For BEAUTY, a multivitamin including a B50 complex directly enhances skin and hair quality and glow. It encourages firm, toned skin and with less bloat or sagging, because it corrects deficiencies of essential vitamins and trace minerals.
Adrenal and thyroid function require ample B vitamins and specific minerals: Sluggish adrenal or thyroid function results in dry, puffy skin and thin, brittle hair, along with weight gain. A specialized multivitamin provides micronutrients to overcome dietary gaps, poor absorption from aging digestion, or lower caloric intake. It provides antioxidants to protect the skin and tissues from free radical damage, and it promotes vitality, resilient and beautiful hair and skin, strong nails, and optimal weight.
“Beauty is more than skin deep: Beneath the body’s largest organ, essential vitamins and minerals nourish optimal endocrine and cellular functions, the roots of health that reflect in energy and natural beauty.”
Dr. Rachelle Herdman, Custom Health Guide
Vitamins are essential nutrient molecules needed for enzymes to work in the body. Enzymes are generally proteins that speed up chemical reactions for energy production, new cell formation, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, protein synthesis, and for building new tissues. Without enzymes, biochemical functions would be too slow to sustain life. Enzymes work with coenzymes and they cannot function without their essential vitamin partners. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K; the body can store them in fat cells to use on demand. The water-soluble vitamins are the B-group and vitamin C. They are only stored in small amounts and they rapidly flush out of the body, so deficiencies can more readily occur. This is one important reason to replenish them daily. Many vitamins have key roles in protecting the body’s essential skin and mucous membrane barriers, and in protein synthesis for connective tissue, skin tone, and hair growth.
Minerals are single elements that are necessary for the structure of bones, blood, hair and nails, including calcium, magnesium, and zinc, and for many other body systems. Minerals are often catalysts for enzymes to create chemical bonds to form new tissue, or to break bonds to liberate energy. Certain hormones cannot function without minerals, for example insulin cannot efficiently move glucose into cells without chromium. The thyroid gland requires iodine and selenium to produce its hormones including thyroxine, which maintain energy, skin and hair health, and healthy fat metabolism. Minerals are categorized into those of which we need more than 100mg per day including calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride and sulfur; and trace minerals that we need smaller amounts of such as boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium, silicon, vanadium, and zinc. Scientific evidence shows that deficiencies of trace minerals can impede hair and nail growth, reduce skin quality, and slow thyroid and adrenal activity leading to bloat, weight gain and poor muscle tone.
Antioxidants including selenium and vitamins A and E, are natural substances made in our bodies or from plant or mineral sources, that shield all tissues from scavenging free radicals, reduce oxidative stress and cell damage, and quench harmful peroxides that damage lipids. Antioxidants boost our own protective glutathione and superoxide dismutase and catalase enzymes, which protect against oxidative damage. These enzymes block assault on cells from reactive oxygen species and superoxides that form during metabolism. Higher tissue levels of antioxidants also offset environmental oxidative injury to skin from sun or pollutants, and they are protective against many chronic ailments including heart disease, diabetes, cataracts, macular degeneration, and arthritis.
Potent antioxidants play a key role in boosting radiant natural beauty, by scavenging free radicals, thus protecting the skin, eyes, and internal organs from free radical injury. Antioxidants help to reduce the signs of aging, wrinkles, and sun damage, and to enhance a smooth, youthful complexion.
Free radicals have been recognized as one of the leading causes of impaired cellular function and aging ever since the theory was proposed in the middle twentieth century. Free oxygen radicals cause oxidative stress, and this chronic assault on the body leads to tissue damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that form when atoms or molecules gain or lose electrons. They are produced naturally during normal metabolic processes, such as clearing cellular waste, exercise, mounting an inflammatory response; or from exposure to external environmental sources such as air pollutants, drugs, and industrial chemicals. These unstable free radicals have unpaired electrons, and they roam the body seeking other atoms or molecules to bond to. If they attach to tissues, these rogue free radicals cause damage to cells, lipids, proteins, and DNA, called oxidative stress. Ongoing oxidative stress can lead to long-term injury to muscles, organs, and cells.
A balance between free radicals and antioxidants to neutralize them is necessary for healthy physiological function. Free radicals are produced constantly, and the body normally makes abundant antioxidants. But if the number of free radicals overwhelms the body’s innate antioxidant mechanisms to disempower these unstable compounds, then free radicals can injure tissues. Eventually this results in slower metabolism, tissue damage, and symptoms of aging such as wrinkles. Skin impairment, flabby and sagging tissues, fluid retention and puffy eyelids, brittle hair, and higher risks of degenerative disorders follow oxidative damage.
Research confirms the hypothesis that antioxidants function by scavenging harmful free oxygen radicals, then binding up and neutralizing them to protect against cellular destruction and aging. Antioxidants protect all cells and tissues from oxidative stress and damage, which includes shielding lipids in cell membranes. A high-potency multi with a full range of B-complex vitamins contributes to the body’s robust production of antioxidants.
The vitamin B-50 complex comprises 50 mg each of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. Ample tissue levels of the B vitamin group are necessary for stable thyroid and adrenal function, which boost energy, and reduce fluid retention and puffy skin, and balance blood glucose and insulin. The B-50 complex supports healthy antioxidant creation. It is essential for carbohydrate breakdown and energy release from food, and for protein formation for optimal muscle and skin tone and tissue repair. B vitamins are water-soluble: the body is unable to store them and to achieve ample tissue levels they must be included in the diet or boosted with supplementation for a fully functioning metabolism.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, is essential for healthy skin, and taken orally it protects skin cells from the harmful effects of sunlight.1 Studies have confirmed this photo-immuno-protective effect in humans when vitamin B3 is ingested orally. Niacin functions as an antioxidant, neutralizing cell damage and protecting tissues against environmental oxidative injury. In addition, it is also nutritive for the brain, nervous system, and blood cells. Niacin is a major component of NAD and NADP, two coenzymes involved in cellular metabolism, and it has key roles in making and repairing DNA.
Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, has several important skin benefits, as it is essential to normal epithelial function. Studies on this vitamin show that it prevents skin water loss, and it maintains elasticity to retain healthy tone. It improves skin barrier functioning, resisting unwanted microbes, and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Vitamin B5 accelerates tissue regeneration, and healing from minor trauma or blemishes.2 It is also an essential cofactor for the adrenals, which support good energy and muscle strength, fat clearance, and blood sugar balance, all encouraging optimal body contours, and beautiful skin and hair.
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, helps synthesize collagen, the connective tissue protein, and is essential for healthy skin development and maintenance. Research shows that a deficiency in vitamin B6 can cause skin lesions because of impaired collagen maturation. Poor vitamin B6 levels are also known to be associated with dermatitis and skin rashes. Pyridoxine is significant to protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, and creation of red blood cells and neurotransmitters, and peak functioning of all of these supports a healthy glow.
Vitamin B6 improves fat metabolism, for leaner, firmer tissues: It protects bad LDL cholesterol from oxidative damage that could make it stick in arteries, and reduces platelet clumping and the risk of blood clots, and it gently lowers blood pressure. Maintaining ample tissue levels of the B vitamin group, along with carotenes and selenium, are also necessary for stable hormone levels. Maintaining steady hormone output, including cortisol, insulin, testosterone and glucagon, helps to shield the body from the influence of stress.
Vitamin C is a vital nutrient for radiant beauty. It is a crucial building block for collagen, the main structural protein that holds connective tissue and fascia together, which is thus necessary for skin firmness and wound healing, as well as for cartilage and tendons, and bone and joint health. Vitamin C is also a well-known antioxidant, protecting the skin from free radical damage, thus reducing fine lines. It is an important cofactor for the adrenal glands to manufacture their stress-managing hormones including cortisol, which is essential for life. However, either an excess or deficiency of cortisol can speed tissue damage and aging, and destabilize blood sugar and thyroid function, potentially leading to weight gain, high or low blood sugar, and a slowed metabolism. Vitamin C is a treatment for adrenal fatigue, where prolonged abnormal cortisol levels lead to poor energy, reluctance to exercise, facial weight gain, and muscle weakness.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that also has crucial roles in the functioning of the inner ear, eye and retina, helping with shining, healthy eyes. It nourishes the gums: For gingivitis, vitamin C reduces gum bleeding and can reverse periodontal disease. It also enhances iron absorption and utilization, helping to prevent anemia and to maintain a healthy, glowing complexion. In all these ways, vitamin C protects tissue vitality, stabilizes stress hormones, and supports healthy blood sugar balance, ultimately enhancing natural beauty.
Natural carotenes including lutein, along with other antioxidants such as vitamin C and selenium, have important roles for enhancing beauty. Carotenes are a group of red, orange, and yellow pigments found in the chloroplasts and chromoplasts of plants including fruits, vegetables, algae, and whole grains. They shield plants from sun-induced free radical damage, providing powerful protection for a lifetime in the sun. Plant carotenoids are water-soluble and do not accumulate in our bodies, so toxicity is almost unheard of. More than five hundred carotenoids are known, some of which convert into active vitamin A in our tissues. We recommend taking only natural mixed carotenes, derived from plants, and never synthetic beta-carotene.
Generous tissue levels of natural mixed carotenes shield the skin and hair from environmental oxidative injury from sun or pollutants. They are protective against many degenerative conditions, and keep key organs including the adrenals and thyroid from sustaining oxidative damage, so that those organs work at peak efficiency to maintain a brisk metabolic rate for optimal weight, and skin and hair quality.
An important 1995 study showed the protective effect of beta carotene preventing damage to DNA by scavenging free radicals or lone oxygen molecules. The results from in vitro testing on human cells strongly suggested that carotenoids prevent cell injury in humans, which could otherwise increase cancer risk in the skin or other tissues. This protection could also help to reduce skin dryness, wrinkles, and sagging.4
Selenium is essential for beauty as it prevents tissue damage from oxidative or autoimmune causes, and supports adrenal and thyroid function. It is a trace mineral found in rich soils; the natural selenomethionine form is common in plants. Selenium is a cofactor for the enzymes glutathione peroxidase and catalase in the antioxidant defense system, shielding the skin, connective tissues, and muscles from free radical degeneration. It also calms autoimmune activity and seems to boost mood and a sense of well-being.
Bioflavonoids are plant pigments that give fruits and flowers their vibrant colors. They work with vitamin C as crucial building blocks for collagen, the body’s basic connective tissue protein, and thus they are important for skin integrity, and healing minor abrasions or blemishes. Bioflavonoids strengthen the collagen matrix by cross-linking collagen strands to improve capillary integrity. They are essential for maintaining healthy skin texture and for protecting many tissues against age-related decline.
Bioflavonoids’ real beautifying and anti-aging power comes from their ability to extend the survival and viability of human skin cells. When skin cells stop replicating, skin loses elasticity, which results in wrinkles. One 2010 study showed that the bioflavonoids quercetin and rutin, applied to dying skin cells that had ceased to replicate, rejuvenated the skin cells so they began to reproduce again.5 They can also defend skin against the damaging effects of stress and pollution.
Three of the better-known citrus bioflavonoids, quercetin, hesperidin, and rutin, have intriguing research indicating their abilities to prevent and reverse wrinkles, reduce the appearance of age spots, and fight spider veins. They work by optimizing capillary permeability, which means that capillaries allow just the right amounts of fluid and electrolytes to cross through their walls. Bioflavonoids therefore also help varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and can reduce bruising. Bioflavonoids help to raise vitamin C levels in tissues, which further protects against free radical injury, helps to form collagen, blocks enzymes that could cleave it apart, and calms allergies.
Vitamin D3 is indispensable to the health, longevity, and youthful appearance of the body’s largest organ: the skin. Traditionally used to treat conditions like psoriasis, vitamin D has immune-boosting benefits that help to clear acne, rosacea, and skin infections. It regulates the expression of an antimicrobial protein that can reduce skin inflammation. Research shows that vitamin D deficiency is strongly linked to acne, most likely because this vitamin plays a big role in fighting infections.6
Studies indicate that vitamin D3 destroys free radicals, bringing powerful anti-aging properties. Its anti-inflammatory effect on healthy skin enhances skin tone, protects against fine lines and wrinkles, and discourages acne and pigment discoloration. Vitamin D3 also stimulates collagen production, which improves elasticity and lessens sagging and puffiness. Better collagen content also restores the epidermal barrier to protect underlying cells from environmental exposures. Vitamin D3 enhances the radiance of skin, eyes, and hair, as it leads to better fat and oil balance in tissues and improved hydration, keeping skin youthful and supple. For hair, vitamin D3 promotes stronger, thicker locks, and ample new growth.
Vitamin K is a circulation tonic with major benefits for beauty and overall body health. It is essential for healing wounds and bruises, and is therefore useful for circulatory problems such as eliminating dark under-eye circles and reducing spider veins. Dark circles result from pooling of blood under the eyes, and vitamin K diminishes that visibility as blood flow improves.
This vitamin increases the elasticity of blood vessels, which in turn leads to reducing the appearance of skin irritations. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting, which can improve the appearance of stretch marks, scars, and varicose veins. In a study published in the Journal of Vascular Research, researchers found a sufficient amount of vitamin K releases a protein that lowers vascular proliferation and mineralization, which can halt the development of varicose veins.7 In addition, vitamin K helps to calm the redness and rough eruptions of rosacea.
In our clinic, for maximum beauty inside and out, we prefer a multivitamin that includes a B-50 complex for adrenal, thyroid, and blood sugar support, to help achieve an ideal weight, and to boost energy and exercise endurance. We emphasize the full range of purely natural mixed carotenoids, including naturally-occurring carotene isomers which are all potent antioxidants for skin protection and anti-aging benefits: alpha-carotene, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin and lutein. We also look for a full array of minerals including selenium and iodine.
Our patients say they see a greater glow to their skin, faster healing of blemishes, and less acne and rosacea with such a formula. They notice thicker and stronger nails and hair, with less hair loss. Also, they report better energy and exercise capacity, leading to lovelier contours and optimal weight.
We avoid synthetic beta-carotene which has been shown to be relatively ineffective and potentially unsafe. We avoid large doses of animal-sourced vitamin A for patients over 50, as that can detract from bone density. Since both vitamins and minerals are food derivatives, they will feel better in the stomach and be more efficiently absorbed when taken with meals.
Recommendation: A multivitamin formula including a B-50 complex, specifically thiamin (vitamin B1) 50mg, riboflavin (vitamin B2) 50mg, vitamin B3 (as non-flush inositol hexaniacinate) 50mg, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) 50mg, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCL) 50mg. We also like to see folic acid 500mcg, vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) 75mcg. And vitamin C 400-600mg buffered with calcium or magnesium and rosehips; citrus bioflavonoids 150-200mg, including rutin and hesperidin; natural mixed carotenes 5000IU; selenium in the form of L-selenomethionine 70-80mcg; iodine ideally from sea vegetables such as kelp 70-80mcg; vitamin D2 at least 200IU; vitamin K 10-15mcg. Take these totals daily, with meals, or as directed by your health care provider.
- Damian, Diona L. “Photoprotective effects of nicotinamide.” Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences 9.4 (2010): 578-585.
- Ebner, Fritz, et al. “Topical use of dexpanthenol in skin disorders.” American journal of clinical dermatology 3.6 (2002): 427-433.
- Prasad, Rajani, A. V. Lakshmi, and Mahtab S. Bamji. “Impaired collagen maturity in vitamins B2 and B6 deficiency—probable molecular basis of skin lesions.” Biochemical medicine 30.3 (1983): 333-341.
- Bertram JS, Bortkiewicz H Dietary carotenoids inhibit neoplastic transformation and modulate gene expression in mouse and human cells. Am J Clin Nutr. 1995;62(suppl 6)1327S- 1336S.
- Chondrogianni N, Kapeta S, Chinou I, Vassilatou K, Papassideri I, Gonos ES. Anti-ageing and rejuvenating effects of quercetin. Exp Gerontol. 2010 Oct;45(10):763-71.Epub 2010 Jul 7.
- Heilborn JD, Nilsson MF, Kratz G, et al. The cathelicidin anti-microbial peptide LL-37 is involved in re-epithelialization of human skin wounds and is lacking in chronic ulcer epithelium. J Invest Dermatol. 2003;120(3):379-389.
- Vermeer, Cees Vermeer. “Vitamin K: the effect on health beyond coagulation–an overview.” Food & nutrition research 56.1 (2012): 5329.