Dietary Vitamin C: A Wrinkle Reducer?
Many of us strive for a glowing, youthful, wrinkle-free appearance and may even pay a lot of money to try to keep wrinkles at bay with a variety of lotions and potions. But, did you know that I recent study found that wrinkles may have more to do with diet than any other factor?
A 2007 study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that there were several dietary factors that influenced the appearance of skin. This study used data from over 4000 women ages 40-74. The women were required to provide a 24-hour diet recall, to assess their nutrient intake, and their skin was examined by dermatologists to determine aged appearance of their skin. The study found that the number one influence on wrinkle appearance and dryness was Vitamin C intake. Those with high intakes of vitamin C had healthier, younger looking, hydrated skin, when compared to those with lower intakes. Participants who consumed high fat and high carbohydrate diets were found to have more wrinkles. These factors were independent of age, race, sunlight exposure, menopause, or physical activity levels.
So why does vitamin C have such an influence on our skin? Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant, helps to work against free radicals, molecules that cause damage in our bodies. Free radicals are also responsible for the aging process, wrinkles, and loss of skin elasticity. Vitamin C, due to its antioxidant powers, neutralizes these free radicals reducing their ability to do further damage. Vitamin C is also used to rebuild skin, cartilage, and collagen.
Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, citrus fruits, and bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach. A good multivitamin should also provide you with 100% of your vitamin C. The recommended daily allowance for men is 90 mg/day and for women is 75 mg/day. Those who smoke or live in a polluted area should increase their vitamin C intake by at least 35 mg/day. So instead of spending a ton of money on “wrinkle reducing” creams, why not spend that money on fruits and vegetables, your body and skin will thank you.