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Your Summer Supplements:

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

In preparation for summertime, we buy new bathing suits and sunscreen, change our diet to eat more fruits and vegetables that are in season, and change up our skincare routine to match the warmer temperatures and oilier skin. So wouldn’t it make sense to add some new additions to your daily supplement routine for the summer months, too?


Dr. Johnson recommends all her patients take Heliocare and Astaxathine to properly prepare and protect your skin from the harsh summer sun.

Heliocare 101:


Heliocare is a powerful formula of antioxidants. Its active mechanism is derived from the Polypodium leucotomos fern. Polypodium leucotomos extract (PLE) has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples to treat skin-related conditions and promote skin resilience. PLE provides protection against free radicals. Free radicals can damage the skin in their attempt to steal electrons from other molecules which cause direct damage to our skin’s DNA. Damage to our DNA results in accelerated skin aging. Heliocare prevents this damage by replacing the missing electron in free radicals.


Heliocare and PLE have many, many great benefits for the health of your skin:

  • PLE has been proven to act as a photoprotective agent- decreasing UVB damage to the skin.

  • Heliocare has been demonstrated to reduce the rates of new nonmelanoma skin cancers.

  • PLE has demonstrated to improve cell membrane integrity and elastin expression- which decrease the aging of the skin.

  • Heliocare and PLE have demonstrated the ability to protect tissue from sun damage and limit the inflammatory response that follows.

  • Heliocare has the potential for application in the treatment and management of skin disorders such as vitiligo, melasma, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis.

  • The anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of PLE have also been shown to decrease the likelihood of immunosuppression in athletes following strenuous exercise


Astaxanthin 101:


Similar to Heliocare, Astaxanthin is a very strong antioxidant. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, a type of antioxidant that gives an orange hue to foods like salmon, tomatoes, and carrots. The best source of astaxanthin is Pacific salmon, and it what gives the fish its strong pinkish color. Again, like Heliocare, astaxanthin provides your body with protection from free radicals and oxidative stress. Astaxanthin is especially powerful in fighting against free radicals, one study found it had the highest antioxidant activity among other carotenoids. Due to these powerful antioxidant properties, some studies are currently exploring astaxanthin’s potential capability as a treatment for some types of cancer.


What is proven is that astaxanthin has some major benefits for your skin, especially in the summer months:

  • Astaxanthin protects again UV rays. Whether applied topically or ingested, astaxanthin has been found to naturally block UV rays.

  • Astaxanthin repairs DNA damage: In protecting against UV damage, astaxanthin is also benefiting DNA, as sun damage = DNA damage. One study also found that astaxanthin improved DNA repair capabilities following UV damage.

  • The immune system is bolstered by astaxanthin: A 2018 review found that astaxanthin enhances the body’s stores of immunoglobulin, which is used by the immune system to fight off viruses and melanoma.

  • Prevent wrinkles: Astaxanthin prevents free radical damage, which results in less skin inflammation and improved fine lines and wrinkles in aging skin.

  • Astaxanthin can help moisturize dry skin: Whether taken orally or topically, some studies have found that astaxanthin can help preserve young-looking skin.

  • Astaxanthin fights free radicals: Due to astaxanthin’s antioxidant properties, it assists the skin in responding to oxidative damage from the sun and prohibit the formation of free radicals in the body.


Several studies have gone so far as to suggest Heliocare and Astaxanthin are nearly as effective as other photoprotective agents like sunscreen, clothing, and seeking shade. These supplements are also a more accessible form of photoprotection, as you do not need to worry about reapplication or missing a spot- as the case with sunscreen.


If you’re interested in order Heliocare or Astaxanthin, click here to contact us!


The Johnson Center for Health services patients in-person in our Blacksburg and Virginia Beach / Norfolk locations. We also offer telemedicine for residents of Virginia and North Carolina!


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