Antioxidants help improve skin's health
Skin Pharmacology & Physiology, 'Antioxidant supplements improve parameters related to skin structure in humans', Heinrich U et al, 2006.
In the present study we investigated the influence of two different antioxidant supplements composed of carotenoids, vitamin E and selenium on parameters related to skin health and skin aging. Thirty-nine volunteers with healthy, normal skin of skin type 2 were divided into 3 groups (n = 13) and supplemented for a period of 12 weeks.
Method: Group 1 received a mixture of lycopene (3 mg/day), lutein (3 mg/day), beta-carotene (4.8 mg/day), alpha-tocopherol (10 mg/day) and selenium (75 microg/day).
Group 2 was supplemented with a mixture of lycopene (6 mg/day), beta-carotene (4.8 mg/day), alpha-tocopherol (10 mg/day) and selenium (75 microg/day).
Group 3 was the placebo control. Upon supplementation serum levels of selected carotenoids increased in both verum groups. Skin density and thickness were determined by ultrasound measurements.
Results: A significant increase for both parameters was determined in the verum groups. Roughness, scaling, smoothness and wrinkling of the skin were determined by Surface Evaluation of Living Skin (Visioscan). Roughness and scaling were improved by the supplementation with antioxidant micronutrients. In the placebo group no changes were found for any of the parameters.
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 'A new potent natural antioxidant mixture provides global protection against oxidative skin cell damage', Jorge AT et al 2011.
Oxidative stress occurs when there is an over production of free radicals and cells are not able to neutralize them by their own antioxidant mechanisms. These excess of free radicals will attack cellular macromolecules leading to cell damage, function impairment or death. Because of that, antioxidant substances have been largely used in products to offer complementary protection.
In this study a new mixture of three known antioxidants (cocoa, green tea and alpha-tocopherol) was evaluated and its antioxidant protection was assessed focusing on its capacity to protect main cell macromolecules.
Results: Results have shown that it has a high antioxidant capacity by protecting lipids, DNA and proteins against oxidative damage. The antioxidant effect of the mixture on cells was also investigated and it was able to reduce oxidative stress generated by lipopolisacharide in human fibroblasts. Finally, as the mixture has proved to be highly antioxidant, its effect on cell senescence was evaluated, and it was demonstrated that fibroblasts in culture had delayed senescence when treated with these actives on a mixture.
All results together provide important data about a new antioxidant mixture that uses a small amount of actives and is able to protect cell against oxidative damages in a global way.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) States:
Nutrition experts at the Harvard School of Public Health have created an online version of a food pyramid with a notation recommending a "daily multivitamin plus extra vitamin D (for most people)."
Recognizing the special nutritional needs of senior citizens, researchers at Tufts University designed a food guide pyramid for the elderly, which features a flag at the top as a reminder that supplements of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12 may be needed for optimal health. The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) has a policy statement emphasizing the importance of good food choices but also recognizing that supplements can help some people meet their nutritional needs.
Supplement use should be seen as one component of the search for a healthier lifestyle, including improvements in overall food habits and engaging in physical exercise.
A generous intake of calcium plus vitamin D demonstrably helps build optimum bone mass during childhood and adolescence and also slows the rate of bone loss that naturally occurs with ageing.
Nutritional supplements are helpful in addressing a woman's increased nutrient needs during pregnancy. Prenatal multivitamins with minerals are commonly prescribed to ensure that both the baby's and the mother's needs are met. In addition to meeting normal nutritional needs during pregnancy, a multivitamin can also play a critical role in protecting against some birth defects. An abundance of data shows that women who get 400 mcg of supplemental folic acid per day for one to three months prior to conception and one to three months after conception can substantially lower the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect such as spina bifida.
While adequate nutrient intake is critical for all age groups, it may have particular significance for the elderly. Calcium and vitamin D supplements, as previously noted, can have a powerful impact on bone health, and the Surgeon General says it is never too late to benefit from improved intakes of these nutrients. Vitamin D may also reduce the incidence of falls in older people. Vitamin and mineral supplements have been shown in some studies to improve immune functionin the elderly.
Low zinc intakes are associated with an increased risk of infections, including pneumonia. Supplemental intakes of vitamin E have had a positive effect in decreasing upper respiratory infections in some studies. For these reasons, it makes sense to encourage the elderly to use multivitamin and mineral supplements.
The bottom line is that a healthy lifestyle must include a focus on dietary improvement. Generous intakes of the essential nutrients will support the normal functioning of the body and enhance health in a myriad of ways. The rational use of nutritional supplements, combined with a healthy diet, will contribute substantially to health promotion and disease prevention.