Sunday, January 15, 2012

What Vitamins Are Needed for Skin Elasticity?

Skin is the largest organ of the body. It acts as a waterproof, insulating shield and protects an individual's more sensitive organs against extreme temperatures, harmful substances, bacteria and the sun. The skin of a baby is soft and supple but as a person ages, skin loses its ability to retain moisture and becomes thinner, drier and less elastic. Loss of fat, collagen and elastin make skin saggy. Some changes in the skin are natural whereas others occur due to sun and pollution. Diet plays an important role in delaying skin damage and certain vitamin can help.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps maintain healthy teeth, soft tissues and mucous membranes. It also helps maintain skin. According to the Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery clinic, vitamin A in the form retinol and carotenoids has the ability to protect the skin from UV rays, maintain skin elasticity and repair damaged skin. Vitamin A can be obtained from a variety of animal sources such as eggs, meat, milk and fish oils, and from green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A supplements are available in most pharmacies without a prescription. However, chronic vitamin A poisoning, as per MedlinePlus, can occur in adults who take more than 25,000 IU of vitamin A per day and can manifest itself as dizziness, drowsiness, headache and irritability.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the growth and development of the body whereas vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps with red blood cell formation. Both vitamin C and E have antioxidant properties and can neutralize the free radicals that harm cells, tissues and organs, including the skin. This can significantly reverse the skin damage caused by sun and smoke. Vitamin C also helps build collagen and deficiency of this vitamin can cause loss of skin elasticity and dry skin. Several studies, such as the one published in the January 2004 edition of the Journal of Dermatological Treatment, have found that nutritional supplements that are rich in vitamins C and E can significantly improve skin smoothness and elasticity.

Citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries and green leafy vegetables are rich sources of vitamin C, whereas vitamin E can be found in abundance in nuts, seeds, olives and leafy vegetables. Vitamin C and E supplements are also available in most drug stores. However, it is important to follow the instructions on the package or talk to a doctor before taking these supplements as an overdose of vitamin C can lead to upset stomach and diarrhea while chronic over use of vitamin E can cause heart disease.

Vitamin K is another fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in blood clotting. According to Vitamin Research Products, vitamin K deficiency has been linked to pseudoxanthoma elasticum, a hereditary condition that causes severe wrinkling of the skin on the face and body. Consumption of vitamin K can lead to an improvement in the elasticity of the skin in subjects with this condition. Vitamin K can be obtained from a variety of sources, including cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, cereals, soybeans and other vegetables. Vitamin K is also made by the bacteria present in the digestive tract. Vitamin K supplements are available and are well tolerated by most individuals.

Lutein is an naturally occurring pigment that is found in leafy vegetables such as spinach and has been known to maintain eye health. But the results of a study published by Medical News Today in September 2006 show that lutein supplements help increase hydration by 38 percent and elasticity by almost 8 percent. Moderate amounts of lutein are generally safe to use, but consultation with a health professional is always advisable.

Article reviewed by GayleZorrilla 

View the original article here


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