• Nutrients and the Skin (part II)

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    Nutrients and the SkinBy Howard Murad, M.D.
    Let’s take a look at the key nutrients necessary for supporting healthy skin and promoting overall health:

    Collagen and Elastin Support: Starting at age 20, our collagen starts to diminish by 1 percent each year. Feed the body what it needs to manufacture it’s own collagen and elastin. The matrix of the dermis is comprised of chrondroitin, dermatan and hyaluronic acid. To make these substances, your can body convert them from a nutrient called glucosamine. Your body produces glucosamine but not in sufficient amounts to replenish all of its connective tissue. A dosage of 1,000 to 2,000 mg is suggested.

    Amino Acids: When we eat protein-containing foods, our body breaks the protein down into various amino acids, then absorbs these amino acids and rebuilds them into the sequence that we need for specific body tasks. Out of 20 amino acids, only 11 can be manufactured by our body. The 9 amino acids that we cannot make are called essential amino acids. In addition to taking an essential amino acid complex, a diet rich in beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, tofu and lean proteins such as fish or chicken.

    Essential Fatty Acids: EFA’s are necessary for attracting water and keeping water in the cells. The Cellular Water Principle® program that I recommend for my patients is based on protecting the cell walls, keeping water in. Essential Fatty Acids, such as Omega-3 oils are vital for a healthy heart and a healthy brain, plus they provide internal hydration which can make dramatic changes in eczema conditions or severe dryness. Since the body does not make its’ own essential fatty acids, they must come from food sources or supplements. I recommend two, 1,000 mg of fish oil EFA supplements every day in addition to consuming plenty of cold-water fish, olive oil and flaxseeds.

    Vitamins and Trade Minerals: To metabolize the glucosamine, amino acids and EFAs into new healthy connective tissue, the body needs B vitamins and trace minerals including maganese, magnesium, copper and zinc. I recommend a daily multivitamin/multi-mineral supplement that has at least 100 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for all 8 of the B complex vitamins.

    Daily B Vitamin Requirements
    Niacin ( B3) 20 mg
    Pantothenic Acid (B5) 10 mg
    Cobalamin (B12) 6 mcg
    Pyridoxine (B6) 2 mg
    Riboflavin (B2) 1.7 mg
    Thiamine (B1) 1.5 mg
    Folic Acid 400 mcg
    Biotin 300 mcg

    Daily Mineral Requirements
    Magnesium 400 mg
    Iron* 18 mg
    Zinc 15 mg
    Copper 2 mg
    Manganese 2 mg
    Iodine 150 mcg
    Chromium 120 mcg
    Molybdenum 75 mcg
    Selenium 70 mcg
    Calcium 1,000 mg -1,500 mg

    Choose an iron-free multi-vitamin/ multi-mineral formula if you are post-menopausal.

    Antioxidants: Vital to protecting the skin and the organs from free radical damage, these are a few of my favorites.
    Pomegranate Extract 15 mg
    Curcumin (Tumeric) 45 mg
    Grape Seed Extract 100 mg
    Quercetin 15 mg
    Vitamin C 240 mg
    Vitamin E* 100 IU minimum per day
    Green Tea Extract 200 mg
    Silymarin (Milk Thistle) 150 mg
    Ginkgo Biloba 50 mg
    Lycium (Goji Berry)* 200 mg

    * Goji Berries are often referred to as the world’s most nutritious foods. They are noted for their powerful antioxidant benefits, having 500 times more Vitamin C than an orange (compared ounce per once), more beta carotene than carrots, and are loaded with essential fatty acids, 18 amino acids and 21 trace minerals.

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