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Skin Nutrition and Skin Sun Damage Protection from the Inside Out – Dr. Roy Shapiro

Skin Nutrition and Skin Sun Damage Protection from the Inside Out

By Roy Shapiro, MD and Tom Cifelli

Skin cancer rates have doubled in the US over the past 10 years and continue rising. This correlates with a decline in the quality of the average American’s diet. More than 2,000,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with skin cancer in the US in 2010 alone.

Many beneficial nutrients found in plant species from around the world help maintain healthy skin and reduce the risk of skin cancer. While most of these nutrients are finding there way into advanced skin care products, research has uncovered that what is consumed by the body can be as beneficial as what is topically applied to the body when promoting skin health and protection. In fact, it is believed that some components to dermatological protocols, particularly your diet, exercise and nutritional regimen, plays a greater role in skin aging than superficial influences for most people.sun exposure 150x150 Skin Nutrition and Skin Sun Damage Protection from the Inside Out   Dr. Roy Shapiro

Key Skin Nutrients Protecting Against PhotoAging and DNA Damage from Sun Generated Free Radicals

Here are some key phytonutrients and superfoods that may significantly reduced premature aging from UV exposure by protecting hyaluronic acid (your skin’s natural moisturizer) and inhibiting collagen and elastin destruction. Research also suggests the wider the array of protective antioxidant nutrients taken regularly, the better the outcome due to synergies amongst nutrient compounds from various sources amplifying their capacity to screen out and protect against environmental assaults on the skin.

  • Fern Extract (polypodium leucotomos), a chemoprotective agent according to a 2004 Harvard study published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology confirmed in a 2007 Italian study. The potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics of fern polyphenols protect enzymes and proteins in skin tissue from damage.
  • Antioxidants such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and other carotenoids have long been known to help protect skin from sun damage and other aging factors. Potent carotenoids taken regularly help reduce fine lines and age spots, so they have regenerative as well as protective effect.
  • Acai Berry (Amazonian palm berry), is one of the most antioxidant rich fruits available with high ORAC antioxidant value. Acai berry extract is great for skin as it contains phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that make skin healthier, smoother, and younger looking. Acai also has astringent properties that can keep the skin taunt and may prevent sagging.
  • A 2008 study confirmed Indian Gooseberry and Ashwagandha demonstrated a 54% inhibition of collagen damaging enzymes and 86% inhibition of hyaluronic acid breakdown. The rich flavanoids and steroidal lactones were attributed with these findings.
  • Astaxanthin, from micro-algae, is one of the more potent carotenoids known and has been shown to have impressive natural UV protectant properties as well as other anti-aging skin benefits. Astaxanthin increasingly finds its way into advanced topical skin formulations due to it having 20x or more the anti-oxidant characteristics of Vitamin C & E as well as possibly many other benefits.
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), a universal fat and water soluble anti-oxidant, has been shown to protect all cells including skin tissue.
  • Annato (Bixa Orellana), another rainforest herb like the fern specie discussed above, has been shown to have natural emolient and protective characteristics in some applications.
  • Detox nutrients that help remove unwanted metals are increasingly shown to be important in preserving youthful tissue and organ characteristics. Some of the better known include Chlorella and Apple Pectin.
  • B Vitamins, particularly B12 (cobalamin), B2 (riboflavin, B3 (niacin) and B6 (pyridoxine). These B vitamins play key roles in cell oxygenation, blood formation and other factors impacting skin, your largest organ.
  • Bilberry (vaccinium myrtillus), Borage (borago officianalis), Burdock Root, and Butcher’s Broom (ruscus). Anti-aging herbs rich in anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that help blood and oxygen circulation to the skin as well as exhibiting protective effects on collagen, elastin and skin proteins.
  • Grape Seed Extract, from red grapes, contains oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) known to be potent antioxidants. OPCs are found in a wide array of fruits and vegetables. Grape seed extract is very good at protecting healthy skin cells from free radical damage.
  • Pine Bark Extract, especially from specific types of European pine trees, has many beneficial properties including acting as a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Some studies suggest that pine bark extract is between 20-50 times more potent than the most common antioxidants (Vitamins E & C) and like ALA protects against both water and fat soluble free radicals.
  • MSM, an antioxidant and more, is an organic sulfur component of all cells in humans. It is essential that the body have a plentiful supply of this mineral. Sulfur has been called nature’s “beauty mineral” because it is needed to keep the hair glossy and smooth and keeps the complexion clear and youthful. It is needed for synthesis of collagen and is prevalent in keratin, a tough protein substance necessary for health and maintenance of the skin, nails and hair. There is a positive synergistic effect on building healthier cells when MSM is taken in combination with vitamin C. The new cells are more pliable and permeable, allowing fluids to pass through the tissue more easily. Internally this means more efficient elimination of toxins, a reduction in inflammation and pain – so you feel better. This is why MSM has recently become a common additive to advanced bone & joint products. Lesser known is MSM’s benefit to skin connective tissues. MSM can help maintain a softer, smoother complexion, stronger hair and nails – so you look better on the outside too.
  • Hyaluronic Acid, of course, as this is your skin’s main natural moisturizer.
  • Essential Fatty Acids and Essential Amino Acids, both of which help your body protect and regenerate new cells and which must be obtained in your diet as the body needs them but cannot synthesize them on its own.

Recent research confirms regular intake of these vital nutrients is more important to long-term health and youthful appearance than just topical skin serums and moisturizers alone. Eating raw organic fruits and vegetables daily can be a great way to promote healthy skin.

sun exposure protect your children 150x150 Skin Nutrition and Skin Sun Damage Protection from the Inside Out   Dr. Roy ShapiroFor a comprehensive anti aging skin routine, combining advanced superfood formulations with high quality topical cleansing and moisturizing products should be your daily regimen. You simply cannot eat a sufficient amount and variety of raw foods to duplicate the array of synergistic nutrient compounds good for your skin and other body organs and tissue in each serving of advanced superfood formulations. Therefore supplemental consumption is recommended to assure the appropriate levels of absorption.

To round out a comprehensive skin protection program, periodic visits to nutrition and skin experts to help design a program specific to your personal needs is advised.

For detailed information on skin protective nutrients, foods and herbs shown to help retard skin aging and free radical damage, visit Online Wellness Community’s Research library and use the Online Wellness Community  keyword search feature at the top right of the website to find many more interesting articles and research pages on topics of interest such as the article “Skin Care Basics 99% of People Do Yet Not Know.

This entry was posted in Diet and Nutrition
, Featured, Skin Care, Skin Problems, Sunlight, Women's Health

One Comment

  1. Posted October 5, 2010 at 01:04 | Permalink

    Sales team test comment 10-04-2010

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