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Sun, Skin and Carotenoids

Friday, June 24, 2016


Summer is officially here in the Northern Hemisphere. Given the ever-growing intensity of the sun, it's a good time to address the science-based role dietary intake and supplements can play in sun protection.
Our skin and eyes are the only two organs constantly subjected to the potential damage caused by sun exposure.

This short article will focus on sun, skin and wrinkles, which may seem a bit less serious than most of our Friday Pearls, but still a very important issue for our aging population.
   
Given that light-induced free radicals damage the skin, and given the fact that the more energetic blue wavelengths of visible light produce far more free radicals in skin than less energetic red wavelengths of light, one can easily see that sunscreen alone is not enough to properly protect the skin from  aging and other detrimental effects of intense sun exposure for extended periods of time.

Dietary and supplemental antioxidants are suggested in a number of studies to decrease the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) linked to oxidative stress and wrinkles associated with the aging process.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in human skin as a result of dietary intake.

The first indication of the efficacy of lutein and zeaxanthin in human skin was published in 2007. The women in that study ingested an oral antioxidant supplement, 6 mg of lutein and 180 mcg zeaxanthin for 8 weeks.
The study results suggest that the amount of lipid peroxidation present in the skin was statistically reduced within the first 2-week period and continued to decrease throughout the entire study.  Interestingly, the amount of moisture in the skin was increased as early as two weeks and continued to increase throughout the study.

A similar but different, new study published in the June, 2016 Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology suggests that free radicals are involved in the pathogenesis and progression of accelerated skin aging, when and if prolonged oxidative stress occurs.

This study looked at 32 subjects for 12 weeks. The results suggests that the combination of zeaxanthin-based supplements, plus a topical formulation including algae extracts, peptides and hyaluronate, produced far superior skin hydration to that of the placebo.

Properly hydrated skin always look healthier, and it makes most of us feel better.
 
Ellen Troyer, with Spencer Thornton, MD, and the Biosyntrx staff
 


PEARL

Getting ten minutes of early morning sunlight, sans sunscreen, on as much skin as you can expose without being arrested a few times a week, helps increase vitamin D levels, particularly in younger and mid-life light-skin people.
 
Increasing the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin in your skin through dietary intake and supplements has not been suggested to lessen the ability of skin to produce vitamin D, as has the normal aging process.







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Bibliography

Clinical references available in the Biosyntrx office.