I have a really dry scalp and have been suffering from dandruff.
Q. Greetings Terry, “I have a really dry scalp and have been suffering from dandruff. I’ve tried lots of topical treatments, but nothing seems to work. Do you have any nutritional recommendations?” — Carrie B., Milwaukee, WI
A. Dear Carrie, Dandruff is often treated with an external approach like shampoos, leave-in conditioners, topical treatments, and others. Unfortunately, these don’t cure the problem, but instead may only provide temporary relief. I think the best way to prevent dandruff is through a nutritional approach that helps nourish the scalp from the inside out.
Dandruff can have a variety of causes, but ultimately has its roots in inflammation. This is why I believe curcumin is absolutely necessary to help with this issue. Curcumin, a compound found in the spice turmeric, is a potent antioxidant and powerful anti-inflammatory that works via multiple pathways. Keep in mind that standard curcumin is very poorly absorbed, so make sure the product you choose features a curcumin with excellent absorption that has been proven in published human studies. The best form I have ever found uses curcumin blended with turmeric essential oil in a patented process. I would take 750 mg twice per day.
I also think you could benefit from omega-3s, as they are also very anti-inflammatory and deficiencies have been linked with skin conditions, like dandruff. I prefer omega-3s from salmon, naturally bound to phospholipids, as this is much closer to nature and how people were meant to absorb and use these nutrients. This is the way you’d get your omega-3s by eating fish – which means a big difference in the stability and ability to transport omega-3s to where they are needed most. Therefore, you only need a small amount compared to the handfuls of fish oil capsules or spoonsful of fishy tasting oils.
Lastly, I recommend adding Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) seed and pulp oil to your daily regimen. Sea buckthorn oil has been clinically shown to improve the hydration capabilities of the skin and mucous membranes, helping to alleviate dryness and facilitate skin healing. The fruit of the sea buckthorn is rich in flavonoids, vitamins, and other beneficial compounds. In addition, the pulp contains exceptionally high omega fatty acids, including the rare omega-7 fatty acid (palmitoleic acid). I recommend taking 500-1,000 mg of sea buckthorn oil twice daily. When looking for a sea buckthorn product, make sure it contains BOTH the seed oil and pulp. While both extracts are healthy, only the pulp contains omega-7.
Terry . . . Naturally