Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies can Cause Acne
Sometimes acne is the cause of a nutritional deficiency. These are more and more common due to the lack of nutrients in processed foods and snacks that many people consume on a daily basis.
Our skin requires certain elements in order to stay healthy. In addition, since acne is an inflammatory condition, a lack of certain nutrients can aggravate inflammation. Thus, it’s not possible to get rid of acne without reducing inflammation to a minimum.
Vitamin A – a lack of this important vitamin can lead to acne, infections, loss of vision, and loss of bone. This vitamin comes in two forms: retinols and carotenoids. Retinol is the most bio-available form of vitamin A and is present in animal products as a fat-soluble vitamin. Carotenoids can be found in vegetables and fruits, such as carrots, tomato, mango. This form of vitamin A needs to be converted into retinol inside the body in order to be absorbed.
Vitamin A can also be found in supplement form. However, taking it in high doses can be dangerous and needs to be monitored by a doctor. The acne medication Accutane basically contains high doses of a form of vitamin A. The side-effects can be very numerous and severe when taking this medication.
It is best to get your vitamin A from natural sources. Since vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is necessary to get enough good fats into your diet in order to prevent and cure acne. Foods such as fatty fish, cheese, poultry and other meats, are the best sources of vitamin A.
If you choose to get your vitamin A from an exclusive plant-based diet, it’s necessary to eat enough saturated fat from vegetable oils such as coconut or palm oil.
Vitamin E – This vitamin is extremely important for your skin, and it is also a main antioxidant. Also, vitamin E protects vitamin A from getting destroyed, thus aids its absorption. This vitamin is very important for our endocrine glands, as well as for preventing coronary heart disease.
A vitamin E deficiency can lead to acne, psoriasis, eczema, Parkinson’s disease, or premature aging. There are 8 subgroups to vitamin E: 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols. Vitamin E supplements usually contain tocopherol, but new research shows that tocotrienols may be more beneficial.
It seems that tocotrienols have better anti-oxidative properties than tocopherols, which makes them very beneficial in treating acne. Studies have shown that tocotrienols protect the skin from free radicals, while aiding the healing process of lesions. Natural sources of tocotrienols include: rice, annatto, coconut oil, wheat germs, and cocoa butter.
Zinc – Especially in western countries, zinc deficiencies are very common. This essential mineral is located in great amounts in our epidermis, which makes it essential for healthy skin. Zinc also plays a very important role in hormonal functions, being part of many important hormones such as insulin and sexual hormones. A zinc deficiency can manifest itself by red patchy skin tissue, dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, and hair loss.
Studies have shown that many acne sufferers have a zinc deficiency. Once they receive a zinc supplement, they can get rid of their acne lesions quite fast. The papules are the most common type of blemishes that people with zinc deficiencies get.
Another important function of zinc is its anti-inflammatory property that has been demostrated during clinical trials.
The best sources of natural zinc are meat and fish, although some seeds and grains contain it too. However, zinc from seeds and grains is not as bio-available as zinc from animal sources. This is due to the fact that phytates in seeds and grains block the absorption of zinc and other minerals.
Although other nutrients are also very important for your skin, such as sulfur and omega 3 fatty acids, the ones mentioned above are the most essential. If your acne is caused by a deficiency, it is very likely that you are low in one of these elements. You can look for a natural supplement that is easier for your body to absorb, and that doesn’t disrupt the absorption of other nutrients. The best mineral and vitamin supplements are in colloidal form, and can be a safe and effective option of supplementing.
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