Redheads and vitamin d

The biggest cause of yellow teeth is lack of contrast: Huh? What’s that? If you are a Caucasian with pale, pink skin (the perfect example is a redhead), your teeth will look yellow because there is no contrast. If you are African American with the same color teeth, your teeth will look much whiter.

And look critically at ‘People’ Magazine – besides the old Photoshop tricks (you don’t really believe that Valerie Bertinelli looks that perfect at age 48, do you?) – you’ll see that the blondes and redheads are made-up with blue eye shadow and dark, red lips. And, many of these stars have had dental work to beat the band – porcelain veneers are the rule.

So, as a ‘commoner’, what do you do to whiten your teeth? To begin, you should walk through your smile with a dentist and define what you are looking for… are you looking for movie star? Are you looking for age 25 (even though you are 45)? Are you looking for (“your age here” – 10 years)? Each step comes with a price tag and a believability factor (ie. Joan Rivers face is unbelievable)

First, if you are under forty, simply try some Crest ‘White Strips’. Don’t get the store brand, please. The manufacturing quality is not as tight. It will probably take two boxes.

As you get older, the issue gets more complex. Some of the darkness you perceive may be due to: crooked teeth, cracks, old fillings, uneven wear and bad habits. Smoking, medications, tea, citrus beverages and red wine are particular culprits (citrus and red wine are acidic and damage the surface of the enamel). The new whitening mouthwashes (I prefer Crest Whitening Mouthrinse) have actually worked rather well – but you need to follow the directions precisely and expect to use them for two months.

Of course, there is bleaching in a dental office, and I’ll be honest, the results are very variable. It can take some patients 2 or even 3 times as long to get to white . And there is a limit to how white the teeth will get. Beyond that, you would need veneers or crowns.

You’ll see a lot of ads for ‘Zoom!’One-hour whitening. It works over the short term but is known for a high incidence of sensitivity. This system gets initial results by dehydrating (drying out) the teeth, making then appear whiter. You then have to follow up with trays at home. And by the way, the light is merely a gimmick.

Popping up are ‘whitening kiosks’, oftentimes associated with salons. They use the same stuff that you can buy in the drugstore and are not licensed. I would be skeptical!

Drugstore whitening products (Natural White, etc) do work, but most of the solution gets swallowed because of the loose fitting tray. The three-step systems use a mild acid rinse to first roughen the teeth, then bleach, then a paste with titanium dioxide (a white pigment). Your results will vary with these. I don’t like them.

In my office we fabricate well-fitting trays to keep the bleach material in close contact with the teeth for several hours. I use the KÖR technique and products which provides me with bleaching gels that have been stored and delivered while under refrigeration. Also, desensitizing medications are a part of the treatment. This approach takes two weeks treatment time (wear the trays while you sleep) and sometimes more.

I like the slower approach; there is usually less sensitivity of the teeth (sensitivity can still be an issue for some). I can monitor your progress and if necessary, change the material or the regimen. And, in a dental office, other cosmetic issues can be addressed at the same time. As I said before, it’s usually not the yellow that is the total problem.

It would be a pleasure to talk with you about whitening and your smile.



(Image credit: PixAchi, )

About 1 to 2 percent of the human population has red hair.

Redheads have genes to thank for their tresses. Research shows red hair usually results from a mutation in a gene called MC1R, which codes for the melanocortin-1 receptor. The pigment found in redhair that makes it red is called pheomelanin.

But redheads as a group have more in common than only their hair color — certain health conditions appear to be more common among people with red hair.

Here are five health risks linked with being a redhead.

More sensitive to pain

(Image credit: Dentist photo via )

Redheads appear to be more sensitive to pain, and less sensitive to the kinds of local anesthesia used as the dentists, research recent suggests.

A 2004 study found that redheads required significantly more anesthetic in order to block pain from an unpleasant electric stimulation.

Another study found that redheads are more sensitive to sensations of cold and hot, and that the dental anesthetic lidocaine is less effective for redheads.

The MC!R gene that can cause red hair codes for a receptor that is related to a family of receptors involved in perceiving pain, which may explain why mutations in MC1R would increase pain perception.

Because of their increased pain sensitivity and reduced tolerance to anesthesia, redheads may avoid the dentist. A 2009 study found that redheads were more anxious about dental visits, had more fear that they would experience pain during a visit, and were more than twice as likely to avoid dental care than those without the MC1R gene.

Increased Parkinson’s risk

A 2009 study of more than 130,000 people who were followed for 16 years found that those with lighter hair colors were at increased risk for Parkinson’s disease compared to those with black hair.

Redheads had the highest risk — they were nearly twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s, compared to people with black hair.

Skin cancer risk

(Image credit: Tanning photo via )

Redheads often have fair skin, a trait known to increase skin cancer risk. In addition, the particular genetic mutation that leads to red hair may further boost the risk of skin cancer, recent research suggests.

A new study finds thatmutations in the MC1R gene — which cause red hair, fair skin and poor tanning ability — also set up skin cells for an increased risk of cancer upon exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

The mutation prevents MC1R from properly binding to a gene called PTEN, which helps protect against cellular changes that promote cancer. As a result, after exposure to UV rays, PTEN is destroyed at a higher rate, and growth of pigment producing cells (called melanocytes) is accelerated as it is in cancer, the researchers said.

Because the study was conducted on mice and cells in a lab dish, more research is needed to see if the same mechanism occurs in people.

Endometriosis risk

(Image credit: NotarYES | )

Some women with red hair may be at increased risk for endometriosis, a condition in which tissue from the uterus grows outside the uterus, often resulting in pain.

A 2006 study of more than 90,000 women ages 25 to 42 found that those who had red hair and were fertile were 30 percent more likely to develop endometriosis compared to women with any other hair color.

However, redheads who were infertile had a reduce risk of endometriosis compared to those of any other hair color.


(Image credit: Thaiview | )

A 2012 study found children with rare birthmarks called Congenital Melanocytic Naevi were more likely to have the MC1R mutation that causes red hair than children without the birthmarks.

Congenital Melanocytic Naevi are brown or black birthmarks that can cover up to 80 percent of the body. About 1 in 20,000 children have large or multiple CMN.

Study researcher Dr. Veronica Kinsler, of Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, said: “If you have red hair in your family, these findings should not worry you, as changes in the red hair gene are common, but large CMN are very rare. So the changes do not cause the CMN to happen, but just increase the risk.”

It’s National Love Your Red Hair Day! Here Are 5 Surprising Ways Being a Redhead Affects Your Health

Gingers stand out from the crowd for more than the bright hue of their hair. They are also relatively rare: Only between 1% and 2% of the world’s population is born a redhead. These folks carry two copies of a variant of the MC1R gene, which determines our hair and skin color. Their redhead DNA also leads to pale skin and cute freckles—but that’s not all. Research has revealed a handful of ways having red locks can affect a person’s health, from how they feel pain (hint: more intensely) to their likelihood of developing various diseases.

Your melanoma risk is higher

It’s no secret that their pale skin makes gingers more susceptible to sunburns and skin cancers. But in 2012, researchers actually discovered a link between redhead DNA and skin cancers with more mutations. Non-redheads aren’t off the hook, either: Carrying just one copy of the recessive MC1R variant appeared to be tied to a bump in the number of mutations linked to melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. It’s another reminder of just how important it is to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays no matter your hair color, and especially if you’ve got fiery locks.

You’re better at making vitamin D

Fortunately for redheads, it doesn’t take much sun exposure for their bodies to manufacture a healthy amount of vitamin D. Pale-skinned people are most efficient at synthesizing D, which is crucial for bone health, and is thought to protect against depression and fight off colds. (Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked a slew of health conditions, from hair loss to cancer.) Scottish experts have speculated that this ability gives redheads a genetic advantage in gloomy climates, because they can churn out more D in low-light conditions than people with darker skin or hair.

RELATED: 27 Health Problems Linked to Low Vitamin D

You may be more sensitive to pain

Research suggests that redheads experience pain more intensely than others, and may even require more anesthesia for surgery. The reason isn’t entirely clear, but as this video from the American Chemical Society explains, one theory is that ginger DNA may heighten neural activity in the periaqueductal grey—a part of the brain that controls some pain sensation.

You may look older than you are (but only a little)

You can blame your DNA: In a Current Biology study published last year, Dutch researchers found that adults who carried two copies of the MC1R gene variant typically appeared two years older than other white adults of the same age. And it wasn’t because gingers had more wrinkles (which you might guess, since they’re more prone to sun damage). The gene variants were linked to other signs of aging, such as thinning lips and sagging skin along the jaw line, the researchers said. “This suggests the gene is affecting facial aging through some unknown route,” co-author David Gunn, a senior scientist at Unilever, told HealthDay.

RELATED: 21 Reasons Why You’re Losing Your Hair

Male gingers are less likely to get prostate cancer

Research published in 2013 in the British Journal of Cancer suggests that gingers have roughly half the risk of prostate cancer as men with light brown hair. The investigators followed more than 20,000 men in a long-term health study, and found that less than 1% of redheads got prostate cancer, compared to 40% of men with light brown hair. The study did not reveal why this is true, but the authors speculated that one possible explanation might have something to do with vitamin D.

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1. Red hair is a beautiful genetic mutation

Both parents must be carriers of the mutated MC1R gene to be able to produce redhead offspring, of which there is a 25% chance if they don’t have red hair themselves.

2. Less than 2% of the world’s population have red hair

That’s approximately 140 million people. Scotland boasts the highest percentage of natural redheads, with 13% (40% might carry the gene there) while Ireland comes in second with 10%.

3. Red hair can occur in any ethnicity

It occurs more frequently (2-6%) in people of northern or western European ancestry, and less frequently in other populations.

4. Lucky redhead women have more sex

That’s according to a study by a German sex researcher who found that women with red hair had sex more often. A similar English study found that redhead gals had sex an average of three times a week, while our blonde and brunette counterparts have it twice a week. Shame the fellas weren’t questioned, too.

5. It’s a ballache to dye red hair

Because it holds its pigment tighter than any other hair colour, red strands need to have their pigment stripped before being dyed by bleaching which, of course, damages the hair. Stay red!

Getty Images

6. Red hair is thicker than other colours

Each strand of red hair is generally thicker than other shades which compensates for the fact that redheads have less hair. Apparently they have – on average – 90,000 strands while blondes have 110,000, and brunettes have 140,000.

7. Redheads are more likely to develop skin cancer

Because of their commonly fair skin and sensitivity to ultraviolet light, redheads are more likely to develop skin cancer. The International Journal of Cancer reported in 2010 that natural redheads are approximately two and a half times as likely to develop the dangerous cancer as people with other hair hues.

8. Blue eyed redheads are super rare

Blue eyes and red hair forms the rarest combo on earth. Most (natural) redheads will have brown eyes, followed by hazel or green shades.

9. Redheads can change temperature quicker

This is because – according to research – redheads are more sensitive to hot and cold pain. Nothing to do with their mythical fiery temperament!

10. Redheads don’t go grey

Red hair will never turn grey; it simply fades to white via rose gold when the time comes.


11. Redheads can produce their own Vitamin D

As they can’t sufficiently absorb Vitamin D (it’s down to their lower melanin-concentration), redheads internally produce their own Vitamin D when they’re exposed to low light conditions. Woah!

12. People with red hair are more likely to be left-handed

Recessive traits often happen in pairs so commonly people with the gene for red hair also possess the trait for left-handedness.

13. Climate change is threatening the gene

Given that red hair doesn’t adapt to warm climes, the gene could – at some point – become extinct. A scientist told ScotlandNow: “I think the regressive gene is slowly dying out… Climate change could see a decline in the number of people with red hair in Scotland.” Noooooo!

Bridget March Bridget March is Bazaar’s Digital Beauty Director overseeing all beauty content for, including fitness and wellbeing.


Red hair “might” allow more production of vitamin D from the same amount of sunlight
The portion of the UK with the least amount of sunlight, Ireland and Scotland, is also the portion of the UK which has the least amount of sunlight. Wikipedia

One person in 2010 made the observation that there are a higher percentage of diabetics with red hair than the general population.
This is understandable since diabetes is associated with low levels of vitamin D and people with red hair tend to stay away from the sun, and thus have low levels of vitamin D

Probably taking vitamin D will permit a redhead to not burn in the sun

Google Search (“red-hair” OR redhead) “vitamin d” (“burn less” OR “not burn”) 15,000 hits Jan 2015
There has been several anecdotes about this. Seems as though if a red head cannot make melanin to protect the skin from burning that adding vitamin D should not help reducing burning. Wonder if the vitamin D in the skin, rather than the melanin prevents burning.


What Causes Freckles? At EzineArticles
“The underlying freckles cause is a cluster of concentrated melanin”
Melanin helps to protect against damage caused by overexposure to the sun”
“Others are referred to as senile freckles, age spots, liver spots, sun spots or lentigines. They do not fade in the winter. But, the underlying freckles cause is still the production of melanin clumps.”

Many diseases appear to be associated with redhair – examples (based on Google searches):


Google search (“red-hair” OR redhead) “vitamin d” “Multiple Sclerosis” got 104,000 hits Dec 2016
1 example Another example


Google search (“red-hair” OR redhead) “vitamin d” autism got 503,000 hits Dec 2016
1 example


Google search (“red-hair” OR redhead) “vitamin d” cancer got 333,000 results Dec 2016


Google search (“red-hair” OR redhead) “vitamin d” lupus got 137,000 results Dec 2016


Google Search (“red-hair” OR redhead) “vitamin d” rickets got 192,000 results Dec 2016


Google Search (“red-hair” OR redhead) “vitamin d” tuberculosis got 459,000 results Dec 2016


Google Search (“red-hair” OR redhead) “vitamin d” (RA or Arthritis) 103,000 results Dec 2016


Google Search (“red-hair” OR redhead) “vitamin d” allergy 125,000 results Dec 2016

See also VitaminDWiki

  • Search of VitaminDWiki for (redhead OR “red hair”) 114 items as of July 2019
  • Skin fairness, red hair both associated with poor health (perhaps low vitamin D) – Dec 2019
  • Sunburning reduced by 200,000 IU of Vitamin D – RCT April 2017
  • People more likely to freckle are more likely to get prostate cancer (low vitamin D) – April 2013
  • Overview Rare Allergic reaction to vitamin D
  • Photosensitivity (sun allergy) and vitamin D
  • Less than 18 percent of Irish take vitamin D, and 76 percent have less than 30 ng – April 2013
  • Allergic to the sun (Polymorphic light eruption) – you may need UVB or vitamin D
  • All items in category Predict Vitamin D
    62 items

  • Overview Deficiency of vitamin D
    • which has the following image: note in upper left – Fear of Sun

Redhead Day: 9 fun facts about red hair

  • The highest concentration of redheads is in Scotland (13%) followed by Ireland (10%). Worldwide, only 2% of people have red hair.
  • People with red hair are likely more sensitive to pain. This is because the gene mutation (MC1R) that causes red hair is on the same gene linked to pain receptors. It also means redheads usually need more anesthesia for dental and medical procedures.
  • Having red hair isn’t the only thing that makes some redheads unique. They are also more likely to be left handed. Both characteristics come from recessive genes, which like to come in pairs.
  • Redheads probably won’t go grey. That’s because the pigment just fades over time. So they will probably go blonde and even white, but not grey.
  • Rumor says Hitler banned marriage between redheads. Apparently he thought it would lead to “deviant offspring.”
  • Redheads most commonly have brown eyes. The least common eye color: blue.
  • Bees have been proven to be more attracted to redheads.
  • Being a redheaded man may have health benefits. A study published by the British Journal of Cancer suggested that men with red hair are 54% less likely to develop prostate cancer than their brown and blonde-haired counterparts.
  • Redheads actually have less hair than most other people. On average they only have 90,000 strands of hair while blonds, for example, have 140,000. However, red hair is typically thicker so it still looks just as full.

Obviously, being a redhead is unique and awesome. I recently did research on natural redheads and found some facts to be astonishing. Who knew people with red hair actually have less hair or generate their own Vitamin D? More to come below, but it’s very fascinating stuff. My advice is to never look at any of these “redhead facts” as negative, we are unique, one-of-a-kind women!

Here are 13 astounding realities about red hair you probably never knew about:

1. Redheads have a higher risk of getting melanoma.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. The pigmentation in our skin and the MC1R mutation that makes us redheads creates a pathway to cancer when combined with UV rays. We are at the highest risk of other forms of skin cancer as well. This is why it’s pivotal to wear sunscreen every single day of the year.

Photo Credit

2. Redheads may be at high risk for Parkinson’s Disease.

A Harvard study found that redheads are at a 90% higher risk for Parkinson’s disease. Yikes.

UPDATE: Investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital recently found that mice carrying a variant of the MC1R gene may be at a risk of getting Parkinson’s. People with MC1R produce less dopamine in the part of the brain where neurons making the neurotransmitter are destroyed during Parkinson’s disease. Second, they seem to be more susceptible to toxins that damage those neurons.

The study goes on to suggest that activating the MC1R gene, thereby reversing the mutation seen in redheads, may offer protective benefits against Parkinson’s.

“Our findings suggest further investigation into the potential of MC1R-activating agents as novel neuroprotective therapies for PD, and together with epidemiological evidence, may offer information that could guide those carrying MC1R variants to seek advice from dermatologists or neurologists about their personal risk for melanoma and Parkinson’s disease,” states lead author Xiqun Chen.

3. Redheads are more sensitive to pain.

We feel pain much more severely and we need 20% more anesthesia than others. The good thing? Most doctors know this fact and I know from experience.

4. Redheads have more dental office phobias than any other hair color.

Because of our low reaction to numbing medications like novocaine, we don’t like going to the dentist. Take it from me. I had several shots in the gum and yet I still felt my wisdom tooth being pulled. I’ve always been afraid of the dentist. However, we redheads are tough and can handle it.

READ: Redheads Feel More Pain At The Dentist? Experts Weigh In

Photo Credit

5. Women with red hair are at a 30% higher risk for endometriosis.

This is a uterine problem with tissue surrounding the uterus causing pain and can also make it very difficult to get pregnant.

6. Redheads have less hair.

A study proves redheads are at the lowest with an average of 90,000 strands of hair. BUT, we do have thicker strands, which is probably why I have so much hair.

READ: Facts About Redheads That Might Surprise You

7. Redheads generate their own Vitamin D.

I knew we were magical creatures. When exposed to UV rays, redheads normally burn to a crisp! However, we produce enough Vitamin D for our skin in low light conditions. That’s almost like having a super power. Who needs tanning…or osteoporosis for that matter.

8. Redheads are rare!

Our locks might as well be diamonds because redheads cover about 2% of the population. If you’re like me, a blue-eyed redhead, then you only cover about 1%; making us the rarest in the world. There’s nothing I love more than being unique.

9. Redheads don’t go gray as easily or, in most cases, at all.

Usually, redheads go straight from red to blondish to white.

Jessica Chastain and her grandmother, a natural redhead.

10. Redheads have a higher libido.

I want to keep this very family-friendly, but you’ve heard the rumors and if you’re a redhead reading this, you already know about our other superpowers…in the bedroom.

11. Redheads are more likely to be left-handed.

Scientists have also proven that left-handed people live longer.

12. Redheads are NOT going extinct.

This is a rumor. Red hair may become rarer, but we will always be around. Actually, there were redheaded neanderthals.

13. Redheads have genes to thank for their tresses. Research shows red hair usually results from a mutation in a gene called MC1R, which codes for the melanocortin-1 receptor.

And since MC1R is a mutation, I guess that makes us X-men. *Wink Wink*

Photo Credit

Redheads are fabulously unique and amazing. Each and every one of us is beautiful. Rock it like a Redhead!

Research derived from Everyday Health & Live Science. Main photo copyright of How to be a Redhead, shot at the Rock it like a Redhead Austin Event on April 30, 2015.

As the authors of a recent study published in BMJ attest, society’s red-haired members don’t always get a fair shake. Hoary stereotypes, such as the idea that redheads are also hot heads, are mixed together with actual physiological differences — such as a heightened sensitivity to pain. Now science is getting a better understanding of redheaded physiology than ever before.

In numerical terms, people with red hair are a decided minority. They comprise just 2-6% of the population of the northern hemisphere and 1-2% worldwide. It’s genetics that make them such rare birds. (More on How to Keep Surgeons From Leaving Things Behind)

The carrot-top coloration is caused by a gene on chromosome 16 that affects the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) protein, which often leads to the redheads’ characteristic pale skin and light eyes, as well as a sensitivity to ultraviolet light — which is why they must slather on the sunscreen when they go outside. Because the gene is recessive, both parents must carry it in order for a red-haired child to be born. That’s not difficult — 80% of the global population carries the redheaded gene even most if they do so invisibly. (More on The Top 10 Redheads)

For those few who do have the redhead phenotype, the physical challenges go beyond the occasional sunburn — something that surgeons well know. And that’s what the BMJ authors sought to explore in their meta-analysis, or survey of the existing scientific literature

Operating room docs, for example, have long reported that redheads appear to need more anesthetic than others. The new study suggests that that observation is an accurate one — mostly. Those with the MC1R mutation are more sensitive to opiate pain killers — which means they’d actually need less — but less sensitive to other types, most notably lidocaine injections. One study which used heat-related pain as its litmus of overall sensitivity showed that redheads indeed felt things more acutely and unpleasantly, probably because the MC1R mutation releases a hormone that stimulates a brain receptor associated with pain regulation. (More on Study: Researchers Identify Hundreds of Gene Variants That Contribute to Height)

Redheads are also said — anecdotally at least — to be more susceptible to hernias. The study did not establish that conclusively, but it did find a tangential link between chromosome 16 and a condition called brittle cornea syndrome, the sufferers of which have a slightly elevated hernia risk.

Less substantiated by the study was the belief that people with red hair are more susceptible to hemorrhages. A survey of tonsillectomy patients found that about 7% of both red-haired and control patients experienced post-surgical bleeding. And in a study of the blood coagulation of 50 women, half of whom were redheads, there was no difference in clotting.

Overall, the researchers concluded that even if redheads require a little extra handling on the operating table, trepidation among surgeons had more to do with stereotypes than with clinical evidence.”It would seem that the reputation of people with red hair for having increased perioperative risk is without any basis in fact and should only be used as an excuse of last resort by surgeons defending problematic bleeding or recurrent hernias,” concluded authors, Andrew L Cunningham and Christopher P Jones. Take that, blonds and brunettes!

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