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Nutrients for Stressed Hair, Skin and Nail Tissue

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April 5, 2021 | Published by


People experiencing chronic stress or adrenal fatigue often notice healing from injuries takes longer and their hair, skin and nails look dull, dry and lifeless. All the building blocks to repair and create healthy tissues come from the nutrients absorbed from food and supplements. These rapidly growing tissues suffer when nutrients they need are not available in sufficient quantities or are being used up by demands like stress, which burns through nutrients faster than normal.

Dry, flaky skin and scalp; brittle, unmanageable hair; and ridged, spotted or splitting nails may be telling you that the nutrients they need to look healthy were either deficient or depleted by demands such as stress.

Stress abuses tissues

In addition to the reduced availability of nutrients, there are several aspects of stress that can actually damage tissues over time, including excessive cortisol (a stress hormone), accelerated free radical production, increased inflammation and elevated blood sugar and insulin. For example, excessive cortisol breaks down the protective fatty layer of skin that retains moisture and makes it soft and smooth. Managing stress is an important aspect of maintaining tissue health.

What tissues need

Nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins are essential components of tissue structure. Vitamins and minerals also play roles in regulating many of the biological activities responsible for building tissues, including keratin (main structural protein in hair, nails and skin surface) and collagen (main structural protein of connective tissue and deeper layers of skin). Antioxidants help protect these tissues from the free radical damage that increases during stress.

  • Vitamin A: is essential for healthy skin, hair, nails, tendons and bones as well as other types of tissues because it plays an important role in cell growth and development.
  • Vitamin C: a cofactor in collagen formation. Supplementation has been shown to promote healing in various types of tissue through enhanced proliferation and organization of cells responsible for generating connective tissue and bone formation; improved iron absorption (a mineral necessary for tissue growth); and DNA repair.
  • B complex vitamins (thiamine B1, riboflavin B2, niacin B3, pyridoxine B6, biotin B7, folate B9): work together to help convert food into energy for cell growth and repair, are necessary for cellular development and function of all tissues, and help create healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen and nutrients to nerves and new cellular growth.
  • Calcium: a component of bone, hair, skin, nails and other tissues and is a critical regulator in keratin cell differentiation that occurs during hair, skin and nail formation; skin barrier function; and wound healing.
  • Magnesium: a cofactor in many physiological reactions, including protein synthesis required for all tissue growth; cellular energy generation; DNA replication; strong bone formation; and nails and hair growth.
  • Iron: forms the hemoglobin in red blood cells that carries the oxygen required for cellular activity, such as tissue repair and formation, and also helps metabolize free radicals, protecting tissues from damage.
  • Zinc: is essential for healthy tissue growth and repair through its role as a cofactor in many major enzyme systems involved in DNA and RNA formation, cell proliferation, collagen synthesis, nutrient metabolism, antioxidant defense, cell membrane stabilization and blood clotting.
  • Manganese: important for bone formation and activating enzymes that enable the body to utilize key nutrients for tissue formation, like amino acids, vitamin C and biotin.
  • Horsetail: provides minerals, primarily silicon, and antioxidant flavonoids that contribute to the health and strength of tissues.* Silicon is important for collagen production, normal tissue growth, blood vessel wall integrity, and bone and connective tissue synthesis and strength.
  • Lecithin: occurs naturally in cell membranes.* Phosphatidylcholine provides choline necessary for structural integrity of cells plus essential polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-3.
  • Organic golden flax: also a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Layered with keratin, these fatty acids provide the protective covering of skin, hair and nails that helps retain moisture, moderate inflammation and maintain barrier function.
  • Gelatin: is 98% protein and as a digestible form of collagen, it provides the exact amino acids that collagen synthesis requires, contributing to skin, bone, tendon, nail and hair formation and health.

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