Dr. Jan Newell wrote: "Unfortunately, the research into omega 3 fatty acids and acne is still lacking but we can make some estimates based on the few studies available plus lots of clinical, anecdotal evidence
Here’s what we do know. Our skin cell membranes are made of essential fatty acids, which include Omega 3 and Omega 6. If you are short of any one of the Omegas, your skin cell membranes can’t replicate properly, which means they can’t take in nutrients and expel toxins. Replicating skin cells happens every day, as our old cells slough off and new ones are formed. But when you are healing anything, like a wound or acne, you are replicating skin cells at a much greater rate. Those new cells need to have healthy, properly replicated membranes.⠀
We also know that Omega 6 promotes inflammation, and Omega 3 reduces it. Our bodies do best when the two are in balance, but with a typical western diet we eat 20 times as much Omega 6 as Omega 3.⠀
Acne is an inflammatory condition. The latest research suggests that all acne begins with inflammation. Even acne that doesn’t look inflamed (think blackheads) has been shown to have histological markers for inflammation. The traditional model of acne begins with excess dead skin cells, which are hereditary, but the new research suggests that the inflammation may be what leads to the production and retention of excess dead skin cells.⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ I have noticed those clients who clear the most readily are the ones who are consistent about getting their Omega 3's.
Selecting an Omega 3 supplement:⠀ Not all supplements are created equal, and that starts with the fact that not all Omega 3 is created equal. Studies have shown that EPA is the one most linked to inflammation reduction, while DHA seems to affect the brain the most. ALA is the Omega 3 found in vegetable sources like chia and flax seeds. The body will convert ALA to EPA for inflammation reduction, but it is terribly inefficient at doing so. ⠀ At least 1000 mg of EPA a day is necessary to have the anti-inflammatory effect ."
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