Diet and skin health are closely related. Unfortunately this fact is often ignored.
There has been an avalanche of expensive collagen and vitamin supplements or so-called nutraceuticals in recent times promising a fairer complexion, improved hair growth so on and so forth.
Do these collagen and vitamin supplements work? Are they worth all the hype and all the money spent on them?
Collagen supplements are hydrolyzed collagen. The idea of collagen supplements came from the Orient where people were boiling pigs’ feet and chicken feet and eating the collagen to improve their skin quality, the idea being that the collagen provides the framework or the building blocks for hair skin and nails.
This collagen can be obtained from any protein source and it is not necessary for a healthy individual to take collagen supplements. However, if someone has stomach acid issues or had some of their gut removed, then having an easily absorbable collagen supplement makes sense.
Most of the vitamin supplements targeting hair skin and nails have a cocktail of vitamins in various compositions.
The most concentrated vitamin is Vitamin A, which is definitely essential for skin health, healthy vision and immune system activities. Eating carrots daily can easily fulfil the required daily dose.
The second most common vitamin in the supplements is Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, which is necessary for tissue repair. Eating a cupful of tomatoes can ensure we get our required amount.
The third vitamin that is found in the hair skin and nail supplements is Vitamin D. It is not easily available in dietary form, so consuming Vitamin D supplements in post-menopausal women or in persons with Vitamin D deficiency is necessary. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to hair-loss, some skin diseases, myalgias, arthralgias etc. (Read ‘Vitamin D: Is it really that important?)
(Watch Vitamins on Health Video Tips.)
Vitamin E is the primary antioxidant in the skin. Olive oil and avocadoes are rich sources of vitamin E.
Vitamin B is a large family. Of these Vitamin B7 which is biotin is found in high concentrations in the hair skin nail supplements and biotin deficiency has been linked to poor hair and nail growth. Almonds and eggs are an excellent source of biotin.
Trace elements like selenium which is an antioxidant can be obtained from Brazil nuts. Avocadoes are rich in trace minerals like copper, magnesium, iron. It is a superfood which also provides vitamin E, vitamin C.
Diet and Skin Health: The Final Conclusion
(Also, read Cheers to Vegetables and Fruits!)