It’s not a myth—we are definitely comprised of the elements that we eat. These elements are absorbed into the bloodstream and feed every cell. Each month we renew our skin, every six weeks we have a new liver and every three months we have new bones. In order to renew and rebuild these organs and tissues, we need to supply our bodies with the materials that have been lost as a result of constant use, degeneration or aging.
The problem is that we’re not getting enough nutrients to keep our cells fed. The Standard American Diet or SAD (an acronym that is most appropriate) is grossly inadequate and almost devoid of many nutrients. Americans are overfed and undernourished. Adding to the problem, many drugs interfere with the absorption of key nutrients. For example, tetracycline interferes with calcium, magnesium and iron absorption, and many antibiotics interfere with the absorption of the B vitamins, while oral contraceptives and hormones reduce levels of water-soluble vitamins.
It has been well documented in scientific literature that nutrition can play a key role in skin health. In relation to skin disease and aging, the bad news is that poor nutrition can accelerate skin degeneration. The good news, however, is that a healthful diet complete with optimal nutrition can help forestall, prevent, and even reverse skin conditions. Take charge of your skin, as you can literally eat your way to healthier skin while promoting total well-being.
Most people do not even realize that the skin symptom they see in the mirror and fatigue they feel are the result of nutrient deficiencies. We may not know the precise amounts of nutrients that each person’s body needs to close the gap between what’s consumed and what’s missed, but we do know that certain dietary nutrients can counteract inflammation, stress, and neutralize free radicals. It’s important to remember that before there was medicine, there was food.
The best that we can do is eat well and take supplemental nutrients in amounts that are greater than we can easily consume in the foods we eat, but not so much that we create imbalances or reach toxic levels. These changes can be part of a long-term, inclusive solution, augmenting current topical skin care regimens to improve the look of skin, while at the same time increasing longevity and health down to the cellular level.