Get gorgeous via a pill? If only it were that easy! “Supplements can’t take the place of a wholesome, colorful diet filled with good-for-you foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D., M.S., Wellness Manager for Cleveland Clinic’s Lifestyle 180 program, and YouBeauty Nutrition Advisor. But even on your most perfect eating days, there might be a few things missing.Luckily, research has shown some promising benefits of certain vitamins and supplements to give you a beauty boost, from the inside out.
For Healthy Hair & Strong NailsTry Biotin
Why Results from several small studies suggest that biotin supplements may improve brittle nails and thinning hair. Less commonly known as vitamin H, biotin is part of the B complex vitamins, which help your body metabolize fats and protein. Some experts, like Amy Wechsler, M.D., YouBeauty Dermatology Advisor, recommend a daily supplement for everyone. “Biotin promotes the healthy growth of nails more so than hair but it does help with both, so I suggest five milligrams per day,” says Wechsler.
FYI Biotin is generally safe and probably hard to get too much of, says Maria Colavincenzo, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
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For Younger-Looking Skin Try Vitamin D
Why There’s little evidence that vitamin D (aka the “sunshine vitamin”) taken in supplement form directly improves your skin’s appearance. However, “the sun is your skin’s biggest enemy in terms of wrinkles and age spots,” says Colavincenzo. So, getting your D from diet (it’s found in foods like salmon and mackerel, cheese and egg yolks) and supplements, rather than direct sunlight, is a safer way to get the benefits of D and keep your skin young. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies currently recommends 600 IU per day, but some experts feel that’s too low and suggest a higher daily intake closer to 1,000 IU.
FYI Buy D3, rather than D2. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the type your body makes when exposed to sunlight. “It’s the only effective form you can take orally,” says Esther Blum, R.D., author of “Eat, Drink and Be Gorgeous.”
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For a Blemish-Free FaceTry Probiotics
Why Small studies suggest that oral probiotics (live microorganisms similar to those found in your gut) might help combat acne by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress (internal damage caused by free radicals). A recent report from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center and the Integrative Care Centre of Toronto analyzed the available research and concluded that there is convincing evidence to suggest that gut microbes, and the quality of the gastrointestinal tract, contribute to the development of acne. Think of your skin as your intestines turned inside out; what’s going on with your skin is a direct reflection of what’s going on digestively, says Blum. “Stress, sugar, booze and birth control pills can all disrupt the natural ecosystem of your intestinal tract.”