Healthier Looking Skin

January 30, 2012 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

My philosophy about aging mirrors my outlook about well being in general. Simply put, I think that any sign of aging that bothers you should be addressed – if there’s a pragmatic and relatively safe way to do so. Changes in skin appearance is one of the most obvious manifestations of advancing age. Fortunately, there are a number of dietary supplements that address thinning skin, uneven pigmentation and wrinkling. And, perhaps best of all, these nutritional aids also provide a host of “side benefits” for other aging organs and systems.

Pycnogenol, an antioxidant-rich extract from pine bark, is the one of most promising anti-aging nutraceuticals. A just published study involving 20 postmenopausal women found that supplementing with 75 mg/day of Pycnogenol for 12 weeks resulted in a 25% improvement in skin elasticity, an 8% hike in skin hydration and a 3% decline in skin wrinkling. A previous trial examining the effects of 100 mg/day of Pycnogenol in 38 menopausal women determined that it also reduced symptoms of dryness and irritation such as itchy skin.

Purified extracts from the leaves of the ginkgo biloba tree are frequently used to address cognitive deficits associated with aging. Improvements in blood flow and protection against oxidative stress are a few of the primary mechanisms involved in ginkgo’s brain supportive activity. According to two recent studies, these same beneficial traits may improve the appearance of aging skin by evening out pigmentation and increasing microcirculation to the liver and skin.

An unlikely ally in the quest for healthier looking skin may be as close as your local dairy aisle. A number of probiotics commonly found in kefir and yogurt may counter immune dysfunction and inflammation that damages skin. The regular consumption of cultured foods and/or probiotic supplements featuring strains such as Lactobacillus Johnsonii and Lactobacillus Salivarius are linked to improvements in acne, atopic dermatitis and protection against UV radiation – a leading cause of age spots and wrinkles.

The above mentioned foods and supplements are suitable for men and women of all ages. However, there are select herbal remedies that are specifically intended for older women. Both red clover and soybean extracts possess naturally occurring phytoestrogens that address some of the symptoms associated with mid-life hormonal changes. Current trials reveal that an extract of red clover (standardized to 80 mg/day of isoflavones) and soy (providing 30 mg/day of S-equol) improve various aspects of skin health in postmenopausal women including: dry scalp, skin moisture and texture, and wrinkle depth. Previous research in an animal model of menopause reports that red clover isoflavones prevent skin changes caused by declining estrogen production.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – Pycnogenol® Effects on Skin Elasticity and Hydration Coincide (link)

Study 2 – Supplementation with Pycnogenol® Improves Signs and Symptoms (link)

Study 3 – A New Ginkgo Fresh Plant Extract Increases Microcirculation(link)

Study 4 – Ginkgo Biloba for the Treatment of Vitilgo Vulgaris (link)

Study 5 – Effects of Lactobacillus Salivarius LS01 (DSM 22775) Treatment (link)

Study 6 – Acne Vulgaris, Probiotics and the Gut-Brain-Skin Axis (link)

Study 7 – Probiotics for Photoprotection (link)

Study 8 – Effect of Red Clover Isoflavones Over Skin, Appendages (link)

Study 9 – Effects of Isoflavones from Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) on (link)

Study 10 – The Effects of Natural S-Equol Supplementation on Skin Aging (link)

Probiotics Affect the Gut-Brain-Skin Axis

Source: Gut Pathogens 2011, 3:1 (link)

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements, Women's Health

24 Comments & Updates to “Healthier Looking Skin”

  1. Michal Says:

    Even though it was known for decades that intestinal bacteria were responsible for the production of S-(-)equol, it is only in recent years that specific bacteria capable of converting daidzin/daidzein to S-(-)equol have been isolated and identified in humans (see below) and animals. Interestingly, higher consumption of green tea may enhance equol production.
    Bacteroides ovatus, Bifidobacterium, Bifidobacterium sp (22 strains), Clostridium-like bacterium, Eggerthella sp Julong 732, Eggerthella sp YY7918, Enterococcus faecium, Escherichia coli (HGH21 and HGH6), Finegoldia magna, Lactobacillus mucosae, Lactobacillus sp Niu-O16, Lactococcus garvieae (Lc 20-92), Ruminococcus productus, Slackia sp HE8, Slackia sp HE9, Slackia equolifaciens (Strain DZE), Strain PUE, Streptococcus intermedius, Veillonella sp, and Mixture of Lactobacillus mucosae EP12, Enterococcus faecium EP11, Finegoldia magna EP13, and Veillonella sp.

  2. JP Says:

    Thank you for your valuable contribution, Michal. Much appreciated!

    Be well!


  3. JP Says:

    More evidence supporting the use of essential fatty acids for acne:

    Acta Derm Venereol. 2014 Feb 18. doi: 10.2340/00015555-1802.

    Effect of Dietary Supplementation with Omega-3 Fatty Acid and gamma-linolenic Acid on Acne Vulgaris: A Randomised, Double-blind, Controlled Trial.

    Jung JY1, Kwon HH, Hong JS, Yoon JY, Park MS, Jang MY, Suh DH.

    This study was undertaken to evaluate the clinical efficacy, safety, and histological changes induced by dietary omega-3 fatty acid and γ-linoleic acid in acne vulgaris. A 10-week, randomised, controlled parallel dietary intervention study was performed in 45 participants with mild to moderate acne, which were allocated to either an omega-3 fatty acid group (2,000 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid), a γ-linoleic acid group (borage oil containing 400 mg γ-linoleic acid), or a control group. After 10 weeks of omega-3 fatty acid or γ-linoleic acid supplementation, inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions decreased significantly. Patient subjective assessment of improvement showed a similar result. Heamatoxylin and eosin staining of acne lesions demonstrated reductions in inflammation and immunohistochemical staining intensity for interleukin-8. No severe adverse effect was reported. This study shows for the first time that omega-3 fatty acid and γ-linoleic acid could be used as adjuvant treatments for acne patients.

    Be well!


  4. JP Says:

    Update: Passing along a testimonial from a long time client:

    Hi JP,

    Two weeks ago I started applying the SHIKAI BORAGE THERAPY dry skin lotion to my forearms, hands and legs in the morning as I got up and at night before bedtime. When I apply this lotion I notice that it gets absorbed promptly and there is not a residual stickiness typical of other moisturizing creams.

    I am impressed of the improvement that my skin has experienced both in suppleness,strength and mini wrinkles. I used to start bleeding easily at any minor scratch and now it is not happening! Even if the bleeding stopped promptly it was still a nuisance. No more!

    Please feel free to share my success with other ladies in my age group (almost 77) and skinny complexion probably prone to have thin skin and being prone to easy bruising!

    Thank you much for your successful targeted prescription! Of course this treatment is becoming a daily habit for me to continue enjoying more youth like skin!

    Of course I am practicing also your recommendations of consuming a healthy diet and enjoying daily good dark unsweetened chocolate .

    Giuliana F.

    Be well!


  5. JP Says:

    Update: A diet rich in fish, veggies and low in sugar improves skin microcirculation …

    Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014 Feb;34(2):463-9.

    Associations between dietary patterns and skin microcirculation in healthy subjects.


    Microvascular dysfunction is suggested to be a marker of common pathophysiological mechanisms in the development of insulin resistance, cardiovascular diseases, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Given the established relationship of diet with the macrovascular disease, the aim of this study was to investigate for the first time the possible associations between dietary patterns and microcirculation.


    Two hundred ninety-one healthy men and women selected from the Supplementation en Vitamines et Mineraux Antioxydants 2′ cohort were assessed for anthropometric, nutritional, biochemical, and microcirculation parameters using finger skin capillaroscopy. Dietary intake was assessed cross-sectionally using a food frequency questionnaire, and principal component analysis was used to identify dietary patterns from 40 food groups. Six dietary patterns were identified. A dietary pattern characterized by increased consumption of vegetable oils, poultry, and fish and seafood was positively associated with both functional and anatomic capillary density after adjusting for confounders (β=0.13, P=0.05 and β=0.20, P=0.00, respectively). A second dietary pattern with increased consumption of sweets was inversely associated with functional and anatomic capillary density in all multivariate models (β=-0.14, P=0.03 and β=-0.17, P=0.01). There were no associations between any of the derived dietary patterns and capillary recruitment.


    In healthy subjects, a dietary pattern characterized by an increased consumption of vegetable oils, poultry, and fish and seafood and low consumption of sweets was associated with better microvascular function. Further prospective studies are needed to confirm the present association.

    Be well!


  6. JP Says:

    Update: Dietary supplement improves appearance, health of aging skin …

    Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology; Volume 144, March 2015

    A dietary supplement improves facial photoaging and skin sebum, hydration and tonicity modulating serum fibronectin, neutrophil elastase 2, hyaluronic acid and carbonylated proteins

    “In the present study, administration of a dietary supplement containing Pycnogenol®, low-molecular-weight HA, collagen, glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate and coenzyme Q10 significantly improved facial photoaging, as assessed 2 weeks after the end of a 4-week treatment period. This finding coupled with a significant increase in sebum, hydration and tonicity, if compared with placebo. The improvement in facial photoaging also coupled with an increase in serum fibronectin and HA and a decrease in serum carbonylated proteins and neutrophil elastase 2. Our findings suggest a systemic modulation of these parameters that may represent biomarkers of photoaging pathology and could be used to monitor progression or improvement in this condition. The results from this study are in agreement with a previous investigation where a dietary formulation (BioCell Collagen®) administered for 12 weeks improved skin dryness/scaling and global lines/wrinkles with a significant increase in hemoglobin and collagen in skin dermis at 6 weeks and hemoglobin at the end of the study [16]. In summary, our dietary compound shows a synergistic efficacy of its individual ingredients in improving facial photoaging 2 weeks after the end of a 4-week treatment period. Pycnogenol®, HA, collagen, glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate and coenzyme Q10, which all possess a rationale of efficacy in modulating the ECM, can be put together in a dietary compound that produces an improvement in skin photoaging also modulating serum HA, carbonylated proteins, fibronectin and neutrophil elastase 2 levels. The clinical meaning of these parameters and their involvement in the photoaging pathophysiology at the systemic level warrant further investigation. Future studies will also address the long-term effects of the formulation used in this investigation in patients affected by photoaging. A limitation of our study is that the ELISAs we used do not allow to discriminate among different forms of some of the analytes that have been the object of our investigation.”

    Be well!


  7. JP Says:

    Update: A combination of astaxanthin and collagen protein benefits skin elasticity …

    J Med Food. 2014 Jul;17(7):810-6.

    Supplementating with dietary astaxanthin combined with collagen hydrolysate improves facial elasticity and decreases matrix metalloproteinase-1 and -12 expression: a comparative study with placebo.

    Photoaging accounts for most age-related changes in skin appearance. It has been suggested that both astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant, and collagen hydrolysate can be used as antiaging modalities in photoaged skin. However, there is no clinical study using astaxanthin combined with collagen hydrolysate. We investigated the effects of using a combination of dietary astaxanthin and collagen hydrolysate supplementation on moderately photoaged skin in humans. A total of 44 healthy subjects were recruited and treated with astaxanthin (2 mg/day) combined with collagen hydrolysate (3 g/day) or placebos, which were identical in appearance and taste to the active supplementation for 12 weeks. The elasticity and hydration properties of facial skin were evaluated using noninvasive objective devices. In addition, we also evaluated the expression of procollagen type I, fibrillin-1, matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) and -12, and ultraviolet (UV)-induced DNA damage in artificially UV-irradiated buttock skin before and after treatment. The supplement group showed significant improvements in skin elasticity and transepidermal water loss in photoaged facial skin after 12 weeks compared with the placebo group. In the supplement group, expression of procollagen type I mRNA increased and expression of MMP-1 and -12 mRNA decreased compared with those in the placebo group. In contrast, there was no significant difference in UV-induced DNA damage between groups. These results demonstrate that dietary astaxanthin combined with collagen hydrolysate can improve elasticity and barrier integrity in photoaged human facial skin, and such treatment is well tolerated.

    Be well!


  8. JP Says:

    Updated 07/20/15:

    Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015 Jun 29;8:319-28.

    Assessment of clinical effects and safety of an oral supplement based on marine protein, vitamin C, grape seed extract, zinc, and tomato extract in the improvement of visible signs of skin aging in men.

    BACKGROUND: Skin aging is a natural process that may be aggravated by environmental factors. Topical products are the conventional means to combat aging; however, the use of oral supplements is on the rise to assist in the management of aged skin.

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the effects and safety of an oral supplement containing (per tablet) marine protein (105 mg), vitamin C (27 mg), grape seed extract (13.75 mg), zinc (2 mg), and tomato extract (14.38 mg) in the improvement of skin aging in men.

    METHODS: This single-center, open-label, quasi-experimental clinical study enrolled 47 male subjects, aged 30-45 years, with phototypes I-IV on the Fitzpatrick scale. Subjects received two tablets of the oral supplement for 180 consecutive days. Each subject served as their own control. Clinical assessments were made by medical personnel and by the subjects, respectively. Objective assessments were carried out through pH measurements, sebumetry, corneometry, ultrasound scanning, skin biopsies, and photographic images.

    RESULTS: Forty-one subjects (87%) completed the study. Clinical improvements on both investigator- and subject-rated outcomes were found for the following parameters: erythema, hydration, radiance, and overall appearance (P<0.05). The objective measurements in the facial skin showed significant improvements from baseline in skin hydration (P<0.05), dermal ultrasound density (P<0.001), and reduction of skin pH (P<0.05). No statistical improvement in relation to sebum was found. The photographic assessment showed an improvement in the overall appearance. The results of the objective measurements were found to be correlated with the subjects' satisfaction by an increase of collagen and elastic fibers.

    CONCLUSION: The use of an oral supplement based on a unique biomarine complex, vitamin C, grape seed extract, zinc, and tomato extract produced improvements in the signs of skin aging in men.

    Be well!


  9. JP Says:

    Updated 09/28/15:

    J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Sep 12.

    The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials.

    BACKGROUND: Skin dryness and an accelerated fragmentation of the collagen network in the dermis are hallmarks of skin aging. Nutrition is a key factor influencing skin health and consequently its appearance. A wide range of dietary supplements is offered to improve skin health. Collagen peptides are used as a bioactive ingredient in nutricosmetic products and have been shown in preclinical studies to improve skin barrier function, to induce the synthesis of collagen and hyaluronic acid, and to promote fibroblast growth and migration. Our aim was to investigate the effect of oral supplementation with specific collagen peptides on skin hydration and the dermal collagen network in a clinical setting.

    METHODS: Two placebo-controlled clinical trials were run to assess the effect of a daily oral supplementation with collagen peptides on skin hydration by corneometry, on collagen density by high-resolution ultrasound and on collagen fragmentation by reflectance confocal microscopy. Human skin explants were used to study extracellular matrix components in the presence of collagen peptides ex vivo.

    RESULTS: Oral collagen peptide supplementation significantly increased skin hydration after 8 weeks of intake. The collagen density in the dermis significantly increased and the fragmentation of the dermal collagen network significantly decreased already after 4 weeks of supplementation. Both effects persisted after 12 weeks. Ex vivo experiments demonstrated that collagen peptides induce collagen as well as glycosaminoglycan production, offering a mechanistic explanation for the observed clinical effects.

    CONCLUSION: The oral supplementation with collagen peptides is efficacious to improve hallmarks of skin aging.

    Be well!


  10. JP Says:

    Updated 10/23/15:

    Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2015 Oct 23;29(1):13-17.

    French Maritime Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol®) Effects on Human Skin: Clinical and Molecular Evidence.

    Nutritional strategies to benefit skin health are of growing importance. Current approaches mainly involve nutritional supplements containing antioxidants which were initially designed to protect human skin against ultraviolet radiation-induced damage. Within recent years, however, a growing number of studies suggests that the beneficial effects of these products clearly extend beyond photoprotection. In this review we take the nutritional supplement Pycnogenol®, which is based on an extract prepared from French marine pine bark extract, as an example to illustrate this development. Accordingly, the existing data provide compelling evidence that Pycnogenol® intake does not only provide photoprotection, but may be used to (i) reduce hyperpigmentation of human skin and (ii) improve skin barrier function and extracellular matrix homeostasis.

    Be well!


  11. JP Says:

    Updated 2/4/16:

    J Sci Food Agric. 2016 Feb 3.

    Ingestion of bioactive collagen hydrolysates enhance facial skin moisture and elasticity and reduce facial aging signs in a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study.

    BACKGROUND: Several human studies have demonstrated occurrence of two major collagen peptides, prolyl-hydroxyproline (Pro-Hyp), hydroxyprolyl-glycine (Hyp-Gly), in human peripheral blood. Some in vitro studies have demonstrated that Pro-Hyp and Hyp-Gly has chemotaxis to dermal fibroblast and enhance cell proliferation. Additionally, Pro-Hyp enhances the production of hyaluronic acid by dermal fibroblast. These findings suggest that contents of Pro-Hyp and Hyp-Gly in blood are important factors to exhibit the efficacy of collagen hydrolysates on skin health.

    RESULTS: We conducted a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial of ingestion of two types of collagen hydrolysates, which are composed of different contents of the bioactive dipeptides, Pro-Hyp and Hyp-Gly, to investigate their effects on skin condition improvement. Improvement in skin conditions such as skin moisture, elasticity, wrinkles, and roughness were compared with a placebo group at baseline, and four and eight weeks after the start of the trial. In addition, the safety of dietary supplementation with these peptides was evaluated by blood test. Collagen hydrolysate with a higher content of bioactive collagen peptides (H-CP) showed significant and more improvement than the collagen hydrolysate with a lower content of bioactive collagen peptides (L-CP) and the placebo, in facial skin moisture, elasticity (R2), wrinkles and roughness, compared with the placebo group. In addition, there were no adverse events during the trial.

    CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that the collagen hydrolysate with a higher content of Pro-Hyp and Hyp-Gly, showed more improvement in facial skin condition, including facial skin moisture, elasticity, wrinkles and roughness.

    Be well!


  12. JP Says:

    Updated 04/15/16:

    Berry Drink Shows Skin Benefits

    “A polyphenol-rich red and black currant berry drink has shown significant anti-wrinkle and skin smoothing benefits in a 12-week French study.”

    Be well!


  13. JP Says:

    Updated 05/30/16:

    Biological effects of rutin on skin aging.

    Rutin, a quercetin glycoside is a member of the bioflavonoid family which is known to possess antioxidant properties. In the present study, we aimed to confirm the anti‑aging effects of rutin on human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) and human skin. We examined the effects of rutin using a cell viability assay, senescence-associated-β-galactosidase assay, reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and by measuring reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging activity in vitro. To examine the effects of rutin in vivo, rutin‑containing cream was applied to human skin. A double-blind clinical study was conducted in 40 subjects aged between 30-50 years and divided into control and experimental groups. The test material was applied for 4 weeks. After 2 and 4 weeks, dermal density, skin elasticity, the length and area of crow’s feet, and number of under-eye wrinkles following the application of either the control or the rutin-containing cream were analyzed. Rutin increased the mRNA expression of collagen, type I, alpha 1 (COL1A1) and decreased the mRNA expression of matrix metallopeptidase 1 (MMP1) in HDFs. We verified that ROS scavenging activity was stimulated by rutin in a dose‑dependent manner and we identified that rutin exerted protective effects under conditions of oxidative stress. Furthermore, rutin increased skin elasticity and decreased the length, area and number of wrinkles. The consequences of human aging are primarily visible on the skin, such as increased wrinkling, sagging and decreased elasticity. Overall, this study demonstrated the biological effects of rutin on ROS-induced skin aging.

    Be well!


  14. JP Says:

    Updated 06/11/16:

    Acta Derm Venereol. 2016 Jun 9.

    Efficacy of Biofeedback and Cognitive-behavioural Therapy in Psoriatic PatientsA Single-blind, Randomized and Controlled Study with Added Narrow-band Ultraviolet B Therapy.

    Increasing data suggests that there is a connection between stress and the appearance of psoriasis symptoms. We therefore performed a clinical trial enrolling 40 participants who were randomly allocated to either an 8-week cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) (treatment group) plus narrow-band UVB phototherapy or to an 8-week course of only narrow-band UVB phototherapy (control group). We evaluated the clinical severity of psoriasis (PASI), General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)-12, Skindex-29 and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) at baseline and by the end of the study. Sixty-five percent of patients in the treatment group achieved PASI75 compared with 15% of standard UVB patients (p = 0.007). GHQ-12 cases were reduced from 45% to 10% in the treatment group and from 30% to 20% in the control group (p = 0.05). The Skindex-29 emotional domain showed a significant improvement in the CBT/biofeedback group compared with control patients (-2.8 points, p = 0.04). This study shows that an adjunctive 8-week intervention with CBT combined with biofeedback increases the beneficial effect of UVB therapy in the overall management of psoriasis, reduces the clinical severity of psoriasis, improving quality of life and decreases the number of minor psychiatric disorders.

    Be well!


  15. JP Says:

    Updated 06/26/16:

    J Cosmet Dermatol. 2016 Jun 17.

    Zeaxanthin-based dietary supplement and topical serum improve hydration and reduce wrinkle count in female subjects.

    BACKGROUND: Dietary modification, through supplementation and elimination diets, has become an area of interest to help slow skin aging, reduce symptom severity or prevent reoccurrence of certain dermatologic conditions [Clinical Dermatology vol. 31 (2013) 677-700]. Free radical components (reactive oxygen species or ROS) or lipid peroxide (LPO) is involved in the pathogenesis and progression of accelerated skin aging when prolonged oxidative stress occurs. The use of antioxidant-related therapies such as nutraceuticals is of particular interest in restoring skin homeostasis. Antioxidant carotenoid zeaxanthin is concentrated in the eye and skin tissue and believed to decrease the formation of ROS associated with UV light exposure. With zeaxanthin, phytoceramides, and botanical extracts an oral and topical test product (with zeaxanthin, algae extracts, peptides, hyaluronate) have been developed to improve the appearance and condition of skin when used as directed.

    METHODS: Subjects were divided into three groups: two tests (skin formula 1 – oral product alone (ZO-1), skin formula 2- oral product with topical product (ZO-2 + ZT)), and one placebo control. The study consisted of a washout visit, baseline (randomization), week two (2), week four (4), week six (6), week eight (8), and week twelve (12). Key parameters measured were as follows: fine lines, deep lines, total wrinkles, wrinkle severity, radiance/skin color (L, a*, b*), discolorations, and skin pigment homogeneity.

    RESULTS: Thirty-one subjects completed the twelve-week study; no adverse events were recorded during the study. Statistically significant improvements from baseline mean hydration score were observed in active groups at weeks 2, 6, and 8. A statistically significant difference was observed between mean differences from baseline scores for total wrinkle count at week 4 for the combination active groups compared to placebo. A statistically significant difference from baseline scores for fine lines count was also observed at the week 4 visit compared to placebo for both active groups. Statistically significant differences from baseline scores for average wrinkles severity were seen for week 12 visit for both active groups compared to placebo.

    CONCLUSION: We have shown that the combination of zeaxanthin-based dietary supplement plus a topical formulation produces superior hydration to that of placebo. Additionally, we have shown that the combination of oral and topical combination vs. oral alone has superior abilities to improve parameters associated with facial lines and wrinkles compared to placebo, although the dietary supplement alone proved most effective in reducing wrinkle count and severity.

    Be well!


  16. JP Says:

    Updated 08/09/16:

    J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2016 Apr-Jun;30(2 Suppl 3):115-9.

    Efficacy and safety of Dr Michaels® (Soratinex®) product family for the topical treatment of psoriasis: a monitored status study.

    The aim of the study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of Michaels® (Soratinex®) remedies in patients suffering from chronic plaque psoriasis in a Czech population. Seventy-five (34 female/41 male) patients, aged 18-72 years old (mean age: 38.5 years) with mild to severe plaque psoriasis participated in the study. The products, including cleansing gel, ointment and skin conditioner, containing fruit acid complex, herbal oils and emulsifiers, were used twice daily and in the same manner for all the skin lesions. The study period was eight weeks. Histologic variables and various blood picture parameters, including FW, glucose, cholesterol, triacylglyceroles, bilirubin, GMT, ALT, AST, creatinine, uric acid and urea in blood were monitored, before and after therapy with Michaels® (Soratinex®) treatment. Assessment, using the Psoriasis Activity Severity Index (PASI) scores and photographic analysis, was done at time 0, and after 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks. Patient’s improvement was determined by the percentage reduction of the PASI scores. Side effects and tolerability were also evaluated. After 8 weeks using Dr Michaels® (Soratinex®) treatment course, 5 patients had a moderate improvement, with the resolution of 25-50% of skin lesions; 11 patients showed a good improvement, with the resolution of 51-75% of lesions. Another 50 patients had an outstanding improvement, with the regression of 76-100% of lesions. Only 4 patients did not achieve an improvement of psoriasis. Six patients experienced folliculitis, which resolved without cessation of treatment. Three patients worsened and discontinued treatment. Six patients dropped out because of non-compliance. The blood results and histologic findings were all normal. Our investigation shows that Dr Michaels® (Soratinex®) products can be safely and successfully used in the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis.

    Be well!


  17. JP Says:

    Updated 09/13/16:

    J Ginseng Res. 2016 Jul;40(3):260-8.

    A single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the efficacy and safety of “enzyme-treated red ginseng powder complex (BG11001)” for antiwrinkle and proelasticity in individuals with healthy skin.

    BACKGROUND: During the aging process, skin shows visible changes, characterized by a loss of elasticity and the appearance of wrinkles due to reduced collagen production and decreased elasticity of elastin fibers. Panax ginseng Meyer has been used as a traditional medicine for various diseases due to its wide range of biological activities including skin protective effects. Ginsenosides are the main components responsible for the biological activities of ginseng. However, the protective activities of an enzymatic preparation of red ginseng against human skin aging have not been investigated.

    METHODS: The efficacy of an enzyme-treated powder complex of red ginseng (BG11001) in preventing human skin aging was evaluated by oral administration to 78 randomized individuals. All patients were requested to take three daily capsules containing either 750 mg of BG11001 or a placebo vehicle for 24 wk; at the end of the testing period, skin roughness, elasticity, and skin water content were measured.

    RESULTS: BG11001 significantly reduced the average roughness of eye wrinkles and the Global Photo Damage Score compared with the placebo, although there were no significant differences in arithmetic roughness average between the groups. In addition, gross elasticity and net elasticity values increased, and transepidermal water loss level decreased, indicating improved skin elasticity and moisture content.

    CONCLUSION: In conclusion, enzyme-treated red ginseng extract significantly improved eye wrinkle roughness, skin elasticity, and moisture content. Moreover, enzyme-treated red ginseng extract would be useful substance as a bio-health skin care product.

    Be well!


  18. JP Says:

    Updated 09/14/16:

    Benef Microbes. 2016 Sep 6:1-6.

    Supplementation with Lactobacillus rhamnosus SP1 normalises skin expression of genes implicated in insulin signalling and improves adult acne.

    Systemic supplementation with probiotics is increasingly being explored as a potential treatment strategy for skin disorders. Because both the gut-skin axis and dysregulation of insulin signalling have been implicated in the pathogenesis of adult acne, we designed the current study to evaluate the effect of supplementation with the probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus SP1 (LSP1) on skin expression of genes involved in insulin signalling and acne improvement in adult subjects. A pilot, randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study was conducted with 20 adult subjects (14 females and 6 males; mean age: 33.7±3.3 years) with acne. Over a 12-week period, the probiotic group (n=10) consumed a liquid supplement containing LSP1 at a dose of 3×109 cfu/day (75 mg/day), whereas the placebo group (n=10) received a liquid lacking probiotics. Paired skin biopsies – one obtained before treatment initiation and one obtained at the end of the 12-week treatment period – were analysed for insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and forkhead box protein O1 (FOXO1) gene expression. The clinical criterion for efficacy was the investigator’s global improvement rating on a five-point scale. Compared with baseline, the probiotic group showed a 32% (P<0.001) reduction, as well as a 65% increase (P<0.001) in IGF1 and FOXO1 gene expression in the skin, respectively. No such differences were observed in the placebo group. Patients in the probiotic group had an adjusted odds ratio of 28.4 (95% confidence interval = 2.2-411.1, P<0.05) to be rated by physicians as improved/markedly improved (versus worsened or unchanged) compared with the placebo group. We conclude that supplementation with the probiotic strain LSP1 normalises skin expression of genes involved in insulin signalling and improves the appearance of adult acne.

    Be well!


  19. JP Says:

    Updated 11/15/16:

    Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016 Oct 18;9:315-324.

    Clinical effects of an oral supplement rich in antioxidants on skin radiance in women.

    BACKGROUND: Environmental factors impact the skin aging resulting in decrease of skin radiance. Nutrition and particularly antioxidants could help to fight against skin degradation.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of an oral supplement rich in specific antioxidants, SkinAx2TM, on the improvement of the skin radiance in women.

    METHODS: The open-label clinical study enrolled 35 women, aged 40-70, with facial dull complexion. Subjects were supplemented orally with a daily dosage of 150 mg of an antioxidant-rich formulation containing superoxide dismutase-rich melon concentrate, grape seed extract rich in monomers of flavanols, vitamin C, and zinc for 8 weeks. Each subject served as her own control. The C.L.B.T.™ test has been used to evaluate facial skin coloring (C), luminosity (L), brightness (B), and transparency (T) involved in skin radiance. Facial skin imperfections have been assessed by clinical assessment. Firmness has been evaluated by clinical assessment and cutometer measurement. Finally, an auto-questionnaire has been carried out in order to evaluate the satisfaction of the subjects concerning different parameters involved in skin radiance and the global efficacy of the supplement.

    RESULTS: Skin “red pink” and “olive” colors were significantly improved after supplementation (P<0.0001). Luminosity was increased by 25.9% (P<0.0001) whereas brightness and transparency were not affected by the supplementation. Facial skin imperfections were significantly reduced after the antioxidant-rich formulation intake (global reduction: -18.0%; P<0.0001). Indeed, dark circles, redness, and spots significantly diminished after oral treatment. Firmness and elasticity have been shown to be improved. Subjects were globally satisfied by the product (82.4%) and have found improvements on their facial skin. Furthermore, 64.7% reported to look better at the end of the supplementation.

    CONCLUSION: The oral supplement containing the antioxidant-rich formulation was found to improve skin radiance by reducing skin coloring, increasing face luminosity, reducing imperfections, and improving skin firmness in women with dull complexion.

    Be well!


  20. JP Says:

    Updated 11/30/16:

    Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016 Nov 10;9:435-442.

    Aloe sterol supplementation improves skin elasticity in Japanese men with sunlight-exposed skin: a 12-week double-blind, randomized controlled trial.

    BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Recently, it was confirmed that the daily oral intake of plant sterols of Aloe vera gel (Aloe sterol) significantly increases the skin barrier function, moisture, and elasticity in photoprotected skin. This study aimed to investigate whether Aloe sterol intake affected skin conditions following sunlight exposure in Japanese men.

    METHODS: We performed a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the effects of oral Aloe sterol supplementation on skin conditions in 48 apparently healthy men (age range: 30-59 years; average: 45 years). The subjects were instructed to expose the measurement position of the arms to the sunlight outdoors every day for 12 weeks. The skin parameters were measured at 0 (baseline), 4, 8, and 12 weeks.

    RESULTS: Depending on the time for the revelation of the sunlight, the b* value and melanin index increased and the skin moisture decreased. After taking an Aloe sterol tablet daily for 12 weeks, the skin elasticity index (R2, R5, and R7) levels were significantly higher than the baseline value. There were no differences between the groups in these skin elasticity values. In the subgroup analysis of subjects aged <46 years, the change in the R5 and R7 was significantly higher in the Aloe group than in the placebo group at 8 weeks (P=0.0412 and P=0.0410, respectively). There was a difference in the quantity of sun exposure between each subject, and an additional clinical study that standardizes the amount of ultraviolet rays is warranted. No Aloe sterol intake-dependent harmful phenomenon was observed during the intake period.

    CONCLUSION: Aloe sterol ingestion increased skin elasticity in the photodamaged skin of men aged <46 years.

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  21. JP Says:

    Updated 01/09/17:

    Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2016 Dec;33(6):416-420.

    The possible role of diet in the pathogenesis of adult female acne.

    Acne in adults is a chronic, increasingly common disease, especially among women. It differs in pathogenesis and clinical presentation from adolescent acne. Acne in adults is associated with Western diet, defined as high consumption of milk, high glycemic load and high calorie intake. Metabolic signals of this diet result in a significant increase in insulin/insulin growth factor 1 serum level and consequently in the molecular interplay of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 kinase (mTORC1)/forkhead box protein 1 (FoxO1) mediated nutrient signaling, leading to increased proliferation of keratinocytes, increased lipogenesis and sebum production and finally to aggravation of acne.

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  22. JP Says:

    Updated 04/22/17:

    J Diet Suppl. 2017 Apr 21:1-9.

    Beneficial Effects of Oral Supplementation with Ovoderm on Human Skin Physiology: Two Pilot Studies.

    Collagens and hyaluronic acid have long been used in pharmaceuticals and food supplements for the improvement of skin elasticity and hydration. These compounds provide the building blocks of the skin. Ovoderm is an oral supplement obtained from eggshells that contains naturally occurring collagen and glycosaminoglycans, such as hyaluronic acid. We evaluated the efficacy of Ovoderm on skin biophysical parameters related to cutaneous aging such as elasticity, hydration, and pigmentation. Two pilot studies were run to assess the effect of daily oral supplementation with 300 mg Ovoderm on skin parameters. The first consisted of a self-assessment questionnaire intended to perform an assessment on skin, hair, and nail health after 50 days of treatment. The second measured the effect of 5-week treatment on hydration by corneometry, on elasticity with the cutometer, and on pigmentation with the mexameter. In the pilot study 1, participants were predominantly satisfied with the effects obtained on general face (100% volunteers satisfied) and body (94% volunteers satisfied) skin condition and skin properties (100% volunteers satisfied with facial skin softness, 94% with facial skin hydration, and 89% with body skin hydration) and partly with effects on hair (67% volunteers satisfied) and nail (50% volunteers satisfied) condition. The study 2 revealed a statistically significant improvement in skin elasticity (12% increase, p =.0136), a tendency to reduce skin pigmentation (5% decrease), and no significant change in skin hydration. Our study reflects that oral supplementation with Ovoderm is efficacious to reduce the gradual loss of skin elasticity characteristic of aged skin, which helps to improve the appearance of the skin.

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  23. JP Says:

    Updated 06/07/17:

    Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2017;26(4):613-618.

    Dietary galacto-oligosaccharides improve skin health: a randomized double blind clinical trial.

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To study the effects of galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) on the skin, we investigated skin-related parameters in healthy adults who received GOS for 12 weeks.

    METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN: This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study included subjects divided into two groups (control and GOS) by stratified block randomization. The GOS group received 1.0 g of GOS twice a day, whereas the control group received only vehicle.

    RESULTS: The results showed that the increase in corneometer values from baseline to week 12 was significantly greater in the GOS group than in the control group (6.91 vs 2.88 arbitrary units, p<0.05). The transepidermal water loss (TEWL) in the GOS group was reduced significantly after 12 weeks of GOS treatment (20.1 g/h/m2 at baseline vs 17.5 g/h/m2 at week 12, p<0.05). The differences in total and percentage of wrinkle areas between the two groups were statistically significant after 12 weeks of GOS treatment (p<0.05).

    CONCLUSION: Our findings support that oral treatment with GOS is beneficial to the skin and present the possibility of new nutritional strategies for skin care.

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  24. JP Says:

    Updated 11/08/17:

    Nutrition Research – Available online 10 October 2017

    Continuous astaxanthin intake reduces oxidative stress and reverses age-related morphological changes of residual skin surface components in middle-aged volunteers

    Oxidative stress accelerates skin aging, and dietary supplementation with antioxidants may alleviate it. Morphological analysis of the residual skin surface components (RSSC) allows detecting age-related changes in corneocyte desquamation, microbial presence, and lipid droplet size. We hypothesized that continuous ingestion of carotenoid antioxidant astaxanthin (4 mg/day) for four weeks could influence RSCC morphology and evaluated RSSC samples taken from middle-aged subjects before and after this dietary intervention. The study included 31 volunteers (17 males and 14 females) over the age of 40. RSSC samples were collected from the surface of the facial skin at the beginning (day 0) and end (day 29) of the study. In addition, blood samples were taken on days 0, 15, and 29 for measuring plasma levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) that allowed assessing systemic oxidative stress. The results demonstrated that plasma MDA consistently decreased during astaxanthin consumption (by 11.2% on day 15 and by 21.7% on day 29). The analysis of RSSC samples has revealed significantly decreased levels of corneocyte desquamation (P = .0075) and microbial presence (P = .0367) at the end of the study. These phenomena as well as a significant (P = .0214) increase in lipid droplet size were stronger manifested among obese (BMI> 30 kg/m2) subjects. All described RSSC changes correspond to a shift towards characteristics of skin associated with a younger age. The results confirm our hypothesis by demonstrating that continuous astaxanthin consumption produces a strong antioxidant effect resulting in facial skin rejuvenation which is especially pronounced in obese subjects.

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