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    Supplements may help improve the skin

    A growing body of research is evaluating whether changes in the diets, and taking certain supplements, can improve the appearance of the skin and reduce the signs of ageing of the skin. Dermatologist Dr Patricia Farris, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, gives her feedback on some of the current research into “Nutricosmetics”.

    Some of the research findings include:

    • Individuals taking a daily supplement containing collagen peptides experienced a significant reduction in eye wrinkle depth, improvement in their skin’s collagen and elastin after eight weeks of taking the supplements
    • Diets high in vitamin C and linoleic acid and low in fat and carbohydrates are associated with fewer wrinkles and age-related dryness and less skin thinning
    • Reducing sugar intake may protect elastin and collagen molecules in the skin. Research has shown that a diet high in sugar can damage these molecules, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin
    • A supplement containing a combination of beta carotene, lycopene, vitamins C and E, selenium and proanthocyanidins was shown to provide some protection against sunburn and damaging enzymes that break down collagen
    • Studies have shown diets full of high glycemic index foods, such as processed breads or snacks or sugary carbonated drinks, or high in dairy may contribute to acne flares,
    • Nutritional intervention with probiotics may treat or even prevent atopic dermatitis
    • Psoriasis may be improved by following a low-calorie diet

    Full details of Dr Farris’s assessment of current research into diet and supplements to improve the appearance of the skin, can be found on the American Academy of Dermatology website.


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