Flaxseeds for Sensitive Skin

Flaxseeds for Sensitive Skin
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Instead of treating sensitive skin topically, with lotions and creams, why not treat it from the inside out—with diet?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

About half of the American population says they have sensitive skin, defined loosely as “tingling, chafing, burning,” itching sensations when exposed to various environmental factors. A similar high prevalence has been reported throughout Japan and Europe—especially in women.

Often, there are no obvious signs, and, so, it’s often been dismissed by the medical community as a “princess and the pea” phenomenon—a mindset that has hindered the investigation of this problem.

But, now, it’s largely “recognized as a genuine phenomenon of physiological origin,” thought to arise from an “alteration of the skin barrier allowing potentially irritating substances to penetrate the skin and generate an inflammatory reaction.”

Okay, so, what can we do about it? Well, recently, supplementation of flaxseed oil was found to diminish skin sensitivity and improve skin barrier function and condition.  In a randomized, double-blind, 12-week study, women were given about a half teaspoon of flaxseed oil a day—internally—versus safflower oil, as a control. That’s the amount of oil found in about a teaspoon and a half of flaxseeds.

After three months, there was a significant decrease in skin reddening in the flax group compared to the safflower group, when an irritant chemical was painted on their forearms to measure skin sensitivity. Their skin also ended up significantly better hydrated, had significantly better barrier function—as evidenced by lower transepidermal water loss—skin that’s less rough; less scaly; and smoother. You can actually see the changes in a close-up view of the skin. Skin looked pretty much just as dry and scaly before and after the safflower oil intervention, but significantly improved after flaxseed oil.

Sensitive skin is typically treated by topical application of lotion and creams. But, why not treat it from the inside? “This study showed that daily supplementation with flaxseed oil improved skin appearance and led to a decreased skin sensitivity by improving epidermal barrier function and decreasing inflammation…”

The best source of flaxseed oil is within the flaxseed itself, right?  Then, you get all the nutrition of the whole food, and it’s cheaper and more stable. Unlike the oil, you can bake with the seeds without destroying the omega-3s, and can even store ground flaxseed for a month, at room temperature, without spoilage or oxidation.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to stevendepolo via flickr

 

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

About half of the American population says they have sensitive skin, defined loosely as “tingling, chafing, burning,” itching sensations when exposed to various environmental factors. A similar high prevalence has been reported throughout Japan and Europe—especially in women.

Often, there are no obvious signs, and, so, it’s often been dismissed by the medical community as a “princess and the pea” phenomenon—a mindset that has hindered the investigation of this problem.

But, now, it’s largely “recognized as a genuine phenomenon of physiological origin,” thought to arise from an “alteration of the skin barrier allowing potentially irritating substances to penetrate the skin and generate an inflammatory reaction.”

Okay, so, what can we do about it? Well, recently, supplementation of flaxseed oil was found to diminish skin sensitivity and improve skin barrier function and condition.  In a randomized, double-blind, 12-week study, women were given about a half teaspoon of flaxseed oil a day—internally—versus safflower oil, as a control. That’s the amount of oil found in about a teaspoon and a half of flaxseeds.

After three months, there was a significant decrease in skin reddening in the flax group compared to the safflower group, when an irritant chemical was painted on their forearms to measure skin sensitivity. Their skin also ended up significantly better hydrated, had significantly better barrier function—as evidenced by lower transepidermal water loss—skin that’s less rough; less scaly; and smoother. You can actually see the changes in a close-up view of the skin. Skin looked pretty much just as dry and scaly before and after the safflower oil intervention, but significantly improved after flaxseed oil.

Sensitive skin is typically treated by topical application of lotion and creams. But, why not treat it from the inside? “This study showed that daily supplementation with flaxseed oil improved skin appearance and led to a decreased skin sensitivity by improving epidermal barrier function and decreasing inflammation…”

The best source of flaxseed oil is within the flaxseed itself, right?  Then, you get all the nutrition of the whole food, and it’s cheaper and more stable. Unlike the oil, you can bake with the seeds without destroying the omega-3s, and can even store ground flaxseed for a month, at room temperature, without spoilage or oxidation.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to stevendepolo via flickr

 

Nota del Doctor

I bet one of the reasons the medical community was so dismissive is because of the preponderance of sensitive skin in women. Did you see my video about how the profession used to treat menopause? Ghastly: Plant-Based Bioidentical Hormones.

For more on eating your way towards healthier skin, see:

For more on flax, see my last three videos: Flax Seeds vs. Prostate CancerWas It the Flax Seed, Fat Restriction, or Both?; and Flax Seed vs. Diabetes. Sick of flax videos already? No problem! Stay tuned for my next video, Fiber vs. Breast Cancer.

For further context, also check out my associated blog posts: Treating Sensitive Skin From the Inside OutFlax and Breast Cancer Prevention; and Flax and Breast Cancer Survival.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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