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My scalp has been really dry and itchy lately.

Q. Dear Terry, “My scalp has been really dry and itchy lately. I switched to an all-natural shampoo and that seems to have helped a little bit. I’ve never experienced this before. My doctor recommended a medicated shampoo, but I want to see what other options are out there. What do you think would help?” – M.P., Sandy Springs, GA

A. Dear M.P., Flaky scalp and dandruff are often treated with an external approach like shampoos, leave-in conditioners, topical treatments, and others. Unfortunately, these aren’t addressing the underlying issue and instead may only provide temporary relief. I think the best way to address scalp issues is through a nutritional approach that nourishes from the inside out.

I believe sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) could be very helpful. 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 seed, pulp, and skin of the sea buckthorn berry are packed with over 200 nutrients, including antioxidant tocopherols, beta-carotene, phytosterols, and omega fatty acids. Omega-7 comprises about 50% of the sea buckthorn berry’s fatty acid content, making it one of the most valuable nutrient sources of palmitoleic acid you can find. However, not all sea buckthorn products contain omega-7 fatty acids. That’s because omega-7 is found only in the pulp of the berry, not the seed oil. I would take 500 mg of clinically studied sea buckthorn that provides 150 mg of omega-7, twice daily.

I think you could also benefit from incorporating more omega-3s into your daily routine. Omega-3s are also anti-inflammatory and deficiencies have been linked with skin conditions, like dandruff. I prefer omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, naturally bound to phospholipids and bioactive peptides, 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 stability and ability to transport omega-3s to where they are needed most. I would take 214 mg of a salmon-based omega-3 phospholipid peptide complex in a capsule or 292 mg in a tablet, twice per day.

Lastly, I would consider adding curcumin. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant and powerful anti-inflammatory that works via multiple pathways. I would take 750 mg of curcumin enhanced with turmeric essential oil once or twice daily.

Healthy Regards!            

Terry . . . Naturally

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
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