Gateway Health News

Important Topics

News Index

Skin, Hair and Nail Health (General)

Skin, Hair and Nail Health (General)

Sulphur (e.g. MSM, L-cysteine)

The mineral sulphur is a major constituent of hair, skin and nail tissue. As such, the
increased intake of organic sulphur (e.g. MSM, sulphur-containing amino acids) may
enhance the health and integrity of the skin as well as the growth, strength and texture
of the hair and nails. As an antioxidant, sulphur also protects against free radicals,
which are a major cause of age-related skin damage.

Zinc and Silica
Zinc is vital in skin health, and deficiencies are a common factor in the development of
many skin disorders. These minerals are also major constituents of the hair, skin and
nails and are necessary for the efficient repair and healing of tissues. Research suggests
that supplementation with the mineral silica (silicon) improves the strength and
integrity of the skin, hair and nails. Silica is a major structural component of these

Essential fatty acids

Dry skin and bumpy skin on the back of the arms are signs of potential EFA deficiency,
with skin cell health being reliant on EFAs for their membrane health and integrity.
Essential fatty acid deficiency is common in a variety of skin disorders including
eczema. As well as contributing to the overall health of skin, EFAs also ensure balance
between inflammatory and anti-inflammatory prostaglandins – an especially important
factor in inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema.

Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (e.g. grape seed and pine bark extracts)

Due to their remarkable antioxidant and collagen-stabilising abilities, oligomeric
proanthocyanidins (OPCs) may offer substantial protection against excessive crosslinking
of collagen that damages the skin and is implicated in the development of
wrinkles. OPCs can be added to face creams for topical application to compliment oral

Antioxidants (e.g. Vitamins A, C and E, carotenoids, selenium)
Nutritional antioxidants protect against free radicals, which are a major cause of agerelated
skin damage. In addition to this general protective effect, antioxidants such as
vitamins A, C and E are necessary for proper health and integrity of skin tissue.

Skin, Nail and Hair Health Summary
Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range
MSM1 1000 – 3000mg per day
Zinc2 15 – 30mg per day
Silica 25 – 50mg elemental silicon per day
Flax seed oil3 1000 – 3000mg per day
Borage oil4 1000 2000mg per day
Pycnogenol or Grape seed extract5 30 – 200mg per day
Antioxidant formula As per manufacturer’s directions

Trans fats/hydrogenated fats
Fried foods


Oily fish
Nuts and seeds
Whole grains

Lifestyle Factors

Identify and address potential food allergens.
Stop smoking

1. Some literature suggests that MSM augments warfarin, so supplementation alongside should
probably be avoided.
2. May cause nausea on an empty stomach. High doses (>100mg per day) may suppress the immune
system. Ensure sufficient copper and iron intake with zinc supplementation.
3. Do not take in conjunction with anticoagulant medication
4. Some reports suggest GLA is contraindicated in epilepsy. Epileptics should use only under
medical supervision.
5. Caution advised with Warfarin (theoretical).