Hashimoto’s, Thyroid and Zinc

A hairy connection

Zinc deficiency

Besides thyroid condition, there are some other causes of zinc deficiency, such as malnutrition, problems with food absorption, chronic conditions (such as IBS or chronic kidney conditions), alcoholism, use of certain medications or it may be inherited (3).

Zinc and thyroid

Zinc is connected to thyroid function in more than one way: if low, TSH will not be made and this will result in low levels of thyroid hormones T4 and T3 (9).

Zinc and hair loss

Zinc maintains health of hair follicles (11), and low zinc levels are connected to hair loss (12- 14).

Alopecia and Hashimoto’s

People with no hair — related conditions have between 80,000 and 120,000 hairs on their head, growing at a rate of about 1cm/0.4in per month (27). This hair growth occurs in a three-phase cycle:



  1. Ogawa Y, et al. Zinc and skin biology, 2016
  2. Safai-Kutti S. Oral zinc supplementation in anorexia nervosa, 1990
  3. Prasad AS. Clinical, endocrinologic, and biochemical effects of zinc deficiency, 1985
  4. Prasad AS. Impact of the discovery of human zinc deficiency on health, 2009
  5. Robertson RP, et al. A role for zinc in pancreatic islet β-cell cross-talk with the α-cell during hypoglycaemia, 2011
  6. Hunt JR. Bioavailability of iron, zinc, and other trace minerals from vegetarian diets. 2003
  7. Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc, 2001
  8. Baltaci AK, et al. Opposite effects of zinc and melatonin on thyroid hormones in rats, 2004
  9. Ertek S, et al. Relationship between serum zinc levels, thyroid hormones and thyroid volume following successful iodine supplementation, 2010
  10. Plonka PM, et al. Zinc as an ambivalent but potent modulator of murine hair growth in vivo-preliminary observations, 2005
  11. Arnaud J, et al. Zinc status in patients with telogen defluvium, 1995
  12. Rushton DH. Nutritional factors and hair loss, 2002
  13. Kil MS, et al. Analysis of Serum Zinc and Copper Concentrations in Hair Loss, 2013
  14. Spivak JL, et al. Pellagra: an analysis of 18 patients and a review of the literature 1977
  15. Amor KT, et al. Does D matter? The role of vitamin D in hair disorders and hair follicle cycling, 2010
  16. Li YC, et al. Targeted ablation of the vitamin D receptor: an animal model of vitamin D-dependent rickets type II with alopecia, 1997
  17. Suo L, et al. Dietary vitamin A regulates wingless-related MMTV integration site signaling to alter the hair cycle, 2015
  18. Everts HB. Endogenous retinoids in the hair follicle and sebaceous gland, 2012
  19. Finner AM. Nutrition and hair: deficiencies and supplements, 2013
  20. Rushton DH. Nutritional factors and hair loss, 2002
  21. Wolf B. Biotinidase Deficiency,1993
  22. Fujimoto W, et al. Biotin deficiency in an infant fed with amino acid formula, 2005
  23. Ohyama M, et al. Characterization and isolation of stem cell-enriched human hair follicle bulge cells, 2006
  24. St Pierre SA, et al. Iron deficiency and diffuse nonscarring scalp alopecia in women: more pieces to the puzzle, 2010
  25. Du X, et al. The serine protease TMPRSS6 is required to sense iron deficiency, 2008
  26. Paus R, et al. The biology of hair follicles, 1999
  27. Courtois M, et al. Periodicity in the growth and shedding of hair, 1996
  28. Betz RC, et al. Genome-wide meta-analysis in alopecia areata resolves HLA associations and reveals two new susceptibility loci, 2015
  29. Peter C, et al. Therapie der Alopecia areata mit Zinksulfat — eine placebokontrollierte Studie an 307 Patienten, 1996
  30. Freyschmidt-Paul P, et al. Alopecia areata Klinik, Pathogenese und rationale Therapie einer T-Zell-vermittelten Autoimmunerkrankung, 2003
  31. Tosti A, et al. Efficacy and safety of a new clobetasol propionate 0.05% foam in alopecia areata: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial, 2006
  32. Messenger AG, et al. British Association of Dermatologists’ guidelines for the management of alopecia areata, 2012
  33. Wolff H. The Diagnosis and Treatment of Hair and Scalp Diseases, 2016

Boosted — by BOOST Thyroid App

Companion health app for people diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and an underactive thyroid.

Dr. Vedrana Högqvist Tabor

Written by

CEO @Boost_HealthApp|| TEDx speaker || Cancer hunter || Hashimoto’s patient|| Parentpreneur || Learning from own mistakes since 1977

Boosted — by BOOST Thyroid App

Companion health app for people diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and an underactive thyroid.