During my 30+ years of practicing the specialty of dermatology and dermatologic immunology, hundreds of patients have asked me for advice regarding supplements that might help boost their immune systems, maintain healthy skin, hair and nails, and protect against age-related diseases. I have now found and researched a supplier that designs and distributes nutrient formulations for the aging body that are better absorbed and often more potent than commercial store brands. This company, called Life Extension, also publishes a magazine, emails daily unbiased summaries of relevant articles from medical journals, and funds scientific research.
From the Life Extension catalogue of hundreds of products, I have selected several to offer for sale at our offices that I have been recommending for years to patients for the prevention and treatment of various skin and immunologic conditions. In the list below, I have included a brief description of the product, how it might be beneficial, and how to take it. Where there is a direct application to a dermatologic condition, I placed the passage in bold.
I expect to add more items to the list as I gain more personal experience with them and hear of your experiences and requests. I am interested in your feedback.
1. RESVERATROL with PTEROSTILBENE 20mg, 60 capsules
Resveratrol may be the most effective plant extract for maintaining optimal health and promoting longevity. Red wine contains resveratrol, but the quantity varies based on grape-growing conditions, and is severely reduced by modern wine-making techniques. This capsule (20mg) provides about as much resveratrol as 90 glasses of red wine! Pterostilbene is a related compound that works synergistically with resveratrol to confer anti-aging benefits. Potentially effective doses of resveratrol range from 20 to 250mg daily. I am currently taking this supplement. I recommend starting with one capsule daily with or without food.
2. SUPER OMEGA-3 EPA/DHA with SESAME LIGNANS & OLIVE FRUIT EXTRACT
Each softgel contains 1000mg wild fish oil concentrate, 120 softgels
Super Omega-3 is produced with a patented method that purifies the oil with an advanced distillation process to reduce pollutants to virtually undetectable levels. Sesame lignans prevent lipid peroxidation of the fatty acids which increases stability in the body. The olive fruit extract delivers a powerful antioxidant effect equivalent to 6 ounces of extra virgin olive oil. I recommend Super Omega-3 for its anti-inflammatory effects, potential to lower triglycerides, and improvement of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. I recommend taking two softgels twice daily with meals.
3. SUPER UBIQUINOL CoQ10 with ENHANCED MITOCHONDRIAL SUPPORT
Each softgel contains 50mg of Ubiquinol, 100 softgels
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is essential for healthy mitochondrial function. CoQ10 is required to convert the energy from fats and sugars into usable cellular energy. It is also a potent antioxidant helping to protect proteins and mitochondrial DNA. Normal aging and the taking of lipid-lowering “statin” drugs such as Lipitor and Zocor, result in a significant reduction of CoQ10. We are offering a highly bioavailable ubiquinol form of CoQ10 in a patented delivery system with higher and longer-lasting blood levels. I am currently taking this supplement; it has increased my energy level more than any other supplement I take, including vitamin B12. I recommend starting with one softgel once daily with food and increase to two softgels if energy is lagging.
4. MEGA GREEN TEA EXTRACT (Decaffeinated)
Each capsule contains 725mg Camillia sinensis extract, 100 capsules
Green tea contains health-promoting polyphenols including the potent antioxidant called EGCG which is 25-100 times more powerful than vitamins C or E. One of our capsules provides more polyphenols than you can get drinking 3 cups of green tea. Moreover, the powdered extract is absorbed 60-90% better into the bloodstream. Just a few of the benefits of green tea include: enhanced immune function, protective effects on brain tissues, helping maintain healthy cholesterol levels. I am currently taking this supplement. I recommend this product for my patients with Dermatitis Herpetiformis who are also taking Dapsone. It does not contain any gluten. I recommend one capsule daily with or without food.
5. ZINC (OPTIZINC) 30mg, 90 capsules
Zinc is a trace mineral that stimulates the function of about 300 enzymes including superoxide dismutase, the body’s most important free radical scavenger. Age-related declines in immune function are associated with zinc deficiency which may be improved with zinc supplementation. Dermatologists have traditionally prescribed zinc supplementation as adjunctive therapy for slow healing wounds, canker sores, and leg ulcerations. Zinc is cheap. I recommend taking one capsule daily with or without food, but I may recommend higher doses for patients with the appropriate diagnosis.
6. BIOTIN 600 micrograms (0.6mg), 100 capsules
Biotin is an unnumbered member of the B-complex family normally required in very small amounts. It is often excluded or too low in multivitamins. Biotin functions as a cofactor of enzymes involved in the metabolism of glucose and certain fatty acids and amino acids. Biotin is essential for normal hair and nail health. I recommend taking one capsule daily with meals, or two capsules daily with meals for patients with hair loss or nail diseases.
7. VITAMIN D3 1000 IU, 250 capsules
Vitamin D may be the most misunderstood vitamin. We know that it is essential for normal bone growth and calcium absorption. Deficiency leads to rickets in children, and hip fractures in the elderly. Vitamin D also regulates healthy cell division and differentiation and immunity. For example, we use prescription vitamin D ointments to treat psoriasis. Vitamin D levels in blood are commonly insufficient as we age because of inefficient synthesis in skin from sunlight, spending more time indoors, and having diets with poor sources of vitamin D. I believe the current Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin D is too low at 600 IU per day. I recommend that my patients take one 1000 IU capsule daily with food up to age 60 years and two capsules daily over 60 years of age.
8. B-COMPLEX VITAMIN COMPLETE, 180 CAPSULES
For general health, contains potent but safe and scientifically validated and balanced amounts of all B vitamins including B12 (1mg) and important un-numbered vitamins folic acid (0.8mg) and biotin (0.6mg). Therefore, this B-Complex can substitute or add to the folic acid I routinely recommend to my patients taking methotrexate for psoriasis and the biotin I recommend for hair and nail abnormalities. I am currently taking this vitamin. I recommend starting with one capsule daily with food and increasing to one capsule three times daily.
9. MAGNESIUM CAPS 500mg, 100 CAPSULES
Magnesium is an element that is deficient in many diets. It is essential for normal muscle, nerve and immune function. Did you know that popular proton pump inhibitor medicines such as Prilosec and Nexium can cause low magnesium levels after 3 months of taking them? I personally think it helps leg cramps and take this supplement. This product offers one of the highest concentrations of elemental magnesium available and is inexpensive. I recommend taking one capsule daily with food. If you have tendency to get leg, ankle, hand, or foot cramps at night, I suggest taking magnesium in the evening.
10. SUPER BIO-CURCUMIN 400MG, 60 CAPSULES
Curcumin is the polyphenol in the spice extracted from the turmeric root. It is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It helps to maintain healthy bowel, joint, and platelet function. It also inhibits release of histamine from mast cells. Curcumin is effective in the treatment of oral erosive lichen planus and may help to improve hidradenitis suppurativa and certain types of hives. The reason I recommend this product is that curcumin is usually poorly absorbed and retained in the bloodstream. This product is absorbed 6-7 times greater than the typical 95% curcumin extract and remains in the blood longer, making the 400mg dose of Super Bio-Curcumin the equivalent of 2772 mg. I believe these higher doses of curcumin are necessary to help the highly inflammatory diseases we treat. I recommend taking one capsule twice daily with food.