Prospective Analytical Controlled Study Evaluating Serum Biotin, Vitamin B 12, and Folic Acid in Patients with Premature Canities

Int J Trichology. Jan-Mar 2017;9(1):19-24. doi: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_79_16.


Background: Premature canities is a common yet unfathomed disorder. The evidence for the role of micronutrient deficiency in premature canities is not well established.

Aim: The present study was undertaken to evaluate the micronutrient levels in Indian patients with premature canities as compared to controls.

Materials and methods: We conducted a case-control study in 52 self-reporting patients with premature canities (<20 years age). Micronutrient levels including serum Vitamin B12, biotin, and folic acid were assessed and compared among the patients and controls.

Results: We observed that mean serum Vitamin B12 (198.07 ± 88.98 pg/ml in cases vs. 343.07 ± 143.06 pg/ml in controls, P = 0.000), folic acid (6.22 ± 2.46 ng/ml in cases vs. 8.49 ± 4.18 ng/ml in controls, P = 0.01), and biotin (252.71 ± 18.79 pg/ml in cases vs. 266.47 ± 30.44 pg/ml in controls, P = 0.013) levels were significantly lower in cases as compared to the controls.

Conclusion: In view of the dark hair and many prevailing myths, premature canities is a significant problem in Asians with profound psychosocial impact. This study unveils the association with Vitamin B12, folic acid, and biotin deficiencies. Larger studies are recommended to arrive on a logical conclusion.

Keywords: Biotin; India; Vitamin B12; graying of hair; micronutrient deficiency; premature canities.