ASTAXANTHIN AND VITAMIN D FOR AGING SKIN
Vitamin D and Aging Skin
In a recent newsletter, we discussed the topical use of vitamin D for maintaining and healing the skin. Lest we overlook the importance of internal vitamin D levels for skin health, I offer this bit of data.
Here, a study set out to “investigate the relationship between UV-induced skin photodamage and vitamin D levels”. They ran the study on 45 women, over the age of 40, allowing for “menopausal status, smoking status, skin cancer history, oral supplement use, and season of blood draw” (for determining serum vitamin D levels).
As part of the study, a dermatologist “evaluated standardized digital facial images for overall photodamage, erythema/telangiectasias, hyperpigmentation, number of lentigines, and wrinkling”. (Translation: telangiectasias is a doctor’s way of saying “spider veins”; erythema is redness of the skin caused by increased blood flow in superficial capillaries; and lentigines are liver spots.)
Once the results were adjusted for age, and season of blood collection, it was determined that, “women with lower photodamage scores were associated with a 5-fold increased odds of being vitamin D insufficient. Low scores for specific photodamage parameters including erythema/telangiectasias, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkling were also significantly associated with vitamin D insufficiency. Our results suggest an association between skin aging and 25(OH)D levels” . (Study)
In other words, if you are not taking your vitamin D for health, at least take it for vanity.
Astaxanthin and Skin Health
In last week’s newsletter I looked at the benefits of astaxanthin for eye health, due to its ability to protect and nourish the mitochondria. I also briefly discussed some of its other health-related attributes, which include anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities, as well as cardiovascular and neurological benefits.
One other recently explored value of astaxanthin is its skin-protective effects.
Astaxanthin is related to other carotenoids, such as beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, and thus shares many of the same physiological functions as they do. However, it is far more bioactive than these other carotenoids.
It has already been established that beta carotene supplementation can protect the skin from damaging effects of UV light (excessive sunlight), though it takes a lot of beta carotene (25 mg or about 42,000 IU) to do so, and it must be taken for a minimum of 12 weeks to see any positive results. (Study)
Since astaxanthin is far more bioactive than the other carotenoids, researchers decided to examine the effects of astaxanthin on “hyperpigmentation suppression, melanin synthesis and photoaging inhibition, and wrinkle formation reduction”.
At the conclusion of an exhaustive examination of clinical studies on astaxanthin, these were their conclusions: Astaxanthin inhibits collagenases, (collagenases are enzymes that break the peptide bonds in collagen), and reduces MMP-12 (elastin-degrading enzyme) activity, thus preventing damage to the integrity of skin and connective tissue. It reduces inflammatory compounds in the skin, and free radical-induced skin damage, “resulting in potent anti-wrinkle effects”, and “may prevent UV-induced immunosuppression”. (Study)
An added benefit of using NutriKrill as an omega 3 supplement is the fact that, unlike other fish oils (except salmon), krill oil contains astaxanthin.
Other Benefits of Krill Oil
While I am on the subject of krill oil, I will point out that for those with inflammatory conditions, krill oil can be of value, especially in arthritic ailments.
One study found that krill oil reduced stiffness, functional impairment, and pain, in patients with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. (Study)
Another small study followed 50 subjects with mild knee pain, and found that those who took krill oil for 30 days significantly reduced their pain and discomfort while both standing and sleeping, and increased their range of motion. Subjects in this study took 2 grams of krill oil daily (equal to 4 caps of NutriKrill). (Study)
Thus, krill oil would be a helpful addition to those using our JointStart products.
NutriStart uses the Superba™ brand of ecologically sound, solvent free, krill oil, considered the best grade of krill oil in the world. More information about this krill oil, and its proven benefits, can be found on the Superba website.
Other benefits provided by krill oil include:
Brain health, as the phospholipid form of EFAs found in krill oil are able to cross the blood brain barrier.
Beneficial effects related to heart health, such as lowering fasting triglyceride levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease.
Eye health, since the highest concentration of DHA in the body is found in the retina, and again, the phospholipid form of omega 3 that is unique to krill oil, gains easy access into the cells of the eyes.
Aside from the skin-related benefits of the astaxanthin contained in krill oil, the omega 3 components play a role in modulating the hydration and elasticity of the skin.
The astaxanthin in krill oil also protects the oil from oxidation, eliminating the need to add preservatives.