Dr. Nigma Talib, best-selling author of Reverse the Signs of Aging and Younger Skin Starts in the Gut, answers all of our supplement related questions. The Los Angeles based Naturopath talks to us about the skin gut connection, the top supplements we should all be taking daily, collagen’s role in anti-aging, as well as the best supplements for mood support and sleep.
Dr. Nigma, can you talk about the skin gut connection?
The gateway to our immune system is the skin. The largest organ in the human body is often ignored in the fight against disease. This “shield” is the first line of defense against inflammation and infection. Inflammation is the body’s mechanism for self-protection. The goal is to remove toxic substances, including irritants, harmful pathogens and damaged cells.
Remember, skin issues often serve as a warning sign to more significant medical conditions. First, I address “gut” health. I provide a view into the complexity of the digestive system and its trillions of bacteria. Current scientific research is focused on unearthing the “gut microbiome” and its relation to modern diseases. I already know the importance of these tiny bacteria and their critical role in the overall functioning of the human body. In fact, 70 percent of our immune system resides there.
The process begins through proper nutrition. A poor diet can lead to the spread of inflammation and infection.
What supplements are important for maintaining a healthy gut?
B-complex: This is great if you’ve been under a lot of stress or have been working long hours. Leaky gut can occur if you are under a lot of stress, therefore taking a B complex helps you balance your cortisol levels and beats leaky gut. It contains 8 different types of B vitamins that help us stay energized throughout the day.
Marine Collagen: Marine collagen is the most researched and also the most effective form. It’s also really good for people suffering from leaky gut; the collagen heals the gut and reduces inflammation.”
Magnesium: Everyone can benefit from taking magnesium, most of us are
deficient. Magnesium is equally important for your heart muscle, as it is for the gut peristaltic movement that moves food along your gut as it gets digested. If you are low in magnesium, your bowels become sluggish and this can cause bouts of constipation and irregular bowel movements.
Vitamin D: This tops my list. Vitamin D is important for optimal gut health and a deficiency of vitamin D leads to dysbiosis of gut microbiome.
What are the top 5 supplements people should be taking daily?
This Beauty in a Bottle food supplement contains 20 powerful ingredients to boost your hair, skin and nails. It has Vitamin A to Z, skin boosting and immune support all in one!
As well as targeting common skin concerns, my products work to support a happy and healthy body, too. Perfect for when the sun alone just won’t do, these vitamin D capsules help absorb calcium that contributes to the maintenance of bones and muscles, support the functioning of the immune system and improve the appearance of lackluster hair, skin and nails.
This Healthy Flora supplement is packed with a researched blend of probiotics to improve digestion and overall gut health.
This B Famous supplement is packed with high-potency B vitamins that support and contribute to the growth, development and function of cell metabolism to keep skin glowing, as well as maintain the health of your digestive, immune and nervous system.
Featuring advanced nutrient delivery technology for optimal bioavailability. Vitamin C Cocktail powder packs a powerful combination of vital nutrients to support optimal health and vitality.
Can you talk about collagen’s role in anti-aging as well as with maintaining the hair, skin and nails?
The best skin comes from treating the inside and the outside. The outside needs topical treatments to strengthen and hydrate the skin, stimulate collagen, fade pigmentation or reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but combining this with healing the body from within creates the perfect marriage of techniques.
The simplest reason that the skin might be affected by gut problems is that they can interfere with the amount of nutrients you can absorb. Virtually every mineral and vitamin we eat aids the skin in some way—for example, vitamins C and E are imperative for collagen formation and repair, while the mineral zinc helps fight problems such as acne.
Taking collagen supplements may promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin. There are also many anecdotal claims that collagen supplements help prevent acne and other skin conditions, but these are not supported by scientific evidence.
Try holi (mane), our marine collagen and pearl powder supplement, formulated for the hair, skin and nails.
Do any supplements play a role in helping with depression and anxiety?
Absolutely, yes! Supplementing with vitamin C can help improve both mood and cognitive function. Vitamin C may reduce symptoms of anxiety as well as depression. For depression and anxiety I recommend: B Famous, Healthy Flora, Vitamin C Cocktail
What role does the gut play in maintaining mental health?
There’s also an important connection between the gut and the emotions—it’s no coincidence that people say, “I have a gut feeling about this”, or they suffer loose bowels if they are nervous about something. The brain and the gut communicate thousands of times every single day. Your gut, in fact, is your second brain. It contains an estimated 500 million neurons and releases at least 40 different neurotransmitters; 95 percent of the body’s serotonin (a hormone associated with improved mood but that also controls gut contraction) is found within the gut, and you have more serotonin receptors in your gut than your brain.
What supplements are best to take in the morning, on an empty stomach?
I recommend my Healthy Flora, you can take this supplement with or without food.
Bonus tip: Try to avoid hot beverages such as your morning coffee or tea immediately before or after these as they can be compromised.
What supplement should we be taking in the evening, or before we sleep?
5-HTP and GABA
It is recommended to take 5-HTP before bed as it potentially will make you drowsy. 5-HTP improves sleep quality and that the effect is greater when combined with GABA, which promotes relaxation.
Consider adding magnesium to your sleep routine. It is often used for its calming effects to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia. If you plan on using magnesium supplements as a sleep aid, we recommend taking it 1-2 hours before heading to bed.
Should Vitamin D3 be taken with K2? If so, why is it important they are taken together?Vitamins D and K are essential for optimal bone and arterial health and maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamins D and K work as a team. Increasing the amount of Vitamin D via supplementation in the presence of insufficient levels of Vitamin K can increase the risk of inappropriate calcium deposition in the soft tissue (such as arteries and joints) and can have a negative effect on blood vessel elasticity. However, when adequate levels of Vitamin K are present along with Vitamin D, calcium can be directed appropriately to the necessary areas of the body, mainly in bones and teeth. Increasing Vitamin D level increases the need for Vitamin K.