, this is very common. You’re not going to absorb iron because the acid in the stomach makes the iron sizeable to be absorbed. So if someone doesn’t have enough acid or they’re taking acids because they have heartburn or whatever, or GERD, that could be the reason why they’re not absorbing iron. And the interesting thing about not having enough hydrochloric acid to absorb iron is you’re probably not going to have enough hydrochloric acid to digest red meat either. And I will get to a solution for that, but you just need to know that a lack of stomach acid can create a media. Now, another common cause is that your colon or your small intestine is inflamed.

Any type of inflammatory, the gut issue will block the absorption of iron as an IBS, crones, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, et cetera, et cetera. So inflammation can definitely be a problem. And so the number one causes of inflammation in the gut is there certain foods that you’re eating, number one, grains, omega-six fatty acids in grains, or like things like soy oil or corn oil or canola oil or cotton seed oil, which is in pretty much all the foods.

Especially if you go out to dinner and you eat something fried, you’re going to have a lot of omega-six fatty acids, and that’s going to create inflammation in your gut. And some people are sensitive to nuts and seeds and even chocolate, and sometimes even coffee beans, and those things can create inflammation as well. So if a person is eating a lot of peanut butter, for example, and they feel a lot of, bloating or stomach pain, that could be an indication that you have inflammation in your gut. All right.

The other thing that can block iron is something called phytic acid, which is ingrained in Sabine’s lagoons. So if you consume a lot of surrealism, for example, that could be the reason why you’re not absorbing iron because of all this fighting acid. If you germinate nuts, like let’s say you soak them overnight and then you dehydrate them, that will get rid of a lot of the phytic acid. Or if you sprout the C you get rid of the fatty acid also, too much brand. The fiber in grains can block iron as well as too much copper.

If you’re taking a lot of copper, that can block, iron. And also if you have a lead in your body that can block iron, all right, and the next one is blood loss. So menstruation is a common cause of blood loss. if you have an ulcer, that could be a cause, or if there’s any other type of bleeding inside your gut, that could be a cause of loss of iron.

Like let’s say you had cancer, for example, in your colon, you’re bleeding. And you’re wondering why your stool is a dark red. Well, that could be the reason if you had gastric bypass. Okay. That could be the reason why you’re not absorbing iron. And the last reason is alcohol. Okay. If you drink alcohol on a regular basis, that could be the reason why you are deficient in iron.