What are the best dietary supplements to take for acne?
Desert In Bloom has formulated an Acne Dietary Supplement Containing all of these essential supplements in one capsule!
Good question! Let’s start by first reviewing the 4 primary causes of acne and then I’ll explain what dietary supplements can help balance each of those causes.
The 4 primary causes of acne are:
- Elevated Testosterone Levels
- Improper Shedding Of Dead Skin Cells
- P Acnes Bacteria Infection & inflammation in response to the infection
- Inflammation: Inflammation from free radicals attacking the skin due to sun exposure & systemic inflammation
The Acne Cascade
The Acne Cascade is a vicious cycle that is primarily determined by your genetics and your diet. First, if you have acne, you are genetically predisposed to produce higher levels of the androgen hormone testosterone. Compound that with a diet that is high in sugars, carbohydrates, processed foods & dairy products and it can make matters worse.
High sugar, refined carbohydrates and dairy products cause spikes in your blood sugar levels. This triggers and increase in insulin levels. Increased insulin triggers an increase in the production of testosterone. Excess testosterone converts to DH testosterone triggering the sebaceous glands to produce sebum. Excess sebum causes dead skin cells to block your hair follicles, trapping P Acnes bacteria resulting in acne. P Acnes infection is inflammatory.
It’s All In The Sebum
There’s an adage in the medical community: It’s All In The Blood. WIth acne: It’s All In The Sebum.
People who are prone to acne have increased sebum production and different sebum composition from people who do not suffer from acne. First, the total amount of sebum produced is 60% higher in acne-prone skin. And, the sebum of acne-prone skin has 220% more Squalene and 20% less essential Fatty Acids composition. Finally, acne-prone skin is deficient in Vitamin E.
Vitamin E, a strong antioxidant, protects Squalene from cleaving into free radicals when exposed to UV radiation from exposure to sunlight. The free radicals attack the skin tissue which is inflammatory and is the onset of a pimple. Vitamin E also scavenges free radicals produced during metabolism of fats, prevents sebum from becoming rancid and turning waxy which clogs hair follicles, and repairs damaged skin reducing the inflammatory response from immune cells.
Vitamin A, or retinal, is a beta-carotene that helps to promote healthy shedding of dead skin cells from the hair follicles and the maturation of new skin cells. Vitamin A promotes hormonal balance, reducing the production of excess sebum and reduces inflammation due to its strong antioxidant properties.
Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid
Vitamin B5 reduces the sizes of hair follicles. When the hair follicles are constricted sebum is pushed out to the skin surface where it can be sloughed off. The constriction reduces the chances that the pores will be clogged by dead skin cells, bacteria and excess sebum. Pantothenic acid also increases the production of Coenzyme A which speeds up fat metabolism so there is far less fat available to the sebaceous glands and sebum production is reduced.
L-Carnitine, an amino acid, is involved in the transport of fatty acids across cell membranes where the fats are metabolised. Related to the biochemical mechanism of Vitamin B5, L-Carnitine reduces the amount of fat available to the sebaceous glands and sebum production is reduced.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects the skin from damage from free radicals that start the cascade that leads to acne. Vitamin C also promotes the production of healthy collagen which prevents the skin’s protective mantle from breaking down as toxins surface. Vitamin C also inhibits melanocytes from overproducing melanin which and can help reduce the redness and hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) associated with acne pigmentation scars.
Ever notice that your acne may get better during the summer months? Thank Vitamin D3! Vitamin D3 is produced in your skin in response to sun exposure and can be an important Vitamin in the treatment of acne. Most importantly, Vitamin D3 suppresses cell proliferation in the sebaceous glands. It prevents the enlargement of the sebaceous glands and reduces the production of sebum. Vitamin D also produces an antimicrobial effect through a group of natural antibacterial agents called cathelicidins.
Zinc has many important functions for acne clearing. Zinc assists with the metabolism of omega-3 fatty acids. Zinc is an important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory for the skin. Zinc helps break down substance P, a nerve chemical that causes sebum production when the body is stressed. Finally, zinc is responsible for transporting Vitamin A. an antiacne nutrient, from the liver. Recent studies have shown that people with acne have low levels of zinc in their system.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil and Omega-3 Eggs)
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to be anti-inflammatory, and the relative intake of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids may be a crucial dietary factor in the regulation of systemic inflammation. Western diets tend to be very unbalanced in essential fatty acid intake; the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in Western diets is commonly 10 to 1.
The high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in our diet likely plays a role in the prevalence of acne which is an inflammatory skin condition. Increasing dietary omega-3 fats is an important step towards reducing acne. High levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease inflammation, and may reduce insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and preventing hyperkeratinization of sebaceous follicles.
Flaxseed & Safflower Oil
Two Essential Fatty Acids – Linoleic & Alpha-Linolenic Acid – are known to be deficient in the sebum of acne-prone skin. The deficiency is thought to contribute to inflammation. These essential fatty acids, which the body cannot produce, must be obtained from your diet. Flaxseed and Safflower Oil are both high is these essential fatty acids.
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) – The Antioxidant In Green Tea
Green Tea has strong antioxidant properties. EGCG, a catechin, and other polyphenols in Green Tea have been shown to be 25 to 100 times more potent than Vitamins C and E in antioxidant activity! Of particular interest to people suffering from acne is that Green Tea is clinically-proven to reduce acne lesions by up to 50% and sebum production by up to 70%!