Tag Archives: skin

Healthy Hair Basics

Healthy Hair BasicsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

The condition of one’s hair is often viewed as an outward sign of excellent overall health. Those seeking healthy, more lustrous hair might begin with simple dietary improvements, as sufficient daily intake of macro and micronutrients is necessary to maintain cellular structure and promote hair growth. Unfavorable changes of the hair and scalp can indicate underlying nutrient deficiencies, which can result in dry, dull or thinning hair over time. In addition to nutrient deficiencies, genetics, chronic illnesses, medications, hormonal fluctuations, prolonged stress, advancing age, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can all affect the health, strength, texture and thickness of hair, as well as the speed of hair growth and the rate of hair loss.

The average human head contains approximately 100,000 hairs and an equal number of hair follicles. Hair follicles cycle through stages that include growth, transition, resting and shedding phases. The growth cycle of a human hair typically lasts two to seven years, which determines the length of one’s hair. Normally, hair grows at the rate of one half inch each month or about six inches yearly. During the shedding phase, it’s common to lose 50 – 100 hairs daily with no visible effects on hair thickness.

Significant increased hair loss, known as excessive hair shedding, is a common often temporary condition. Non-permanent hair shedding can be a result of childbirth, rapid weight loss, extreme dieting, illness accompanied by high fever, a period of high stress or traumatic life event. With the exception of prolonged stress, which can lead to long-term excessive shedding, as the body readjusts, hair will often regain its natural fullness within six to nine months. Women who inherit a genetic predisposition for hair loss will generally experience gradual loss, while men will develop a receding hair line or baldness.

Healthy hair starts at the root, where hair follicles receive oxygen and nutrients. A diet that includes a proper balance of protein, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidant nutrients can help meet the metabolic requirements of hair follicle cells to nourish and support optimal hair growth and maintain the health of hair and scalp. A nutrient-poor diet is frequently to blame for lack luster, thinning, easily damaged hair. Often undernourished, fast dividing hair cells are non-essential for life making them low priority on nutrient receiving list.

A well-balanced diet can potentially provide essential vitamins, including A, C, D, E, K and B-complex, that support healthy hair growth, as well as hair strength and thickness. A daily high quality multivitamin and mineral supplement can help ensure foundational nutrient needs are met. Supplements specifically formulated to provide the nutrients for healthy hair follicle function can make a noticeable difference in the look, strength and health of hair. Although improvements may not be evident for several months as hair takes time to grow, hair supplements support hair production and thickness, as well as improved hair quality.

Keratin, an insoluble structural protein comprising chains of amino acids, is the main component of hair. Dietary protein provides the essential amino acids required to produce keratin. Insufficient intake of amino acids can cause a reduction in keratin levels and lead to weakness and reduced hair growth. For lustrous, shiny, thriving hair, sufficient daily intake of animal or plant-based proteins is key.

As well, it pays to be prudent about daily hair care. Along with harsh chemical-based hair treatments, dyes and hair products, over-washing, over-styling, blow-drying and flat-ironing can damage and weaken hair, and result in dryness, brittleness, frizziness and breakage. Switching to more natural, nurturing hair care products, washing less frequently and allowing hair to dry naturally when possible can help to restore moisture and prevent breakage. As split ends travel the length of the hair when not regularly trimmed, removing dry split ends every few months helps keep hair healthy and strong as it grows.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality nutritional supplements in support of optimal health:

Hair ReViveHair ReVive™ by Ridgecrest Herbals®: This popular product provides a unique combination of synergistic vitamins, minerals, botanicals and phytonutrients that aid hair growth and fullness and help reduce daily hair loss. With continued use, these nutrients enhance circulation to the scalp and hair follicles, aid development and renewal of healthy active follicles and provide building blocks for strong, healthy hair. Free of gluten, wheat, dairy, nuts, corn, soy and yeast. Non-GMO formulation.

Hair/Skin/Nails...Hair/Skin/Nails Ultra by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic formulation provides optimal levels of nutrients and cofactors that promote and support healthy hair, skin and nails. Specific ingredients support skin hydration and elasticity, supply building blocks for keratin and collagen synthesis and counter oxidative stress with antioxidant nutrients. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

Hair, Skin and Nails...Hair, Skin and Nails Plus by Douglas Laboratories®: This science-based formula offers nutritional support for hair, skin, nails and connective tissue health with a synergistic blend of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, botanicals and gelatin. Free of wheat gluten, dairy, corn, sodium, starch, yeast and artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives. Non-GMO formulation.

Hair, Skin and NailsHair, Skin & Nails by Now® Foods: This clinically advanced formula is designed to nutritionally support full lustrous hair, strong nails, skin elasticity and a healthy youthful appearance. Bioavailable ingredients include solubilized keratin, hydrolyzed collagen and hyaluronic acid, as well as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and biotin. Free of wheat, gluten, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish and tree nuts. Non-GMO formulation.

Skin, Nails HairSkin, Nails & Hair™ by MegaFood®: This farm-to-table supplement provides FoodState™ Nutrients sourced from wholesome food grown in healthy soil by farmers committed to organic and regenerative agriculture. These guaranteed potency, health-promoting compounds support the health of hair, skin and nails with nourishment the body recognizes as whole food. Free of gluten, dairy, soy, glyphosate-residue, herbicides and pesticides. USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Certified Kosher, vegan formulation.

References:
Nutrition and hair. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20620758.
The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/
Do You Have Hair Loss or Hair Shedding? https://www.aad.org/hair-shedding

Let’s Discuss Collagen

CollagenJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

 

 

Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein, comprising approximately 30% of overall protein content, and 70% of the protein found in the skin. As the major fibrous protein of connective tissues, collagen is found in bones, muscles, skin, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and the digestive system, as well as the extracellular matrix, an intricate network of macromolecules that determines the physical properties of body tissues. Without its strength and elasticity our bodies might literally fall apart, as collagen proteins form long chains that provide the structure that holds the body together. Although 16 types of collagen have been identified, the majority of collagen in the body consists of types I, II, and III, all of which support the health and function of tendons, ligaments, muscles, and cartilage and help the tissues to stretch and absorb shock.

Largely composed of the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, collagen allows our tendons and ligaments to move with ease. It works synergistically with keratin to provide the skin with strength, smoothness, elasticity, and resilience. While some of us may think of collagen in terms of its effects on skin health, type I collagen fibrils have enormous tensile strength, such that it can be stretched without breaking. Collagen fibers found in tendons, where they connect muscles with bone, must be able to withstand immense forces. Per the National Institutes of health (NIH), gram for gram, type I collagen is stronger than steel. Type II, the major collagen of cartilage, allows joints to absorb shocks.

Collagen is manufactured by specialized cells known as fibroblasts. Once secreted, collagen strands undergo binding, twisting, cross-linking, folding, and layering to produce the final product. As the enzymes that aid these conversions require vitamin C as a cofactor, a deficiency in vitamin C will inhibit collagen synthesis. As well, genetic defects, nutritional deficiencies and digestive issues can also affect collagen production. Over time, the natural creation of collagen begins to wane, and collagen fibers break down or no longer regenerate. Signs of degeneration include facial lines and wrinkles, as well as joint pain and stiffness. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking, excess sugar consumption, and high amounts of sun exposure may also contribute to depleting collagen levels. Supplementation with high quality, bioavailable collagen peptides may support bone strength, joint flexibility, skin suppleness, and intestinal health.

Skin, hair and nail health: Collagen aids skin cell renewal and repair. Controlled studies have shown that collagen hydrolysate (peptides) improved skin elasticity, dryness, roughness and texture. Healthy hair and nail growth require collagen as well as keratin and minerals. Dietary collagen works from within to naturally enhance the skin, hair and nails by promoting the collagen formation that supports the skin’s moisture, helps to strengthen nails and adds volume to hair.

Joint health: Collagen loss can lead to joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Studies published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences found that daily supplementation with collagen decreased painful joint swelling and enhanced daily activities, generally improving quality of life for those suffering from joint issues.

Gut health: Amino acids in collagen help to build the connective tissue that lines the colon and the gastrointestinal tract, helping to prevent intestinal permeability or leaky gut. Consuming more collagen may help to soothe and heal the lining of the intestinal tract.

Blood vessel health: Collagen surrounds every blood vessel and protects the vessel from damage. Along with elastin, collagen helps keep the inside of arteries and veins smooth and elastic, allowing the transport of blood, nutrients and oxygen throughout the entire body.

Muscle health: Collagen fibers make up skeletal muscles, as well as smooth muscles found in the bladder, heart, and reproductive system. Collagen fibers provide muscles with the strength and structure necessary for movement and function.

Nutrients that support collagen synthesis include:

  • Foods rich in amino acids, such as beans and soy.
  • Anthocyanidins found red, blue, and purple fruits and vegetables.
  • Fruits and veggies with high vitamin C content, such as oranges, peppers, and broccoli.
  • Foods high in vitamin A, such as dark leafy greens, tropical fruits, oysters, and oily fish.
  • Plant foods that provide beta-carotene, such as sweet potatoes and carrots.
  • Resveratrol and flavonoids from fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants that protect collagen and elastin for skin elasticity. These compounds boost circulation to the tiny blood vessels near the skin’s surface, thereby enhancing the skin’s natural radiance.
  • Hyaluronic acid (HA), found in bone broth, increases skin hydration, stimulates collagen production and improves skin elasticity. Foods that support the natural production of HA include root vegetables, tofu, and tempeh.

Customer favorite collagen products from Vital Proteins® include:

Collagen PeptidesCollagen Peptides: This very popular and easy to use supplement provides 18 g of protein and 20 g of 100% pure collagen peptides per serving in support of strong bones, youthful skin, reduced joint discomfort and restorative sleep. Sourced from bovine hide, this minimally processed, pasture-raised, grass-fed product is flavorless and odorless and mixes easily with cold or warm food or drink. Gluten and dairy free, paleo-friendly, kosher formulation.

Marine CollagenMarine Collagen: This product supplies Non-GMO collagen peptides from verified wild-caught snapper in support of joint and digestive health, as well as youthful skin, healthier hair and stronger nails. Gluten free, Non-GMO, kosher formulation.

Organic Free Range...Organic Free-Range Chicken Bone Broth Collagen: USDA organic chicken bone broth is crafted with bones from free-range chicken that is slowly simmered to extract maximum nutrients. Low sodium, MSG free, and rich in vitamins and minerals, this clean, tasteless, quickly absorbed powder supports digestion, aids immune function and promotes overall wellness. Gluten free.

Collagen Beauty...Collagen Beauty Greens: This nourishing elixir provides Non-GMO Marine Collagen Peptides blended with healthy organic greens, hyaluronic acid, and probiotics in support of collagen formation, increased skin hydration, strengthened hair and nails, and overall wellness. Flavored with organic coconut water and Madagascar vanilla bean, this product provides a full array of amino acids, as well as vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Gluten free, Non-GMO, kosher formulation.

References:
Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21582/
Amino Acids to Produce Collagen. https://www.livestrong.com/article/428024-amino-acids-to-produce-collagen/
Foods to boost collagen naturally. http://www.naturalhealthnews.uk/article/foods-to-boost-collagen-naturally/

 

Healthy Lifestyle – Healthy Skin

SkinJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

If the old adage “you are what you eat” holds true, then the path to beautiful skin may be through your stomach.  For truly fabulous, glowing skin, consider your dietary choices.  The more balanced and healthy your diet, the better your skin health will be.  While we may pay some attention to our skin, by cleansing, moisturizing or applying sunscreen, a healthy diet and lifestyle are also essential to skin health.  When we deprive our skin of critical nutrients, we may develop skin that looks sallow, dry and older than our actual age, revealing a lot about our overall health. 

Our skin is in a constant state of renewal, as old cells are shed and new cells take their place.  As our largest and most complex metabolically active organ, our skin regulates body temperature, manufactures vitamin D, provides protection from the elements and defends against harmful, invading bacteria.  Our skin plays a huge role in protecting our body, so keeping our skin as healthy as possible is a wise choice.  While often overlooked, to put our best face forward we must give our skin some attention every day. 

Nutrients – The less attention we pay to our diets, the more problems we may see with skin health.  Fresh foods, especially fruits, vegetables and dairy products, provide a balanced mix of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants to help keep skin vibrant. 

  • Dairy products, such as plain yogurt, provide the vitamin A necessary for good skin health.  Probiotics found in yogurt and other foods have a beneficial impact on the skin. Probiotics help keep chronic inflammation at bay and support the beneficial gut bacteria, which in turn strengthens immune function and supports overall health.     
  • Antioxidants, such as those found in berries, provide free radical defense and guard against premature aging. 
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids, such as found in cold water fish and flax seeds, support healthy cell membranes, reduce inflammation and aid moisture retention for plumper skin cells. 
  • Purple fruits and vegetables are rich in anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that help improve circulation.  Improved circulation means that more oxygen and nutrients reach the skin, enabling the formation of new cells, collagen and elastin. 
  • Spicing up your meals with herbs such as ginger and cinnamon, which have anti-inflammatory properties, can help reduce facial puffiness. 
  • Eliminate sugars that can cause inflammation and lead to glycation, which contributes to the breakdown of collagen and elastin and prematurely ages the skin. 

Cleanse – Different skin types may require unique cleansers but be sure to choose cleansers without fragrances and dyes, which can irritate sensitive skin.  Mild cleansers that won’t strip all the natural oils from your skin are a good choice.  Use warm, not hot water, which can strip the natural oils and lead to itching and dryness.  Be sure to wash your hands before you wash your face.  Most of the bacteria that can cause breakouts come from our own hands. 

Moisturize – Look for skincare products that contain botanicals such as beta carotene, which can improve skin quality.  Moisturizers that contain B vitamins, especially biotin, aid in hydration and help perfect overall skin tone.  Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) helps to strengthen the moisture barrier and reduce redness.  When applied topically, vitamin K helps to reduce dark, under eye circles.  Apply moisturizers while the skin is still damp to help retain surface moisture. 

Hydrate – Water is essential to skin health.  Hydrate your skin from the inside out with enough water to quench your thirst daily.  In addition to hydrating, water aids the cells in nutrient absorption and helps move toxins out.  Plus, when our bodies are hydrated, we sweat more efficiently, which helps to keep skin clean and clear. 

Avoid stress –  Skin under duress can quickly become irritated and red.  While chronic stress can wreak havoc in the body, it shows on the outside too.  Take steps to find some quiet time each day to minimize stress. 

Exercise – Regular exercise not only helps to cleanse pores and flush out toxins, it can stimulate collagen production and reduce signs of aging.  Exercise is stress reducing and pumps increased oxygen and nutrient supplies throughout the blood stream, aiding in skin nourishment. 

Sunscreen – Sun damage can happen year round, so choose an SPF-30 for daily use.  Sunscreen not only protects against sun damage and skin cancer, it can help prevent fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. 

Smoking –  Smoking causes premature aging of the skin and reduces the skin’s natural elasticity.  Smoking is believed to cause collagen breakdown and reduce collagen production, leading to early wrinkling and for some a leathery complexion. 

Supplements  

  • While a well balanced diet is extremely important, to get the nutrients we need each day include a multivitamin along with your skin care regimen.  Antioxidants such as  vitamins C and E help fight free radical damage, aiding in wrinkle protection and helping to prevent premature aging.  Vitamin C is essential to collagen production and aids in skin cell repair.  Vitamin E helps to protect skin cells from UV light damage. 
  • Protect those cheek bones with calcium.  Calcium supports bones and bone structure in the face as well as the body. 
  • Zinc helps to keep skin clear and binds with vitamin A, which makes both nutrients more effective in keeping skin healthy. 
  • Essential fatty acids or omega-3’s are instrumental in the production of the skin’s natural oil barrier.  If your skin is dry and prone to inflammation, essential fatty acids can aid in keeping your skin smoother and younger looking. 

For support of healthy skin, consider the following products:

MSM Capsules (methylsulfonylmethane)
MSM Capsules by Pure Encapsulations This patented product promotes healthy joint function and connective tissue health, especially tissues containing significant amounts of collagen and keratin such as skin, hair and nails.   Also available in powder form. 
 
 
Complete Care For Youthful Skin KitComplete Care For Youthful Skin Kit by Suki –  This complete skin care kit provides a protective, proactive program that contains powerful antioxidants, collagen building peptides and vitamins to address fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and visible signs of aging. 
 
 
Deeper Greens PowderDeeper Greens Powder by Ortho Molecular –  The fruits and vegetables contained in this product provide a good source of dietary fiber and natural concentrates of high ORAC value foods.  Deeper Greens is formulated to fulfill the recommended dietary intake of 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables.  Organically grown fruits and vegetables used where available. 
 
Pure Emu Oil with Vitamin E
 
Pure Emu Oil with Vitamin E by Age Advantage Laboratories –  This very pure quality Emu oil has been effectively used for years for healing and moisturizing the skin.  The non-comedogenic oils provide a very high natural balance of essential fatty acids along with vitamin E for anti-oxidant protection and palmitric acid to stimulate new skin cell growth.