Wellness Database: Skin
Healthy skin is largely due to environmental and nutritional factors. Taking antioxidants such as Vitamin E and Green Tea can help to ensure beautiful, healthy skin.
Psoriasis May Be Associated with Vitamin D Deficiency
Summary: Researchers analyzed the relationship of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (OHD) status to psoriasis in this case-control study. Patients (n=86; 43 with psoriasis; 43 age- and sex-matched controls) were studied during a single 4-week period. Findings demonstrate that serum 25-OHD levels were lower in psoriatic patients than in control subjects even after adjusting for confounding factors. Low 25-OHD levels were negatively associated with C-reactive protein and body mass index with BMI bearing an inverse relation with 25-OHD levels. Indications suggest that vitamin D insufficiency may be higher in patients with psoriasis, and positively correlated with obesity.
Probiotics Beneficial in the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis
Summary: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers evaluated the clinical efficacy of supplementation with a probiotic strain (Lactobacillus salivarius LS01) in the treatment of adult patients with atopic dermatitis (AD). Patients (n=38) were treated with probiotics or placebo (maltodextrin) for a period of 16 wks. Parameters were assessed based on change in SCORAD (SCORing Atopic Dermatitis) index, dermatology life quality index (DLQI) improvement, cytokine production by PBMCs and ability to modify fecal microbial flora. Probiotic group showed improvement of both clinical parameters at the end of treatment (T16) compared with the placebo group, along with evidence of a reduction of Th1 cytokines (IL-12+IFNgamma) and Th1/Th2 ratio (IL-12+IFNgamma/IL-4+IL-5) only in placebo-treated patients. A decrease of staphylococci in feces of the probiotic group was also observed at the end of treatment. L. salivarius LS01 was well tolerated and was associated with improvement of clinical manifestation and quality of life. The authors conclude that L. salivarius LS01 may be an important adjunctive therapy in the treatment of adult AD.
Reference: "Effects of Lactobacillus salivarius LS01 (DSM 22775) treatment on adult atopic dermatitis: a randomized placebo-controlled study," Drago L, Lemoli E, et al, Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol, 2011 Oct-Dec; 24(4): 1037-48. (Address: Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Clinical Sciences Luigi Sacco, University of Milan, Italy).
Dr. Ignarro: Say Yes to NO - A 3 Part Plan
Say Yes to NO - A 3 Part Plan
While the body is constantly producing Nitric Oxide, there are three ways to boost NO levels and, when combined, create optimal conditions for improved cardiovascular health. The three keys to NO production are:
- Nutritional Supplements
- Functional Foods
Combining an NO-friendly diet, regular exercise, and the correct supplements will cause an increase in your body’s Nitric Oxide production. This will keep endothelial cells well nourished and blood vessels relaxed, which can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, discourage the formation of plaque, ensure blood flow, and reduce the inflammation which can lead to atherosclerosis - often in as little as two weeks.
Nutritional supplements are a vital and necessary part of the NO program. There is a specific mix of nutrients that leads to optimal Nitric Oxide production and it is important to take all of the nutrients in the mix as they are interdependent and rely on each other.
There are three main ingredients for an effective NO supplement: l-Arginine, l-Citrulline, and Antioxidants.
Arginine is a naturally produced amino acid. Arginine enhances blood flow and improves the activity of the endothelial cells because it is converted to NO in the body. Recommended Dosage: 4-6 g/day
Citrulline is also a natural amino acid. It is converted into Arginine within the body, increasing NO production. Recommended Dosage: .5-1 g/day
Antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E, Folic Acid, and Alpha Lipoic Acid preserve the body’s supply of Nitric Oxide. These nutrients combat the disease promotiong process called “oxidation,” which inactivates NO, reduces its concentrations in the body, and damages the endothelial cells. Recommended Dosage: Vitamin C .5 g/day; Vitamin E 200 IU/day; Folic Acid 400-800 mcg/day; 10-100 mg/day
Many products available on the market claiming to boost NO levels are nothing but Arginine, in insufficient levels. These products will not deliver the cardiovascular health results that are available from other products that combine the nutrients as described here.
The key to boosting NO through nutrition is to eat sufficient amounts of good foods and only moderately consume foods that work against cardiovascular health. Foods to eat are those high in antioxidants and amino acids. Nuts, fruit and vegetables are the best way to eat antioxidants. Foods high in Arginine and Citrulline include melons, peanuts, red meat (in moderation), salmon, and soy.
Foods to avoid are those with saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol. Foods to eat only in moderation include fatty animal products such as beef, pork, lamb, whole milk and ice cream. It is important to avoid foods high in trans fat such as cookies, crackers, bread, butter, potato chips, popcorn, and fried potatoes.
Physical activity accelerates blood flow, elevates level s of the enzyme NO synthase that produces NO, and increases the amount of nitric oxide in the body. Regular exercise is the leading strategy for promoting consistent and continuous production of NO by the vascular endothelial cells.
It does not take an inordinate amount of time to receive the benefits of exercise. Twenty minutes per day, three times a week may be all that is necessary for your body to produce plenty of Nitric Oxide. Activities such as riding a bike, jogging, or walking can be extremely effective and easy to accomplish with regularity.
Dr. Andrew Myers: Nutritional Protection for Skin Health
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types. There are more than 1 million skin cancers found each year in the United States. That’s more than prostate, breast, lung, colon, uterine, ovarian and pancreatic cancer combined. And the number of skin cancers has been steadily rising for the past 30 years.
Skin cancer screening is becoming a very important preventive measure to consider for anyone who is concerned about a worrisome skin lesion. Early detection of melanoma or other types of skin cancer can save your life. Simple screenings using the DermaScan™ is a simple device that uses ultraviolet (UV) light to show the sun damage that is invisible to the naked eye. By looking into the DermaScan™, you can see the sun damage that has already happened to your face in as little as five minutes.
The good news is there is a lot you can do to protect yourself and your family from skin cancer. Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Solar radiation is one of the most damaging elements for your skin; causing sunburn, premature skin aging and skin cancer. Using sunscreens, staying in the shade and covering exposed skin are still among the best methods for protecting your skin. In addition to covering up, research now indicates that several nutrients and antioxidants can aid in protecting and healing damaged skin and may contribute to lowering the risk of developing skin cancer.
When sunlight burns exposed skin the result is a cascade of free radicals causing damage to skin tissues, reducing elasticity and contributing to the formation of "age spots," wrinkles and increasing the risk of developing skin cancer. In clinical trials, a number of antioxidants, including carotenoids and vitamins E and C, have been found to be capable of scavenging free radicals generated during the photo-stress caused by sunlight.
Vitamin C and E
Researchers have found that subjects supplemented with the antioxidant nutrients Vitamins C and E had levels of these vitamins which were elevated in skin tissue samples. Additionally, when researchers exposed the volunteers to UV radiation to induce sunburn, the combination of C and E together protected the skin and suppressed the sunburn reaction.
A number of studies have demonstrated the protective properties of oral carotenoids showing that sunburn was suppressed significantly with a combination of carotenoids and vitamin E. Researchers concluded that the antioxidants provided protection against erythema, or skin redness, and were effective in diminishing sensitivity to ultraviolet light.
Green tea contains natural antioxidant substances known as polyphenol epicatechins. Researchers have shown that green tea polyphenols – taken orally or applied topically – exert protective effects that inhibit ultraviolet radiation-induced skin tumors. Studies have also shown that green tea extract possesses anti-inflammatory activity, protecting against ultraviolet (UV) light-induced skin inflammation.
Antioxidants like green tea, Vitamin C and carotenoids are just a few of the nutrients that have been shown to shield the skin from UV radiation and suppress sunburn. Continued intake of antioxidants and carotenoids, in conjunction with sunscreen and protective clothing, may pay off in the long run with smoother unblemished skin and reduced risk of developing skin cancer.
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Nutrients and Diet
Alpha Lipoic Acid Amino Acids Antioxidants Arginine Calcium Carnitine Carotene Chromium Picolinate Citrulline Coenzyme Q10 DHEA Fat Fiber Fruit and Vegetables Garlic Ginkgo Biloba Glucosamine Vegetarian Diet Green Tea Iron Lutein Lycopene Magnesium Mediterranean Diet Multivitamins Nitric Oxide Nuts Olives Omega 3 Fatty Acids Policosanols Polyphenols Pomegranate Probiotics Pycnogenol Red Yeast Rice Salt Saffron Selenium Soy Theanine Vitamin A Vitamin B Vitamin C Vitamin D Vitamin E Vitamin K White Tea Zinc