Below is an explanation of the function of each of the nutrients in Cutizana with 41 references and links to scientific research papers.
– Hydrolyzed Collagen Types 1 & 3
– Hyaluronic Acid (Vegan, Sodium Hyaluronate)
– Silica (Silicone Dioxide)
– Copper (as Gluconate)
– Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid)
– Vitamin B5 (Pantothenate)
– Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCL)
– Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
– Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)
For reference collagen, elastin and keratin are made from amino acids and these are the amino acids found in each body area:
Skin: Serine, Glycine, Alanine, Citrulline, Threonine, Histidine, Aspartic acid, Valine, Ornithine, Arginine, Isoleucine, Lysine, Leucine, Tyrosine, Glutamic acid, Proline, Phenylalanine
Hair: Alanine, Arginine, Aspartic acid, Cysteine, Glutamic acid, Glycine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Tyrosine, Valine
Nails: Arginine, Histidine, Lysine
COLLAGEN & AMINO ACIDS
It is the most abundant amino acid in collagen. About 33% of the collagen molecule is glycine. (1)
Glycine helps prevent unwanted skin darkening (hyperpigmentation) by blocking the enzymes necessary for the production of melanin. (2) That way, it helps keep your skin lighter and smooth. Besides, it is a critical component of the skin’s moisture retention system.
Glycine is one of the amino acids that make hair keratin. Its deficiency has been linked to about 15% of all cases of baldness in men. (3)
L-Proline and hydroxyproline contribute to about 23% of the collagen molecule. (1) They protect collagen against breakdown by proteolytic enzymes.
Proline protects your skin against UV rays and helps prevent premature skin ageing. (4) Besides, by increasing collagen production, they promote wound healing.
Proline deficiency is present in about 25% of all cases of baldness in women and 24% in men. (3)
Alanine is found in both human skin and hair.
Alanine is a critical component of collagen. Its major role in the skin is to prevent the loss of water from the skin surface. Thus, sufficient alanine is key to preventing dryness and related skin problems, such as irritation.
Over 90% of men and women with thinning hair have alanine deficiency. (3)
The body uses glutamic acid to produce proline and hydroxyproline. Both proline and hydroxyproline are the major constituents of collagen.
As a precursor of proline and hydroxyproline, glutamic acid is key to protecting the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Proline is necessary for keeping your hair strands strong. Proline deficiency is one of the causes of excessive hair loss and baldness in both men and women.
Arginine is one of the major components of structural proteins that make your skin, hair, and nail. The body uses arginine to produce proline and glutamate.
Arginine promotes wound healing and increases the production of collagen. (4) Supplementation with arginine, along with leucine and glutamine, improves skin texture, especially in women. (5)
Arginine is a powerful antioxidant with anti-ageing properties. It protects your hair against oxidative stress caused by colouring agents and bleach. (6)
A 6-week supplementation with arginine improves nail growth and hardness. (7)
L-aspartic acid or Aspartate
Unlike D-aspartic acid, L-aspartic acid is involved in the synthesis of structural proteins in the skin and hair.
The body uses aspartate to produce other amino acids – lysine, methionine, threonine, and isoleucine. (8) All these amino acids are essential for maintaining skin health and preventing UV-induced skin damage.
Deficiency of any of the four amino acids – lysine, methionine, threonine, and isoleucine – can cause excessive hair loss in both men and women.
Serine helps prevent the loss of moisture from the skin surface. That way, it hydrates the skin and prevents dryness – major cause of irritation.
Serine deficiency has been linked to hair thinning and baldness in both men and women.
L-lysine is found in the skin, hair, and nail.
Lysine is one of the building blocks of collagen. Deficiency of lysine can delay wound healing. (9) Lysine, along with zinc and herbs, can help treat facial cold sores. (10)
Lysine and iron therapy can help women with excessive hair loss. (11) Over half of people with telogen effluvium (TE) may have lysine deficiency. (7) TE causes temporary hair loss associated with stress or shock.
The body needs lysine to use. (12) Biotin (also called vitamin B7) is essential for nail growth and strength.
Leucine is a component of elastic. Elastin is a protein that makes your skin elastic. Low elastin levels cause wrinkles and sagging.
Supplementation with leucine, arginine, and glutamine improves skin texture and appearance. (5)
Leucine deficiency is common in women with hair loss and those with stress-related hair loss. (3)
Like leucine, valine is one of the building blocks of elastin – a protein that gives your skin elasticity.
When you are valine deficient, you cannot produce enough elastin. Low elastin levels are a major cause of wrinkles and saggy skin.
Valine deficiency is commonly seen in men and women with baldness and those with stress-related hair loss. (3)
Threonine prevents the loss of moisture from your skin. Thus, supplementing with threonine can be an effective measure to prevent skin dryness.
Threonine deficiency may cause excessive hair loss. Likewise, some people with stress-related hair loss may have low levels of this amino acid.
Phenylalanine is required for the synthesis of tyrosine. Tyrosine is used to make melanin – a pigment that gives your hair, skin, and eyes their natural colour.
Phenylalanine is essential for normal skin and hair colour. People with loss of skin colour (vitiligo) may benefit from phenylalanine supplementation. (13)
Phenylalanine deficiency may cause hair loss in some people. However, this is uncommon.
Isoleucine is used as a skin conditioning agent in many cosmetics. It is required for wound healing and may help people with eczema. (14, 15)
Isoleucine deficiency is common in people with excessive hair loss.
Hydroxylysine contributes to 1% of collagen. During collagen synthesis, lysine is converted to hydroxylysine in the presence of iron, oxygen, and vitamin C.
L-hydroxylysine is key to skin wound healing. (16)
Methionine improves the elasticity of skin and hair. Moreover, it makes your nails strong. As an antioxidant, methionine is revered for slowing down the aging process. (17)
Methionine is required for the synthesis of keratin. Keratin is a protein that protects the skin against damage by external stressors.
Methionine prevents the loss of moisture from the skin surface. Due to its powerful antioxidant activity, methionine protects the skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Methionine deficiency is known to cause hair loss. Supplementation with methionine can prevent hair loss by increasing the absorption of zinc and selenium. (17)
Histidine is one of the three amino acids found in human nails.
Histidine is a potent antioxidant. It protects the skin from the harmful UV radiation.
Besides, histidine supplementation improves skin hydration and reduces itching in some forms of severe eczema. (18)
Histidine deficiency is commonly seen in people with thinning hair.
Histidine deficiency can cause anaemia, which is one the reasons for brittle nails and vertical ridges on the nails. (19)
Tyrosine is required for melanin production. Melanin is a pigment that gives your hair, skin, and eyes their natural colour.
Cysteine is a component of the skin’s hydration system and keratin. Thus, it helps your skin stay hydrated and intact. Besides, the antioxidant property helps protect your skin against damage by the UV rays.
L-cysteine strengthens the hair strands and prevents hair loss. ( 20) Cysteine deficiency causes brittle hair. (21)
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a critical component of the skin. It is found in both epidermis and dermis – the two layers of the skin above the subcutaneous tissues.
HA helps keep your skin moist by trapping water molecules in epidermis and dermis. UV exposure breaks down HA, which leads to dehydration and loss of elasticity. Furthermore, oral HA helps reduce wrinkles and skin roughness. (22)
According to a recent study, supplementation with HA improves hair appearance and texture. (23) Likewise, in another study, people taking HA with collagen reported strong, smooth and firm nails. (24)
Silica (Silicon Dioxide)
Silica is required for the synthesis of collagen as well as some enzymes that enhance skin strength and elasticity. (25) High levels of silica in the hair are shown to prevent hair loss and promote brightness.
Silica deficiency can cause soft and brittle nails. Notably, it may increase the risk of nail infections.
Copper (as Gluconate)
Copper is an essential nutrient for humans. It is a crucial nutrient required for the production of collagen and elastin. (26) Thus, taking copper can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Copper deficiency may cause hair loss in some people. It is because copper plays a critical role in the production of cells that regulate hair growth. (27,28)
When taken with iron, zinc and amino acids, copper can make your nails strong, smooth, and shiny. (29)
Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C has powerful antioxidant and skin-rejuvenating properties. As an antioxidant, it protects the cells from harmful chemical species called free radicals.
Vitamin C increases the production of collagen and elastin and helps maintain skin’s natural lipids. (30) Moreover, it is required for wound healing.
Because vitamin C is necessary for collagen production, its deficiency can cause hair loss and premature hair ageing. Furthermore, vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron from the food you eat. Iron is essential for hair growth.
Vitamin C deficiency can cause your nails to grow slowly and become brittle. (31)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenate)
Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin. Your body uses this vitamin to make blood cells and release energy from the food you eat.
Pantothenate prevents premature greying of hair, promotes natural hair colour, and supports hair growth. (32) Due to its skin-softening and anti-inflammatory properties, pantothenate helps reduce acne lesions by as much as 67%. Moreover, pantothenate is used to promote nail growth. (33,34)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCL)
This water-soluble B vitamin is required for protein, glucose, and fat metabolism. Besides, your body needs pyridoxine to make blood cells and neurotransmitters. The human body does not produce vitamin B6. Thus, you need to get it from your food or supplement.
Pyridoxine is essential for making collagen – a major component of the skin. Thus, the vitamin is crucial for maintaining healthy skin. (35,36) Its deficiency can lead to skin rashes, cracked lips, swollen tongue, and weakened immune system. Thankfully, taking a supplement can help clear the skin-associated symptoms. (37)
Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Biotin is required for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fatty acids, and amino acids. A deficiency of biotin can cause skin rashes, brittle nails, and hair loss.
Biotin supplementation is effective in treating brittle splitting nails, hair loss, and premature greying of hair. (38,39,)
Studies show that biotin can reduce the production of sebum, an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. Thus, biotin can be used to control conditions caused by excessive sebum, such as dandruff and acne. (40)
Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)
In humans, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause many skin and nail disorders. These include darkened skin, painful lumps on the skin, and nail streaks. (41)
Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining your natural hair colour. Its deficiency may cause premature greying or whitening. (39)
1 The Journal of Nutrition. Proline precursors to sustain Mammalian collagen synthesis.
2 Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. Glycine inhibits melanogenesis in vitro and causes hypopigmentation in vivo.
3 International Journal of Trichology. Prevalence of Nutritional Deficiencies in Hair Loss among Indian Participants: Results of a Cross-sectional Study.
4 Biomolecules and Therapeutics. Role of Micronutrients in Skin Health and Function.
5 Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. Effect of amino-acid intake on physical conditions and skin state: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial.
6 Journal of Cosmetic Science. Effects of arginine on hair damage via oxidative coloring process.
7 Journal of Advanced Research. Anti-aging effects of l-arginine.
8 Amino Acids Synthesized from Aspartate: Lysine, Methionine (and Cysteine), Threonine and Isoleucine.
9 Journal of Dental Research. Factors Affecting Wound Healing.
10 Alternative Medicine Review. Safety and effectiveness of an L-lysine, zinc, and herbal-based product on the treatment of facial and circumoral herpes.
11 Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. Nutritional factors and hair loss.
12 NCBI Bookshelf. Biotin.
13 PubChem. Phenylalanine.
14 PubChem. Isoleucine.
15 Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. Local rhamnosoft, ceramides and L-isoleucine in atopic eczema: a randomized, placebo controlled trial.
16 Medscape. Skin Wound Healing.
17 PubChem. Methionine.
18 Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 4, Issue Supplement_2, June 2020, Page 1141.
19 Protective Role of Histidine Supplementation Against Oxidative Stress Damage in the Management of Anemia of Chronic Kidney Disease.
20 Molecules. Effects of the Usage of l-Cysteine (l-Cys) on Human Health.
21 Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Alopecia: A Comprehensive Review
22 Dermatoendocrinology. Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging.
23 The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. Randomized, Placebo-controlled Study of a Nutraceutical Based on Hyaluronic Acid, L-carnosine, and Methylsulfonylmethane in Facial Skin Aesthetics and Well-being.
24 Journal of Dietary Supplements. Beneficial Effects of Oral Supplementation With Ovoderm on Human Skin Physiology: Two Pilot Studies.
25 An Bras Dermatol. Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy.
26 Current Chemical Biology. Using Copper to Improve the Well-Being of the Skin.
27 Annals of Dermatology. Analysis of Serum Zinc and Copper Concentrations in Hair Loss.
28 Journal of Cell Science. Hair follicle dermal papilla cells at a glance.
29 Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology. Efficacy and tolerability of a biomineral formulation for treatment of onychoschizia: a randomized trial
30 Nutrients. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health.
31 Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. Vitamins and minerals: their role in nail health and disease.
32 Menopause Review. Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause.
33 Dermatology and Therapy. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of a Novel Pantothenic Acid-Based Dietary Supplement in Subjects with Mild to Moderate Facial Acne.
34 Annals of Dermatology. Therapeutic Efficacy of Combination Therapy Using Oral Cyclosporine with a Dietary Supplement (Pantogar®) in Twenty-Nail Dystrophy.
35 Biochemical Medicine. Impaired collagen maturity in vitamins B2 and B6 deficiency–probable molecular basis of skin lesions.
36 Handbook of Diet, Nutrition, and the Skin. Role of vitamin B6 in skin health and diseases.
37 BioFactors. Changes of glucose metabolism and skin-collagen neogenesis in vitamin B6 deficiency.
38 Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Treatment of brittle fingernails and onychoschizia with biotin: scanning electron microscopy.
39 Dermatology and Therapy. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review.
40 G Ital Dermatol Venereol. Biotin: overview of the treatment of diseases of cutaneous appendages and of hyperseborrhea.
41 American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. A review of vitamin B12 in dermatology.