Nutrition for Healthy Skin: Silica, Niacin, Vitamin K2, and Probiotics
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Nutrition for Healthy Skin: Silica, Niacin, Vitamin K2, and Probiotics

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Note: The Prescript-Assist supplements discussed in this article are no longer available. Please click here to learn more about a substitute, the Daily Synbiotic from Seed.

It’s time to close out my series on nutrition and skin health. I believe that a nutrient-dense, whole foods diet, with particular attention paid to certain vitamins, minerals, and other compounds, is a powerful tool in the treatment of skin disease. It’s unfortunate that many mainstream doctors and dermatologists typically deny any connection between diet and skin health, and many patients miss the opportunity to make major improvements in their skin simply by changing what they eat. I hope that this series will give you the evidence you need to make the switch to a skin-supporting diet.

It’s unfortunate that many mainstream dermatologists deny any connection between diet and skin health. Tweet This

In this final article, I will discuss the benefits of four nutrients that can play an important role in improving the look and feel of one’s skin: silica, niacin, vitamin K2, and probiotics. (Yes, probiotics are not a nutrient, but they may be one of the most important parts of a healthy skin diet!)

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Silica

While silica may not be considered an essential nutrient by current standards, it is likely that this trace mineral plays a functional role in human health. (1) In animals, a silica deficient diet has been shown to produce poorly formed connective tissue, including collagen. In fact, silica has been shown to contribute to certain enzyme activities that are necessary for normal collagen formation. Silica is essential for maintaining the health of connective tissues due to its interaction with the formation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are structural building blocks of these types of tissue. One well-known GAG important for skin health is hyaluronic acid, which has been shown to promote skin cell proliferation and increase the presence of retinoic acid, improving the skin’s hydration. (2)

Therefore, a deficiency in silica could result in reduced skin elasticity and wound healing due to its role in collagen and GAG formation. As we know, proper collagen formation is essential for maintaining tight, wrinkle-free skin, so silica can also be beneficial for slowing down the signs of skin aging.

It’s best to get silica from natural sources, and food sources of silica include leeks, green beans, garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, asparagus and rhubarb. (3)

Silica can also be found in certain types of water, such as Fiji brand water, which contains more than four times the levels found in other bottled waters due to the leaching of water-soluble silica from volcanic rock. (4) In fact, beverages contribute to more than half of the total dietary intake of silica, and the silica content of water depends entirely on its geological source. Silica can also be found in trace mineral supplements, such as ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops, which can be added to plain drinking water.

Niacin

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, plays a vital role in cell metabolism as a coenzyme in energy producing reactions involving the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, as well as anabolic reactions such as fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis. (4) The deficiency of niacin is rare these days, but was fairly common historically due to the reliance on niacin-poor food staples, such as corn and and other cereal grains, in low-income communities. (5) Pellagra, the disease of late stage niacin deficiency, causes a variety of skin symptoms such as dermatitis and a dark, scaly rash. In fact, the word “pellagra” comes from the Italian phrase for rough or raw skin. (6) The skin symptoms are often the first to appear, and may be exacerbated by even a slight deficiency in niacin over a long period of time.

While a low intake of niacin is unlikely, there are some diseases that may cause inadequate niacin absorption from the diet. An example of this is in celiac disease, where absorption is impaired by the swelling and thickening of the intestinal lining that occurs in celiac disease. (7) Other inflammatory gut conditions such as IBS or Crohn’s disease can also lead to a reduction in niacin absorption, and could conceivably lead to the skin-related symptoms of pellagra such as dermatitis and scaling.

Good whole-foods sources of niacin include meat, poultry, red fishes such as tuna and salmon, and seeds. Milk, green leafy vegetables, coffee, and tea also provide some niacin to the diet. Your liver can also convert tryptophan from high-protein foods like meats and milk into niacin. (8)

In the case of true deficiency, supplementation may be necessary, but for most healthy people, a varied diet with adequate meat consumption should be enough to meet one’s nutritional needs.

If choosing to supplement, be sure to consult with a licensed medical professional, as too much nicotinic acid can be harmful.

Vitamin K2

I’ve written before about the incredible health benefits of a diet rich in vitamin K2. Vitamin K2′s role in the body includes protecting us from heart disease, forming strong bones, promoting brain function, supporting growth and development and helping to prevent cancer – to name a few. It performs these functions by helping to deposit calcium in appropriate locations, such as in the bones and teeth, and prevent it from depositing in locations where it does not belong, such as the soft tissues. One of the health benefits of vitamin K2 not often discussed is its role in ensuring healthy skin, and this vitamin is likely beneficial for preventing wrinkling and premature aging.

Adequate dietary vitamin K2 prevents calcification of our skin’s elastin, the protein that gives skin the ability to spring back, smoothing out lines and wrinkles. (9) This is because K2 is necessary for activation of matrix proteins that inhibit calcium from being deposited in elastin fibers and keeping these fibers from hardening and causing wrinkles. In fact, recent research suggests that people who cannot metabolize vitamin K end up with severe premature skin wrinkling. (10) Vitamin K2 is also necessary for the proper functioning of vitamin A- and D- dependent proteins. As I discussed in the first article in this series, vitamin A is essential for proper skin cell proliferation, and cannot work properly if vitamin K2 is not available. Therefore, vitamin K2 is important in the treatment of acne, keratosis pillaris, and other skin symptoms of vitamin A deficiency.

It’s important to get adequate amounts of dietary vitamin K2, particularly if trying to heal the skin or prevent wrinkles. Great sources of vitamin K2 include butter and other high fat dairy products from grass-fed cows, egg yolks, liver, and natto. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and cheese are also quite high in vitamin K2 due to the production of this vitamin by bacteria. It is important to note that commercial butter and other dairy products are not significantly high sources of vitamin K2, as most dairy cattle in our country are fed grains rather than grass. It is the grazing on vitamin K1-rich grasses that leads to high levels of vitamin K2 in the dairy products of animals, so be sure to look for grass-fed dairy products when trying to increase your intake of vitamin K2. (11)

Probiotics

Probiotics are one of the most fascinating areas of modern nutrition research, and a topic I am passionate about. I will be discussing what is known as the “gut-brain-skin” axis during my presentation upcoming at the Weston A. Price Foundation Wise Traditions Conference in November, and have been researching the connection between gut flora and skin conditions for months. While there is a great deal of information on the skin-gut axis, I’ll give a quick summary of the information in this article – the rest you’ll have to see in my presentation in a few months!

The skin-gut axis has been studied since the 1930s, and yet we’re only just beginning to understand the role that probiotics may play in skin health. The ability of the gut microbiota and oral probiotics to influence systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, glycemic control, and tissue lipid content, may have important implications in skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. (12) Recent studies have shown that orally consumed pre and probiotics can reduce systemic markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, which may help reduce inflammatory acne and other skin conditions. (1314, 15) There is also a connection between small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and the incidence of acne, suggesting that reestablishing the proper balance of gut microflora is an important factor in treating acne.

There are far more beneficial effects of probiotic bacteria for skin health than I will be able to mention in this article; I will cover the topic much more in-depth at the conference in November.

However, I believe the evidence strongly supports the role of probiotics in treating a variety of skin conditions, and recommend that anyone suffering from skin trouble be especially diligent about including fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and kefir in your regular diet.

Probiotic supplements can also be helpful—but be careful, because not all probiotics will be beneficial for skin conditions. As I’ve mentioned, many people with skin conditions also have SIBO. SIBO often involves an overgrowth of microorganisms that produce a substance called D-lactic acid. Unfortunately, many commercial probiotics contain strains (like Lactobacillus acidophilus) that also produce D-lactic acid. That makes most commercial probiotics a poor choice for people with SIBO.

Soil-based organisms do not produce significant amounts of D-lactic acid, and are a better choice for this reason. In my clinic, I have great success with a product called Prescript Assist when treating skin conditions. Other popular choices include Gut Pro from Organic 3 and D-Lactate Free Powder from Custom Probiotics. I used these in the past, but have much better success with Prescript Assist so I now use that exclusively.

Well that’s the end of the “Nutrition for Skin Health” series! As a quick recap, the top whole-foods nutrients I recommend as part of any skin-healing diet are:

  • Vitamin A
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Biotin
  • Sulfur
  • Vitamin E
  • Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5)
  • Selenium
  • Silica
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin K2
  • Probiotics

I hope this information has been helpful to you, and I would love to hear any success stories from readers who have treated their skin conditions using nutritional changes!

Other articles in this series:

Nutrition for Healthy Skin: Vitamin A, Zinc, and Vitamin C
Nutrition for Healthy Skin: Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Biotin, and Sulfur
Nutrition for Healthy Skin: Vitamin E, Pantothenic Acid, and Selenium

110 Comments

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  1. I found this site inadvertantly and am enthralled. I am going to take the advice from Chris and see how it goes. I’ll post when I notice change. I’m a young looking 62, almost 63, but want to keep my skin and hair looking it’s best. Thank you for all the contributions here – there’s a wealth of great info. I appreciate it.

  2. Fab round up on holistic skin health. There is usually far too much emphasis is on the skin care treatments; emollients, salves, balms, steroids, which are essential for relief and comfort but diet factors should also be reviewed.

    Best of luck to all skin problem sufferers. Leafie

    • Hi, worth checking out books by Dr. John O A Pagano – re dietary changes and cutting out specific foods…very interesting case histories showing successes. Seems to be helping me so far. One note of caution…everyone is unique. Whilst using lots of Kale smoothies, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and apparently Kale and other cruciferous greens can be Goitrogenics (affect Thyroid Gland). So it’s good to read widely and follow your personal instincts, testing as you go, for improvements. Good stuff learning outside the Establishment prejudices though :o)

  3. Dr. J – Maybe it’s different where you live. Many doctors I know in my personal life understand the importance of food, but most that I have run to in hospitals have absolutely no understanding of good nutrition. Most recommend the USDA standards. My father recently had some health issues. The doctor recommended some fake manufactured butter spread (from Unilever), tons of grains, less meat, less fat.
    Then there is the hospital food which is absolutely appalling in many regions of the US.

    In my case, years ago, I had acne and was prescribed accutane. Not a single time was food or lifestyle (sleep, stress, …) brought up. Not once!

    • Good point. My son suffered from ulcerative colits for 15 years,. had colonoscpopies every 6 mo, and when he’d ask about diet, each doctor said it had no effect. When they wanted to cut out half his colon, he took matters into his own hands, stopped eating foods with chemicals, additives, hormones etc., gluten, focused on plant-based and lean meats, and was able to gradually go off his meds until his final checkup showed no more ulcerative colitis – his doctor was stunned. Diet is obviously very important.

  4. “It’s unfortunate that many mainstream doctors and dermatologists typically deny any connection between diet and skin health.”

    Firstly, I do not believe this statement is anywhere near correct! Most every doctor believes what we eat is critical for health.

    Second, I have written over 400 articles on health and fitness on the Internet, and I have never felt the need to criticize other health care practitioners in my attempt to gain reader interest.

  5. Thank you Chris.

    Do you have any information on treating syringoma? (Syringomas are harmless sweat duct tumors, typically found clustered on eyelids,)

  6. Hi Chris,

    I am a budding acupuncturist from NZ and I am loving how you are integrating current research, a comprehensive understanding of the body’s physiology and TCM principles – it is really inspiring for me as I reach my last six months of study. In particular your work has solved a two year health concern of mine – acne. Turned up after a stressful period and would not budge no matter what I tried. Then I took some probiotics after listening to your brain-gut axis post (what i am studying for my literature review) and from that first day of using probiotics my skin has cleared up and the scarring is healing.

    Appreciation.

  7. Chris – Do you have experience with yeast overgrowths, such as malassezia (Pityrosporum), as the source of cystic acne?

    Why I ask:

    Been following your work for years and applied much of what you have written here.
    But despite years of cleaning up diet and lifestyle, I continued to get worse and worse cystic acne on my neck, along with extremely flaky skin.

    Today I had some skin samples done. They found that I have an overgrowth of:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malassezia

    The dermatologist stated that many people with cystic acne symptoms suffer from such overgrowths. Regarding diet she suggest a LOW-CARB & LOW-FAT diet since “sugars and oils feed the yeast”. I’m not sure how that will work considering I’m athletic. I am doing a full blood panel and other tests for her to look for any underlying issues that could have allowed the yeast overgrowth.

    • I would try:

      1. Lugol’s iodine with DMSO. Mix in glass only and apply withclean fingers on very clean skin [DMSO will pull into your bloodstream anything it comes in contact with]

      2. Coconut oil

      3. Diamotaceus Earth [Food grade] Start with 1/2 tsp three times a day.

      Hydrogen Peroxide

      • @reba Can you tell me what this Suggestion was in response to? Acne? Eczema? (Of which I suffer both) seems like an nice easy and cheap formula! Thnx.

  8. Would someone be so kind as to direct me to the correct page/article/blog here for the following question: where can I get information about how to mitigate loose and flabby skin that is the result of profound weight loss? I have started the Paleo lifestyle and must lose over 100 pounds to prevent diabetes, reverse hypertension, decrease obstructive sleep apnea, minimize GERD and perhaps jump start a tired and sluggish thyroid. I expect to get grotesque bat wings and that horrible, unsightly, confidence-destroying belly apron; it is the price I deserve to pay for getting so obese (I pass this judgement on myself only, and not others: we each have our story). But if there are things I can do to prevent this, I would appreciate the information. I know about proper supplements, healthy fats, skin brushing. I expect moisturizers would help the cosmetic appearance to some degree but am not sure which would be the ingredients to look for or avoid. Can I expect, though I am in the middle of my 5th decade, for the flabby skin to tighten over time after 20 years of being stretched? All the lovely collegen and elastin has gone the way of many things that are over half a century old. Naturally, I am finally prioritizing health, but it would be nice if I could also address this skin issue before it is a fait accompli. Thank you in advance for information about the issue or where to post this rather long question.

    • What one eats and the condition of the immune system and microbiome have a greater effect on skin than anything, in my experience. Topicals mainly address the surface and don’t get at the roots of the problem. I find the best topicals to be the same sorts of things that are also beneficial for the skin when consumed, and they are best when there are no additives at all so that they are completely nontoxic and edible: cold-pressed cocoa butter, cold-pressed shea butter, centrifuged coconut oil, centrifuged olive oil, palm oil, lard, suet/tallow, seal oil, cold-pressed flaxseed oil, etc. They also happen to be what people used on their skin throughout history before the invention of petrochemicals and industrial manufacturing. Also use skin soaps/cleansers that contain these natural fats or others, like jojoba oil and aloe vera.

      “The lovely collegen and elastin has gone the way of many things”

      Right here in this article is a lot of info regarding collagen, elastin and the foods that contain them or help produce them, other nutrients beneficial for the skin and beneficial probiotics. There is more at the links that Chris provided under “Other articles in this series”.

      Before Paleo, my skin used to be so loose that when I pulled my cheek or arm skin out with my fingers, the skin stayed that way for a bit and only slowly returned to its former position, and I would use this to gross out my sisters. 😀 Now it snaps back instantly.

      • Thanks, Paleophil, for responding. As per your suggestions, I will continue to use the olive oil I scent with lavender and rosemary oils and eschew the promises of store bought unguents. And I’ll read the above article again … and again. I have a feeling your skin is much younger than mine, but I will hold onto hope, based on your input, that someday my skin will shrink to fit me — without the intervention of surgery.

        • There are no guarantees, of course, and I don’t know how much improvement is possible, but at the time of my improvement I was 39. That was years ago and my skin is in even better shape now. While it’s true that it helps to be younger, Art De Vany is around 76 and he recently reported that he has fewer wrinkles now than he did 4 years ago http://artdevanyonline.com/1/post/2013/03/follow-up-to-checking-in.html.

          Degrees of loose skin after weight loss appear to vary greatly between individuals. There are many recognized factors, such as extent and duration of the obesity, rapidity of the weight loss, age, and genetics, and I suspect that connective tissue damage and disorders (skin contains areolar connective tissue and is connected to the hypodermis, which also contains connective tissue) play a role.

          I’ve seen some reports by people who developed loose skin after rapid, extensive weightloss of some significant improvement within a couple of years. Ben Greenfield is someone in the Paleo/ancestral community who offers some tips re: loose skin, though he concedes that a “perfect stomach” is “mostly impossible”: http://getfitguy.quickanddirtytips.com/how-to-tighten-loose-skin-after-weight-loss.aspx

  9. Hi Chris,

    I’m a recent subscriber and I appreciate all of the information you’ve provided already. I’m 45 and have had mild rosacea (flushing) for the last 10 years at least. I have also suffered from what I’d consider sluggish bowels for as long as I can remember. New perimenopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, are not helping matters. On a positive note, I’ve been avoiding grains and refined sugar, processed foods, adding more healthy fats and proteins for some time now, and the digestion has improved but is still not perfect. The rosacea seems to be getting a little worse, with my first noticeable trace of acne rosacea appearing the other morning upon waking up (heat is my most problematic trigger). In the last few days I’ve been taking raw apple cider vinegar in water, as well as yogi detox tea, to see if I can try to help heal the gut and detox the liver. This is in addition to taking 2 PB-8 supplements, eating whole goats milk yogurt and a bit of lacto fermented sauerkraut most days. I can’t say that any of this is helping yet. One last thing, I also meditate and exercise most days, and tend to control my stress level. Any other suggestions you have, especially with regards to probiotics, would be greatly appreciated. For instance, if you think probiotics might help, what type is your favorite and how much would your recommend? Anything else? It’s discouraging and frightening to be eating such a clean diet and still suspect that there’s chronic inflammation occurring, not to mention the other downsides of rosacea and digestion. Thanks so much!

  10. Hi,
    I read a study about probiotica where they gave it to male rats. They got a fluffier fur and got a higher sex appeal to the female rats. Simply looked more healthier. Soo seems like probiotica might help in different things, even some hair growth(fur)
    Doesn’t one say that the skin reflects how good ones immune system is? I heard it somewhere that it does. People with beautiful skin generally have a better immune system…
    I’ve been taking probiotica from BioGaia since 10 years. Works for me in regards to not getting sick. I have a twin Brother, pretty much always had a better skin since we were in the teens, he doesn’t take probiotics. But then we are two eggs twins soo not genetically identical

  11. I bought Sweet Almond Oil NF from the drugstore a while ago but didn’t use it much but today saw a vid on Youtube about it so thought I’d give it another try. It is working better for me than coconut oil, cold pressed and cheap stuff or vaseline. I have now applied it three times today and each time the itch was gone for hours. Last app came after a shower and skin was not too wet, just damp. Skin seems to be particular and little seems to be universal but SAO-FN is not expensive so worth a try. If my skin doesn’t hurt tomorrow I may begin again dressing it with Lugo’s iodine (non alcohol) and then SAO-NF.

    I seem to get pretty much all the micro-nutrients in this series and I am Paleo, mostly raw beef and fat with green low cal veg. I have mentioned in one of the other articles that mercury might be part of the problem. I only got the eczema as I entered the sixties., two years ago.

  12. Chris,
    I’ve followed your blog for a long time and and grateful for your level-headed personalized approach to diet and life, in general.
    I started in paleo/ whole 9 in january. while I am not 100% in, I’m and close to it.
    I have noticed that my skin is itch and dry and my hair some to lack luster, too- not something I usually have despite living in dry, wintery Minnesota.
    After reading a bit I’m wondering if I shouldn’t more dairy- kefir or yogurt. Would you agree? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Happy New Year and thanks again!
    Sarah

  13. Hi chris was recently told a biopsy tested positive for basal cell carcinoma. Am confident that after the removal ill be clean of it but am looking for ideas to keep this from happening again. All above is great and i will adapt them but is there anything you would add to someone who already has gotten a positive biopsy? Thank you 🙂

    • Brian, I doubt you’ll want to precisely emulate the following diet that was apparently very successful with precancerous skin lesions, but perhaps it will hold some clues for you. Lex Rooker is also a very helpful person and I’m sure he’d be happy to answer any questions you have.

      “I went to the Dermatologist today for a checkup. Since my late 30’s I’ve suffered from precancerous lesions on my face, shoulders, upper back, neck, etc. The dermatologists seemed to feel that such an early occurrence of this problem (most people get it in their 60’s) was due to the radiation treatments I received for cystic acne when I was a teenager.

      I’ve gone every 6 months or so for many years and each time they usually find about a dozen or so scaly patches that need to be frozen off with liquid nitrogen. I usually come out the the dermatologist’s office with little patches of frost bite all over my upper body, and they take a couple of weeks to scab over and heal.

      About 3 years ago, after starting the Zero Carb phase of my dietary adventure, my visits to the dermatologist took a decided turn for the better. They started finding fewer and fewer spots to freeze off. About 2 years ago one session they didn’t find anything, and 6 months later they only found one.

      This was my first visit in about 18 months and I was prepared for the worst. I stripped down to my shorts and they went over me with a fine tooth comb. Didn’t find a thing – not one lesion or scaly patch. They commented that I was in terrific shape and they wished all their other patients would take as good care of themselves as I do.

      People often ask me if I’ve noticed improvement in my skin. I usually hesitate to say much as I’m almost 60 so comparing my skin with someone who’s decades younger is not very usefull. In this case, I have the stamp of approval from Greene Dermatology Clinic, and they say my skin is in amazing condition for my age.

      What was also interesting was that one of the doctors commented on the fact that for my age my body had very little fat, and muscle tone was more like someone 20 to 30 years younger. He wanted to know what my fitness routine was. It blew him away when I told him I didn’t have one – never went to the gym or did any exercise other than walk to the market or post office on occasion. ( no, I didn’t tell him about my diet. They have all these charts around the office pushing fruits and veggies so you get all those antioxidants to keep you in good health. I’ve found when I mention that the plant stuff doesn’t work but raw meat does, their eyes glaze over and they tune out – so I no longer bother)”

      -Lex Rooker at http://www.rawpaleodietforum.com/journals/lex's-journal/msg12586/#msg12586

    • Brian:

      I’ve used a few things that have worked for me on lesions that looked like cancer [never tested]

      1. Bentonite clay mask. I apply it and leave it on… wearing some now on a lesion on my back that turned black. It dries it up leaving healthy skin alone.

      2. I had scary looking marks that showed up on my chest a few years ago. Dark red… I figured I could burn them off like a doctor would using hydrogen peroxide 12%. I put some in a small cup and dipped a toothpick in it and applied to lesions carefully placing on lesions only. They hurt for about a half hour. It worked and the marks never returned. [I bought the peroxide at the health food store]

  14. I have acne, mainly painful cyst, that take forever to go away, after reading the articles on healthy skin I started to eat beef liver twice a week, taking a probiotic by renew life 50 billiin and taking green pastures fermented butter blend/ cod liver oil, and eating more eggs, I also take a miltivitamin and magnesium, I stared to see a difference my face started clearing up and was cyst free for about a week and a half, but the day I started my period I broke out with 6 new under the skin cyst/ pimples, is there a way I can keep my hormonal acne at bay? Other supplements I can take or food?

  15. Hi Chris,

    I wonder if the same nutrients you recommend to promote skin health are just as important for building healthy hair and nails?

  16. Chris,
    I have hashimotos and was looking for a trace mineral supplement to help with that and saw that you recommend the Concentrace for skin. Do you think (or anyone else feel free to chime in) that this product is ok for someone with Hashimotos even through it has iodine in it? I know that you agree with Dr. Kharrazian that Iodine can add fuel to the auto-immune fire. If this is not the right product for me can you recommend one? I was also thinking of getting some of the Magnesium Glycinate from Pure Encapsulations. If I can take the Concentrace, does that already have enough Magnesium in it on it’s own? By the way I also take Greener Pastures cod liver oil and a few other supplements but mostly try to eat healthy to get nutrients.

    Thanks for all your very informative articles, podcasts etc. I’m a fan!
    – Sara

  17. Chris,
    I have been battling flat warts on my forehead for a year. Any suggestions? P.s. love you’d site and pod casts.

  18. My wife and I both developed keratosis pilaris on our arms 8 years ago after moving from Florida to Chicago, and nothing we’ve tried has had any effect. After reading your article, I tried us on 200mcg of k2, and found that the keratosis got worse on both of us within 3 days! It even spread further up our arms than usual. This has to be useful data, but I can’t make sense of it. It there some other nutrient that k2 might exacerbate a deficiency in? Maybe biotin?

    • My first thought is a soy allergy, if it is MK7. Soy can have pretty drastic effects on the skin.
      My second thought is, if you are deficient in retinol or vitamin D, these are the vitamins that K2 interacts closest with. Calcium is the mineral.

    • I know this is old…but for future readers I’d like to comment on a theory of mine. Without too much detail, I’d like to point out that the salt water of the ocean can help MANY skin disorders… and many people have noticed improvement of KP after vacationing or visiting the beach without knowing why. This particular gentleman may have been visiting the water more frequently before moving up north which is why he and his wife both suffered. Consider trips to the ocean if possible and check for results. Bathing in natural sea salt and water may help as well. I’m currently starting to test this out myself.