Fighting Acne With Nutritional Supplements
Article written by Jack Bullock
Copyright 2000 - All Rights Reserved
Since acne, at its origin, is actually an internal disease and not an extrenal disease it's only logical that proper nutrition can help fight acne from appearing.
With the countless supplements being offered today, and all the wild claims each product makes, how do you know which ones will work and which ones will end up wasting your time and money? Here is a partial list of supplements that have been shown to help the body fight acne.
Essential Fatty Acids:
By far, the most important nutritional supplement I have found for the skin is Essential Fatty Acids (EFA for short). The EFA supply your body with Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9. It is almost impossible to obtain the necessary amount of EFA for your body without supplementation.
Foods that contain EFA are flax, borage, primrose, wheat germ, cold water fish, soybeans, as well as a few other sources.
I have read in a few places that some professionals feel that acne could be a deficiency from EFA. Although I have seen a great improvement in my skin by increasing my intake of EFA, alone did not cure my acne.
EFA supplementation varies from person to person in the amounts necessary to satisfy requirements. This means that you will need to experiment to find your optimal intake of each.
One important point to remember is that you want to take in a balance of EFA throughout the day. Studies show that a balance of 2:1 seems to be the best approach. This means that for every 2 parts Omega-3 you will need to add 1 part Omega-6. Do not underestimate the importance of Omega-6 because you will end up causing a deficiency if you take in too much Omega-3. A typical diet is more likely to have a higher Omega-6 count than an Omega-3. Because of this, it is important to balance your EFA by supplement larger amounts of the Omega-3 EFA.
There are a few things that make it necessary for you to increase your EFA. If you tend to eat a lot of fried foods, than you need more EFA. If you're a sugar addict and you tend to eat too many sweets, then you need more EFA. If you smoke, or drink, then you're most likely deficient in EFA.
Also, you cannot neglect to take in a full spectrum of EFA. Reason being, some people have a hard time converting the EFA into longer chain EFA. The longer chain EFA are the ones that are readily absorbable by the body. These include the cold water fish oils, such as cod oil. The cold water fish oils come prepared with the longer chain EFA ready to be absorbed by the body.
Now, why are EFA so important? Well, when taken in the right amounts (and in a full spectrum, meaning Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9), they will balance the 30+ hormone regulators in your body. As explained earlier, if you do not have the hormone regulators raring to go, then you will have acne flare-ups.
Your EFA supplement should have a nutty flavor, if taken in liquid form. I do feel that the liquid form of the supplements is the best because they seem to be more concentrated. I have found, on average, that one-tablespoon (tbsp.) can equal as many as 13 pills. Besides, the liquid form is much easier on your liver.
Lately I've been taking a combination of Flax/Borage Oil and then taking a pill form of Evening Primrose Oil. It isn't easy, even in the information age, to locate a constant supply of Borage Oil and Evening Primrose Oil in liquid forms, by themselves. If this happens to you, simply find gel caps with the highest (active) concentration. The most important thing is to start taking them now.
You must take your EFA with food for best absorption. Start with: 1,500 to 2,000 mg Flax Oil 2x's/day; 1,000 to 2,000 mg Borage Oil 2x's/day; 500 mg Evening Primrose 2x's/day. If, after 2 weeks, you do not see any significant difference, then add one more dose, taking the EFA 3x's/day.
** As with most supplements, you do not want to take the EFA with a fiber supplement. The fiber supplement will absorb the nutrients and they will be flushed out of your body before they can become of any real benefit.
Lecithin is paramount for fatty acid (EFA) absorption. It makes the EFA water soluble, which makes them more bio-available within your body. Lecithin helps repair your liver and helps to keep it clean from any build-up of fatty acids. The liver is the most important organ when it comes to healthy skin, so you can easily see the benefit to adding Lecithin to your daily supplementation.
You'll find that Lecithin actually contains fatty acids and is mostly derived from soybeans. There are other sources for lecithin, but I would advise you (for optimal health) to stick with the soybean sources only.
You must take your Lecithin with food for best results. Start with 1 tbsp 2x's/day to find your required dosage. This should give you a minimum of 10g daily. Don't worry, it is not toxic at this amount. Some people will need a slightly higher amount. Experiment with this dosage and slowly work your way up. Actually, you may find you can reduce the dosage. Take Lecithin at the same time you take your EFA for maximum absorption.
Magnesium helps normalize hormone production. It helps make skin smooth and flexible. Magnesium is said to be an anti-stress mineral. Those of us with hectic lifestyles, where stress seems to be the 'norm', can see where Magnesium supp-lementation can be of extreme benefit.
Magnesium also helps with stamina, fatigue, high blood pressure, kidney stones, eating disorders, anxiety, cavities, migraines, insomnia, and so much more. Mag- nesium is another supplement in which you need to supplement in order to take in the amount your body requires.
You must take the organic or the chelated Magnesium. Chelated simply means the vitamin was wrapped with an organic covering so that your body will absorb it more efficiently. Keep in mind, chelated minerals are less than 50% absorbable by the body, where organic is 95-98% absorbable.
Take at least 600 to 900mg per day. You may need to take more, if you have a very stressful lifestyle or if your diet is chock full of fatty foods and soft drinks, before you see any difference. Take Magnesium by itself, on an empty stomach, for best absorption.
Selenium is a great anti-oxidant and it protects the EFA while in your body. Once you start taking in more EFA on a daily basis, you will definitely need to supplement more and more Selenium for ultimate oxidation protection.
Selenium's effects are boosted when taken with combined with Vitamin A and Vitamin E. It also works with Vitamin E to maintain a healthy liver. Another great benefit is the Selenium has proven itself as a cancer fighter.
The best form of Selenium is known as Selenomethionine. Do not take a synthe- tic form of Selenium. As with all synthetic vitamins, your body cannot easily break them down and absorb them. One other option is Selenium yeast.
Start with 75 to 150 micrograms (mcg) per day. It can become toxic, so try and keep the daily dosage under 200 mcg per day, which is very safe. Stick with the natural forms and take Selenium with food for best results.
Zinc helps regulate your skin's oil glands. It promotes fast healing and is said to boost your immune system. Zinc is needed for the absorption of Vitamin A. Zinc will also keep your EFA from becoming oxidized within the body. If you're looking for better looking skin that heals faster, than you need to supplement with Zinc.
When taking Zinc, be sure to take only Zinc Monothionine (OptiZinc) or Zinc Picolinate. These two forms are your best chance for proper absorption within the body. Zinc can become toxic so be sure to keep your dosage under 100mg per day. The only time you could (safely) take more than 100mg per day is if you had an extremely active lifestyle with lots of exercise and sweating (sports, training, etc.)
Take only the forms of Zinc listed above. Take between 50 and 90mg per day. Remember, no more than 100mg per day unless you have a very active lifestyle. Take it with food for best results.
The most important free radical scavenger you can take. It is also very important for healthy skin. Many of today's so-called "wonder drugs" are derived from Vita- min A. It helps with new cell growth and repair. It is also an excellent antioxidant.
Vitamin A helps the kidneys fight infection and protects against cancer formation. It is so important that your body cannot utilize the protein it takes in with having Vitamin A present in your system.
You will never get enough Vitamin A from diet alone, so you must start supplementing it right away. Vitamin A can become very toxic to your body at high dosages, so approach with caution and be sure you're keeping an eye on the amount of I.U. you take in daily.
A safe Vitamin A dosage would be around 25,000 (or lower) I.U. per day. It's been documented that the best way to supplement Vitamin A is by taking carotenes, such as the popular beta-carotene. I take a mixture of straight Vitamin A (from fish oils and green vegetables) and a beta-carotene supplement. The beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A within the body.
Beta-carotene is non toxic but it will turn your skin orange if you take in too much on a continual basis (sometimes you'll even turn yellowish). Again, be sure to stick with a natural supplement. The synthetic supplements are like putting rocks into your body. They will not be absorbed or used, only treated as toxins.
Start with 50,000 I.U. per day of beta-carotene. You can work your way up to 125,000 I.U. per day for better results, but take it slow. Again, it is non-toxic, but if you don't need that much then don't waste it. Along with the beta-carotene you should take around 10,000 I.U. of straight Vitamin A. You can safely double this dosage if you're not seeing any results, but remember, beta carotene is the non-toxic supplement. Straight Vitamin A can become very toxic so keep the daily intake low. Take Vitamin A with food.
Vitamin B Complex:
B-Vitamins are great for EFA absorption. Without B-Vitamins, your body cannot convert the shorter chain EFA into the longer chain EFA that your body actually utilizes. Without B-Vitamins it doesn't matter how many EFA you take.
Your EFA supplementation will most likely lower once you start taking in more B-Vitamins. When looking for a B-Complex Vitamin be sure to look for one that includes Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6, as they are usually the B-Vitamins that your is deficient in.
Added note: please remember that along side megadoses of Pantothenic Acid (B5) it is required that you're taking a B-Complex Vitamin as well. This will insure that your body doesn't suffere from any deficiencies due to the high B5 intake.
Start with a solid B Vitamin Complex formula at the recommended dosage, or you can take 50mg of each vitamin on their own. You can slowly increase the intake, as you feel necessary. If you're taking in too many B vitamins you will find that your urine will become bright yellow. This means that your body is removing the excess from your system.
Vitamin C is a strong EFA protector and anti-oxidant. It aids with hormonal balance and boosts the immune system. It also helps reduce stress and reduce toxins within your system. Vitamin C also helps prevent cancer and infections.
Start with 500 to 750 mg per day. You can slowly take more if you do not experience any results, but be careful. Vitamin C in high doses can cause diarrhea and intestinal discomfort.
This vitamin should be natural Vitamin D that you get from the sun. Simply stand in the sunlight for 10-15 minutes per day and allow you body to soak it in. Your body will thank you for it...plus your skin will love it! Just don't overdo it.
Vitamin E is very important for fighting free radicals and oxidation within your system. This is crucial in regards to the absorption of EFA. You see, if you don't have anything in your body that will help fight the oxidation, then the EFA will oxidize and become toxic in your body. This renders them useless.
Vitamin E helps you in so many other ways. So many in fact that even if you didn't have to worry about oxidation within your system, you'd be doing yourself a huge favor by supplementing with it daily. (skin repair, sports, sex, memory, etc.)
Vitamin E can be obtained from foods (whole wheat/grain foods, raw nuts, beans, peas, oats, and more) as well as herbs (burdock, golden seal, echinacea, dandelion, and more).
Vitamin E is composed of eight Tocopherols, with the most potent being D-alpha Tocopherol. I use a combination of D-alpha and mixed Tocopherols. You could go either way, strictly D-alpha, or a mixed variety of Tocopherols. One important thing to remember, never use the synthetic version Vitamin E. You can easily spot this by the name, d1-alpha. Do you see the difference? Do not use the version that has the "1" slipped in. Remember, d1-alpha is out, d-alpha is in. Whenever possible, be sure to purchase organic supplements. You must always buy the natural versions, but organic quality is one step above that of the natural. Organic minerals are 95-98% absorbable by your body.
Take Vitamin E the same time you eat fats, as it is fat soluble, for best ab-sorption. You can also take it with your EFA. Start out at 1,000 I.U. per day. You can slowly up your dosage to around 1,500 I.U. per day if needed. Re-member, Zinc is required in order for Vitamin E to act effectively.
By now you're eyes are probably bulging out of your head because of all the pills (and powders) you'll have to take just to get your system back to normal. True, it is very overwhelming at first, but you need to know why you need supplements.
You see, the quality of the soil isn't what it was 50 years ago. Heck, it isn't like it was 20 years ago. In hopes for higher profits and greater returns, conventional farming methods have robbed our soils of vital minerals. Because of this, it is almost impossible to get what we need from eating alone. We must supplement.
The soil manufacturer the nutrients, If the soil is deficient, then the foods, plant, fruits and vegetables will lack the complete spectrum of minerals our bodies re-quire. Plants do produce vitamins, but once they're picked, they slowly lose their vitamin content. Many people don't realize that most fruits vegetables are stored for some time before they're brought to the local market and put on sale.
It's not unheard of to find fruits devoid of vitamins by the time it goes on sale!
Even organic foods are not what they used to be. However, organic foods are still leaps and bounds better for you, nutritionally, when compared to conventional methods. Always opt for organic whenever you have the chance.
However, there is an even more powerful way to take in your daily requirement nutritional cofactors, in their natural state, without any fear of ingesting synthetic compounds. That way, my friend, is by eating SUPERFOODS!
Superfoods, second only to a complete raw food fruit and vegetable diet, are the most complete means of taking in the precious nutritional cofactors in their natural (usually organic) state.
Superfoods are specialized foods that contain an incredible amount of naturally-occurring nutrition. Superfoods should be supplemented into every diet to complete the body's amino acid, trace minerals, and vitamin requirements.
Superfoods have been eaten by various cultures over the world for years. In some societies, Superfoods are revered foods that are used in ceremonial rites and taken with respect. Superfoods are unique as they provide a natural mix of nutrition.
Some Superfoods contain every essential amino acid required by your body for protein building. Our body's actually require the raw amino acids, provided by nature, as opposed to synthetically formed protein combinations. (shakes, bars)
You can successfully, and easily, replace every single vitamin, mineral, and protein supplement available on the market today with the proper mix of Super-foods. By doing this, you will also take in a full array of nutrition.
Superfood ideas: Green Foods, Wheat Grass, Barley Grass, Chlorella, Spirulina, Klamath Blue Green Algae, Kamut Grass, Kelp, and Dulse.
WHY SUPERFOODS AND NOT PROTEIN ISOLATES? Nature, in her infinite wisdom, does not produce isolated nutrients. Although there are some isolated vitamins and minerals that have benefits, they cannot and do not act as nutrients by themselves.
They must be organically bound in an entire complex of whole food based constituents in order for the body to recognize and utilize them. At this is why you'll find that some supplements are chelated. Chelated simply means that the vitamin was wrapped with an organic coating. This is done to trick the body into thinking it's a natural compound. However, at best, it is only 50% absorbable.
The large portion that is left over after the body has given up trying to absorb any useful nutrients settles out in tissues and creates harmful deposits. This left over waste will also tax the liver and kidneys before it is expelled through the urine, making this the most expensive urine sample on the planet.
In some cases, isolated minerals will actually cause your body to expel more nutrients than it has taken in. This means that your body is actually losing nutrients in order to remove the entire isolated compound from your body. This, of course, will lead to further nutritional deficiencies. This can lead to the body suppressing beneficial activities such as internal cleansing.
I hope this report "hit home". Use this information to empower yourself.
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