Is Acne or Dry Skin a Problem?

February 13, 2021

Is the bitter winter cold drying out or irritating your skin? Join two nutritionists as they discuss ways to prevent dry skin.

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Transcript:

KARA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today's show is brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I'm going to start the show today with an interesting quote from Dr. Alan R. Gaby. He's the author of Nutritional Medicine, and it's a science-based nutrition reference book. And it's for physicians and healthcare practitioners. In his book he writes, “Big Macs lead to Zantac, which leads to Prozac.” So I'll repeat that. It's kind of a mouthful. So “Big Macs lead to Zantac,” which is an acid reflux medication, “which leads to Prozac,” which is an antidepressant. And so what he's trying to say is eating processed foods, making poor food choices, like eating Big Macs, can lead to digestive issues. And those digestive issues might get so bad that they would, the person requires an acid blocker. And the example was Zantac. Taking Zantac for an extended period of time can lead to an inability to break down proteins. And when we can't break down proteins in our digestive tract, this can result in having a deficiency in certain amino acids. And we need these amino acids to make things like neurotransmitters, like serotonin, which is that happy feel-good, calming neurotransmitter. And eventually that can lead down the road to depression. And so often an antidepressant such as Prozac is prescribed. So it's kind of that, it's a vicious cycle and we just thought it was interesting because people may not be thinking that way.

LEAH: Yeah, absolutely. I was thinking, I was like, that is a great quote. I might actually steal that and start using that with some of my clients because it gets to that point or shows you how poor food choices are eventually linked to some of these chronic health issues. And so we think Dr. Gaby is a very wise man. So let's take that quote and flip it on its head actually. Let's look at the reverse side of that quote. When you eat grass-fed meat, which is real protein and organic vegetables, and only real healthy, natural fats, you have good digestion and produce your own neurotransmitters, especially that serotonin, like you mentioned, Kara, so that you feel positive and productive. And so then that cuts out that need for Zantac or other PPIs. And then by default, then that cuts out that need for Prozac also. And Kara, maybe you noticed this when you were doing more clinical practice, but, one thing that I notice with my clients, which is, which will bridge us into our topic today is that when we see an imbalance or inflammation in the digestive track, then often that inflammation manifests itself on our skin; cause actually our digestive track and our skin are very closely connected. And so when we get those imbalances like heartburn, or we see diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas: anything that causes upset in the digestive track, that can often lead to skin conditions that might look like and eczema, psoriasis, different forms of dermatitis, and then for other people that can lead to acne.

KARA: Sure. Yes. And that is, I mean, that's, that's definitely maybe information that a lot of listeners haven't heard or we've, we've done shows in the past on skin health and how our digestive system is closely aligned with what goes on… what goes on in the inside is aligned with what goes on in the outside.

LEAH: Yeah.

KARA: So if someone is struggling with acne or dry skin, we are going to give nutritional solutions starting from the inside out. So that's our topic today: “Is acne or dry skin a problem for you or your teen.” Now, if you said, yes, we want you to stay tuned, get comfortable with your coffee or tea and sit back and listen to what we are going to teach you about skin health. My name is Kara Carper. I'm a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist. And my co-host today is Leah Kleinschrodt. She's a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And Leah and I will be spending some time talking about research related to skin health. And we are going to also share some clinical case studies. We may even share some personal stories if we have time.

LEAH: Yeah. Well, and I think everyone loves to hear those, those personable relatable types of stories. So we'll try to work those in as we're able to. And so we, we just got done sharing one way that food can affect mental health. So we made that connection of eating fast foods or more processed foods may eventually lead to needing antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications. But now let's take a look at how food can actually affect acne. And specifically, this is going to be about adult acne in this study. This was a study of 25,000 individuals in France. And this was reported in the Journal of American Medical Association Dermatology. What they found was that drinking one glass of a sugary beverage, like soda, increased the risk for acne. Now that was just one sugar laden drink; one sugar laden drink per day increases that risk for acne.

And what they also found was one glass of milk every day was an increased risk for acne. So the results from this study found that a Western style diet of high sugary food, which typically comes along with those more inflammatory harmful fats, is associated with the presence of acne in adults. And these results were actually confirmed in a study that was just… it's hot off the press. It was recently published in the International Journal of Dermatology last month, so just even in 2021. And it was a big review of lots of different studies and they found the same thing that acne promoting factors, some of the biggest diet related ones was a high glycemic or Western style diet, and also dairy was thrown in there as well. So it really sounds to me that the standard American diet is not good for the brain, and it's certainly not good for the skin because it can result in a much greater risk for that acne. So when it comes down to it, the nuts and bolts, the real question we have to ask is how do we get teenagers, and even us adults, how do we get people to switch off of the sports drinks, the soda and the high sugar coffee drinks? When it comes to teenagers specifically, you know, they may not be really inclined to listen to their parents or other family members on this, which would, when it comes down to it, and so oftentimes what I see in clinical practice, I would say, about with 95% of my teenage clients is that the parents bring their teenager in hoping that a professional, like a nutritionist or a dietitian will say something in a certain way, or be able to explain things well enough to their teenager and find that motivation that that teenager has for making these changes and help them kind of put together a structured plan or some ideas on how they can reach their teenager's health goals, whether it be, you know, weight concerns or skin related, like with acne or digestive troubles. And Kara, I think you were mentioning a story about a teenage client you had it a couple of years ago.

KARA: Yeah, I… Leah and I were talking before the show and I recall a, the parents brought in their, their son who was in high school. And unfortunately they, he didn't come in when I might have been able to help with the acne and reducing some of the acne lesions. His acne actually wasn't that bad because he came in for severe digestive issues that were caused because he was on high-dose antibiotics for a really lengthy period of time. And that prescribed for his severe acne.

LEAH: Yeah, we see that a lot.

KARA: You see that. And what happens, you know, antibiotics have a time and a place. But especially long-term, they can really wreak havoc on the digestive tract. They kill off, they may kill off bad bacteria. They're also killing off good bacteria at the same time, which leaves the gut a lot more vulnerable. And you know, this particular high school student, when he came in, he was losing weight rapidly. He was unable to digest most foods. His diet was so limited at that point. You know, he definitely couldn't have any like gluten or dairy, but he was having trouble digesting proteins and certain vegetables. So it took a little while. I had to work with him and his parents were always there. And we were able to heal his digestive tract. Yeah. And it was a success story in the end.

LEAH: Yeah.

KARA: But we thought it would be important to mention that long-term antibiotics for acne are not benign.

LEAH: Right; absolutely. And we do see that. And I always ask that question when I'm sitting down, whether it's teenagers or adults, just about that history of antibiotic use.

KARA: Exactly. Well, we'll talk more about skin and acne on the other side of break. And you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. It's brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Again, our topic this morning is all about skin health. So when we come back, we'll discuss foods that we want to include that can help us to avoid acne. And also what you're going to talk about what foods and beverages will hydrate, because we need to be hydrated for healthy radiant skin.

BREAK

LEAH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. February is heart health month. The leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease, causing one in four deaths, so about 25% of deaths in the U.S. every year. More than half of all people who die due to heart disease are men. So what can you do as listeners to prevent heart disease? The first recommendation that we have always is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet. You might ask, “What exactly is an anti-inflammatory diet?” So to get this answer and so much more, we would like to suggest that you, and maybe your significant other, maybe your sibling, maybe one of your children, maybe the whole family join in our virtual Weight and Wellness series that starts on Wednesday, February 17th. So that's coming up this week I believe. And so learn together and practice a heart healthy eating plan so you can help prevent future negative outcomes. And so if you have questions or if you want to learn more or see what other options we have, you can call our offices at (651) 699-3438 to sign up. So this class will take you and your family members and anyone for that matter to the next level of wellness.

KARA: It's such a comprehensive series as well; not just the heart health, but digestive health, pain and inflammation, food and moods, and that connection.

LEAH: Yeah. I, I really think that that's my favorite series of all the classes that we have and the series that we do. That's my favorite one to teach because it is, I describe it to people as the A-Z for nutrition.

KARA: Definitely.

LEAH: Cause we talk about everything from vitamin A all the way down to zinc and everything in between. And like you said, gut health. There's a whole class dedicated to heart health. And we talk about food and mood and blood sugar.

KARA: Blood sugar. That's a huge one I forgot.

LEAH: It's so comprehensive. And it's a great starting place for a lot of people.

KARA: Yeah. I'll never forget. The first time I sat in on a class when I first started with Nutritional Weight and Wellness, my mind was blown. I was just like healthy fats?

LEAH: Imagine that, right?

KARA: Yeah. We'll talk more about that too. So our topic today is, we're talking about dry skin and acne, and you might not be aware of this, but acne is the most prevalent chronic skin disease in the United States. And it affects one out of every six people. 85% of adolescents experience acne. And up to 64% of people in their twenties are still getting acne. And almost half of them continue to have acne into their thirties. So unfortunately there's, acne doesn't just go away with age. It, I mean the statistics lessen, but it can really happen to any age. And actually I have a testament, and I did get, I received permission from my mom. And I believe she is listening today, but she thought that listeners may appreciate her story. My mom is in her seventies and she recently had an acne outbreak just in the past month, kind of some, you know, some red acne spots on, I believe it was her chest and her face. And so, you know, she's like me. She's trying to be a detective and figure out what was happening. Well, she pinpointed that she had run out of coconut cream or maybe it was coconut milk in the can: the full fat kind. She had always been putting that into her morning smoothie. And of course that is dairy-free. Well, she ran out of that and started using full-fat plain yogurt, which for a lot of people would be a healthy choice. However, she is sensitive to dairy. And after having that for a week or two, it turned out that the dairy, the excess dairy added with a little extra cheese in the afternoon, it was that dairy that was creating the acne.

LEAH: Yeah. Oh, how interesting.

KARA: She got her coconut cream back. And I think within a week, the red spots went away.

LEAH: Oh my gosh. That's a great testimony that your mom shared. And I mean, I'm guessing she's way past her teen years. So it just, it points to the fact that we still need to be diligent and that our skin still reacts to some of these foods or still can have some of these sensitivities even long after we're out of the typical acne years of, of teenage and even twenties and things like that.

KARA: Yeah. I mean, adult acne can be a real problem. So we kind of, all ages need to be aware of triggers and things that we can do to avoid this.

LEAH: Yeah. Yeah. So for you listeners out there, if you have a teenager out there who is struggling with acne, you know, if you were to schedule an appointment with us as one of the dietitians or nutritionists, we would first help them change their food choices. And it is it's important to get acne breakouts under control because acne is linked to an increase in depression and anxiety. So, but first before we kind of dive into that little sub topic, we want to share the research about your food choices and acne, and let's look at other possible ways that we can decrease that acne.

KARA: Well, researchers found that acne lesions were associated with an imbalance of a skin bacterium. And they also found that taking probiotics, which is good bacteria, helped to control that bacterium. And the researchers also found that probiotics helped reduce the inflammatory response. The authors of the study found probiotics to be really supportive for treating mild to moderate acne. Now, as nutritionists and dietitians, we understand that not all supplements and probiotics are created equal. You know, there are some high quality products out there. There are also some low quality products. The dosing might be different. So some work and some don't when it comes to healing the gut and reducing acne. So quality is, is super important. And we really recommend taking one to two capsules of it's called Bifido Balance. So it's basically the bifidobacteria species. And taking two of those before each meal, and of course we need to look at food choices as well and eliminating processed foods. And for some folks eliminating or reducing quite a bit, dairy is a really good place to start. And that's more for, I guess, mild to moderate acne. If there's really complex acne and it's severe, we may have some additional recommendations as well.

LEAH: Yep, absolutely. So just to recap that really quick, Kara, I think you went through just really three great points that probiotics can be really helpful. And that ties us back to what we were just talking about that imbalances in the gut can show up as imbalances in the skin, which is why when you help that gut out that, then the skin tends to respond as well. There may be some food sensitivities: dairy being a very common one there, and then eliminating those high sugar processed foods that we often talk about here at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. And I just want to, before we jump into our second break, I want to just to share a little bit of research that acne is a serious health condition, especially when you consider the impact on a person's mental health and their self-confidence. So there's research that was actually just published in 2020 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology that found that depression and anxiety is increased in acne sufferers. And acne has been found to increase depression and anxiety both in adolescents and adults. But what I found really interesting about this research was that the effect size of the depression/anxiety was similar to that as if the child was being cyber bullied. Yeah. So I mean, how heart-wrenching is that? So just knowing just what appears on that skin can really have a big impact on mental health.

KARA: Oh my goodness. Well, we do need to go to break. We’ll talk a little bit more about that research from we come back. And you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Leah had shared before our first break than it is heart health month. So what supplements should you be taking? Volumes of research suggest eating salmon once a week, taking an omega-3 fish oil supplement to be heart-healthy. And to support your efforts to maintain a healthy heart, we're offering our Omega-3 1,000 milligrams softgel, and our Omega-3 Extra Strength Liquid. Those supplements are at a reduced rate right now.

BREAK

LEAH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I have noticed many clients don't understand what their cholesterol numbers mean. So think about this: the last time you went in for your physical or went to the doctor's office. What they do is when they take your blood they run something called a lipid panel. And that lipid panel, or that lipid profile gives you a couple different numbers. So they give you a total cholesterol number, and then they give you both HDL and LDL cholesterol numbers. And then they also give you a triglyceride number. Your diet influences each one of these numbers. And to learn more about these specific numbers and your risk for heart disease, you've got a couple options from us. You may want to schedule an individual consultation with one of us dietitians or nutritionists, but I also want to point out, we've done several podcasts on this topic in the past. So you can listen to the podcasts on your podcast app, or by going to our website, weightandwellness.com and going through all of our old shows. So a couple of them that I want to point out specifically that I know the ladies on that show did a really excellent job breaking down each one of these numbers. So one of the podcasts is called “Understanding Your Cholesterol Numbers”. That's probably the first place you want to start. And then another important podcast is “A New Look at What Causes Coronary Artery Disease”. So that kind of takes those numbers and puts them into perspective on what does your risk of heart disease look like? And then how, you know, what does that narrative look like and how it actually might differ from conventional advice that you might see in the media or that you might even get from your doctor's office. So we really believe that the more you know the better you will be able to do going forward.

KARA: And it's so easy to listen to those. Can I, this is kind of embarrassing, but I finally just downloaded the Dishing Up Nutrition app. I had been just going to the website, but I was listening from my phone and there were just all kinds of glitches. And I thought, why don't I have the, the app? So I now officially have the Dishing Up Nutrition app and it is so seamless. So a plug for that.

LEAH: A plug for the app. There you go. So yes, hopefully like you said, it'll, it'll be a little bit more seamless or a little less bumpy going forward listening to some of those old episodes. That's great. So before we went to break, I just wanted to tie us back into our topic, which is acne and dry skin today. And I had just shared a piece of research that was published last year in a major journal that showed that acne has been found to increase depression and anxiety in both adolescents and adults. And what these researchers had found was that the effect size, or kind of the impact of this depression and anxiety and acne was similar to if the, if the child, the adolescent or the adult was being cyber bullied. So that's the amount that just acne and skin conditions in general can really impact our self-confidence, our self-worth and just our mental health in general.

KARA: And like you said, that is heartbreaking. But I think it's important to share…

LEAH: Yeah.

KARA: …how severe it can be for mental health. And the author of this study said, “Acne may not cause physical pain.” Actually, sometimes it can.

LEAH: It does, yes.

KARA: So, but I think in general, it's not always physical pain. But you don't want to leave acne untreated, even if there is no physical pain on the skin, because there is that risk for mental health issues. And as you just heard from Leah, acne is a serious health problem. It's an inflammatory condition in the body. And so we recommend addressing acne by following an anti-inflammatory eating plan. Also, we had mentioned taking some key probiotics, like the bifidobacteria and eliminating foods with refined oils and fats. And so just to kind of summarize, refined oils and fats, they're found in most processed foods. So if you're not eating processed foods, you're likely not getting very many of them. And they include soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, any vegetable oils. So if you see that on a label, those are the fats that we're talking about that can really exacerbate skin conditions.

LEAH: Yeah. I think you've made an important point there, Kara, in saying like, you know, you don't, when you specifically are looking at these oils, if you take out those highly processed foods, the high carbohydrate types of foods, automatically, you're already taking out a lot of those inflammatory oils. So you get kind of a two for one deal there. And so following an anti-inflammatory diet is, it's not always easy, like even for us adults, but it can be especially challenging for a teen. And so we have found that for some of our teenage clients, they may need to see us twice a month for a short period of time to actually make the necessary changes in their eating habits. And then that will help them not only take charge of their acne, but will also reduce their anxiety and depression that may be coming along with just some of that self-confidence issue with their skin issues. And we find that helping our clients finding substitutes for some of those acne causing processed foods, is, is really one of the best tools that we have. How can we take what you're already doing and find either the next step up, level up, make the next best choice or find those healthier, less inflammatory substitutes? So helping them understand that chips and the 32 ounce bottle of Mountain Dew are inflammatory. And so when we kind of take those out or find those better substitutes, not only do they have better skin, I always love to tie in for my teenage clients and my kid clients, especially how food then also affects their performance in school, their performance in sports and other school activities. So those are the kinds of things that kids really do care about. And an interesting side effect is that when you eat those real whole foods and anti-inflammatory diet, teenagers and adults as well, they develop more muscle and have less body fat. And so situation, each person, they have different challenges and different needs. But remember real food can really encompass all of that. And real food doesn’t have any negative side effects. When you look at the flip side, many medications or many kinds of acne treatments will often have some side effects. So clearing up acne the natural way takes a little bit of time, but it's well worth it. And with an anti-acne food plan, you will feel the best you can. One example of an area where we might want to look at a substitution; so that Friday night, or maybe it's a weekend pizza night with the family. One recipe that I really wanted to throw out there for our listeners and for our clients; if you haven't looked at our recipe page recently, there's a recipe there called sheet pan pizza. And I think really for a lot of people, this can be a great transition or a great idea on how you can still keep that tradition of a pizza night or something like that on a Friday night or a weekend, but use healthier ingredients and use that as a healthier option. And this particular recipe, so it makes four servings. And basically it's kind of like chopped up veggies and meat layered with some pepperoni, some nitrate-free pepperoni and some cheese, and then the sauce can either be used on the pizza itself or as a dipping tool on the side. And so this can, this can be found on our website, which is weightandwellness.com and it's on our recipe page. So take a look at that if you're just looking for how, how can I do pizza night without the high-carb or the inflammatory oils and some of the other ingredients that come along with the pizza?

KARA: That's great. Cause I, we hear that all the time. You know, “My family doesn't really want to give up our Friday or Saturday pizza night.” And there are great substitutions. And so yeah, go to our website and check that one out. So we are going to switch topic a little bit and we've so far we've been talking about acne. We're going to steer our focus to how you can avoid dry skin as you age, or maybe just, how do you avoid dry skin? Because in Minnesota where we live, it is currently 10 below zero. And I think everybody is struggling with dry skin that lives in the Midwest.

LEAH: Absolutely.

KARA: As we age, you know, skin does need some key nutrients to stay looking healthy. We're going to take a dive into what some of those nutrients are that will nourish our skin. Many skincare companies advertise that their products contain something called retinol. And you might be asking, “What is retinol? I've seen that on an advertisement and where do I find it?” Others might be asking, “Well, what foods do I need to eat to get retinol?” So, and that's a great place to start. We always want to start with food when we can to get our nutrients. But first, understand that retinol is a form of vitamin A. And good food sources of vitamin A are going to be beef and chicken liver, eggs, cod liver oil. Full-fat yogurt also contains some vitamin A, full-fat cottage cheese, and butter, particularly I would say like a pasture or a grass-fed.

LEAH: Yeah, if you're you to go with the higher quality dairy products is going to have more of some of those nutrients in there, including vitamin A.

KARA: Vitamin A helps to speed up healing and it helps to prevent acne breakouts. It hydrates the skin. It can help to prevent dry skin as well. So remember, just a couple of weeks ago, Cassie Weness and I were on hosting, and Cassie had shared how her grandmother made liver and onions once a week. And her grandmother knew it was great for the immune system. And another benefit is that all of that vitamin A can help prevent dry and wrinkly skin.

LEAH: Yeah. I remember that story. You guys were great on that show by the way. But yes, I remember Cassie specifically talking about the liver and onions. Yeah. And my mother-in-law was huge into liver and onions also. And we know not everyone is a liver lover. I would say I fall into that camp as well. No matter how hard I've tried, it's never become a regular habit for me. And I, kind of thinking about vitamin A, I know more than just a few people who would say, “Well, I'm good on vitamin A because I eat carrots every day.” But I wanted to just point out that the retinol or the vitamin A that Kara was just talking about is the active form of vitamin A and the more usable form of vitamin A in our bodies, whereas, if we're talking about carrots, it, that is beta carotene, which turns into some vitamin A in our bodies, but doesn't, it's not a complete transformation or we're not able to utilize it all. So you can eat carrots and still might be struggling with getting enough vitamin A in your diet.

KARA: That's a great point. We'll talk more about vitamin A, cod liver oil. And you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Our topic today is “How to prevent dry skin and as well as how to prevent dry eyes”. And we also talked about acne. A little known fatty acid, an essential fatty acid that's very important for eye health, it's an omega-3 fatty acid called DHA. And the first place that we would get DHA is if a baby was breastfed. So it is a really critical nutrient for brain development. And as we age, it continues to be essential for eye health and also lubrication and brain support. And we suggest two to four softgels per day of this DHA, especially if someone's experiencing dry eyes. And we, that's one of the supplements that I had mentioned that we're offering 15% off through February 28th because it is an omega-3 fatty acid. We will be right back.

BREAK

LEAH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. For the past several years, many people have loved the life changing results that they have received from taking the Weight and Wellness series. So of course we would love to be able to teach this series in person, but due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we've decided that the next best step is to offer it in Zoom format. So I had mentioned the Weight and Wellness series a couple of breaks back, but just as a reminder, the Weight and Wellness series, it is going to start this coming Wednesday, which is February 17th, at 6:00 PM. It will be a live Zoom class. So the teacher will be on screen with you and going through the class. And the class is divided into 12 one-hour sessions, and we'll be doing this via Zoom. So you will learn how nutrition can help you manage or reduce symptoms associated with a whole host of health issues. But specifically we mentioned before, there's a whole class dedicated to heart health and heart disease, but we also tie in symptoms like arthritis, poor sleep, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and so, so much more. So you can sign up at on weightandwellness.com, which is our website, or if you have additional questions or just need to do a little more exploration, you can call our offices at (651) 699-3438.

And before we went to break, we were just talking about actually vitamin A, which is, is not a nutrient that gets a ton of attention I would say mainstream. And Kara had mentioned how she had in a previous show had done a discussion about liver, which is our best source of vitamin A from a nutrition standpoint. But one of our other major sources of good active form of vitamin A is cod liver oil. So many of you listening, maybe your mom or your grandma was really dedicated or religious about giving you cod liver oil when you were growing up. And that may have been a good thing or a bad thing in your eyes at that point. But a couple of teaspoons of cod liver oil, like one to two teaspoons of a good quality cod liver oil per day, is a great way to fit in some of that active form of vitamin A, which is retinol. Another source of vitamin A is using butter on your vegetables; so just another reason why we're huge proponents of butter. And, and Kara had mentioned a couple other areas where you'll find vitamin A. And I just wanted to point out that vitamin A is found, that active form of vitamin A is found mostly in our animal foods and especially those animal foods that are rich in fats. So here's where that full fat, those full fat dairy products or things like cod liver oil become really important sources of that active form of vitamin A. Another nutrient that supports skin health is vitamin C. Good sources of vitamin C include things like red peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and a variety of fruits. So things like blueberries, strawberries and different kinds of citrus fruits. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant, and it also helps to develop collagen, which is the main protein in our soft tissues, including our skin. So that collagen helps to keep skin firm. Collagen also helps prevent those wrinkles. So in addition to making sure you're getting in your fruits and your vegetables for the vitamin C and making sure that you're eating adequate protein in the diet, oftentimes we'll suggest adding in a scoop of Key Collagen powder to your morning coffee or your morning smoothie if you have concerns about skin and whether that is acne or dry skin, or just to prevent those wrinkles.

KARA: That's a great new product, or fairly new: the Key Collagen. So when we think about nutrients to help keep our skin hydrated, so far we've touched on vitamin A, which is fat soluble. Vitamin C is actually water-soluble. But it's important to note that a lot of the nutrients that are going to help keep our skin hydrated are going to be mostly fat-soluble. And so where do we get fat soluble vitamins? Well, we get them from eating healthy fats. I mean, that is the first place that we suggest seeking out these important essential fatty acids or fat-soluble vitamins like A. We'll talk about vitamin D, vitamin E. And so, we, we don't, we don't, we don't have a ton of time left in the show, but we can't emphasize enough the importance of avoiding a low-fat diet because that automatically, you know, you're not going to be getting these healthy fat soluble vitamins by eating low-fat or no fat. So we want to include the butter, the coconut oil, the avocados, the full-fat, plain yogurt, full-fat cottage cheese; things like that. So let's talk a little bit about, well, vitamin D, vitamin E, and if we have time, the essential fatty acid called GLA. So firstly with vitamin D, that one is in the news a lot for immune function. There's a lot of research showing how important that is for our immune system. And research also finds that adequate vitamin D in our blood is important during this pandemic because it's linked to strong immune function. And research has also linked if someone has a vitamin D deficiency, they are more prone to have acne. Vitamin D plays a really big role in fighting infections. And sometimes, you know, that bacteria can lead to acne.

LEAH: Yep.

KARA: So we want to do anything we can to fight infection, whether that's for the pandemic or for acne. And most people do need to supplement with vitamin D to maintain adequate levels. That one's a little bit trickier to get just from food sources, because we want our blood level to be 50 to 80; somewhere in that range. Without supplementing, it may be challenging to get it up that high.

LEAH: Yup; yup. And especially as you mentioned, Kara, we're doing this show in Minnesota and we don't see the sun nearly enough from about October until about May. So it is really hard for people in those Northern latitudes to get adequate vitamin D for most of the year. So I find in addition to vitamin D that as, as women mature in age, they might need to supplement with vitamin E to maintain well-hydrated tissues. And vitamin E is especially important for some of the more sensitive tissues that women have. And we've done other shows where we've talked about those vaginal tissues, especially as you get into perimenopause and menopause can become dry and irritated. And vitamin E is really one of those nutrients that can be really hydrating for those kinds of tissues. And in addition, I just was reading a study just the other week, actually, that vitamin E is an antioxidant that can make your skin beautiful, like no other nutrient can. And Kara mentioned a couple of those types of foods that we think about when it comes to vitamin E. So vitamin E: think about oily or fat rich foods. So these are things like nuts and avocados and olive oils, and a lot of our nut butters, peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, hazelnuts, almonds. And then those, those oily fish like, like salmon or herring or sardines. And most people in addition to some of these foods, if they really are struggling with tissues that are already dried out, they need to supplement with a good quality vitamin E supplement. And it may just be for a few months. It may be something that they bring in on a cyclical basis with the seasons. So usually 400 IUs of vitamin E is a great place to start that will help keep that skin and tissues hydrated.

KARA: So we just about a minute here to touch on another supplement that we've found to be really critical for hydrating skin. It's an essential fatty acid, which just means we need to get that from an outside source. Our body does not make essential fatty acids. It's called GLA: gamma linoleic acid. It's anti-inflammatory. It's in the omega-six fatty acid family. And GLA has gained a lot of recognition for its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. So it helps to reduce inflammation. It also just really helps to hydrate tissues. It's great for skin. It's great for hair. It's great for nails. So we, you know, we not only encourage the omega-3 essential fatty acid, but adding in that omega-six GLA. And that typically is going to come from evening primrose plant or the borage or borage seed. Those are kind of the two sources.

LEAH: Yep. Yeah. I’ve cycled on and off the GLA over the years. And just my little anecdote there is that I've found, especially during the winter, if I'm really diligent with that GLA that my hands don't get nearly as dried out as they normally would. Just, again, this is the time of year where we want to do a lot of hand washing and things like that already. And so that GLA I really noticed a big difference in keeping my hands hydrated.

KARA: Yeah. I do not like to run out of my GLA. Well, we're so glad you joined us today. And our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet a powerful message. Eating real food is life-changing thanks for being with us. Be safe, be well. And most importantly, stay warm.

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