Your skin is the largest organ of the body, and is significantly affected by the aging process. Estrogen receptors have been detected on the cellular components of the skin and research has shown lower levels of estrogen influence skin-cell metabolism. Changes in skin collagen leads to diminished elasticity and skin strength. There is a distinct reduction of collagen production after menopause in women, as changes in vascularity are found following menopause. Dermal blood flow decreases significantly in postmenopausal women. Both men and women begin to lose collagen after age 30 and becomes more noticeable with age.
Repair functions in skin are regulated by a group of chemicals called 'cytokines'. Included in these are epidermal cell growth factor (ECGF), transforming growth factor (TGF), and angiogenesis factor (AF). AF stimulates the rebuilding of the microvascular system within the skin. TGF and EGF stimulate rapid cell proliferation for the replacement of dead or damaged cells.
Excessive exposure to UV rays causes oxidation of the collagen and elastin fibers in skin. This, in turn, causes 'crosslinking'. Cross-linking causes the collagen in the skin to become tangled and it begins to stiffen. This results in sagging skin and loss of the skin’s elasticity, and allows facial expressions to form deep lines and wrinkles in the skin. Some of this UV damage can be prevented by the use of sunscreen and/or sunblock. Some of this damage can be reversed by use of 'peels' - where the outer layer of the skin is removed with mild acidic formulas, which removes damaged skin layers and stimulates the production of a stronger, thicker layers of skin.
Free radicals are molecules created by oxidative chemical reactions within the body. These free radicals are known to damage cellular DNA and cause mutation of skin cells, which can potentially lead to cancer. Free radical damage can be prevented by the use of antioxidants, both internally and topically. Antioxidants attract and bind these free radical molecules, rendering them harmless.
Premature skin aging can be avoided by preventing excessive exposure to sunlight and pollutants, as well as providing skin with the nutrients it needs to repair itself. To help prevent premature aging and/or oxidation of your skin, you might consider providing it with the building blocks it needs by maintaining adequate consumption of the following nutrients:
NUTRITION FOR AGING SKIN
ZINC: Zinc is required for collagen production and elastin synthesis, as well as DNA repair. Zinc is required for DNA duplication, which is required for cell division. It is also required for the production of certain proteins that remove damaged or mutated tissue, as well as for superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant and a great immune booster.
COPPER: Copper helps to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, helps to thicken the dermis, increases vascularity and oxygenation and works to stimulate superoxide dismutase.
SULFUR: Sulfur is a component of the protein Keratin, which is found in nails, hair and skin. Sulfur is essential for the production of collagen and it is required for the production of the connective tissues.
Vitamin A: This vitamin is necessary for healthy skin. A serious lack or excess of intake can cause dry, rough skin, among other problems. Ascorbyl palmitate applied on the skin has been shown to decrease the level of formation of free radicals.
Vitamin C: Known for its antioxidant and photoprotective properties, topically applied vitamin C has also been demonstrated its beneficial use in the prevention and treatment of skin aging. Topical applications of 5-10% vitamin C creams and serums are an effective treatment, clinically shown to improve photodamaged skin. Additionally, it is a wonderful immune booster.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D has been shown to reverse skin damage and increase the speed of wound healing. Vitamin D is produced in the body in response to sunlight, and has been shown to have a beneficial effect on skin repair, as well as hair growth. Vitamin D rarely requires supplementation, as 15 minutes of daily low-sun exposure should stimulate adequate production of this hormone-like vitamin.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant. Experiments show that it may protect against the degradation of collagen, and prevent skin damage by environmental insult and aging. It is also great for boosting immune support.
CoQ10 (Ubiquinone): Internal and topical application of CoQ10 has shown a beneficial effect of preventing photoaging. CoQ10 penetrates into the viable layers of the epidermis and helps reduce levels of oxidation. Reduction in wrinkle depth following CoQ10 application has also been shown in clinical trials. Research shows CoQ10 also prevents oxidative DNA damage and suppresses the degradation of collagen.
Final comments. The best supplementation comes from the "clean" foods you eat. Store bought supplements can have side effects when taken improperly, or if they do not resonate synergistically with your own system. The Author expresses his own opinions herein and highly recommends you seek the advice of a qualified medical profession before beginning any supplementation program.
Cheers to living Young Ever After and All Things Aging Positively, Health & Wellness!!