Carotenoids - The Unsung Heroes of Skin Health

Carotenoids - The Unsung Heroes of Skin Health

You’ve heard of beta-carotene, the natural compound found in orange, red, and other brightly colored vegetables and fruit that is a source for vitamin A.

You may have also heard about other carotenoids such as zeaxanthin and lutein that have been shown to have beneficial effects on vision and eye health, as they protect the eye from the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) light and may even reduce the likelihood of conditions such as macular degeneration.

There’s also astaxanthin, the orange carotenoid pigment found in the shells of shellfish such as shrimp, crabs, and lobster, the most potent of all carotenoids in its antioxidative effects.

Carotenoids have been shown to provide beneficial effects on skin, as well as eyes. Just as carotenoids can protect the eye from UV radiation, they also provide a similar protective effect for skin.

When skin is overexposed to sun, especially if you develop sunburn, an inflammatory and oxidative reaction is set in motion in the dermal layer of skin that degrades collagen and accelerates thinning (thus the “crow’s feet" and “smile lines” that can develop in those of us who spent too much time in the sun).

Carotenoids protect skin by subduing the inflammatory reaction triggered by UV radiation, thereby limiting sun damage.

But be careful: Even if you engage in a carotenoid-rich diet, it doesn't make you impervious to the effects of sun exposure, just a bit more tolerant with less skin damage, less loss of dermal collagen, and less dermal thinning.

Eating a diet rich in brightly colored vegetables and fruits is the preferred source of carotenoids for skin health—bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, squash, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, dandelion greens—as well as egg yolks. Including such carotenoid sources in your diet every day makes it easy to obtain healthy intakes. 

For convenience, you also have the option of supplementing one or more of the other carotenoids such as lutein 2-10 mg per day, zeaxanthin 2 mg per day, or astaxanthin 4 mg per day, doses that have been documented to exert positive skin effects when taken orally. 

Our Gut to Glow formula contains astaxanthin in the doses that have been clinically studied for skin health. Combined with collagen, hyaluronic acid, and our super microbe, Lactobacillus reuteri LRDR™, it's the perfect way to address your skin from the inside out!

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