Vitamins And Minerals
Slow Aging And Enhance The Complexion
by James Meschino, D.C., M.S.
The skin is the largest organ in the human body. Each day many thousands of
skin cells are shed from the outermost layer and continually replaced by rapidly
dividing cells from the skin layers underneath. Due to their short lifespan and
rapid growth rate, developing skin cells require a steady supply of specific
nutrients, fed to them from the bloodstream, to remain and look healthy from one
generation of cells to the next.
It is a simple fact that radiant, more
youthful skin demands proper external care plus adequate vitamin and mineral
intake to provide nourishment to developing skin cells. Optimal consumption of
nutrients is an essential, but often overlooked, step in enhancing the texture
and beauty of the skin. In the past few years, studies have revealed the optimal
doses of various compounds required to help the body manufacture the smoothest,
softest and most radiant skin, as well as minimize the formation of wrinkles and
slow other characteristics of skin aging.
Ingestion of antioxidant vitamins and minerals from
supplements has been shown to protect skin cells from free-radical damage
induced by overexposure to ultraviolet light and various harmful environmental
chemicals. In particular, free-radical damage from excessive UV overexposure can
cause aging and wrinkling of the skin, as well as other forms of skin damage.
Supplementation with specific doses of vitamin C, vitamin E, betacarotene,
lycopene, selenium and zinc may boost the body’s ability to intercept and
neutralize free radicals, defending skin cells from many of these damaging
Antioxidant supplements can greatly protect the skin from
free-radical damage, which depletes the skin’s antioxidant nutrient supply. A
properly designed high-potency multivitamin and mineral that is fortified with
optimal levels of specific antioxidant vitamins and minerals can help protect
the skin from free-radical damage.
In addition to boosting the internal defenses, antioxidant
vitamins and minerals can support detoxification by helping the body expel
toxins that can aggravate various skin conditions (e.g., psoriasis, acne,
eczema). These compounds also aid in the production of prostaglandin hormones
that improve skin texture, smoothness and moisture.
Daily oral antioxidant supplementation should be viewed as a
necessary component of skincare management throughout adult life. Topically
applied antioxidants have been shown to be insufficient as a singular approach
to protect the skin from free-radical damage, and do not influence
detoxification and prostaglandin production. Only orally ingested antioxidants
can provide all of these benefits.
A high-potency multiple vitamin and mineral supplement should
contain the following levels of antioxidants:
- Vitamin C—1,000 mg
- Vitamin E—300-400 IU
- Beta-carotene—10,000-20,000 IU
- Vitamin A—2,000-3,000 IU
- Zinc—10-20 mg
- Lycopene—5-10 mg
Beyond Antioxidant Power
In addition to their role as antioxidants, several of these
nutrients play additional roles in skin health. For example, zinc status is
integral to achieving healthy-looking skin. This mineral is involved in sebaceous gland function, local
skin hormone activation, wound healing, inflammation and tissue regeneration.
Studies indicate the majority of people do not consume enough zinc, creating a
marginal zinc deficiency that can result in susceptibility to unhealthy skin,
acne and other problems.
Selenium also is vital for healthy skin, playing a key role in
antioxidant protection and the prevention and management of various skin
conditions. Selenium and zinc supplementation boosts the skin’s antioxidant
defenses and helps reduce freeradical damage and mutations to the DNA of skin
cells. A high-potency multi- and mineral formula should contain 10-20 mg of zinc
and 75-200 mcg of selenium to further boost antioxidant function within skin
cells and enhance skin’s vitality and appearance.
The fat-soluble vitamins A and D also are important in the
normal growth and development of skin cells. Skin cells have vitamin D
receptors, and adequate vitamin D stimulation from within the body is required
for those cells to develop normally. Vitamin A, meanwhile, is involved in the growth and repair of skin cells; in fact, vitamin A
deficiency is known to cause thickened dry skin that is prone to infection.
However, too much vitamin A also can damage skin and internal organs. Ideally, optimal dosages will be incorporated in a
high-potency vitamin and mineral multiple to provide a full cohort of
The B Vitamins
Virtually all of the B vitamins are required at sufficient
doses to ensure healthy development of skin cells. A number of skin disorders are known to directly result from
inadequate B vitamin intake. Deficiencies of the B vitamins produce various
forms of dermatitis (skin inflammation problems), including lack of skin
smoothness, seborrhoea-like scaly lesions, and/or irregular pigmentation. The use of B vitamin supplementation has been shown to correct
these skin problems and successfully treat a wide range of other dermatitis
conditions. B vitamins also are effective as cofactors in the production of
local prostaglandin hormones that improve the smoothness and texture of the
Experimental studies have revealed that niacin (vitamin B3)
supplementation can help skin damage and guard against weakened skin immune
function by increasing energy available to skin cells; this helps skin cells repair free-radical damage and mutations
before they become permanent.
A high-potency multivitamin and mineral also should provide a
complete B-complex to enhance the smoothness and the appearance of skin, and
help guard against free-radical damage.
Complementary Anti-Aging Benefits
While beneficial for limiting skin problems associated with
aging, daily supplementation with a high-potency multiple vitamin and mineral
can help address other body areas prone to aging and environmental damage. For
instance, a good multi-vitamin can provide the body with the right blend and
doses of nutrients needed to enhance nail hardness and the sheen and quality of
hair. Also, supplements with 500 mg of elemental calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D—along
with other bone support nutrients such as magnesium, copper and vitamin C—can
help guard against osteoporosis.
The daily ingestion of a high-potency multiple vitamin and
mineral supplement is an important aspect of skincare and health promotion. A
comprehensive formula will supply optimal levels of the vitamins and minerals
required for radiant, healthy-looking skin, lustrous hair and smooth, hard nails
while supporting the body’s total well-being and vitality.
James Meschino, D.C., M.S., is a fellow of the Academy of
Anti-Aging Research, specializing in nutrition and biology. He teaches nutrition
at several academic institutions and is the author of The Wrinkle- Free Zone:
Your Guide to Perfect Skin in 30 Days. He also is the product formulator of
Adëeva Nutritional Products, www.adeeva.com.
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