Original post: October 22, 2010
Despite the ongoing changes in the environment and the unknown contacts that occur daily, we can have significant control over skin health from the inside out. Our skin is our outermost shield against environmental intrusion including that from microbes and toxicity. Maintaining impermeable supple skin is crucial to overall health.
The rate of skin disease in our pets will continue to rise and the cause is nutritional imbalance wedded to ever-increasing pollution. It’s no different from what’s happening with us. As much as the pollutants in our environment from our new age technologies are to blame for many of these skin reactions the manifestation also involves biochemical activity in their cells that we have some control over. Our diet dictates this cellular activity.
A move to fresher whole sources of nutrition helps improve cellular balance of fatty acids improving tolerance to allergens and illness. These fats also help maintain cell membrane integrity to maintain cell hydration. Hydration is critical to cell health but water consumption is just not enough to maintain it. Cell hydration depends on fatty acid balance and integrity of the cells. It depends on mineral balance such as electrolytes. Antioxidants that protect cell membrane health also preserve cell hydration. Nutrition plays a huge role in skin health.
Just like you and me, our pets have a certain level of general inflammation that simmers in their cells – subclinical inflammation. Tolerance to illness is closely related to this underlying inflammation. A higher subclinical level may never be felt but it lowers tolerance to these triggers or allergens. Abundant consumption of processed foods can advance this festering to reduce tolerance to allergenic triggers which could otherwise never elicit a reaction on their own.
Some animals, just like humans, tolerate processed foods better than others and for longer in their lives than some animals. However, even in these animals, the elimination of this underlying metabolic strain allows for a spontaneous improvement in skin or hair health in just days. It also improves general health and resilience to illness and premature aging. Making certain that food sources are clean and fresh is important step in managing this reactivity if it`s an ongoing problem. It also helps maintain hydrated, robust and resilient skin cells.
The next step is to ensure that fatty acid nutrition is sufficient. Mild cases of allergies can be treated effectively using a balanced fatty acid supplement that includes Omega-3 and Omega-6 nutrition in the proper balance. These special fatty acids are used by the cells to manufacture hormones involved in regulating inflammation. If the food sources and fatty acid balance are insufficient, the hormone balance produced from the fatty acid precursors can be dysfunctional heightening allergies and skin disease.
Supplementation with the right fatty acid blend to offset this imbalance helps restore health. These dietary fats help restore skin integrity at multiple levels by improving cell hydration, treating dry skin and balancing inflammatory hormones.
Supplementing with fish oils alone for their non-essential DHA and EPA contents will only serve as a Band-aid for the problem providing temporary relief.
The fatty acid requirements for humans are again, different from the needs of our pets and human-intended products will not deliver the best result for our pets. In order to deliver maximum benefit the ratios of these hormone building blocks must be provided with precision by a product formulated specifically for your dog. Your supplement must obviously be specially designed for humans.
If allergies are a persisting problem there is one more step we can take. Step three in regaining control over allergies involves utilizing natural antihistamine activity. Many natural bioflavonoids have anti-histamine-like activity and can be used naturally to intercept seasonal and other allergies in both humans and companion animals. A natural antihistamine preparation can provide immediate relief if it’s formulated correctly; it must deliver a precise dose of quercetin supported by biotin, folic acid, zinc and vitamins E and C. Added grapeseed extract for incremental antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity provides bonus support.
Most cases of skin disease respond well to this dual nutritional product approach – natural antihistamine and fatty acid application – to eliminate the need for drugs. If allergies are not the primary cause of the skin ailments the new fatty acid balance and the other skin- and hair-specific nutrition is still sure to provide a source of newfound hair lustre and skin conditioning as the hormone balance, skin cell health and general metabolism are fine tuned.
Orally supplied antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid, grapeseed extract, green tea extract and carnosine are also very important skin preservers that saturate in the connective tissue of the skin and protect it from oxidation. In fact, they provide great protection from the sun working powerfully as sunscreen from the inside out.