Dr. Perricone's Approach
People with diets high in saturated fat or sugar seem to have more wrinkles than those consuming less sugar and fat, says Dr. Perricone. His research led to a three-part approach:
* anti-oxidants (such as Vitamins A, C and E)
* an anti-inflammatory diet
So, can foods really cure wrinkles?
Dr. Bergfeld has researched anti-oxidants to see whether fruit acids (lactic, glycolic, ascorbic, beta-hydroxy acids, and retinols) can be used topically to reduce wrinkles. "We put them ON the skin, but you could ingest them -- hypothetically, that should work." Some fruit acids, when applied to the skin, can rejuvenate it by enhancing collagen and blood vessels, and normalizing abnormal cells.
... And Con
"The studies have not really been done," Dr. Bergfeld agrees. "The evidence is anecdotal, based on cross-over information." For example, since low-fat, low-carbohydrate diets are known to lower the risk of certain diseases (such as breast cancer), reduce abnormal cells, and make cells more youthful, "that crosses over to other tissues," she believes.
What You Should Consume
Green tea is now being studied for its efficacy in sun protection and anti-aging, Dr. Sadick reports. Because many fluids have a negative ingredient, (sugar in juices, caffeine in coffee, etc.), he encourages patients to drink ample water and green tea.
Among the many proven harmful effects of fatty acids is promoting cancer. Since fats and sugars are somewhat related, Dr. Bergfeld advocates a low-fat diet, rich in anti-oxidants. "To enhance the tissue that makes you a healthier individual, it's reasonable to follow these nutritional guidelines. They can be helpful over time, and they certainly won't be harmful," she says.
Be sure you get a full complement of anti-oxidants, Dr. Bergfeld stresses. She recommends a daily supplement like Centrum, which is "affordable, with zinc and folic acid, etc. Conceptually, a diet that can help skin should include reduced carbohydrates and sugars."
In a nutshell, that's exactly Dr. Perricone's concept. He urges avoiding foods that raise blood sugar (bananas, breads, mangoes, papayas, corn, etc.) and choosing anti-oxidant rich produce like asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables. His "best bets" include berries, avocado, bell peppers, squash, salmon, and tomatoes.
A recent multi-center study of 453 subjects supports Dr. Perricone's view: researchers found less skin damage with a higher intake of vegetables, fish, olive oil and legumes, and a lower intake of butter, margarine, dairy and sugar products www.am-collnutr.org/jacn/vol_20/no_1/pg71.htm.
Final Lines On Erasing Lines