Can Patients Eat Their Way to Healthier Skin?
Oral supplementation of micronutrients, or functional foods, to prevent aging has gained much attention and popularity as society ages and becomes more affluent, and as science reveals the pathological mechanisms of aging. Aging of the skin combines biologic aging and extrinsic aging caused predominantly by sunlight and other environmental toxins. Anti-aging functional foods exert their influence mostly through their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, there-by abrogating collagen degradation and/or increasing procollagen synthesis. Clinical evidence supporting a role in preventing cutaneous aging is available for oral supplements such as carotenoids, polyphenols, chlorophyll, aloe vera, vitamins C and E, red ginseng, squalene, and omega-3 fatty acids. Collagen peptides and proteoglycans are claimed to provide building blocks of the dermal matrix. This review summarizes the current study findings of these functional foods.
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