Q: Should I take a skin supplement? Do I need to take a multivitamin on this plan for other reasons?

Expert Birnur K. Aral, Ph.D, Health, Beauty & Environmental Sciences Director, GHRI explains why skin supplements are generally not necessary.

skin supplements and multivitamins

Birnur says: It may be tempting to try to get your skin-beautifying nutrients from a pill or specialty drink. Called nutricosmetics, these potions claim to supply you with many of the essentially fatty acids, antioxidants, and other plant extracts associated with reducing lines and wrinkles. But when I consulted Dian L. McKay, Ph.D., of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts, she confirmed that your daily servings of fruits and vegetables provide a lot more of the skin-enhancing vitamins and minerals. You also obtain a more complete dose of nutrients from a simple multivitamin.

That being said, though, it’s always better to get your nutrients through food – that’s why the 7 Years Younger weight-loss plan is designed to help you meet all your vitamin and mineral recommendations. At this point, whether taking a multivitamin extends life is debatable. In the Sister Study, the NIH research project following healthy sisters of breast cancer patients, women who took multis had longer telomeres, the protective caps on chromosomes that are an indicator of a cell’s age. In this study, multis seemed to slow the aging process, but there’s no other compelling evidence to suggest they lengthen life. If you’re not following this diet and are not meeting the recommendations for calcium and vitamin D, supplements for just those two nutrients might be in order. Otherwise, stick to a nutrient-rich diet and forgo the multi.

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