Some foods appear protective against the development of skin wrinkles, while others may make them worse.
The skin is the largest organ in the body—about 20 square feet—and the most vulnerable organ in the body, exposed to both the oxidizing effects of UV radiation from the sun, and the oxidizing effects of oxygen in the air. And years of oxidant stress can take a toll. Over the years, skin becomes thinner, more easily damaged, loses volume, elasticity, and can sag and wrinkle. What can we do about it? “Skin wrinkling: can food made a difference?” They measured healthfulness of skin using a microtopographic method, making a mold of the back of the hand with a silicone rubber, peeling it off and looking at it under the microscope. This is what young, tight healthy skin looks like, but then as we age, our skin can get all coarse and flaccid. How can we stop it? Three things contribute to the aging of skin. Oxidative stress, induced by sun-damage, inflammation, and ischemia, lack of adequate blood flow.” Oxidative stress means we need antioxidants. Under these circumstances, many skin antioxidants undergo depletion and must be replaced continuously in order to delay the otherwise inevitable deterioration which would lead to skin aging. So plant foods would presumably help. And then inflammation and lack of blood flow, and so one might predict that saturated fat—inflammation—and cholesterol—ischemia, might be associated with adverse effects on our skin. Let’s see if our predictions hold up. “In particular, a high intake of vegetables, beans/peas/lentils/soy and olive oil appeared to be protective against skin wrinkling, whereas a high intake of meat, dairy and butter appeared to have an adverse effect. Prunes, apples and tea appeared especially protective. A recent study, for example, found that green tea phytonutrients were able to protect skin against harmful UC radiation and help improve skin quality of women. After a few months on green tea was a 16% reduction in skin roughness and a 25% reduction in scaling— Here’s micrographs showing the reduction in scaling, as well as improved skin elasticity and hydration.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Ashley Rhinehart, RN.
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Those same three factors, ischemia, oxidation, and inflammation, also contribute to our leading killer. See Arterial Acne, Blocking the First Step of Heart Disease, and The Leaky Gut Theory of Why Animal Products Cause Inflammation. More on the power of prunes in Dried Apples Versus Cholesterol and To Snack or Not to Snack?. For an extraordinary report on green tea and skin health, check out: Treating Gorlin Syndrome With Green Tea.
For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Stool Size and Breast Cancer Risk, The Anti-Wrinkle Diet, Best Dried Fruit For Cholesterol , Treating Sensitive Skin From the Inside Out, and Diet and Cellulite
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