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What Vitamins Make the Hairy Shiny & the Skin Healthy?

What Vitamins Make the Hairy Shiny & the Skin Healthy? What Vitamins Make the Hairy Shiny & the Skin Healthy?

The human body depends on an adequate daily dose of vitamins, along with other essential nutrients, to maintain good health and function normally. Vitamins are organic substances found in foods and synthetically available in supplements. Certain vitamins, either taken orally or applied topically, directly promote hair and skin health.

Vitamin A for Healthy Skin

Vitamin A functions to maintain and repair skin tissue. The active form of vitamin A is retinol, which is found in meat, eggs, whole milk, cheese, cod, halibut and fish oil. Carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, are antioxidant components in plants that convert into another form of vitamin A. Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apricots, broccoli and most green leafy vegetables are sources of beta-carotene. Vitamin A, in carotenoids form, may protect the breakdown of collagen caused by exposure to the sun's UV rays. Stronger evidence supports the role of vitamin A, in retinol form, in treating sun-related skin damage. Topical prescription creams that contain retinol are FDA approved for the treatment of fine wrinkles, skin roughness and mottled hyperpigmentation caused by aging or sun exposure.

Biotin for Healthy Hair

Biotin is one of the B vitamins and is found in small amounts in many foods. Sources of the B vitamins include proteins such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy. Vitamin B is found in green leafy vegetables, legumes and fortified food products. Biotin is important fo skin, hair and nail cell formation. Biotin deficiency presents with thinning hair and often loss of hair color and a red, scaly skin rash that occurs around the eyes, nose and mouth.

Vitamin C for Sun Exposure Protection

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which protects the body against damage caused by free radicals. Radiation from exposure to the sun's harmful rays is one type of free radical. Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, broccoli and tomatoes, is necessary for the production of collagen, which is the connective protein found in skin, ligament and blood vessels. Vitamin C, because of its antioxidant property, may help reverse the signs of premature aging caused by sun exposure.

Research conducted at the University of Leicester and Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Portugal reveals new evidence of the skin protective properties of vitamin C. Tiago Duarte, Marcus S. Cooke and G. Don Jones analyzed the effect of sustained exposure of a vitamin C derivative, ascorbic acid 2-phosphate on human skin connective tissue cells. They investigated which genes in these cells were activated by vitamin C. Duarte, Cooke and Jones suggest that these findings have relevance to the antioxidant role of vitamin C in premature skin aging caused by free radicals. This study was released on the University of Leicester website on September 9, 2009.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that protects the cell membranes and may protect the skin from the sun's damaging rays. In her report, published on April 12, 2010 in the online issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Jenny Kim, M.D., PhD., FAAD, points out that the ultraviolet rays of the sun deplete levels of vitamin E in the skin. Dr. Kim's report on the effectiveness of vitamins for treating sun-damaged skin, suggests that topical application of products containing vitamin E and vitamin C before going out in the sun may protect the skin from damage.

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