Supplements to Help With Acne
According to a 1998 study published in Archives of Dermatology, acne vulgaris can significantly affect your quality of life. Acne is seen mostly in adolescents and young adults, although it affects middle-aged adults, too. Acne vulgaris is characterized by papules, pustules, nodules, cysts and scars. Certain supplements can help reduce or eliminate your acne.
Retinol, a source of vitamin A, reduces your production of sebum--a waxy, oily substance--as well as excess keratin, and it helps clear your pores. High doses of vitamin A can be effective for acne, but vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and it can't easily be eliminate from your body. Speak with a naturopathic doctor or another health-care professional to determine a safe and appropriate amount of vitamin A for you to take.
Zinc is involved with your hormone production, vitamin A metabolism and immunity, and it is essential to normal skin function. Teenage males, the largest group of acne sufferers by population, tends to be particularly low in zinc. According to Dr. Michael T. Murray, a naturopathic doctor and the author of "Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements: The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally," take 45 to 60mg of zinc to help combat your acne vulgaris.
Vitamin E & Selenium
Acne patients, particularly males, may have suboptimal levels of the antioxidant glutathione peroxidase, which may be regulated with vitamin E and selenium. The ability of vitamin E and selenium to reduce free radical damage may be helpful for acne in both men and women. Murray recommends a daily dose of 200 to 400 IU of vitamin E. AcneTeam.com states that taking 200 to 400 micrograms of selenium per day may reduce your acne in 12 weeks or less.
Many people with acne show some form of blood sugar abnormality and insulin insensitivity. Along with reducing your refined sugar intake, taking chromium on a daily basis can help improve your insulin sensitivity and regulate your blood sugar, which helps clear up your acne. Murray states that taking 400 to 600 micrograms of chromium daily is an optimal dose.
According to "The Clinician's Handbook of Natural Medicine" by naturopathic physicians Joseph E. Pizzorno, Michael T. Murray and Herb Joiner-Bey, vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, is helpful if you're a woman suffering from acne before your menses. Before your menses, your hormone levels experience significant fluctuation, and vitamin B6 works by helping regulate your steroid hormone metabolism.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic physician and health activist, vitamin D plays an important role in your immune system's response to any type of infection, including acne. A 2007 study in Experimental Dermatology suggests that vitamin D directly affects your sebum-producing cells, indicating that vitamin D may be a promising treatment for acne. Mercola states that the best way for you to optimize your vitamin D levels is to expose large areas of your skin to healthy amounts of sunlight. If you have fair skin, you should curtail your sun exposure when your skin turns the lightest shade of pink.
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