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

Prospective Analytical Controlled Study Evaluating Serum Biotin, Vitamin B12, and Folic Acid in Patients with Premature Canities.

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Department of Dermatology and STD, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India.
Department of Neurochemistry, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, New Delhi, India.



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


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


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.


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.


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.


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

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