Beautiful skin vibrates with energy. All twenty-one square feet of it. Skin is not only your largest organ. It is a multi-dimensional interactive system of information, molecules, energy, cells, and genetic messages determined by the health of your body. In fact our skin is completely dependent on the body’s living matrix for its radiance. Learn to feed it well and your living matrix will function at a high level of order. Your skin becomes regenerated and rejuvenated no matter what’s your age. Who ever said it’s not possible to turn back time?
THE BIG THREE
There are three little-known nutraceuticals to turn to when your skin needs extra help. They represent a magnum force against aging, wrinkles and skin problems. They form the core of a wide-based anti-aging, anti-inflammatory antioxidant army, working to protect the integrity of the living matrix. The big three work wonderfully together. They also work well when taken with the more common antioxidants from alpha-lipoic acid, grape seed extract and Co-enzyme Q10 to vitamin C and zinc.
Sulfur is the third largest elemental component of your body. The hottest item in offices of savvy plastic surgeons these days is a unique form of sulfur known as MSM—methyl-sulfonyl-methane. At the top of the list for extra support, MSM is a superb free radical scavenger. It neutralizes free radical molecules that damage skin. Found in every tissue of your body, MSM concentrations diminish with age. So they need to be supported by the right kind of diet and supplements after the age of 25. MSM is also found in rainwater, the sea, and all living organisms. It exists in especially high concentrations in raw vegetables, fruits, and sea foods. Even the cocoa plant from which chocolate is made is a good source. But, unless your diet is composed primarily of raw foods, it is highly unlikely that you are getting enough MSM for optimal health and beautiful skin.
The crème de la crème source of sulfur for the human body, MSM slows the loss of collagen, stabilizes connective tissues, and helps clear toxic buildup both on a cellular level and in the body as a whole. MSM is light years ahead of other forms of sulfur. It is completely safe as well as highly effective. Even people who are “allergic” to sulfur-drugs and sulfite-based food additives thrive on it.
GREAT NAILS AND HAIR
Sulfur is the most beautifying of all the elements. Even the curliness of hair depends on it. It regulates the sodium/potassium balance, bringing in nutrients and oxygen to cells and neutralizing wastes. Every time your body clears destructive chemicals, it uses sulfur to do this. MSM provides elasticity and healing repair to skin tissues. It can even alter cross linkages, smoothing out scars. It is not only useful as an internal supplement essential for beauty. As a prime free radical scavenger, this form of physiological sulfur also helps rid the body of allergies. It even helps protect the lining of the digestive tract from parasites and pathogens. This is most important for skin, since when leaky gut or dysbiosis occurs in the digestive tract, our skin suffers. If you have a tendency to acne, you can break out. If your skin tends to be dry, this can make it drier and give the face a colorless, lifeless look. Sulfur is also essential for strong cartilage, for bones, and to build keratin—the fibrous protein out of which your hair and nails are made—as well as for virtually every function of the skin. With extra MSM, your nails grow faster and stronger. Your hair gets thicker and shinier. A good dose of MSM is 2000 milligrams (2 grams) for each 60 kilos of weight a day. Start with 500 mg per 60 kilos of weight and work up. Use together with half that amount of vitamin C (so if you take 2 grams of MSM take 1 gram of vitamin C).
POWER FOR LONGEVITY
The second master nutraceutical for skin is carnosine. Carnosine is not to be confused with the amino acid L-carnitine which transports fatty acids into the mitochondria of cells so they can be turned into ATP. Carnosine is a dipeptide—a two-part protein—made out of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histidine. Like MSM, it is a natural metabolite in your body as well as a powerful antioxidant. It occurs in particularly high concentration in long-lived cells like nerves and muscles. Carnosine levels also decline as our bodies age. In muscles, its concentration falls by more than 60 percent between the age of 10 and 70. Carnosine both rejuvenates old cells and extends the functional life of skin’s building blocks—DNA—as well as its lipids and proteins. As such, it is identified as an “agent of longevity”. This amazing dipeptide also clears toxicity. When chromosomes are exposed to high levels of oxygen, carnosine is the only antioxidant known to protect them from oxidative damage. It rejuvenates connective tissue and speeds wound healing. Carnosine may eventually prove to be an important key to dissolving AGEs and destructive cross-linking of collagen after it has occurred, but it is too soon to tell for sure.
THE CARNOSINE PARADOX
Carnosine addresses the great paradox of life—the fact that the elements which support life—glucose, lipids, oxygen proteins and trace elements—also destroy it. This nutraceutical binds toxic metals so your body is able to eliminate them safely. Carnosine both supports life and protects from its destruction. It guards cells and protein tissues from oxidation damage. It prevents glycosylation—the process that produces AGEs to build up leading to collagen cross-linking, wrinkles and sags.
Research studies in Australia confirm that carnosine increases the longevity of fibroblasts—the skin cells responsible for producing collagen. It also extends the Hayflick limit—the maximum number of times a cell can divide before dying—by a remarkable 20 percent. Because of its ability to repair protein tissue, Russians use carnosine, with great success, in a special form called N-alpha acetylcarnosine—or NAC—in eye drops to eradicate cataracts. It improves your overall skin condition and is able to treat tough leathery skin as well as help prevent many age signs on the face. Used as an oral nutraceutical, the recommended dose is 50 to 200mg of carnosine a day taken on an empty stomach. In the case of carnosine, more is most certainly not better. Doses above this amount can actually be less effective.
BEAUTY’S GOLDEN THREAD
The last place you might expect to find a golden thread in the tapestry of living skin is in a special form of vitamin B3—nicotinamide or niacinamide. This form behaves quite differently than the well-known nicotinic acid which causes hot flushes when swallowed. As far back as 1968, Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling published research reporting success in the treatment of psychiatric patients using moderate doses of niacinamide together with ascorbic acid. Nicotinamide has long been used both topically and orally for its anti-inflammatory abilities. It has a stunning ability to reverse many aspects of skin aging when used internally and even externally when used as a component of skincare products:
- As a precursor to electron carrier substances in living cells—NAD and NADP—nicotinamide enhances energy production within the living matrix. It takes part in many metabolic pathways including turning glucose into ATP making fatty acids important for skin beauty, and metabolizing proteins.
- It increases collagen synthesis by stimulating the activity of fibroblast cells, prolonging their life, and protecting them from senescence.
- It decreases skin inflammation by inhibiting the release of histidine, triggering the production of anti-inflammatory mediators.
- It enhances the synthesis of lipids important for good cell walls and overall skin health and beauty.
It diminishes wrinkling.
- It repairs DNA when skin has been exposed to too much UV light, electromagnetic frequencies or chemical pollution.
- It helps fade age spots and helps prevent the formation of new ones.
- It plays a central role in blocking genetic messages that result in skin cell aging.
BANISHING FREE RADICALS
If, in addition to the three master nutraceuticals—MSM, nicotinamide and carnosine—you might want to use one more nutraceutical with first-rate antioxidant properties. You can’t do better than thiotic acid—also known as alpha-lipoic acid—ALA. The “universal antioxidant”, this sulfur-based, vitamin-like substance is an important cofactor in the production of cellular energy. When it is not in sufficient supply, muscle mass shrinks and skin’s energy is reduced. ALA protects DNA and mitochondrial membranes, inhibits inflammation and remodels collagen.
Thiotic acid is used as a drug in Germany because of its ability to enhance sugar metabolism. A unique free radical scavenger, thiotic acid is both fat- and water-soluble. This means it travels easily across cell membranes to quench free radicals, both inside and out. A very small molecule, ALA works together with other antioxidants to recycle them. When vitamin E quenches lipid peroxidation, a new free radical is formed. Thiotic acid reduces that new radical, turning it back into Vitamin E so it is ready to fight the battle for yet another day. It does the same with vitamin C. The usual internal dose of ALA is 100 mg taken twice a day with meals. ALA is an excellent nutraceutical. I use it when I am traveling or am under a lot of pressure from work. It’s great stuff. But it doesn’t hold a candle to the magnum force the “big three”—MSM, nicotinamide and carnosine—have to offer when used together. If you are going to explore the power of nutraceuticals for skin, I suggest you begin with this combination, then work your way down the list, adding ALA and others if you feel you need them. And what is so wonderful is this: Making use of the Big Three can not only transform the look and feel of your skin. Thanks to the power of the body’s living matrix, they can regenerate and rejuvenate body, mind and emotions as well.
MSM (Methylsulphonylmethane) is a natural form of organic sulfur found in all living organisms. This natural compound, researched since 1979, provides the chemical links needed to form and maintain numerous different types of tissues found in the human body, including connective tissue such as articular cartilage. While MSM is a natural component of almost all fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat, food-processing methods reduce sulfur levels, making supplementation more important than ever. NOW MSM is tested to meet a minimum 99.7% purity level.
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L-Carnosine is a proton buffering neuropeptide consisting of alanine and histidine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine). It is normally found in the brain, innervated tissues, the lens of the eye and skeletal muscle tissue. Current scientific research suggests that L-Carnosine has the ability to protect cells against oxidative stress that can cause premature aging and cellular damage. L-Carnosine has heavy metal, free radical and active sugar molecule scavenging activity (helps prevent glycation of proteins).
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The B vitamin niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is one form of vitamin B3. It acts as an antioxidant, inhibiting free radical formation, and has been shown to promote pancreatic beta-cell regeneration. Niacinamide has been found to stimulate GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter) receptors without binding to the receptor sites, thus creating a sedative-like effect. High amounts of niacinamide have been documented as being beneficial in protecting joint cartilage cells. Niacinamide has also been used in support of several dermatological conditions.
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Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a fatty acid that functions like a vitamin, although it is not classified as a vitamin. As a coenzyme, ALA plays an important role in the metabolism of glucose that produces energy in cells. ALA also has antioxidant properties and thus is important for controlling free radicals. Because it is soluble in both water and fat, ALA is sometimes referred to as the "universal antioxidant."
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