Sponsored Blog: Is Gray Hair Unhealthy?

Deva O’Donnell, PR and Marketing Coordinator at Richard’s Foodporium, on the science of going gray.

By Deva O'Donnell May 1, 2014

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First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.  Over the last 10 years, I’ve watched my Facebook feed trend on love, marriage proposals, weddings and then babies.  But most recently, I’ve been listening to those same friends talk about how they’re finding gray hairs.  I read somewhere that by the time we hit 50 years old, 50 percent of those people will have at least half a head of gray hair.

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Personally, I think turning gray is a beautiful thing.  It’s natural, it shows wisdom and elegance, and it can even be sexy.  Case in point: Are George Clooney and Richard Gere not a couple of the most handsome salt-and-peppered gentlemen out there?  As for women, Jamie Lee Curtis rocks her gray locks exceptionally well.  And in the last five or so years, we’ve even seen young celebs, like Kelly Osbourne and Nicole Richie, embrace a gray hairdo on the red carpet.

One day a friend was having a mini-panic attack about finding a couple gray hairs and mentioned she had heard that the vitamin B-12 could delay the untimely increase of those pesky strands.  I was aware that B-12 is beneficial for hair, skin and nails, but wasn’t 100 percent clear about its relationship to gray hair.

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Come to find out, my friend was right.  This particular B vitamin is known to encourage the re-pigmentation of the hair and also maintain its original color.  Meaning it might not be just the stress that we’re all under that’s causing gray hair growth.

The daily requirement of vitamin B-12 for a person can vary from one to the next.  However, strict vegetarians, heavy drinkers, smokers, elderly people and pregnant ladies may require higher doses than others.  This friend, for example, just had her first child in late October.

The fact that B-12 is mostly found in animal meat and non-vegetarian foods means that vegetarians need to be especially cognizant of their vitamin intake.  Foods that are a good source of B-12 include liver, meat, eggs, shellfish, cheese and other dairy products, muscle meat, and fish.  If you are lactose intolerant or do not eat meat, ask your doctor about B-12 supplements to compensate for any deficiencies.

B-12 is also good for many other things, not just hair, skin and nails. 

It helps in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, protects against brain damage, improves mood and mental imbalances, helps or aids in controlling cholesterol, relieves fatigue and aids in treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Personally, I have a dropper of B-12 sitting next to my juicer, ready to mix in a shot with my concoctions of fruits and greens if I’m feeling particularly lethargic or in a funky mood.  It gives me the boost I need for the day.  And mixed with all the nutrients I’m already getting from the juice, I like to call it Mother Nature’s energy drink!

B-12 may not be the cure-all for getting rid of grays, or prevent gray hair completely.  There are certainly other factors that can contribute to its cause, including stress or even genetics.   However,  B-12 is certainly a good addition to your intake of supplements. Maybe not daily, but every now and then wouldn’t hurt.  And as always, ask your doctor before adding it to your grocery list. You might find out that you’re perfectly healthy already and don’t need the added dose.  Whatever you decide, remember to enjoy being you—gray hair and all!


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