5 Essential Minerals for Beautiful Healthy Skin

Food & Health

This blog follows on from my previous blog on my top recommendations for vitamins for beautiful healthy skin.

I will now focus on the essential minerals important for skin.  Although both are considered micronutrients, vitamin and minerals differ in basic ways:

  1. Vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, air and acid.
  2. Minerals are inorganic and hold on to their chemical structure.

What this means is minerals found in soil and water easily find their way into our bodies through plants, fish, animals and fluids we consume.  Unlike vitamins which may easily be broken down by cooking, storage and simple exposure to air.

As before, I will briefly go through what does and why it is important, food sources which you can get them from and optimum doses (which I find typically can only be achieved with supplementation especially if you’re living in a polluted environment, have a stressful lifestyle or travel a lot).  I know we all aim to eat well and we hope we would get sufficient nutrients in our food but since modern day farming depletes the natural soil that the food grows on or feed on, supplementation has become a necessity in our modern day life.

The following statement is important, so please take note prior to taking any supplements (also repeated in my previous vitamins blog):

To ensure we maximise the nutrients we are taking in, it is important to:

  • Ensure our digestive system is working properly (i.e. it’s not inflamed, the gut lining wall absorbs nutrients effectively and we have the right amount of enzymes and good bacteria to process the food).
  • Ensure our detoxification system is working optimally (i.e. our gut, liver, kidneys, skin and anti-oxidants are removing toxins and waste regularly and efficiently)
  • Ensure our metabolic system is working smoothly (i.e. the nutrients we absorb is being used to repair the skin and balance our hormones, rather than fire fighting illnesses, toxins, pollutants and stresses.
  • The food we are eating is rich in nutrients for the reasons mentioned above.

For now, let’s assume your digestive system, detoxification system and metabolic system is working like clockwork (woohoo!!), let’s look essential minerals necessary on a daily basis to achieve and maintain beautiful healthy skin.

NOTE 1: Please seek nutritional advice or a specialist if you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, breast feeding, suffer from allergies or taking other medications that may interact with the supplements.

NOTE 2: Please note the recommended supplement doses are much higher than the RDA (recommended daily allowance). RDA has been set by the government as a reference to what the general population should be getting. These levels are designed to prevent you from developing nutritional deficiency diseases e.g. scurvy or rickets. However there is a big difference between absence of disease and optimum health. RDA also does not take into account the environment we live in, the pressures of daily life, medication we may take and the easy access to processed food which all depletes the nutrients we take in and need.

NOTE 3: Always start at a lower dose and slowly work your way up.


ESSENTIAL MINERALS FOR BEAUTIFUL HEALTHY SKIN

MAGNESIUM

nori-seaweed

What does it do?

Magnesium is a cofactor (supporter) for more than 300 metabolic reactions in the body including protein synthesis, cell growth and reproduction, DNA synthesis and stabilisation of energy forming organs (mitochondrial) within the cells.  Magnesium also plays an important role in glucose and insulin metabolism which is vital as high glucose in the blood can increase inflammation, breakouts and premature wrinkles (from cell glycation).

Magnesium also helps you relax by easing muscles, eliminating headaches, reducing stress and promoting restful sleep which all contribute to beautiful healthy skin.

Best food sources

Dark green vegetables, sea vegetables, whole grains and nuts

Recommended supplement dose

400mg/day - higher doses may be needed to cope with stress or extreme exercise.


ZINC

deals-oysters

What does it do?

For the skin, zinc accelerates the renewal of skin cells. It also been proven effective in treating acne, psoriasis and other skin disorders.  It’s a powerful anti-oxidant and aids in wound healing. Zinc is also important for healthy hair and nails.  Insufficient zinc levels may result in loss of hair, hair that looks thin and dull or that goes grey early.

Zinc is also thought be a calming neurotransmitter, reducing hyperactivity, anxiety, mood swings, irritability and nervousness.

Best food sources

Meat, liver, eggs and seafood especially oysters.

Recommended supplement dose

Optimal range between 15-30mg/day.  Doses greater than 60mg/day should be consulted with a physician.


COPPER

Assorted fresh seafood, shell and shellfish

What does it do?

Copper is a trace mineral and has high anti-oxidant activity.  It is found in connective tissues and protects against DNA damage. It influences overall healing and protein metabolism.

Best food sources

Organ meats (liver, kidney), vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, the bran and germ portion of grains, liver kidneys, shellfish, oysters and crustaceans.

Recommended supplement dose

1.5 - 3.0mg/day.  You may want to increase your dose if:-

If you’re taking an iron tablet as it may decrease copper levels.

If you’re taking a drug that blocks acid secretion (e.g. H2 blockers and Proton Pump inhibitors), as this may also impede copper absorption.


SELENIUM

What does it do?

Selenium is one of the trace elements that’s fundamental to overall health.  It is another important component of antioxidant enzymes which protects the cells against free radical damage.  It also preserves DNA integrity, maintaining telomere length to inhibit the ageing process.  It reduces mitochondrial oxidative stress (the cell’s powerhouse).  It boost immunity, promotes cancer cell suicide, detoxifies the body, improves brain function, alleviate anxiety and depression, reduces inflammation, support thyroid function, improves fertility and reduces your risk of viral infections.  All that in one little mineral!

On top of that, it helps to regenerate Vitamin E and C, decreasing further the ageing of the skin.

Best food sources

Organ meats (liver, kidney), oysters, tuna, herring, whole grains, nuts, brewers yeast, wheat germ and vegetables (this depend on the amount of selenium in the soil).

Recommended supplement dose

50 - 200mcg/ day (should not exceed 400mcg/day.


SULPHUR

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What does it do?

Sulphur is a vital mineral contributing to the constituents of keratin and collagen - substances in the skin, hair and nails.  It is needed for new cell formation and for keeping the bonds between the cells strong but pliable (this is important for suppleness and skin not flaking all the time).  It’s also a great detoxifier, aiding in skin healing and treating acne, allergies and much more. Great to fend off premature wrinkles.

Best food sources

Sulphur is derived almost exclusively from dietary protein, such as fish and high-quality (organic and/or grass-fed/pastured) beef and poultry.  Meat and fish are considered "complete" as they contain all the sulfur-containing amino acids you need to produce new protein.  Needless to say, those who abstain from animal protein are placing themselves at far greater risk of sulfur deficiency. Other dietary sources that contain small amounts of sulfur include organic pastured eggs, brussels sprouts, asparagus, kale, garlic, onions, legumes and wheat germ.

Recommended supplement dose

Best taken as methysulfonylmethane, commonly known as MSM. This is an organic form of sulphur, naturally found in many plants.  MSM can also be found in raw grass-fed milk, fresh vegetables and fruits.  It is also highly concentrated in aloe vera.

Start with 1000mg/day and slowly working your way up to 2500mg/day and then finally up to 5000 - 7500mg/day.  Keep in mind MSM detoxifies so it may initially aggravate any conditions you have. So increase dosage slowly to allow your body to adjust.  Avoid increasing the dose until all the detox symptoms have disappeared.  Also, avoid taking it at night as it may increase your energy levels.

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And that’s it - Essential Minerals for Beautiful Healthy Skin, I hope you found this useful.

I’ll be writing another blog soon looking at ingredients beyond vitamins and minerals e.g. essential fatty acids, probiotics, grape seed extract, CoQ10 and many more.

See my previous blog on 5 Vital Vitamins for Beautiful, Healthy skin

 

Now, over to you...

Do you have a favourite ingredient for beautiful healthy skin?

Do you have a favourite brand of supplements you can’t go without?

Do let me know as I’m always on the lookout...would love to hear from you.

Until next blog, stay beautiful.

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Comments

bea

21.02.2016

Hi dr.telly i have been suffering from acne since i was 14 and now im 20 and still has it. i have tried a lot of medications, peels, and treatment but nothing gives me a permanent result which is to have an acne free skin. it decreases my self confidence as a woman so what i do now is to search for the perfect supplement to make my skin healthy and beautiful. i am contemplating to whether use a glutathione supplement or not. based on my research some people testified that taking it made their skin beautiful. so what can you suggest me? tahnk you so much.