December, 2022 - Science Nutrition Lab

Omega-3 Deficiency: Symptoms & Solutions

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats you must get from food sources. If you don’t get omega-3 fatty acids from food sources, then you may have omega-3 deficiency.

Symptoms of omega-3 deficiency can include skin irritation, brittle or thinning hair, joint pain and stiffness, brain fog, dry eyes, and fatigue.

Fortunately, omega-3 deficiency is easy to address: you can take an omega-3 supplement or add more of certain types of food to your diet.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about omega-3 fatty acid deficiency, including symptoms and possible solution.

How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Work

Your body needs multiple types of fats to function. Your body can make most of the fats it needs on its own.

Your body cannot, however, make omega-3 fatty acids. They’re considered essential fats, which means your body cannot make these fats on its own. Instead, you need to get omega-3 fatty acids from food sources.

Omega-3 fatty acids play critical roles throughout the body. Studies have linked omega-3 fatty acids to cardiovascular health, hormone production, and critical tasks at the cellular level.

There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids, including:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

ALA is the most common omega-3 fatty acid. It’s the type found in vegetable oils, nuts, and leafy vegetables. EPA and DHA, meanwhile, are considered marine omega-3 fats because they mostly come from fish.

10 Common Symptoms of Omega-3 Deficiency

If you’re deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, then you could experience a range of symptoms – from minor issues to major symptoms to no symptoms whatsoever.

Here are the 10 most common signs you may have omega-3 deficiency:

  1. Skin Irritation & Dryness: One of the first symptoms of omega-3 deficiency is skin dryness or irritation. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for supporting your skin’s barrier effect, and increased skin inflammation or other issues could be a sign you’re deficient in omega-3 fatty acids.
  2. Dry Eyes: Your eyes rely on omega-3 fatty acids to stay lubricated.
  3. Joint Pain & Stiffness: Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for keeping joints healthy and controlling inflammation. Lack of omega-3 fatty acid could increase joint pain issues.
  4. Changes in Hair Quality or Thinning Hair: Changes to hair could indicate an omega-3 deficiency. Your hair needs omega-3 fatty acids for good structure, and poor hair quality or a sensitive scalp could indicate omega-3 fatty acid deficiency.
  5. Increased Dandruff: In addition to a sensitive scalp, you could notice increased dandruff because of your omega 3 deficiency.
  6. Brittle Nails: Omega-3 affects more than just your hair; it also affects your nails. Brittle, thinning, nails could be a sign of omega-3 deficiency.
  7. Mental Fog: Omega-3 is crucial for cognition, and some studies have even connected omega-3 fatty acids to degenerative brain conditions. If you experience symptoms of mental fog – including confusion, poor concentration, and lack of attention – then it could be omega 3 deficiency.
  8. Depression or Mood Changes: There’s some evidence omega-3 is important for mood, and some studies have connected depression and other cognitive conditions to omega-3 fatty acids.
  9. General Fatigue: Do you regularly feel tired? You could be deficient in omega-3.
  10. Increased Thirst & Other Signs of Dehydration: If you regularly feel thirsty or have a dry mouth and throat, then it could be a sign of omega 3 deficiency.

Surprisingly, some people with omega-3 deficiency also experience excessive buildup of earwax because of their condition.

Science-Backed Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Researchers have linked omega-3 fatty acids to a range of effects – from cognition to heart health. Below, we’ll review some of the scientific evidence explaining why omega-3 fatty acids are critical for multiple aspects of health.

Cardiovascular Health

Omega-3 fatty acids appear to be beneficial for heart health, and multiple studies have validated this claim.

Studies suggest omega-3 fatty acids help with cholesterol, blood pressure, and overall heart disease:

  • A 2007 study, for example, found the polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish oil were linked to a lower risk of fatal cardiac events. In that study, researchers were attempting to determine why people who ate fish regularly tended to have better cardiovascular health than people who did not.
  • A separate study from 1999 examined the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplements on heart attack survivors. Participants took 1g of omega-3 fatty acids every day for three years. In a follow-up, researchers found participants in the omega-3 fatty acid group were significantly less likely to experience a second heart attack, stroke, or sudden cardiac event than a group taking a placebo. In fact, those in the omega-3 fatty acid group had a 50% lower risk of sudden cardiac death.
  • Another study involving 18,645 patients examined the effects of 1,800mg of EPA with statin versus statin only. Researchers found sudden cardiac death and coronary death did not differ between groups, although patients in the EPA group had a 19% relative reduction in major coronary events overall.

For all of these reasons and more, doctors may recommend omega-3 fatty acid supplements to anyone concerned about cardiovascular health.

Diabetes & Cholesterol

Diabetics tend to have higher cholesterol levels than non-diabetics. Taking omega-3 fatty acids can help lower triglycerides and raise HDL, helping diabetics support overall heart health.

Studies suggest diabetics can particularly benefit from EPA and DHA as opposed to ALA (which comes from flaxseed and certain types of nuts). In other words, fish-based omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

As Mount Sinai explains, studies suggest omega-3 fatty acids could help people with osteoarthritis, although more research is needed to verify this connection.

Studies have found omega-3 fatty acids could reduce joint stiffness and pain, improve grip strength, and increase walking pace in people with osteoarthritis, for example. Meanwhile, a large review found some people with osteoarthritis experienced significant pain relief after taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

Cognition & Certain Cognitive Conditions

Omega-3 fatty acids appear to impact the brain and overall cognition in multiple ways. Some studies have even linked omega-3 fatty acid supplementation to relief from certain cognitive conditions.

  • In a 2015 review published in Integrative Medicine Research, researchers found a connection between omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and relief from depression. Researchers found multiple studies showing omega-3 fatty acids were “proving to be very effective against the treatment of major depression disorder” and certain other psychiatric disorders. However, researchers cautioned more evidence was needed to verify this connection.
  • Some small studies have also connected omega-3 fatty acid supplementation to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, with people relieving certain symptoms of either condition with omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
  • Other studies suggest children with ADHD tend to have lower levels of essential fatty acids (including EPA and DHA) than children without ADHD. However, studies have not conclusively determined omega-3 fatty acid supplements can reduce symptoms of ADHD.
  • There’s some evidence omega-3 fatty acid supplements have protective effects against Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other degenerative cognitive conditions. Many people take omega-3 fatty acid supplements daily for that reason. According to the Alzheimer’s Society of the United Kingdom, there is “good evidence” that eating fish “is good for your health” and there are “reports that it may reduce the risk of developing dementia,” although they cautioned more evidence was needed to verify this connection.

Check Your Blood for Deficiencies with a Painless, Accurate Blood Test Today

Science Nutrition Lab specializes in testing blood to provide crucial insight into your health.

Do you feel tired? Do you experience mental fog? Do you suddenly have joint pain or a general feeling of being unwell? None of these things are normal – and a deficiency could be to blame.

Order a Science Nutrition Lab blood test today to check how your bloodwork compares to an optimal range. 

9 Surprising Everyday Changes to Look Younger Today

You can find plenty of tips online for looking younger.

If you stop smoking, limit alcohol, and eat a healthy diet, for example, you can probably look younger in the very near future.

However, there are other underrated strategies, lesser-known tips, and science-backed ways to look younger as soon as today.

Keep reading to find some of the best and most surprising lifestyle changes you can make to look younger today.

Avoid Products that Irritate Your Skin

Certain skincare products irritate your skin. Some people continue to use these skincare products because they like how their bodies become used to the products over time. However, that’s not a good idea: your skin never adjusts to irritants in skincare products; if a product is burning, it could be making you look older.

Many popular skincare products contain common skin irritants. Many are sensitive to retinol, for example. Despite its popularity as an anti-aging cream, retinol may or may not be the right choice for you.

Talk to a dermatologist to find the optimal anti-aging skincare products while avoiding irritating your skin.

Make a Conscious Effort to Relax Your Face

This tip sounds funny, but it can make a meaningful difference in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Some people keep their face in a scrunched or irritated position naturally. Think of how your face feels when watching TV or sitting at your desk.

Are you sitting at your desk relaxed? Or are you watching TV with your brow furrowed? The more you relax your face, the easier it will be to make fine lines and wrinkles disappear.

Check your Vision

Speaking of scrunched faces, poor vision can increase the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines – especially around the eyes.

If you need to squint to read or see items in the distance, then you may need to visit an eye doctor to update your prescription – or get glasses or contacts for the first time.

Don’t let declining vision make you look older than you really are. Sometimes, all you need is a simple optometrist visit to ensure you have the right prescription – and to avoid squinting your eyes.

Moisturize Your Hands

Many people moisturize their face and neck to look younger. However, a growing number of people are recognizing the importance of moisturizing their hands.

Moisturize your hands like you moisturize your face. It can help keep away the appearance of wrinkled, veiny hands (not that there’s anything wrong with naturally older-looking hands!).

Add Oily Fish to Your Diet

Eating oily fish twice a week can help you look younger. Oily fish can be healthy for many reasons, but they also contain a compound called dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), which is the same DMAE found in many “mature” anti-aging skin creams.

DMAE supports muscle tone and skin elasticity, helping you look and feel younger. Eating oily fish regularly can help you look and feel younger while giving you the benefits of high-end skin creams.

Eat Antioxidant Rich Fruits, Vegetables, and Superfoods

Antioxidants are trendy for good reason: they help fight the effects of aging.

As your body gets older, you breathe oxygen and oxidize your body, leading to visible effects of aging. Antioxidants help fight back against damage caused by free radicals, helping you look and feel younger.

Many experts recommend eating a colorful diet – with colorful berries and vegetables – to maximize antioxidant levels. You can also check the ORAC level of certain foods to verify their antioxidant value.

Some of the best antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and superfoods include:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Bell peppers
  • Spinach
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus

Avocados, beets, lettuce, sweet potatoes, collard greens, kale, and coffee and tea are also rich with antioxidants.

From anthocyanins to vitamins A and C, the right foods can help you add considerable antioxidant value to your diet.

Avoid Foods & Drinks that Stain Your Teeth

Toothpaste commercials aren’t lying: your smile is one of the first things people notice about you.

If you have a bright, white smile, you tend to look younger than someone with a yellow smile. That’s why many anti-aging experts recommend avoiding foods and drinks that stain your teeth.

Some of the worst teeth staining offenders include:

  • Red wine
  • Coffee (especially coffee without a creamer or whitener)
  • Tea
  • Soy sauce
  • Dark-colored sodas
  • Balsamic vinegar

Seeing your dentist regularly can also help you look younger. Dentists can spot oral health issues before they become serious, helping you avoid dealing with serious tooth problems as you get older.

Make the Obvious Anti-Aging Strategies Part of Your Everyday Routine

There are obvious everyday anti-aging strategies you can implement today to make a meaningful difference in the appearance of your skin, the visibility of your wrinkles, and your overall physical and cognitive energy.

Here are some of the obvious anti-aging tips to make part of your ordinary routine:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Stay out of the sun
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Use a moisturizer
  • Stop smoking
  • Practice a healthy, balanced diet and exercise routine

Take A Blood Test to Identity Nutritional Deficiencies

A single blood test can reveal changes to your body long before symptoms appear.

Unfortunately, the average blood test isn’t very good. A lab compares your bloodwork against a random selection of patients who recently visited.

A Science Nutrition Lab blood test is different. You visit a trusted lab near you, and we compare results to an optimal range based on your physiology. Then, our Dr. Jason Jumper reviews your results and builds a plan to address deficiencies.

Order a Science Nutrition Lab blood test today to spot deficiencies in your blood – and address those deficiencies – before they become more serious symptoms.

“Natural Viagra”: How the Right Vitamins & Minerals Could Support Sexual Performance

Many people take vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements daily to support sex drive.

Do you have low sex drive or poor sexual performance? It could be linked to a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Your body needs certain vitamins and minerals to produce sex hormones. Without those vitamins and minerals, you could experience symptoms of sexual dysfunction.

Keep reading to discover how certain vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements could act as “natural Viagra” and support sex drive in multiple ways.

Vitamin D: Supports Sexual Function and Sex Drive in Multiple Ways

Vitamin D is crucial for hormone production. If you’re deficient in vitamin D, then you could have imbalanced hormones. Your body produces vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. You can also get vitamin D from food.

Studies show people with low sex drive also tend to have low levels of vitamin D. Studies also show the greater your vitamin D deficiency, the lower your sex drive tends to be.

Researchers believe vitamin D is connected to sex through its effects on endothelial cells. Endothelial cells play a critical role in blood flow to sexual organs during sex. Vitamin D appears to protect endothelial cells from oxidative stress (i.e. inflammation), which could help with sexual performance.

Other studies have connected vitamin D to nitric oxide (NO), a crucial natural molecule for blood flow. NO expands blood vessels, making it easier for blood to flow to your sexual organs.

Vitamin D could also help support your body’s response to stress, depression, and anxiety – all of which could decrease sex drive.

Magnesium: Important for Relaxation, Nerve Function, and Mood

Magnesium is essential for the metabolism of nitric oxide. As mentioned above, nitric oxide (NO) is critical for blood flow. Your body produces less nitic oxide as you get older, which can lead to declining sexual function.

In one study involving 372 older men with chronic kidney disease, researchers found a connection between hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels in the blood) and erectile dysfunction. Men with normal magnesium levels tended to have good erectile function and overall sexual function, while men with low magnesium levels did not.

Other studies have connected magnesium to hormone production in men and women and overall sexual function. Because magnesium is important for nervous system health throughout the body, magnesium deficiency can cause many effects throughout your body – from sexual function to athletic performance.



Zinc: Critical for Testosterone Production

Men who are deficient in zinc tend to have lower testosterone production than men who get their recommended daily intake of zinc. Zinc is crucial for multiple body processes – including testosterone production.

If you are deficient in zinc, then taking a zinc supplement could raise testosterone levels. One study found a specific connection between zinc supplementation and higher testosterone. Men with low testosterone took a zinc supplement or a placebo, with men in the zinc group raising testosterone higher than men in the placebo group.

However, this testosterone effect does not appear in men who already get sufficient levels of zinc. If you already get your recommended daily intake of zinc in your diet, then taking a zinc supplement may not raise zinc levels further.

Check your blood for a zinc deficiency with a Science Nutrition Lab blood test and compare your bloodwork against an optimal range based on your age and gender. A zinc deficiency could lead to sexual dysfunction and abnormally low testosterone levels.

Vitamin E: Supports Sperm Count and Inflammation

Vitamin E is one of nature’s best antioxidants. It’s critical for skin health, hormone balance, and oxygen and blood flow to your sexual organs.

Many people take vitamin E supplements (or apply vitamin E serums) daily for anti-aging benefits. Those same anti-aging benefits could help with sexual function: the antioxidant properties of vitamin E can support healthy inflammation, making it easier for blood to flow throughout your body.

Amino Acids: Blood Flow and Nitric Oxide

Some of the world’s best sexual health supplements work by addressing blood flow. By supporting blood flow, these supplements make you feel like you have a stronger sex drive, greater sexual stamina, and better sexual performance overall.

Amino acid supplements are some of the best for supporting blood flow and other related benefits.

L-citrulline is one of the most popular amino acid supplement ingredients for sex drive, and many people take L-citrulline daily for that reason. Your body converts L-citrulline into L-arginine, which is associated with nitric oxide and blood flow. In one 2011 study, men with erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, and diabetes took 1.5g of L-citrulline daily to help with sexual function. After 30 days, L-citrulline supplementation improved symptoms in 50% of men.

Since your body converts L-citrulline to L-arginine, you can also take L-arginine supplements for sexual function. In one 2019 study, researchers reviewed 10 L-arginine trials involving 540 patients with ED. Participants took 1,500 to 5,000mg of L-arginine daily, then experienced significant improvements in intercourse satisfaction, orgasmic function, and erectile function. In other words, L-arginine supplementation appears to genuinely improve sexual function based on 10 trials involving hundreds of patients.

Unproven Herbal Supplements: More Hype Than Science

A quick search for “sexual health supplements” online reveals thousands of results. These supplements use herbs, plants, and other ingredients to target sexual function in various ways.

It’s rare for any of these sexual health supplements to be backed by major scientific evidence. Many of these supplements are formulated by marketing teams or businesspeople with limited medical experience. Others use unproven ingredients, proprietary formulas, or unsafe blends while claiming to target crucial body functions like hormones.

Generally, you can skip unproven herbal extracts because they’re more hype than science. Horny goat weed, fenugreek, maca, and ginseng may sound like good herbal supplements for sexual health, but there’s little largescale evidence in humans proving they work.

Final Word

Address nutritional deficiencies to support sexual function.

If your body is deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, then you’ll struggle to maintain good sex drive, blood flow, and sexual function.

Adjust your diet or take a supplement to address deficiencies affecting your sexual health. Or, take a Science Nutrition Lab blood test to identify deficiencies long before symptoms appear.

Liquid Chlorophyll & Chlorophyll Water: Does It Really Work?

Some people drink liquid chlorophyll – also known as chlorophyll water – daily for purported health benefits.

Like many trendy health supplements that have come before it, liquid chlorophyll has supporters and detractors.

Some claim the liquid chlorophyll wellness craze improves skin health, helps with weight loss, and detoxifies the body, among other benefits. Others claim liquid chlorophyll has no real scientific evidence and tastes gross.

Does liquid chlorophyll really work? What’s the science behind chlorophyll water? Keep reading to find what science says about one of the newest trends in health and wellness.

Fast Facts About Liquid Chlorophyll

  • Liquid chlorophyll has been a growing wellness trend in 2022, fueled by TikTok stars and other social media influencers
  • Some claim adding chlorophyll to water helps with skin, weight loss, detoxification, and more
  • One company has already trademarked the term Chlorophyll Water and sells a branded version of Chlorophyll Water online
  • Most liquid chlorophyll studies are small, and there’s limited largescale evidence proving specific benefits in humans
  • However, most studies suggest liquid chlorophyll is safe for humans to take in normal doses with no side effects

What is Liquid Chlorophyll?

Chlorophyll is the natural chemical in plants that makes them green. Plants use chlorophyll to absorb different wavelengths of light.

Liquid chlorophyll is a synthetic version of chlorophyll (i.e. chlorophyll created in a lab) designed to support specific benefits in humans.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen chlorophyll supplements rise in popularity: over the past decade, we’ve seen chlorophyll gels, tablets, and softgels. Today, liquid chlorophyll seems particularly popular.

To be clear, liquid chlorophyll supplements contain a different type of chlorophyll than what is found in plants. Supplements contain a human-made version of chlorophyll called chlorophyllin. Scientists have re-created chlorophyll in a lab by making minor changes to the natural ingredient.

How Do Liquid Chlorophyll Supplements Work?

Liquid chlorophyll supplements contain chlorophyll in or sodium copper chlorophyllin (SCC), two synthetic versions of chlorophyll. Some research suggests these nature-derived chemicals can support certain benefits.

You take chlorophyll supplements orally, and your body absorbs a certain amount of chlorophyll. Absorption varies depending on whether you’re taking liquid chlorophyll or other chlorophyll supplements.

One of the most promising studies on liquid chlorophyll was published in 2018, when researchers found chlorophyll exhibited anticancer effects against pancreatic cancer cells. Because of that study and others, a trial is underway to see if chlorophyll supplements can help with radiation therapy for pelvic cancer.

A separate study, performed on mice, found liquid chlorophyll could support gut health by balancing bacteria in your gut. Good gut microbiota balance is associated with good immunity and strong overall health.

Chlorophyll has shown some evidence of working when applied topically. A 2014 study, for example, found applying topical chlorophyllin (synthetic chlorophyll) could help support your skin’s natural defense against acne.

Another study, meanwhile, found chlorophyll could protect your body from the effects of carcinogens, or cancer-causing chemicals. However, researchers did not find enough evidence to remove chlorophyll supplementation for anti-cancer effects.

Chlorophyll detractors, meanwhile, point to other studies showing your body only absorbs a small amount of supplemental chlorophyll. This study, for example, found most chlorophyll is excreted via your feces and very little ends up in your bloodstream – even when eating a diet rich in chlorophyll or taking chlorophyll supplements.

Purported Benefits of Chlorophyll Supplements

Liquid chlorophyll and other chlorophyll supplements have surged in popularity. Social media and certain wellness practitioners have promoted the trend with various benefits.

Some of the purported benefits of chlorophyll supplements, according to various dubious claims online, including:

  • Clear your skin and help with acne, scarring, rosacea, and other conditions
  • Lose weight
  • Boost digestion
  • Help prevent cancer
  • Detoxify your body
  • Reduce inflammation, help with mental fog, and support general health and wellness

One writer at The Beet, for example, claims she noticed significant effects within days of drinking chlorophyll water for the first time. She reduced appetite cravings, cleared her skin, improved her digestion, and experienced other effects after taking chlorophyll for one week.

How to Drink Liquid Chlorophyll

On TikTok, Instagram, and other major social media, you can find plenty of influencers drinking weird, green-colored potions daily to support skin health and other benefits.

Most people take liquid chlorophyll by adding a few drops of concentrated liquid chlorophyll to a glass of water or a shake. Then, just drink it daily.

Liquid chlorophyll supplements come in a highly-concentrated liquid. You take 5 to 20 drops of this liquid daily to support the purported benefits (or follow the recommended dosage instructions on your liquid chlorophyll supplement).

Expect an unusual taste with liquid chlorophyll. Some never get used to the taste, while others require a few days to get used to it. Others mask it with strong-tasting shakes or smoothies.

Is Liquid Chlorophyll Safe?

Liquid chlorophyll and other chlorophyll supplements appear to be safe to take. Although evidence for their benefits is mixed, studies have linked liquid chlorophyll to few serious side effects when consumed in normal doses.

According to the FDA, it appears safe for healthy adults to take 100mg to 200mg of chlorophyll per day, and there’s no evidence chlorophyll is toxic. If you exceed the recommended maximum dosage of 200mg per day, however, you could experience side effects like:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Discolored stools

When applied chlorophyll supplements topically (directly to your skin), watch for signs of skin irritation. Some develop rashes or other irritation because of topical chlorophyll creams.

Other Ways to Increase Chlorophyll Intake

You could take a liquid chlorophyll supplement to boost chlorophyll intake. Or, you could eat certain chlorophyll-rich plants and foods.

Some of the best chlorophyll-rich foods include:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Arugula
  • Green beans
  • Collard greens
  • Parsley

These plants contain natural, plant-based chlorophyll – not the synthetic, plant-derived formula found in chlorophyll supplements.

Final Word

Liquid chlorophyll, also known as chlorophyll water, is a popular new health trend that surged in popularity in 2022.

There’s some evidence liquid chlorophyll can support overall health and hydration. Studies also suggest chlorophyll is non-toxic and safe for most healthy adults to take. However, we need more research to verify all of the advertised benefits of liquid chlorophyll.

Take a Science Based Nutrition blood test today to spot changes in your blood before symptoms appear. A single test can reveal crucial insight into your health – and determine if liquid chlorophyll is worth it for you.

Nutritional Supplements & Hair Loss: Facts Versus Fiction

Many supplements claim to reverse hair loss, regrow hair, and cure baldness.

Officially, the FDA has only approved two hair growth solutions: minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride. However, many supplements claim to offer similar hair growth benefits.

Are any hair growth supplements backed by science? Can a single pill really fix your receding hairline?

Today, we’re separating the facts from the fiction for nutritional supplements and hair loss.

There’s No Evidence Any Supplement Regrows Hair or Cures Baldness

First, let’s make one thing clear: there’s no evidence an oral supplement, pill, liquid, or smoothie will regrow hair on bald spots, reverse your receding hairline, or make you less bald than you currently are.

Instead, the goal of hair growth supplements is to maintain the current appearance of your hair or encourage growth in areas of your scalp with existing hair.

Despite this fact, many hair supplement companies market their products specifically to people who are bald with claims of reversing baldness and fixing a receding hairline – often overnight. There’s no evidence these supplements work.

Fortunately, there are science-backed ways to support hair growth.

Supplements Can Support Hair Growth, Fullness, Thickness, and Appearance

Supplements cannot regrow hair in bald areas or reverse a receding hairline, but they can support the appearance of your hair by supporting fullness, thickness, and overall growth.

Your hair needs certain vitamins and minerals to grow. If you are deficient in these vitamins and minerals, then your hair struggles to grow in an optimal way.

Here are some of the most important and science-backed supplements for hair growth:

B Vitamins: Multiple types of B vitamins are crucial for hair growth. Many people take B complex vitamins to support overall hair growth for that reason. Vitamin B7 (biotin) and vitamin B12 are particularly important for hair growth, and research shows they help strengthen and condition your hair. Alternatively, you can add more B vitamins to your diet by eating whole grains, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and avocados.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is one of nature’s best antioxidants. It also plays a crucial role in hair growth. Vitamin C’s antioxidant effects help support blood flow to the scalp and throughout the body. Good blood flow is crucial for hair growth. When blood flows to your scalp, it provides your follicles with the stimulation, oxygen, and nutrients needed for good hair growth. One 2006 study found a specific vitamin C derivative (ascorbic acid 2-phosphate) was particularly effective for promoting hair growth.

Iron: Iron could support hair growth, and there appears to be a connection between iron deficiency and hair loss. One study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found iron deficiency (the world’s most common nutritional deficiency) was linked to certain types of baldness and hair loss. Another study found screening for iron deficiency could help diagnose hair loss before it becomes too serious.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is linked to hair loss. If your body does not have enough vitamin D, then it cannot produce new hair. Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to greater rates of shedding and overall hair loss. Some people get sufficient vitamin D through sunlight exposure, while others take vitamin D supplements.

Some Supplement Ingredients Are Overrated for Hair Growth

Some supplements claim to support hair growth with a blend of science-backed ingredients – but they fail to live up to the hype.

Keratin is a popular hair growth supplement ingredient, for example, backed by limited formal scientific evidence. Nevertheless, many of the world’s most popular hair growth supplements continue to contain keratin.

Overrated Hair Supplement Ingredient #1: Keratin: Keratin is one of the most abundant proteins in the body. It’s crucial for hair, skin, and nails. Today, many people take keratin supplements to support hair growth and overall skin and nail health. Unfortunately, there’s little proven evidence showing keratin supplementation meaningfully changes hair, skin, or nail health in humans – although keratin continues to be one of the most popular ingredients in hair growth supplements today.

Overrated Hair Supplement Ingredient #2: Vitamin A: Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the United States and most developed countries. If you are genuinely deficient in vitamin A, then taking a vitamin A supplement could help with hair growth. However, there’s little evidence most people can benefit from vitamin A supplementation. In fact, most studies on vitamin A and hair growth have worked on mice – not humans. Unless you know you’re deficient in vitamin A, consider skipping it.

Overrated Hair Supplement Ingredient #3: 90% of Hair Growth Supplement Ingredients: You can find plenty of hair growth supplements online and in stores claiming to reverse hair loss, regrow hair, and solve all of your hair-related problems. Unfortunately, 90% of ingredients within these formulas are not backed by science. Check the label, check the science, and verify the dosage and concentration of ingredients to ensure you’re not being scammed.

Other Science-Backed Diet & Lifestyle Changes for Hair Loss

There’s no evidence a supplement can regrow hair or fix baldness overnight. However, there’s plenty of evidence that certain diet and lifestyle changes can impact hair loss.

Here are some of the science-backed strategies you can implement today to support hair growth, boost the appearance of your hair, and give you the best possible chance of maintaining a full head of hair at any age:

  • Avoid hairstyles that pull on your hair, including cornrows, tight braids, and ponytails; these hairstyles can pull hair away from the scalp and loosen the bond between your hair and scalp.
  • Avoid chemically treating or bleaching hair. These processes destroy keratin, which forms the structure of your hair, and can leave your hair seriously damaged.
  • Use a better shampoo and avoid over washing. There’s no evidence specific shampoo ingredients cause hair loss, but you should avoid over washing your shampoo or using low-quality shampoos to give your hair the best possible chance of maximum growth.
  • Eat a diet rich with antioxidants, including colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid low level light therapy. Some clinics advertise low level light therapy as a cure for baldness. In reality, there’s little largescale evidence low level light therapy provides a meaningful difference in hair growth. Until there’s more science behind it, avoid low level light therapy and other unproven treatments.

Final Word

Are you experiencing hair loss? Have you noticed a decrease in the luster, fullness, or overall appearance of your hair? It could be a deficiency problem.

Many people are deficient in crucial vitamins, minerals, and nutrients linked to hair growth. These deficiencies can lead to hair loss problems.

Order a Science Nutrition Lab test today to compare your bloodwork to an optimal range.

Instead of checking your blood against a random selection of patients at a lab, Science Nutrition Lab compares your bloodwork against the optimal levels for your demographic, providing better insight into your health and future.


Top 5 Science-Backed Benefits of L-Carnitine

L-carnitine supplements have grown in popularity in recent years.

Today, many people take L-carnitine supplements regularly for everything from energy to brain function. The amino acid works by transporting long-chain fatty acids into the powerhouses of your body, boosting energy at the cellular level.

Is L-carnitine legit? Do L-carnitine supplements really work? Keep reading to discover the most science-backed benefits of L-carnitine.

How L-Carnitine Works

L-carnitine is an amino acid linked to energy, heart function, and brain function, among other benefits.

Your body produces L-carnitine in the brain, liver, and kidneys.

The most important function of L-carnitine is to transport fatty acids into the mitochondria of your cells, which is why L-carnitine is so important for energy production.

Although your body produces L-carnitine on its own, it needs vitamin C to produce sufficient L-carnitine. You can also get L-carnitine from certain animal products, including meat and fish.

You May Be Deficient in L-Carnitine

If you have low physical or mental energy, mental fog, or other noticeable issues, then you may be deficient in L-carnitine.

Having low energy isn’t normal at any age! A single test can check for L-carnitine deficiency.

Many vegans and vegetarians are deficient in L-carnitine, for example. Because the most common sources of L-carnitine are meat and fish.

Some people also have a genetic condition that makes it impossible to produce sufficient L-carnitine.

For all of these reasons and more, you may want to:

  • Take a painless Science Nutrition Lab test to spot changes in your blood before you notice symptoms
  • Take an L-carnitine supplement
  • Talk to a doctor about a customized treatment plan

Benefit #1: Weight Loss

L-carnitine could support weight loss and healthy weight management, according to multiple studies.

One of the largest reviews on L-carnitine found the amino acid led to average weight loss of 2.9lbs (1.3kgs) more than a placebo. That study reviewed 9 trials involving hundreds of participants taking L-carnitine in double-blind, placebo-controlled settings.

Now all L-carnitine studies have been conclusive for weight loss, however. One study found people taking L-carnitine over a four week period while riding a stationary bike for 90 minutes a day did not lose more weight than those taking a placebo, for example. In a separate 8-week study, 38 women experienced no difference in weight loss whether taking L-carnitine or a placebo.

Overall, L-carnitine could help with weight loss in some people. Although it’s not proven to work in everyone, it could support weight loss in some.

Benefit #2: Cognition & Mental Fog

If you experience mental lethargy, brain fog, or occasional cognitive issues, then L-carnitine could help. L-carnitine plays a crucial role in neurotransmitter production, helping to support messengers within your brain.

Many of the cognitive effects of L-carnitine are linked to a specific version of the amino acid called acetyl L-carnitine. Also known as ALCAR, this version may help prevent age-related mental decline. A separate study also found ALCAR enhanced learning capacity in aging rats.

Researchers gave ALCAR to a group of patients with Alzheimer’s disease to assess the effects. Participants took 2.5g of ALCAR per day or a placebo for 6 months. Researchers found this dose of ALCAR was associated with an improvement in certain cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

There’s even some evidence L-carnitine could help support mental acuity in people with addiction. In a 90 day trial, people with alcohol addiction taking 2g of L-carnitine per day improved all measures of brain function.

Overall, L-carnitine plays a critical role in mental and physical energy, and multiple studies have validated the effects of L-carnitine on brain health.

Benefit #3: Cardiovascular Health

There’s some evidence L-carnitine can help with blood pressure and overall cardiovascular health. One study found L-carnitine reduced blood pressure, for example, while another study found L-carnitine reduced cardiovascular inflammation, which is associated with heart disease.

Heart disease is the number one killer in most developed countries. Statistically, most are more likely to die of heart disease than any other cause.

In one 2009 study, researchers found daily intake of 2g of L-carnitine led to a 10-point drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number of a blood pressure reading). This number is considered particularly important for managing the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

A separate study found L-carnitine supplementation was linked to a significantly reduced risk of heart failure over a 12 month period.

Benefit #4: Blood Sugar

There’s some evidence L-carnitine can help with blood sugar, and some diabetics take L-carnitine supplements regularly for that reason.

Some of the blood sugar-linked benefits of L-carnitine include:

A 2010 study found a combination of L-carnitine supplementation and caloric restriction improved insulin sensitivity in patients with impaired glucose metabolism. Participants followed a restricted diet while taking a placebo or 4g of L-carnitine daily. Researchers found the L-carnitine group had better insulin sensitivity than the group following a restricted calorie diet alone.

A 2011 study found L-carnitine improved insulin sensitivity in a group of overweight and obese males. Participants took 3g of L-carnitine or a placebo daily. At the conclusion of the period, researchers found significant differences in body mass, fat percentage, and BMI between the L-carnitine group and placebo group, suggesting L-carnitine can provide “insulin-like” actions on tissues, according to researchers. However, the study was small and involved 16 male participants in total.

A separate study also found a connection between carnitine, fatty acids, and insulin resistance, and researchers found 2g of L-carnitine supplementation per day helped with the regulation of blood sugar.

Overall, there appears to be a connection between L-carnitine and blood sugar management, and many diabetics take L-carnitine supplements regularly for that reason.

Benefit #5: Athletic Performance, Endurance, and Recovery

Many people take L-carnitine supplements before a workout. In fact, L-carnitine is one of the most popular preworkout supplement ingredients on the market.

L-carnitine appears to work by supporting blood flow and nitric oxide production, which can help with stamina, endurance, and the longevity of your workout. Some bodybuilders take L-carnitine for a better “pump” and vasodilation, for example, while endurance athletes could take L-carnitine to workout harder for longer.

L-carnitine also appears to work by increasing the production of red blood cells. Your body needs red blood cells to transport oxygen to your muscles. When you’re working out, your red blood cells play a critical role in performance, endurance, and overall athletic activity.

Others take L-carnitine after a workout. Multiple studies have found L-carnitine could improve exercise recovery, helping your body repair muscles and tissues after a workout.

Final Word

We’ve known about the effects of L-carnitine for a while. However, growing research continues to connect L-carnitine to heart health, brain health, blood sugar management, energy, and more.

Do you have brain fog or low energy? Do you regularly feel tired? That’s not normal at any age!

Consider taking a Science Nutrition Lab test to check for L-carnitine deficiency and other deficiencies to address your low energy.  

Top 5 Natural Supplement Trends Predicted to Skyrocket in 2023

Each year, researchers discover exciting new benefits of plants, herbs, and fruits from around the world.

Acai berry surged in popularity 20 years ago because of a handful of reports linking it to weight loss. Garcinia cambogia and turmeric experienced similarly meteoric rises to fame.

What will be the acai berry of 2023? What are the best 5 natural supplements that could explode in 2023? Here are some of the most exciting fruits, plants, herbs, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and more linked to growing benefits in multiple studies.

1) Irish Moss

Multiple types of seaweed and algae supplements have surged in popularity over the last decade. One type of seaweed called Irish moss could become particularly popular in 2023 and beyond.

After receiving a recent public endorsement from Kim Kardashian, Irish moss could be entering its heyday.

Irish moss is also known as Chondrus crispus or carrageen moss (derived from the Irish word carraigín, which means “little rock.”

Irish moss is a type of red algae that grows throughout the Atlantic coast of Europe and North America. Despite the name, it’s found in more than just Ireland. In fact, some people refer to the compound as Scotch moss.

Studies show Irish moss is rich with plant-based antioxidants, phytonutrients, and trace minerals capable of supporting a range of effects. Kim Kardashian claims to drink it in her smoothies.

We’re not the first to discover the benefits of Irish moss: studies show traditional Chinese medicine practitioners have used sea moss as far back at 600 BC. In fact, the people of the British Isles used sea moss as a food source for thousands of years, and it was a crucial nutrition source during the Great Famine in the mid-19th century in Ireland (which is why it’s most commonly known as Irish moss today).

We need more research to verify the effects of Irish moss, but with growing celebrity endorsements and multiple affordable supplements available online, Irish moss could be one of the hottest supplement trends of 2023 and beyond.

2) Mushroom Supplements

Like seaweed and algae, mushrooms have surged in popularity over the last few years. Studies show mushrooms are rich with plant-based antioxidants, beta glucans, vitamins, minerals, and more.

Some mushrooms appear to support immunity and immune health, helping your body defend against disease and illness. Other mushrooms can support anti-aging benefits, energy, or even sexual health, among other benefits.

Some supplement companies add a blend of mushrooms to their supplement to support a range of benefits. Others use specific varieties of mushroom.

Some of the most science-backed mushrooms that could continue to explode in popularity in 2023 include:

  • Turkey tail
  • Reishi
  • Lion’s mane
  • Chaga
  • Maitake
  • Shiitake

These mushrooms may be new to us, but they’ve been popular for centuries in certain types of medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, for example, have regularly used mushroom extract to support immunity and various health goals.

One recent UCLA Health study found turkey tail mushrooms act as immune modulators, for example, helping the immune system function more efficiently. Another study connected lion’s mane mushroom to neurotrophic properties, suggesting it can help with brain performance, memory, and overall oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, among other benefits.

For all of these reasons and more, mushroom extracts are expected to become increasingly mainstream in 2023 and beyond.

3) Beetroot Powder

We’ve known about the health supporting benefits of beetroot powder for years, but 2023 could be the year the world starts to recognize the true value of beetroot powder for cardiovascular health, blood flow, and overall wellness.

One recent study published in Nutrients found red beetroot increased nitric oxide (NO) availability, which could help with blood flow. As you get older, your NO levels tend to naturally decline, leading to poor cardiovascular health. Many people take beet supplements daily to counteract this effect and support NO levels.

Another study linked beetroot to the management of cardio-metabolic diseases, significant positive changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and decreased blood glucose, among other benefits.

Another perk of beetroot powder is its relatively cheap price: beets are affordable and easy to condense into supplement form, making the powder accessible to anyone who wants it.

4) All Types of Gummies

Gummies used to be considered candy for kids. Today, gummies are one of the most popular – and fastest growing – areas of the supplement industry.

Supplement gummies with science-backed natural ingredients are expected to continue surging in popularity in 2023 and beyond.

Some of the most popular types of supplements and gummies available today include:

  • Melatonin gummies
  • Ashwagandha gummies
  • Mushroom gummies
  • Daily green and red superfood gummies
  • CBD, CBN, and THC gummies

Studies show your body can absorb the active ingredients in gummies similar to how it would absorb other ingredients. In fact, a 2019 study found vitamin D gummies “had greater bioavailability than tablets” and provided high vitamin D concentration in the body over time.

As long as gummies contain science-backed ingredients with minimal artificial fillers, flavors, sweeteners, and additives, they can continue to be an option for anyone searching for health supporting supplements.

5) Collagen

Collagen has been one of the fastest growing supplement trends of the last few years, and that trend is expected to continue growing in 2023 and beyond.

Some of the reasons collagen continues to surge in popularity include:

  • A 2019 study found collagen supplementation improved skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density in a double-blind, placebo-controlled setting, with participants experiencing significant anti-aging effects.
  • In a comprehensive review on collagen and its benefits, researchers found collagen played a crucial role in skin regeneration, bone health, wound healing, oral health, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis, among other areas of the body.
  • Your body’s collagen production naturally declines with age, and your body has significantly less available collagen as you get older. This can lead to visible effects of aging, including drooping skin, wrinkles, and reduced smoothness and elasticity. A collagen supplement could help.

The best collagen supplements contain collagen with minimal filler ingredients. Collagen is the most abundant connective protein in the human body, and taking 5g to 15g of collagen per day is linked to anti-aging support, muscle development, and more.

Honorable Mentions

Every year, supplement companies introduce dozens of new supplements to the market.

Some are refreshed versions of old ingredients. Others are previously undiscovered ingredients used only in obscure, regional, traditional medicine.

Here are some of the honorable mentions of supplement trends and natural ingredients that could skyrocket in popularity in 2023 and beyond:

  • Pine needle tree
  • Mullein leaf
  • Bakuchiol and the babchi plant
  • Citrus bergamot
  • Snail mucin
  • Beef liver capsules

Whether trying to support immunity, health, weight loss, muscle growth, or other targeted benefits, the supplement ingredients above could surge in popularity in 2023 – or they could fizzle out and disappear.

Which new supplements work best for you? A Science Nutrition Lab test can answer that question!

Order a Science Based Nutrition test from Science Nutrition Lab today to get detailed insight into your physiology and ensure you’re taking the best supplements for your unique needs.


6 Surprising Signs of Oral Health Problems: How to Support Gum, Mouth, and Tooth Health

There are obvious signs of poor oral health – like bleeding gums and bad breath.

However, there are also less obvious signs of oral health issues, including bad digestion, clicking of the jaw, and respiratory infections.

Keep reading to discover some of the surprising signs of oral health problems along with science-backed ways to support the health of your gum, mouth, and teeth.

1) Obvious Symptoms of Oral Health Problems

First, let’s clear up some obvious symptoms of oral health problems. If you regularly experience any or all of the following symptoms, then you could have an oral health problem:

  • Mouth and jaw pain
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth or lost teeth
  • Recurring bad breath
  • Sores, pain, or pumps in your mouth

All of these issues could be linked to poor oral hygiene. Or, they could be connected to a serious oral disease.

2) Cardiovascular Disease

Oral health problems can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

When you have poor gum and tooth health, it increases the risk of heart disease in the following way:

  • Poor oral health increases inflammation in your gums and teeth
  • When you don’t brush or floss your teeth regularly, it causes the buildup of harmful bacteria; over time, this bacteria increases inflammation and causes periodontal disease
  • When left untreated, bacteria enter your bloodstream, leading to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which is a serious cardiovascular condition
  • Atherosclerosis significantly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke

Some studies also connect poor oral health to endocarditis (a fatal condition impacting the lining of your heart).

By cleaning your teeth regularly and practicing good oral hygiene, you can reduce the risk of heart disease – and keep your great smile.

3) Mental Fog

Poor oral health can impact your brain.

When you fail to brush or floss, it causes bacteria to build up throughout your mouth, leading to inflammation. This inflammation can kill brain cells, weaken memory, and contribute to mental fog, among other issues.

When left unaddressed, oral health issues can lead to dementia and other degenerative brain conditions. In fact, some studies suggest certain cases of Alzheimer’s disease are traced back to gingivitis and other harmful oral health conditions.

4) Respiratory Disease and Breathing Problems

Oral health problems can contribute breathing difficulties. Studies show poor oral health leads to poor respiratory health.

When you have poor oral health, it causes harmful bacteria to build up in your mouth. Every time you breathe, some of that harmful bacteria travels into your lungs, where it can contribute to serious respiratory conditions.

Some studies have linked poor oral health to respiratory infections, pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and COPD, among other issues.

5) Diabetes

Diabetics are more susceptible to oral health problems – including gum infections. However, gum disease and diabetes can also create a feedback loop, which each condition making the other worse:

  • When you ignore oral health issues like infected gums, it can imbalance blood sugar
  • Diabetics already have imbalanced blood sugar, and oral health problems can make this imbalance worse
  • As the imbalance grows worse, diabetics may struggle to manage their condition with diet, exercise, and medication

As diabetes and gum disease get worse, it worsens overall health and can lead to more significant problems.

6) Other Surprising Symptoms of Oral Health Problems

Other conditions that could trace their roots to oral health problems include:

Infertility: Studies show gum disease increases the risk of infertility in women. Oral health problems can make it difficult for women to conceive a child and carry that child to term.

Erectile Dysfunction: Men with oral health problems have an increased risk of erectile dysfunction. In fact, multiple studies have connected chronic periodontal disease (CPD) with ED. CPD occurs when gums pull away from teeth, creating pockets where bacteria can thrive. As bacteria enters these pockets and thrives, it leads to inflammation of the blood vessels, which can worsen symptoms of ED.

Autoimmune Disorders: People with gum disease tend to have weaker immune systems. Your immune system is battling against your oral health infection, which means it may not be powerful enough to fight other infections throughout your body. Oral health problems could increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions linked to autoimmunity.

Kidney Disease: Those same immune system issues can worsen symptoms of kidney disease. If you have gum disease, your weakened immune system could make you more susceptible to kidney disease.

How to Support Oral Health: What Does Science Say?

There are multiple proven, science-backed ways to support oral health.

Here are some of the best ways to support oral health and support your body’s natural defenses against the conditions listed above

  • Practice normal oral hygiene habits by brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day
  • Floss your teeth daily
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Limit the consumption of sugary foods and beverages
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Visit a dentist regularly for checkups and formal screenings

Final Word

At Science Nutrition Lab, we can screen your blood for signs of infection and disease sing a painless, at-home blood test.

Plus, we use Science Based Nutrition testing to compare your bloodwork against an optimal range based on your age and health – not against a random selection of people who recently visited a lab.

Your blood shows signs of health problems long before symptoms appear. Even if you think you have perfect oral health, your blood could be rich with harmful bacteria causing inflammation and immune dysfunction throughout your body.

Order your at-home testing kit from Science Nutrition Lab today.


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