Adam N. Summers, M.D.
Maryland Plastic Surgery
Cosmetic Surgery & Medical Spa

Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional Supplements

Recent research supports the use of vitamin and nutritional supplementation to promote wellness and improve the quality of our lives. Indeed, vitamin and mineral supplements may provide a greater "return on investment" than any other individual health measure.

Barringer's 2003 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine reports that a daily multivitamin can reduce illness due to infection by as much as 75% percent. Other studies (e.g. Ames, 2002) have demonstrated that diseases due to abnormally functioning enzymes are present in a large percentage of the population and that these diseases can be prevented by increased dosages of the proper nutritional supplements, especially B-vitamins.

Harvard Medical School researchers reviewed years of scientific literature regarding vitamins and found numerous benefits with very little risk. They concluded that "everybody - regardless of age or health status - [should] take a daily multivitamin."

Unfortunately, solid pills are rather difficult for your body to digest. As a matter of fact, numerous studies have shown that as much as 75% of ingested supplements do not get absorbed or utilized by your body. The way to improve absorption of supplements is to ingest either liquid supplements. These supplements move into the lower digestive system quickly, where they are completely absorbed.

Some of the best absorbed products include supplements which are provided either as a liquid or in powder form and are mixed in water just prior to consumption to ensure rapid and complete absorption.  A relative disadvantage of liquid products is that, once opened, they must be refrigerated and consumed within a short period of time to prevent spoilage.  Supplements provided in powder form do not need to be refrigerated, although they should be kept in a sealed container to prevent oxidation.


The Anti-Aging Revolution

Stress — it has long been said that people who handle stress better live longer. Certainly, we are all too familiar with the various events in our lives that lead to emotional stress, the results of which may be immediately apparent in our demeanor and attitude. However, there is another form of stress known as "oxidative stress" that is more insidious, taking its toll on us in ways we have only recently begun to appreciate.

Oxidative stress occurs when environmental exposures, such as cigarette smoke and ultraviolet radiation, or intrinsic factors, such as the metabolism of certain foods, cause the formation of "free radicals."  A free radical is a highly reactive atomic particle that attacks the nearest available molecule, resulting in cellular damage. If damage occurs to one of the DNA strands, then the free radical injury becomes permanent and is passed on during cellular replication.

Oxidative stress can contribute to the development or progression of many disease processes, such as cancer, atherosclerosis, emphysema, diabetes and Alzheimer's. Ironically, some of the activities that may help us to reduce emotional stress—such as relaxing in the sun or enjoying a sugary snack—result in an increase in oxidative stress.

Although our body's natural defenses include enzymes which protect against free radical damage, these mechanisms can be overwhelmed with free radical attacks, resulting in diseases and accelerated aging. Fortunately, many fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals. A number of different antioxidants exist, with some of the most powerful being flavonoids.

Flavonoids impart a rich flavor to the fruit, so it is no surprise that some of the most potent flavonoids (known as polyphenols) are found in the skin of red grapes used to make red wine, where they protect against ultraviolet radiation and act as antibacterial and antiviral agents. The protective effect of polyphenols is enjoyed by individuals who consume fruits, red wine or supplements containing natural polyphenol extracts. In fact, scientific research has demonstrated that polyphenols reduce the degenerative diseases that compromise quality of life as we age.

Many other naturally derived polyphenols, such as those found in acai berries and pomegranates, are known to fight free radicals. However, published evidence shows that resveratrol, a particular polyphenol derived from red grapes or red wine, may be helpful as an anti-aging supplement in addition to being a potent antioxidant. 

Resveratrol is a high potency, all-natural supplement that provides high levels of one of the most powerful naturally occurring anti-oxidants. It is commonly found in red wine and is well-known as a principal part of the healthy Mediterranean diet. Resveratrol naturally concentrates the goodness of wine’s most beneficial molecule without having to consume a single drop of alcohol.

Indeed, red wine has opened the door to what may very well turn out to be the first true anti-aging intervention. Resveratrol not only helps to protect against the harmful effects of UV radiation, but it is the only naturally occurring polyphenol that also reduces the effect of menopause on the skin, helps prevent osteoporosis and activates sirtuins, which are responsible for a caloric restriction effect that slows the aging process and enhances longevity.  The effects are so impressive that 60 Minutes produced the following news segment:


Resveratrol, and other antioxidants, are now widely available as supplements that you may take along with your other supplements (a daily multi-vitamin and omega-3 supplement are also recommended).  For more information on how supplements can help you to achieve health and longevity, visit the Official Nutrition Forum.

As a part of our commitment to help our patients achieve and maintain a youthful, healthy appearance we are offering a complimentary sample of our resveratrol skin cream to each patient undergoing a facial rejuvenation procedure (eg. One Hour Facelift, Mini-Facelift, Full Facelift).  Just ask for your free sample of PureRx® Triple Antioxidant Skin Cream!



Maryland Plastic Surgery is Maryland's premiere cosmetic surgery center and medical spa. The Center's director, Dr. Adam Summers, is an expert cosmetic surgeon who uses advanced techniques to achieve natural looking results. Just 15 minutes from Baltimore, Howard County (Columbia) and Annapolis, the Center specializes in tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), breast augmentation, breast lift, liposuction, rhinoplasty, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and facelift procedures.