The deeper I delve into the subject of #supplementation for #vitiligo (and general health, for that matter), the more aware I become that getting it right is a real balancing act. A lot of people mistakenly believe that eating a varied #diet provides enough good nutrition to maintain optimum health. This might have been true once upon a time, before our soil became badly depleted and when all farming was organic by default. But modern farming and food processing methods have robbed even our "healthy" foods of a lot of their goodness, meaning that supplementation has become essential for many of us, and even more so for those of us who suffer chronic illness.
vitiligo sufferers typically lack certain nutrients
The fact that vitiligo sufferers are typically lacking in certain nutrients is now generally accepted, as is the fact that supplementation can therefore help to restore normal pigmentation. Although most family doctors still never so much as mention nutrition to their vitiligo patients (which is a sad reflection on their lack of nutritional knowledge, in my opinion) I was encouraged to read the following information in the April 21, 2016 Recouleur blog which shows that some dermatologists and other well-informed medical practitioners do.
According to the blog, one such specialist is Dr. Pearl Grimes of the Vitiligo and Pigmentation Institute of Southern California (also a member of the Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee of Vitiligo Support International and the Medical Advisory Board of the American Vitiligo Research Foundation) who recommends vitamins, along with topical treatments and phototherapy, to her vitiligo patients.
In Argentina Dr. Leopoldo Montes, who has also served on the same Vitiligo committees as D Grimes, and holds a US patent for the Method and Composition of Treatment Vitiligo with vitamins, has conducted research over several decades into the use of vitamin therapy for vitiligo, culminating in the publication of his book Vitiligo: Current Knowledge and Nutritional Therapy.
Dr. Ben Kim (a chiropractor and acupuncturist in Toronto and a vitiligo sufferer himself) also advocates dietary and lifestyle changes including nutritional supplementation. And for every health care practitioner who - like the examples above - recognises the link between vitiligo and nutrition, there must be thousands, like me, whose own experiences have clearly demonstrated the connection.
I regained my lost skin colour
If you are familiar with my story you will know that I regained virtually all my lost skin colour several years ago, thanks to a combination of nutritional supplementation and moderate sun exposure. When I first tried the supplements, it was a case of “let's give it a go and see what happens”. So I really didn't give much thought to what all the individual ingredients were and how they work together in the body. That side of things had already been taken care of by the manufacturers. The two main supplements I used contained a specifically balanced ratio of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients.
Boost-ing pigment & fighting free radicals
The natural tanning capsules (Boost) were evidently formulated specifically to provide the skin with the right combination of nutrients for creating healthy pigment, so the nutritional composition of this product was obviously scientifically created with this as its main purpose. The super-green food (Five a Day+V which I believe to be so effective for vitiligo because it fights oxidative stress) is also a well balanced formulation, but in this case one created by nature as it is a blend of whole green foods, rather than a supplement in the usual sense. Because of their ready-made formulations, using these products has never required any guesswork or nutritional knowledge on my part. But, when it comes to other supplements (and my everyday food choices) I realise that – since there is no nutrition guru in a white coat looking over my shoulder - it is up to me to do my homework and try to achieve the right balance for optimum health for myself.
good health is a work in progress
Taking the supplements every day and coaxing the process along with regular bouts of sunshine has certainly worked dramatically well for me as a vitiligo protocol, ridding me of around 98% of my white patches over a period of a year or so and the improvement has so far been permanent.
Ecstatic though I am about this (and I really am – I never take my recovery for granted) I realise that keeping my vitiligo away and maintaining a good level of general health is, for me, always going to be a work in progress. It seems that a genetic predisposition to vitiligo, coupled with poor nutritional absorption, means that I will never be able to rely simply on eating a “healthy diet”. This is why I have become so interested in learning more about nutritional supplementation and why I continue to look for products that will create the best “internal environment” for my body as possible – and this is where the question of balance comes in.
So, in future posts (as in recent ones) I plan to revisit the important topic of nutritional balance. I hope that you will find these posts informative but, above all, I hope to be able to pass on, not just information, but better health, better skin and a better quality of life.
My name is Caroline.