Nutrition for Timeless Beauty
Is it worth tossing your make -up
kit away for supplements that promise timeless
is most women's instant beauty fix, but its effect
also instantly vanishes. Is there another way to
look gorgeous longer and intrinsically?
There is a way to look beautiful inside and out,
says Dr Diane Grace, a distributor of international
beauty products. That way is food supplements,
either in capsule or beverage form.
Dr Grace lives what she sells. She wears no makeup,
but drinks aloe vera supplement, uses aloe vera
shower cream and shampoo, and slathers aloe vera
balm or lotion before she starts her work day.
It's worth it, she says. Others, looking at her,
agree. She certainly looks younger than her 57
years. There is debate today on whether people need
to take supplements. The experts against taking them
say that if you eat a healthy, balanced diet, you
don't need supplements for beautiful skin and hair.
Proponents of supplementation, however, point out
that lifestyles today are no longer what they used
Unlike our grandmothers' time, modern people are
eating too much fat and too little fibre, partaking
of foods loaded with preservatives, pesticides and
other toxic ingredients, and dealing with pollution,
stress and other pressures that make our diet
inadequate in coping with the needs of our minds and
WHAT YOUR BODY
If you believe that supplements are for you, the
variety of products in the market will, however,
stump you. Which one should you take? What is best
for you? Should you take antioxidant vitamins like
A, C and E? Or botanical-based supplements like
ginkgo biloba, fibre and evening primrose oil? The
list goes on and on.
Don't be confused, advises Dr Grace. "Get only what
your body needs."
The purpose of supplements is simply to supplement
the diet, according to the US Food and Drug
Administration. As the term suggests, supplements
'increase' or 'enhance'.
If you don't or can't meet the recommended dietary
guidelines for certain foods, supplements will help
you reach the amounts of these foods that your diet
lacks to meet your body's needs.
Supplement manufacturers should not claim that their
products treat or prevent any disease.
If you're anaemic and need energy, you may take a
supplement rich in iron. For firm, supple
skin, you could reach for a pill rich in copper.
Acne-prone skin? Increased intake of zinc could be
But don't pop a supplement just because everybody
endorses it. What works for others may not please
your body. "It really depends on your body.
Sometimes you have to use trial and error and wait
for seven days to three months to know which is best
for you," Dr Grace says. And for safety and best
results, consult a doctor before taking any
WATER, WATER, WATER
Which is the more effective form of supplement? Pill
or liquid? Liquids or beverages, Dr Grace answers.
Liquids are directly and easily absorbed by the
body; capsules have binders and are more slowly
digested. If you really prefer capsules, choose the
gel type. Gels dissolve faster, she explains.
But whether you take liquid or pill, Dr Grace
advises drinking lots of water with supplements.
Drink the prescribed eight glasses of water every
"Drinking dissolves the supplements effectively,
making the body flush out toxins faster."
Can you over-dose on supplements? Dr George Alvin
writes in his article Vitamin Overdose: "These
products are intended to boost your health, but they
can be anything but healthy if you grossly overdo
it. Taken to excess, you actually can over-dose on
vitamins and other food supplements."
Dr Alvin spells out the rule of thumb when
supplementing. Anything taken in excess, including
water and oxygen, can be toxic. "Provided that
supplements are taken in the amounts recommended on
the pack by the manufacturer or retailer, and the
recommended doses are not exceeded by combining too
many different supplements, then it is highly
unlikely that supplements will cause toxicity."
What about supplements in combination with
prescription medicines? A big no-no! They may lead
to unwanted effects and have life-threatening
results. Some dietary supplements interact
with specific drugs - calcium and heart medicine,
magnesium and thiazide and loop diuretics, vitamin
Kanda blood thinner, for example.
Nutri-tip You can overdose on
vitamins A, B12, D, E and K as the body doesn't
flush out excess amounts of these nutrients.
As for combining supplements, vitamins combine best
with minerals, says Dr Grace. Without each other,
vitamins and minerals are less effective as
supplements. The two work well together to enhance
Dr Alvin says combining supplements would normally
not interfere with the way they work and may even be
beneficial in some cases. However, "certain
supplements may interact with each other. For
example, there is competition within the gut for the
absorption of different minerals and a large dose of
one might decrease the absorption of another or
cause excessive absorption of another".
But this should not be a problem in general. Vitamin
D and calcium, for instance, are good together. "No
matter how much calcium you take, it will not be
anywhere as beneficial as if you took a moderate
amount of both vitamin D and calcium," notes Dr
Keep in mind that it's always best to consult your
doctor before taking any supplement. Supplementation
is not meant as a quick fix for your beauty
problems, but a doctor-guided option to getting all
the nutrients that you may be missing out on. A
glowing skin and glossy locks are good by-products
of choosing a healthy lifestyle.