In a world bombarded with health and wellness trends, supplements have become a common part of many people’s daily routines. From vitamins and minerals to herbal extracts and powders, the supplement industry is a booming multibillion dollar industry. In our quest for better health and well-being, it’s easy to get caught up in the allure, but when it comes to your skin, hair, and nails, let’s talk about three supplements to leave on the shelf:
Biotin: High dose biotin is often associated with promoting the health and growth of the hair and nails. However, scientific data supporting these claims is lacking, and there are no good clinical trials to show that biotin supplementation provides a benefit. More importantly, taking biotin can be dangerous as it can interfere with laboratory tests, including thyroid function studies, hormonal assays, and biomarkers measured during heart attacks. This interference could lead to misdiagnosis and life-threatening outcomes. The bottom line is that biotin is unlikely to help and can be harmful! Consider using topical minoxidil (Rogaine) to stimulate hair growth instead.
Collagen powder: Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and provides structure to the skin, hair, nails, and joints. As we age, our collagen production drops, which manifests in the skin as laxity or wrinkles. Limited studies indicate that collagen supplementation may improve skin hydration and elasticity. However, there are no studies demonstrating that collagen supplementation actually increases collagen levels in the skin. Furthermore, it is impossible for collagen to be absorbed directly by the GI tract. If you are looking to boost the collagen in your skin, consider starting a nightly retinol or scheduling an appointment to discuss in-office collagen stimulating treatments.
Whey protein: Whey protein is a popular dietary supplement used for a variety of reasons but most often to reach protein goals for fitness or weight management. It is derived from milk and can be found in protein powders and shakes, protein bars, cereals, and snacks. While whey protein can offer various benefits, it may be making your acne worse. Several studies suggest that whey protein can increase skin oil production and inflammation, contributing to the formation of acne. However, it is essential to note that not everyone who consumes whey protein will experience acne, and there are other factors that play a role, including genetics, hormonal factors, and other sensitivities. That being said, if you are struggling with acne, you may want to consider switching to a plant-based protein supplement, such as pea or brown rice protein.
The key message is to make informed decisions about the supplements you take. Consult with a healthcare provider, dietitian, or nutritionist to assess your individual needs, and be aware of potential risks and side effects. And when it comes to the health of your skin, hair, and nails, our experts are always here to help!
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