TAKE YOUR VITS
What are the strands of vitamins and minerals that will cast a youthful light upon your face? Li Ying Lim explores the endless possibilities of supplements.
TAKE A SHOT
In the Korean spas in Seoul, women are busy queuing for their shots of youth. Yes, shots. Hooked up to a drip, vitamin transfusions are the norm in this well-oiled billiondollar beauty industry. Glutathione IV drips, as well as vitamin C in a stabilised form, are among the most requested treatments by these fair-faced beauties because of its affordable rate. In fact, Hollywood celebrities such as Rihanna regularly get their fix before red carpet events because it is the fastest way to get the vitamins to work their magic.
A previously unrecognised nutrient, gamma-linolenic acid, is also gaining steam—now available as oral supplements. “GLA raises your metabolism by stimulating brown fat (adipose tissue) to burn calories for energy, while conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) targets visceral fat (found deep within the abdominal area) to burn belly fat while increasing lean muscle mass,” divulges Ann Louise Gittleman, New York Times best-selling author and certified nutrition specialist. “I recommend this powerhouse duo for full body fat-burning benefits.”
NEW AGE DRUG
Ashwagandha is the new buzzword, thanks to its natural healing and detoxifying properties. An adaptogen that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, it is now the star of nootropics—“smart drugs that increase cognition and focus,” explains Jason Wachob, founder and CEO of Mindbodygreen and author of Wellth. Ashwagandha can be found in blendable powder or tablet forms, and is great for rebalancing the thyroid and hormones, leading to greater health and a more youthful appearance. QUICK VITAL GUIDE Glutathione Great for rejuvenating dull skin tone, glutathione is composed of building blocks of proteins. Dr. Mark Hyman calls it “the mother of antioxidants”, sealing its reputation as a true anti-ager. Beta-glucan Found in rye, brewer’s yeast, barley, shiitake, and oats, betaglucan is highly rated for its ability to fight bacteria that are already immune to antibiotic treatments. Vitamin B3 Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, is now believed to delay the hands of time. Dr. Oz remarks, “A natural anti-inflammatory, vitamin B3 can keep your skin supple and smooth.”
Exposure to sunlight may no longer be necessary, what with vitamin D available in IV transfusions and drinkable sunscreens. “To synthesise vitamin D efficiently, approximately 20 minutes of sun exposure a day without sunscreen will do the trick,” advises integrative health and food therapy specialist Christine Dionese. If not, “a few natural fruit and seed oils are packed with UVB and U VA protectants. Red raspberry seed oil confers an SPF of 28 to 50 against UVB and SPF 8 against UVA rays; carrot oil contains between 38 to 40 SPF.” Although, “since vitamin D is fat soluble, it can be toxic at high doses,” warns Rhonda Patrick, a PhD in biomedical science.
Hectic schedules can cause more than mere stress, and loading up on magnesium will help our brains process these hurdles. “Our body uses up our supply of magnesium while it deals with mental and physical stress,” Gittleman says. “We’re using up this adaptogenic mineral faster than we can take it in, and we should be taking in 500 to 1,000mg per day. Magnesium deficiency symptoms include, but are not limited to, blood clots, leg cramps, migraines, anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, and insomnia.” Supplements should include magnesium orotate to enhance athletic performance, and magnesium glycinate to still the mind.