Skin is the largest organ of the human body and it plays an important role in protecting our body from pathogens and excessive water loss. It is the organ that perform the functions like temperature regulation, insulation, sensation, and synthesis of vitamin D.
We all know that adequate nutrition is essential for the proper functioning of each and every organ of our body. But certain vitamins, minerals and micronutrients are especially beneficial for improving the health of your skin.
Below are the seven key vitamins and minerals that mostly affect your skin health.
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient needed for human health.. It is a group of organic compounds that includes retinol, retinal (also known as retinaldehyde), retinoic acid, and several provitamin A carotenoids. This fat-soluble vitamin has multiple functions and is essential for embryo development and growth, clear vision and the maintenance of the immune system.
Vitamin A is critical for the normal life cycle of skin cells. Deficiency of vitamin A causes the skin to become dry, fragile and prone to wrinkles. Excessive intake of Vitamin A may cause serious toxicity and should be avoided.
Topical retinol improves fine wrinkles associated with natural aging. Studies show that retinol-treated aged skin is more likely to withstand skin injury and ulcer formation along with improved appearance.
Certain combinations of B vitamins demonstrate a positive influence on human keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Vitamins especially promoted fibroblast migration, and a statistically significant induction of keratinocyte proliferation was observed. Therefore, local vitamin application could benefit the physiologic wound healing process.
B vitamins are a class of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism and synthesis of red blood cells. These vitamins share similar names such as B1 for thiamine, B2 for riboflavin, and B3 for niacin etc. But they are chemically distinct compounds that often coexist in the same foods. In general, dietary supplements containing all eight are referred to as a vitamin B complex.
B-complex vitamins, especially B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B12 (cyanocobalamin) can potentially affect your skin health. Overdose or deficiencies of vitamins B1 and B2 are known to cause special forms of dermatitis, a kind of skin inflammation. B12 deficiency is particularly detrimental to neurons and rapidly dividing cells,. which include skin cells [study].
Vitamin C, iron and copper are needed for the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is a key structural protein which fills the skin and gives it tone.
So the deficiencies of these nutrients affect your skin health. Vitamin C also helps to reduce the adverse effect of free radicals damage which may cause chronic health problems such as cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases [study]. The presence of free radicals in our body cause skin degeneration and premature aging.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin mainly found in fresh fruits, berries and vegetables. It is needed for the synthesis of collagen.
Vitamin C is very important in wound healing process. Without enough vitamin C, a person can get an illness called scurvy. Lack of vitamin C is a serious health problem and its dificiency leads to an illness called scurvy.
Iron is a potential therapeutic target in the skin by application of topical iron chelators and novel pharmacological agents [study], and in delayed cutaneous wound healing by treatment of iron deficiency or underlying systemic inflammation.
Copper is an essential mineral that plays a key role in many physiological and metabolic processes, including angiogenesis, skin generation and expression and stabilization of extracellular skin proteins [study]. Copper has also potent wide spectrum biocidal properties. The combination of these two distinct properties of copper makes copper a very attractive active material for the improvement of skin well-being.
Beta carotene is a plant pigment that gives vegetables and fruits their vibrant yellow and orange color. It possesses powerful antioxidant properties. Like vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene also have antioxidant properties that reduce the adverse effects of free radicals produced in our body ( due to the factors like oxidative stress, environmental pollution, cigarette smoking, illnesses, mental stress etc.)
A 2012 Review cited in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that the antioxidant properties of beta carotene can increase the skin’s defenses against UV radiation and helps to boost skin health and appearance.
Excessive doses of certain nutrients can be just as harmful as deficiencies. So it is best to abide by the recommended daily allowance (RDA), especially when you choose to take supplements for your nutritional needs.
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