A New Wrinkle On Wrinkles   

A New Wrinkle On Wrinkles


Can you eat your way to wrinkle-free skin?
New research suggests that a healthier diet may have a complexion connection. But experts aren't taking the idea at face value. To avoid wrinkles, they say, the main thing to leave off your menu is sunlight.

The intriguing findings come from a study by researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. They found less wrinkling among people who:

Ate lots of vegetables, monounsaturated fat such as olive oil, and legumes such as peas or beans
Cut back on whole-milk products, butter, margarine and sugar

That was the case even when scientists accounted for sun exposure and smoking - both linked with higher wrinkle rates.

This is an important new concept that the food we eat, and the beverage we drink, can play a significant role in skin health- and with it aspects of aging.

The study from the International Union of Nutritional Sciences questioned nearly 500 elderly Caucasians in Greece. Australia and Sweden about their diets.

What could explain less wrinkling among those who ate lots of fruits and vegetables? It may be the high content of antioxidant vitamins like C and E and phytochemicals found in those foods, the researchers wrote. Still, they caution that more research is needed-and other experts agree.
There's a lot to be said for fruits and vegetables with antioxidants that prevent free radicals (unstable compounds in the environment) from breaking down tissues. But just because one study says certain foods may affect wrinkling "doesn't mean that it's true.

With a grain of salt?
A Monash University study found that people who ate certain foods had more wrinkles. With that as-yet- unproven advice in mind, here’s is a look at the alleged good guys and bad guys in tile wrinkle war:
Bad guys:
Full-fat milk and products
Red meat (especially processed meat)
Soft drinks, cordials
Cakes, pastries
Vitamin C (above the recommended dietary intake levels)
Sweet-milk desserts
Ice cream

Good guys
Legumes (especially lima beans and broad or fava beans)
Green leafy vegetables and spinach
Onions and leeks
Dried fruits, prunes
Apples and pears
Multigrain bread

There are a lot of variables, says a New York dermatologist, researcher and author who has studied the effect that diet and nutrients may have on wrinkling and skin cancer. Those variables include genetics, smoking, and true sun exposure, particularly during childhood and adolescence. Studies have shown that people get 80 percent of their sun exposure before they turn 20.

The sun gives off two troublesome kinds of ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB.
Experts believe UVA causes more wrinkles and UVB causes cancer. The sun's effects differ across the globe. For instance, pollution helps filter the sun's rays-and since Australia has less pollution, the sun is more damaging down under.

The Monash study is interesting, but it doesn't prove anything, says James Spencer, M.D., vice chairman of the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. "The sun causes wrinkles, period, end of discussion," he says. "The question is are there other variables that make you more or less susceptible to the sun?"

For years, people thought fat intake might affect your risk of UV-induced skin cancer. "It's not that your diet causes or doesn't cause skin cancer. It's that your diet might change your susceptibility to the sun, "he adds.

But, says Spencer, you can't take back the sun exposure you've already had. He suggests a better way to prevent wrinkles: "Wear your sunscreen and don't go to the beach or the tanning parior - then it doesn't matter what you eat." At least not for your skin.


Happy reading,

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