Image Credit: Orofacial / Flickr. This image has been modified.

The Anti-Wrinkle Diet

The skin is the largest organ in the body—about 20 square feet—and the most vulnerable organ in the body. It’s 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. As we age, our skin becomes thinner, more easily damaged, loses volume and elasticity, and can sag and wrinkle. So what can we do about it?

Three things contribute to the aging of skin: 1) Oxidative stress induced by sun-damage, 2) inflammation, and 3) ischemia or lack of adequate blood flow. Oxidative stress means we need antioxidants so one might predict plant foods would help (see Antioxidant Power of Plant Foods Versus Animal Foods). Similarly saturated fat and cholesterol intake may contribute to inflammation and ischemia (see The Leaky Gut Theory of Why Animal Products Cause Inflammation and Blocking the First Step of Heart Disease). Let’s see if our predictions hold up.

In my 3-min. video Beauty is More than Skin Deep I profile a study that concluded “In particular, a high intake of vegetables, legumes [beans, peas, lentils, and 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.”

For more on the power of prunes see Dried Apples Versus Cholesterol and To Snack or Not to Snack?.

Another recent study found that green tea phytonutrients were able to protect skin against harmful UV radiation and help improve women’s skin quality. After a few months on green tea there was a 16% reduction in skin roughness and a 25% reduction in scaling. See the video for micrographs that track the changes.

For an extraordinary report on green tea and skin health, check out: Treating Gorlin Syndrome With Green Tea.

Eating healthier can produce healthier skin, but who cares about microscopic changes? What about overt visible-to-the-naked eye changes? See my 2-min. video Preventing Wrinkles with Diet to see what dietary intervention may significantly protect against wrinkles in the crow’s foot area around the eyes.

For other videos on appealing to vanity to get people to eat healthier, see:

Want to know what else green vegetables can do? I’ve got 45 videos on greens. Here are a few of my favorites:

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 – 2015 presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

3 responses to “The Anti-Wrinkle Diet

Commenting Etiquette

The intention of the comment section under each video and blog post is to allow all members to share their stories, questions, and feedback with others in a welcoming, engaging, and respectful environment. Off-topic comments are permitted, in hopes more experienced users may be able to point them to more relevant videos that may answer their questions. Vigorous debate of science is welcome so long as participants can disagree respectfully. Advertising products or services is not permitted.

To make a place where people feel comfortable posting without feeling attacked, we have no tolerance for ad hominem attacks or comments that are racist, misogynist, homophobic, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate. Please help us to foster a community of mutual respect. Enforcement of these rules is done to the best of our ability on a case-by-case basis.

  1. I remember a study several years back, which examined the effect of different food components on specific cellular changes in the skin that usually heralds the onset of wrinkles.

    Two distinct factors were found: sugar and milk fat.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This