Did you know that your skin, your body’s connective tissue, and many of its anchoring structures contain a secret weapon? It’s true! The secret weapon is called elastin.

Elastin is a special building block found within the many tissues in our bodies that depend on their ability to flex. These littletalked- about, but very powerful elastin fibres give strength, tone, stretch, and “snap-back” ability to our skin, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Elastin is one-half of the duo that keeps aging skin looking great (the other half being collagen). Elastin also plays a key role in keeping us moving, ensuring the healthy pliability of our arteries and studies show it even contributes to optimal lung function!

My patients are often surprised to hear of elastin. They want to know, is it new? Many of them have heard about collagen, of course, and it’s something they think of quite easily when we are discussing how to maintain healthy, young-looking skin. Collagen, they know, is a longtime ingredient in cosmetics, used to replenish the body’s collagen stores, which diminish as we age. Collagen also helps repair damaged tissues and restore structure. But we now know that collagen doesn’t work alone. We now know that elastin partners with collagen, providing stretch and resilience that collagen alone can’t provide. While collagen fibres line up side by side to create structure in our body’s tissues, elastin fibres exist in forms that remind me of a fishnet stocking. Able to move in every direction, elastin fibres create a stretchy web that is supported by the collagen around them. Working together, collagen helps skin maintain its firmness, while elastin gives it a youthful ability to stretch and return to its original shape, helping to prevent fine lines and wrinkles.

Now that we know how powerful elastin is, and how important is the role it plays in maintaining many of the body’s tissues and structures, these special fibres are getting the scientific study and popular attention they deserve. What’s more, doctors like me are recommending ways of nurturing our elastin, recognizing that, yes, it makes skin look more youthful, protects arteries from the effects of aging, and keeps our lungs expanding and contracting as they should. But there’s one more very important reason to nourish our elastin fibres: to guard the health of our pelvic floor muscles and our urinary/bowel function.

As we age, and especially if we have borne children, the structures of our pelvis can stretch out and begin to sag. The result can be urinary or bowel incontinence, the collapse of vaginal walls (called prolapse) and a loss of core muscle strength, among other symptoms. To understand the role that elastin plays in these conditions, picture these fibres as rubber bands of tissue that are woven three-dimensionally through collagen. Healthy elastin is taut and springy. Old or damaged elastin is more like a rubber band that has been left out in the sun to dry – it gets brittle and frayed, and gradually fails. Just as aging elastin leaves our faces looking old, it also creates functional problems within our internal structures. Now that I’ve described the value of elastin and the effects of aging and damage on these fibres, I’m sure you’re wondering what I recommend to protect, preserve, and BOOST our body’s elastin. Fortunately, there are many foods, vitamins, and minerals that have been shown to nourish elastin. See the sidebar for ideas you can easily incorporate into your life!

A Secret Weapon for the Skin

When supplements are indicated, I wholeheartedly recommend BioSil®. Available in capsule or liquid form taken twice a day, this is a patented supplement from Belgium that can stimulate your own body to make new elastin, collagen, and keratin through the activation of fibroblasts – the master repairmen of our body’s cells. Indeed, BioSil has been shown to increase skin elasticity by 89%, reduce fine lines and wrinkles by 30%, thicken hair by 12.8%, and strengthen hair by 13.1%. A small study even suggested that BioSil may improve bone density.

BioSil contains choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid, a unique, patented ingredient (ch-OSA®) that is highly stable. In fact, BioSil’s level of stability has never been duplicated in any other product to date, and that stability is the reason why it has consistently performed so well in placebo-controlled, double-blinded studies.

Actress/model Christie Brinkley – who looks fantastic – has been using BioSil as her own secret weapon for over a decade! She mentions it in her latest book, Timeless Beauty: Over 100 Tips, Secrets, and Shortcuts to Looking Great. I’m proud to say I’m with her! All this health and beauty benefit considered, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that taking BioSil twice a day has long been my routine. It’s my own little secret that, like Christie, I’m happy to share! Look for BioSil in many fine health food stores.

NOTE: Beware of lookalike products! BioSil is NOT Biotin, nor is  BioSil a vitamin formula that helps hair, skin, and nails. BioSil is much more, so do not be tricked into  purchasing “silica” or “Biotin”.

Shoring Up Sagging Structures with Genityte®

For improving the strength and structure of the pelvic floor, and reducing the effects of aging on our urinary/bowel function, I have a breakthrough to report!

It’s a non-surgical, non-invasive medical procedure that takes place in a clinical setting. It utilizes infrared light. In the nearly 10 years it has been in use by me and other practitioners, Genityte has shed light on how powerful elastin restoration can be.

It really works! Genityte strengthens the muscles that extend from the pubic bone to the tail bone. It also tones the urethra and surrounding tissues, restoring a tight seal to better control accidental loss of urine. The procedure also shores up the tissues of vaginal walls and the connective tissue that anchors it to the pelvis.

How Does It Do All This?

Genityte works by delivering broadband infrared light through the skin into the deep anchoring tissues of the pelvis, resulting in dramatic toning of skin, connective tissue, muscles, and anchoring structures of the pelvic floor.

The light technology activates the fibro-blasts in the cells of these tissues, repairing and tightening existing collagen and elastin fibres and making new fibres of each. This is a procedure that is fast and easy to recover from. It is ideal for maturing women and mothers who have seen the tissues of their pelvic floor go from sturdy and supportive, like the fabric in your Spanx, to something more stretched-out and less elastic – resulting in everything from back pain and poor posture to unreliable urinary/bowel control and actual structural failure (such as uterine prolapse). Best of all, Genityte offers women the best non-surgical option yet for dealing with many of these issues and putting them behind them once and for all!

Safe, effective, and available through doctors who have been trained in the method’s many never-before-used protocols, Genityte provides hope that pelvic-floor problems will soon be unusual and no longer an expected part of getting older.

Used in conjunction with BioSil supplementation, I’m happy to say that Genityte keeps my patients beautiful on the outside and strong on the inside as they age. Who could ask for more?

Benefits of GENITYTE

GENITYTE has been shown to be extremely safe, showing remarkably consistent results.
The procedure is suitable for women of any age, without regard to whether previous procedures (such as sling or incontinence surgery) have occurred. The procedure has been shown to be effective whether urine leakage is mild or very severe, providing many women with a new sense of confidence. Improvements include:

  • Decreased frequency and intensity of urinary urges, and less need to get out of bed at night
  • Better urinary control when lifting, coughing, sneezing, running, rebounding, jumping, and exercising
  • Greater ability to start and stop urination, as well as hold urine when bladder is full
  • Enhanced tone and support of the tissues of the pelvic floor, vaginal walls, and rectum – treating uterine prolapse and related conditions, reducing hemorrhoids and bowel incontinence, and making Kegel exercises more effective
  • Greater confidence as patients move through their days

Building Blocks

  • Vitamin C – 75–90 mg taken daily supports collagen and elastin production. Vegetables like sweet potatoes and red bell peppers, citrus fruits, and strawberries are also good sources.
  • Manganese – A mineral found in pineapple, grains, leafy greens, pecans, seaweed, and sea vegetables.
  • Copper – 0.9 mg is the recommended daily dose of this mineral, which is found in cashews and almonds, shellfish and animal organ meat, lentils, mushrooms, and whole grains.
  • Phytoestrogens – These support both collagen and elastin synthesis and are found in nuts and flaxseed oil, legumes, fruit and vegetables.
  • Tretinoin – Vitamin A obtained by prescription and applied topically can increase elastin production through tropoelastin* stimulation, which may be the next frontier in elastin restoration and production.
  • Zinc and copper – Taken in combination, these are associated with an increase elastin formation.
  • Dill extract has recently been shown to promote elastin formation in skin. Mix in dill when you serve fish or sautéed vegetables, or use it in pickling.