Hair, Skin & Nails with Dr. Lyon & Don Saladino

hair skin and nails
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Live With Dr. Gabrielle Lyon and celebrity trainer Don Saladino

On April 5, 2022 we hosted a live webinar with trusted experts Dr. Gabrielle Lyon and celebrity trainer Don Saladino. This session had a focus on hair, skin and nails and Cronometer users were given the floor, asking all sorts of great questions. We covered everything from collagen, psoriasis, eczema and so much more. Tune in below or read on for some eye opening nutrition and fitness advice from the experts! 

If you still have questions that weren’t answered in this webinar, reach out to us on Instagram or Facebook!

This webinar is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing, or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice.  No clinician/patient relationship is formed.  The use of information from this webinar or materials linked from this content, is at the user’s own risk.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions. 

Can you address psoriasis and eczema?

Dr. G: Psoriasis has an auto-immune component to it and typically affects the skin and is more of a rapid turnover. In terms of addressing it nutritionally, lowering inflammation is really important and understanding what inflammatory components are creating more of an adverse environment is something that we do see. Can you correct psoriasis with just nutrition? I would say it really depends on the person. You can definitely impact it and certainly impact eczema.

Eczema, without a shadow of a doubt in my clinical experience, can absolutely be impacted by nutrition. Typically it is related to gut effects. They are two different things, um, but both can be addressed through good lifestyle habits.

Eliisa: How would somebody go about finding out what to do? Would you suggest an elimination diet?

Dr. G: I want to be really transparent in terms of eczema. I typically take two approaches. I look at the gut and I look for infections, h pylori, which is a bacteria. There are components to eczema that can relate to gut pathogens or just gut microbiome imbalances. And I use that term really loosely. The other aspect is tracking your food so you know what potentially could be increasing it. A friend of ours has noticed improvement by not eating dairy and gluten. And then of course, making sure your omega-3 fatty acids are up. You know, I do see an improvement in skin with vitamin D. Uh, but again, it is a collection of things. That is a great question.

Is there no cure for alopecia areata?

Dr. G: This is also auto-immune and there is no cure for it that we know. I have had patients with it, but I have not seen any remission. So I’m assuming that’s kind of what that individual is getting at.

What do you recommend for people on a ketogenic diet using intermittent fasting? What Cronometer features can help with this?

Eliisa: I’ll just quickly say, we have a ketogenic diet setting (in your energy settings) there is a calculator to help you with your macros. We also have a Fasting Timer, available to our Gold subscribers, so you can layer your fasting data over any other metric.

Don: Dr. G, I’m curious about your opinion on someone on a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting at the same time. Is that something that you’d recommend for anyone specific?

Dr. G: So I think that everything is a tool. I will say that I am not someone who prescribes a ketogenic diet unless they have seizures or they have brain injury. I think that a ketogenic diet is not necessarily ideal for muscle mass. And I also don’t think that the longevity of a ketogenic diet is ideal. I think it can be used in cycles.

I think combining a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting is not ideal for muscle mass. I also think that intermittent fasting is nothing magical, but it is used as a tool that helps with calorie restriction as well as there is that circadian entrainment, which is really allowing the rhythms of the body to be consistent. So if you’re doing some kind of intermittent fasting and you’re doing it at the same time, it does allow a structure, which I think is really beneficial. I’m curious, Don, what are your thoughts on it?

Don: Yeah, I think it can become really dangerous, right? I’m not a believer that we should be living in a deficit. I think people tend to forget that calories are energy, right? The three macronutrients are protein, which is your building block, carbs and fats, which can both be used as your energy source. And if you start eliminating, too much of one, you’re going to go to another. And then at the end of the day, if we start losing muscle, we’re probably gaining body fat. I just think that there’s not enough value on putting on muscle and we need to understand the importance of at least maintaining a level of muscle as we all age. If we don’t focus on that sort of thing, we’re going to lose that. And if we start getting weak and frail or we lose muscle, our bodies are going to break down, our bodies are going to get soft.

So I just urge people to be a little bit more careful in making these decisions just because someone is online and they’re talking about something that might’ve worked for them. And it’s like Dr. G said, it’s a tool, but you’ve got to understand too that it can really work against you if you abuse it.

Can you address gluten sensitivity vs. celiac's and leaky gut?

Dr. G: Celiac’s is an autoimmune disease of the GI tract. And it typically affects a small intestine and you know, there’s like these fingers in the small intestine and those become flattened with people who have Celiac’s disease. It is something that happens and it creates atrophy of the small intestine and then people get malabsorption, which means simply that they’re not absorbing their nutrients. You’ll see bone issues, hair loss, fatigue, all of these things. 

Now non-celiac gluten sensitivity is kind of a catch all phrase for someone who maybe doesn’t have the genetic markers of Celiac’s disease, but is still affected by gluten. It is very difficult to diagnose.

Leaky gut leaky gut is a term used, but it’s not actually a diagnosis. It’s something that is transient. For example, when Don increases his physical activity tremendously, like all my athletes, they all get, what I would call gut permeability. One way you can test that is through something called zonulin and zonulin is simply a protein that can be tested.

So should you be gluten-free the answer is if you are sensitive, yes. How do you know if you are sensitive without having celiacs? You will know it because you’ll feel it.

I suffer from arm acne, any suggestions?

Dr. G: I would say that there is no one cause of acne. I would certainly not contribute it to nuts or fats unless it is something else and not actually acne. But sometimes when someone is low in certain fatty acids, they can get those little bumps. Number one, make sure that you have the correct diagnosis.

Is inflammation the root of most modern lifestyle diseases?

Dr. G: Um, so what do I feel? This is a very biased answer. In terms of what I feel the root for most common diseases, I feel the root for most common diseases begins in skeletal muscle. That is my personal opinion. Is inflammation a major issue? Inflammation is a major issue. I think that that is simplifying it a bit too much. It’s a multifactorial picture.

I have vertical lines on my finger nails. Is this something to be concerned about?

Dr. G: Yeah. I would say vertical lines alone, you’d have to check for nail bed damage. So oftentimes people that pick their nails get lines. And that’s more of a question for dermatology.

My hair is falling out from what I believe to be a lack of vitamins. How do you manage being in a calorie deficit for weight loss and ensuring you get all of the vitamins and minerals you need?

Dr. G: Number one, if your hair is falling out, You definitely want your thyroid checked and you want to make sure that you are eating nutrient dense foods if you are doing calorie restriction. Because I know there is a period of time where individuals can do calorie restriction to lose weight. You have to make sure that the foods in which you are consuming, have a ton of nutrients. For example, red meat is really a great source of iron and a really important, nutrient dense food that helps with iron, zinc, selenium, B vitamins, and protein, all of which affect hair.

When I see someone with hair loss, I always look at an iron panel and I always look at ferritin. I see that all the time with hair loss.

How can you not be obsessed with the numbers of calories? I think that knowing yourself plays a role. If you are an individual who can become obsessive, really funnelling that into something that’s productive for you, I think is important.

I wore gel nails for ages. Is there anything I can do to repair them?

Dr. G: I think that you’re doing it right. Eating well or if you’re using a formula, use one that’s hair, skin, and nails specific. It sounds like you are doing that. I would probably even consider bumping up your collagen to see if that helps. Then just giving it time, you know.

Any recommendations on supplements for hair, skin & nails?

Dr. G: Great. For supplements for hair, skin and nails, there’s a few that I recommend. If it is not really significant, then there’s a ton of hair, skin, and nail formulas out there. If you are losing a ton of hair, or if it’s postpartum, Nutrafol is very good for hair loss and a topical, minoxidil, or a very low dose finasteride for women and men is great. Also First Phorm and Bubs Natural make a great hair, skin and nails and collagen powder. It should be used daily. Typically everything for hair, skin, and nails, including topicals should be used daily except for a red laser cap.

Also just make sure that your baseline is covered, so ask why would your hair, skin and nails be having issues? Is it protein? Is it iron? Is it the micronutrients? Cronometer can help with that.

Any recommendations for managing hypothyroidism?

Dr. G: So this is a great question. Number one, there are varying degrees of hypothyroidism and typically we measure the TSH, which is the brain connection to the thyroid. And if you are finding that you are gaining an exponential amount of weight, one thing that you can do, if you do not want to go on medication is really understand how many calories you’re eating and reduce that a little bit. 

This is a very tricky situation and professionally, if it is a very low grade hypothyroidism and the person is not symptomatic, or maybe they have a little bit of fatigue, but depending on how much weight you’re gaining, I would definitely consider medication. It doesn’t necessarily have to be forever, but you can consider medication to get your weight under control.

At the same time, adding nutrients like selenium in, and then making sure you’re getting protein, making sure you’re not getting too much iodine. Too much iodine is actually has a negative impact on the thyroid.

You mention you’re eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables. I think that the data is still out, whether that really has an impact. You know, they’re called a goitrogen, you know, does that really impact it? I can’t say certainly that the data would support that, but again, because you are significantly symptomatic and a professional athlete, for you, I would treat and then work on the underlying cause.

What are your thoughts on colon cancer and the connection to red meat?

Dr. G: That has never been proven, nor does the data support that. There is a much better relationship to a low fiber diet and colon cancer versus red meat.

And again, the data has not supported that and there’s no mechanism of action. If an individual is concerned about colon cancer, you want to think about a high fiber diet and early detection.

Is there an optimal glycine to methianine ratio?

Dr. G: There is no known optimal ratio of glycine to methianine. So this is still kind of hypothetical.

Do collagen needs change as you age?

Dr. G: Logically, that makes sense. Again, you know, collagen is interesting because it’s an incomplete protein and we don’t really have a mechanism of action as to how it works. We don’t even know if you ingest collagen, how many of those amino acids are you getting?

But again, just because we don’t know the mechanism of action right now, does that mean that there isn’t some benefit? I would say, anecdotally, it does really well.

What are your thoughts on DNA results for the perfect diet plan?

Dr. G: Great question. I think that you can measure all the genes that you want. There are so many different genes that have an interplay. And initially, actually, when I started my own practice, I really thought gene therapy in terms of looking at these things was going to be the way of the future, which has never panned out. You cannot look at a gene in isolation. When it relates to nutrition, which is something so dynamic because it’s not this one gene, for the most part, this one gene is not responsible for how much protein you need.

Right? There are core, fundamental, scientific principles that are much more dependable than being able to interpret different kinds of genes. We’re not talking about the gene for a certain type of disease, we are talking about a gene as it relates to a nutrition requirement. I don’t think it’s a good strategy.

What exercises can I add to help improve my plank?

Don: When you’re getting into a plank, try and perform something called a hard style plank. And what do I mean by that? If you were in plank position and I’m standing over you trying to knock you over, how much tension are you going to create in your lats, in your arms, in your legs, in your core, in your chest and in your shoulders.

We call these tension techniques as opposed to time-based techniques. So the thought that we can just sit there and hold for more time and more time and more time. I can almost assure you, if you keep doing your planks for time, like you’re doing, and maybe start mixing in your planks for tension, like I’m explaining, trying to hold for 10 to 20 seconds while creating as much tension as possible, you’ll probably start seeing your arms and your legs and your core and all of these areas of your body that you really want to focus on strengthening when doing a plank.

How can it be possible to gain weight on less calories?

Dr. G: The body is very smart, and it becomes very, very, very efficient. Number one, if an individual already has hypothyroidism, that changes metabolism. That’s one of the common signs, fatigue and weight gain.

It’s true, on order to lose weight, you do have to be in a calorie deficit. Because you are in a calorie deficit and gaining weight, this is a time that I would definitely retest your labs and consider going to your physician. Re-evaluating that and also consider not being in such calorie restriction.

Should you count collagen towards your daily protein intake?

Dr. G: No, since it’s an incomplete protein, I wouldn’t recommend counting it towards your total protein intake. It’s missing a few branch chain amino acids that our bodies need.

What are your recommendations for macro ratios?

Don: I always start people at kind of like a 35% protein, 35% carbs, 30% fats, and then I’ll deviate from there but there are so many variables that go into those adjustments – exercise, what’s your diet like etc. It’ll take me two weeks to start to see the evidence and move from there. Just so many of us are undernourished and we need to be careful about that.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon

Dr. Lyon has a doctorate in osteopathic medicine and is board-certified in family medicine. She has studied vitamin and mineral metabolism, chronic disease prevention and management and the physiological effects of diet composition.

She also completed a research/clinical fellowship in Nutritional Science and Geriatrics at Washington University in St. Louis.

She now runs her practice and helps motivated people of any age reach their ideal weight and fullest health potential with the principles of muscle-centric-medicine®.

You can find more details on her website, youtube channel or Instagram.

Don Saladino

Don Saladino is a coach and fitness entrepreneur and has been training actors, athletes and musicians for over 20 years. He has owned and operated several brick and mortar gyms and has expanded to a global online fitness business, coaching over a million clients worldwide.

He has developed a reputation for training some of the biggest names in Hollywood for the big screen. Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Liev Schreiber, Sebastian Stan, Anne Hathaway, Zachary Levi, Hugh Jackman, & David Harbour are among his roster of clients.

You can find more details on his website, youtube channel or Instagram.

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