Skin + Omega-3 Fats

You’ve likely heard the expression “you are what you eat” and while this is a wildly simplified way of encouraging a nutritious diet, it does have a hint of truth to it.

Many of the nutrients in the food we eat become our tissues or are directly responsible for running systems in our bodies. For example, iron from foods like black beans, become the iron in our blood, or calcium becomes our bones. With that in mind, it makes sense that consuming certain lipids (fats) can help our bodies produce native oils by providing the building blocks for such substances. And while there are many types of oils, some are more functional in our bodies than others.

The Importance Of Omega-3 Fats

When it comes to our skin and overall health, research shows us that omega-3 fatty acids are extra helpful. The molecules that make up these fats, and how they are bonded together, make them extremely functional in the body. Studies show that these fats can reduce inflammation, may help prevent certain diseases, and can support healthy skin!

Consuming more omega-3 fatty acids in the diet from sources like fatty fish, algae oil, and supplements, can help keep the skin more hydrated, may help decrease severity of sunburns, and helps treat skin conditions like psoriasis compared to traditional treatments alone [1, 2, 3].  Over time this can help the skin look and function its best by maintaining a healthy moisture barrier, helping to decrease skin conditions, and potentially resisting photoaging.

If you’re looking to boost the health of your skin, try incorporating fatty fish like salmon and trout into your menu or speak to your health care team about supplementing with fish or algal oil containing EPA and DHA (the most beneficial forms of omega-3 fats).

When it comes down to it, you aren’t exactly what you eat, but as the research suggests, eating healthy food can be a great way to keep your skin looking and staying healthy too. 

References

[1] Pilkington, S. M., & Rhodes, L. E. (2010). Omega-3 fatty acids and skin. In Nutrition for Healthy Skin (pp. 91-107). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

[2] Allen, B. R. (1991). Fish oil in combination with other therapies in the treatment of psoriasis. In Health Effects of Omega 3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Seafoods (Vol. 66, pp. 436-445). Karger Publishers.

[3] Rhodes, L. E., Shahbakhti, H., Azurdia, R. M., Moison, R. M., Steenwinkel, M. J. S., Homburg, M. I., ... & Vink, A. A. (2003). Effect of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, on UVR-related cancer risk in humans.