Stretch Marks – the curse of the most fleshy areas of your body. But did you know they can actually be prevented?
One of the potential horrors of pregnancy (and your stretchy teenage years) is stretch marks, and 50% to 90% of women can expect to get them.
If you have them, you will be very familiar with the reddish purple steaks that eventually become pale threadlike lines on the skin. They usually show up on the belly, breasts and thighs.
What Doesn’t Work for Stretch Marks
In a study reported in the journal Complementary and Therapeutic Medicine in 2014, researchers compared the effects of olive oil and a trademarked cream, sold for the prevention of stretch marks, in 360 women in their second trimester.
Each of the women’s bellies were evaluated for stretch marks and rated mild, moderate or severe. Once the women hit the 38th to 40th week of pregnancy, their stretch marks were evaluated again.
Olive oil is commonly used to prevent stretch marks. Mothers tell their daughters to use it; grandmothers tell their granddaughters, and midwives even tell their clients to use it. The theory is that if you can keep the skin soft and supple from the outside, it won’t stretch the skin too much.
However, this is not what was found in the research study. Seventy-two percent of the women who used olive oil ended up with stretch marks (32% were rated mild, 26% were rated moderate, and 6% were rated severe). Sixty-four percent of those on the stretch mark cream also ended up with unattractive skin lines; and 60% of those who had no treatment at all ended up with stretch marks.
Even metastudies – studies where all the available research studies are analyzed – show that no topical agents do a diddley thing to prevent stretch marks.
Cocoa butter has similar results. In a study of 210 women, 91 women received cocoa butter to rub into their skin during pregnancy while 84 received a placebo. The two groups had equal amounts of stretch marks (45% vs. 49%).
But we all want and need them to work so badly.
Maybe the skin cream researchers are looking in the wrong direction for stretch mark prevention
It’s possible that the researchers have neglected to consider all the needs of the skin. In order for skin to be built correctly, it must have a good amount of protein in the form of collagen. Collagen forms the matrix of the whole structure of protein sheets in the body. Vitamins and minerals are then added to the matrix for additional strength.
It’s a well-known fact that stretch marks occur because the strength of the collagen and elastic fibers is poor. When the woman adds 25 or more pounds, this requires huge amounts of collagen to be created. If there’s not enough protein in the diet, the process of making new proteins will become flawed.
Another consideration is zinc intake. Many people are deficient in zinc, especially those who are vegetarian, or those who are simply not eating enough foods with zinc in them. A high zinc supplement is needed in these cases.
Animal proteins and oysters are the highest food sources of bioavailable zinc. Although zinc is found in nuts and seeds as well as grains, the zinc is trapped in phytates unless the grain, nuts or seeds are soaked overnight. Not very many people know this and therefore are subject to developing stretch marks.
Two additional essential elements for strong, healthy skin are vitamin C and Silica. Vitamin C helps strengthen skin with cross-linking and is vital to the synthesis of all new skin and tissues. Silica offers strength to connective tissue.
This is illustrated by looking at what happens to the bamboo plant as it grows. Bamboo is a very high source of Silica – and the plant absolutely needs silica to grow 2 feet or more each day. Without silica, the plant would keep growing but fall easily from every wind burst.
But the bamboo plant grows tall and strong and in fact, it’s so strong that permaculture experts warn students, “If you’re caught in a flood, hold on to the bamboo plants. They will still be standing after the flood.” It’s all due to the strengthening Silica.
If researchers turned their attention to what’s happening when the tissues are being created – noticing what nutrients are there and which ones aren’t, they would most likely find their solution and solve the riddle of stretch marks.
Preventing Stretch Marks: For Pregnant Woman
What this all means to you is to consider these suggestions when you’re pregnant but please do check with your medical practitioner before undertaking any supplements:
- Get plenty of protein daily – at least 70 grams a day (and add 1 scoop of Collagen Booster to your pregnancy diet)
- Get plenty of vitamin C foods every day. You should be having approximately 1000 mg daily. Check with your doctor or nutritionist about the exact levels you need.
- Make sure you have a zinc test early in the pregnancy and your level is at least 50-65% above the bottom of the range. Take extra zinc accordingly. It may be best to work with a nutritionist for this for the safe amounts.
- Take foods that are high in Silica or a supplement that provides safe amounts of Silica.
There are lots of things you can do – and it all starts and ends with great nutrition.
To read more click here: https://thehealthbase.com/best-stretch-mark-treatments